Make your own beauty products.

What if we told you that the secret to good skin or hair lies in your kitchen or your refrigerator? A slew of beauty products that you can whip up at home keep you looking younger while giving your skin the much-needed respite from the commercial counterparts with their artificial & often harmful chemicals. So if you are good to go lets raid your kitchen cabinets to turn you into a prettier version of yourself. Mirror Mirror on the wall……….we will  soon hear you say, with this curation of easy DIY beauty products.

 1.  Sun Screen Bar

Come summer & the sun’s tanning factory is working overtime to give you a tan that will take months to recover from. Commercially available sunscreens are surely an option, if you are willing to rub chemicals & even some potential carcinogens onto your skin, that is. What if you could make a sunscreen with natural ingredients that your skin will simply love. What’s more, this one is like a soap bar, making application for kids even easier.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup shea butter
  • 1 cup beeswax
  • 2 tablespoons Zinc Oxide 
  • Optional: Vitamin E oil to preserve. 
  • Optional: a few drops of vanilla or essential oil for scent 

Methodology : Combine all ingredients (except zinc oxide and essential oils) in a double boiler. Turn the burner on and bring water to a boil. Stir ingredients constantly until they melt. Remove from heat and add the zinc oxide powder and essential oils. Gently stir until essential oils are incorporated. Carefully pour into moulds to allow the lotion bars to harden. Allow the lotion bars to cool completely before attempting to pop out of moulds. They can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge for long term storage.

Recipe courtesy: wellnessmama.com


2. Mask for Damaged Hair

What if those bad hair days could just disappear from the face of the earth? Sounds like a dream, isn’t it? Here’s help for your damaged strands! Simple ingredients from your kitchen could bring back that shiny hair & have you dazzle with confidence. The simplicity of the recipe, is only indicative of its powerful action

Combine half of a ripe avocado with one egg yolk. Using a blender is best because you want the avocado as smooth as possible. Apply the mixture from your scalp to the ends of your hair. Keep it on for 15 minutes. Then rinse and clean normally.

Courtesy: buzzfeed.com


3.
Peach & Honey face mask

A soft & supple skin is now only as far as your kitchen cabinet. Bring on these simple ingredients & see your skin take on a new hue. To say that it is revitalizing, is an under statement!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large peach skinned
  • 3 teaspoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt

Methodology : Mash the peach and honey together, add 2 tablespoons yogurt until you have a workable paste. Apply evenly over your face and neck and around the eyes. Sit back and relax. Rinse off with warm water after 10 minutes. Pat dry. Tone and moisturize your skin as you normally would.

Courtesy: goodhousekeeping.com


4.
Coffee Body Scrub

Imagine a relaxed Sunday where the only work you have is to pamper yourself. What better way than to create a natural body scrub that exfoliates your skin & leaves it looking like new. A hot shower before applying this magic potion……. and you have a lot going for you!

Ingredients:

  • 
2 cups coarsely ground coffee
  • 
1/2 cup raw sugar or sea salt 
  • 
2-3 tablespoons massage oil 


Methodology: 
Mix all ingredients together. Take a hot shower to moisten your skin and open your pores. Using wide, circular motions, rub the coffee exfoliant onto your Shower off, pat skin dry and apply a thin layer of your favorite body lotion.

Courtesy: Safe cosmetics.org


5.
Mint Chocolate Lip Balm

How about beautifying your famous pout with some natural lip balm, which not just smells but tastes heavenly too. If there is some romantic action scheduled for the weekend you cannot not try this!
Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

  • 1 teaspoon pure almond oil

  • 1 teaspoon cocoa butter

  • 3-4 drops pure vitamin E oil

  • 1-2 drops pure peppermint extract

  • 3-4 semisweet chocolate chips

Methodology : Place all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Place a small saucepan with about 1 inch of water in it over medium-low heat, and heat until the water is steaming and simmering.
Set the bowl on top of the steaming pot of water, taking care that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
Using a small spoon or spatula, slowly melt the ingredients until they are melted and thoroughly combined. This should take about 5 minutes.
When the ingredients are combined and the mixture is smooth, pour the lip gloss into a sterilized small container and allow to cool to room temperature until solid.


Have fun trying these super easy & affordable beauty products, sans harmful chemicals. It may be an added perk to know that many A list celebrities including the actress Megan Fox, despite her access to the best salons on the planet is a great stickler for DIY beauty products! Conjuring a magic lotion already, are you?

Trend Report : Innerwear as Outerwear

It takes a woman a whole lot of oomph and attitude not to mention fashion sense to pull off wearing innerwear as outerwear! Yes ladies, you got it right, intimates or lingerie, whatever you may choose to call it, is having a moment, and what a moment. Long endorsed by celebrities like Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Madonna, lingerie has now become a darling of big fashion houses. If Prada is showcasing bra-tops there is enough see-through lace at Burberry not to speak of layers upon layers of sheer at Calvin Klein!
If this wasn’t enough, Stella McCartney’s spring-summer 2014 collections mixed crisp suiting with sensuous slip dresses and camisoles.
The trend is restricted to the ramp alone, we hear you say? Think again! It threatens to make an entry into the high street too! Here are cool ways for you to pull off this trend with aplomb!

1.  Bustier

Here is one versatile piece that women just cannot do without. You sure know its benefits when it is worn on the inside. Try it as outerwear & there is no taking away from that sultry look. That it also gives you a tummy tuck is an added advantage. When wearing them as outerwear, team them up with skirts or jeans. A structured blazer & you can even carry this look to work with elan.

2.Bodysuit

If you thought there is no way to carry that bodysuit as outerwear, here is how. Tuck them into that high waist trouser, a pencil skirt or even a pair of shorts & see yourself simmer. A tad too risqué, we hear you say? Allow a hint of the lacy body suit to peek from under your top instead!

3. Camisole

 Wear that silk camisole as a tank top! Layer it with a jacket & you have just the right mix of sensuality & power dressing! 

Fishnet tights, knickers….the list is simply endless. Go ahead and have fun exploring a new way of dressing & flaunting a new side of your personality! That you will soon find yourself in the league of A list celebrities, is an added perk!

4. Bralette

It’s time to ditch the regular bra and opt for the uber-cool bralette. It’s on trend, spotted on a number of designer runways and celebs are rocking this trend as well. You name them, they’ve worn it. Remember to strike a balance though- reveal too little and you lose the effect, reveal too much & it can be construed as a wardrobe malfunction. Style Tip- Team it with a pencil skirt and top it with a loose fitted blazer to get the ultimate edgy-chic look.

Fishnet tights, knickers….the list is simply endless. Go ahead and have fun exploring a new way of dressing & flaunting a new side of your personality! That you will soon find yourself in the league of A list celebrities, is an added perk! 

10 home-decor ideas under Rs 500

Think of home décor and you are likely to break into a sweat, both at the thought of the work involved and with the fear of breaking your bank! What if we said we have 10 fab ideas to do up your place, which do not cost you more than Rs 500 each. Incredulous you say? Read on…

#1 Paint- There is no better makeover than paint! Hold on, we aren’t suggesting that you unleash a whole painting workforce onto your otherwise settled hearth! But did you know bright accents can make a lot of difference. Paint the insides of a bookshelf with a bright color, or the ceiling or even the kitchen cabinet & see your home acquire a whole new hue.

#2 Bold Cushions - Add energy to a regular sofa with bold cushions- a pop of color or bold geometric designs can go a long way in invigorating your living room.

#3 Floral Bedspreads- They are the easiest way to ensure there is spring in your house & step! No matter what the season outside you have more than enough reason to come back to a house that looks spring like, all year round!

#4 Quirky Pieces-Add character to the room with quirky pieces, be it fun coasters or a quirky vase filled with fresh flowers in colorful hues.

#5 Color Theme- It pays to choose a color theme. Once you have done that let that color flash at different places. So if your accent color is red, let it peep from the cord you use to tie the curtains or a candle, a picture frame….the possibilities are simply endless.

#6 Plates- Plates in unexpected colors make for great wall art. Choose different colors, textures & sizes & see it become the focal point of the room.

#7 Photographs- A Gallery of memorable photos mounted on the wall not only adds character to your living room but also send you on a trip down memory lane whenever you have the time to stand & stare.

#8 Candles- Use candles as home décor accessories & see the world compliment you on your impeccable taste. Place them on large surfaces – a coffee table, a window sill… you are limited only by your imagination. Group candles of the same color but in different heights ensconced in glass containers & see the room light up.

#9 Mirrors- Prop up a large mirror and see the room turn…well, roomier! When you find yourself peering into it, you can’t help but admire the piece of art that stares back.

#10 Repurpose- This one doesn’t even cost Rs 500! Simply take out all your home accessories and try putting them in a box. Now with a fresh new perspective, start to rearrange them in places where they are most impactful. Here are some handy tips- In rearranging pieces, make sure they have something in common, whether it’s the theme or color. When arranging books, for example, alternate horizontal stacks with vertical ones. It also helps to pay attention to visual weight. For example, three smaller vases can balance one larger vase. Simple rearrangement such as this can have you stare at an intriguing new set up!
    

Whoever said affordable is not impactful! Try these DIY ideas & see your house scream instant chic!

10 things women want in bed (but never ask)

A recent survey conducted across 1000 people brought to the fore 3
pre- requisites for a great sex life
1. Physical Attraction
2.  Emotional Intimacy
3.  Feeling secure
Sure these are pre-requisites but sex is about so many things — love, eroticism, connection, pure fun!. How often do we actually make the time & effort to get the synapses sparking and not give in to just to that familiar routine?
Here is a cheat sheet for all you men to turn on that special woman in your life. Coming up, in no special order are the ten things that women want in bed but never ask!

1. Turning on the romance – It may not sound like much but that whole thing of rose petals on the bed with candles lit all over, ups the romance quotient like little else. And there isn’t a better turn on for her than romance! Every woman dreams of being spoilt by her man, so take time to pamper her- massage her, caress every muscle and see it become taut with anticipation. Call it foreplay, if you will, actually this is just a precursor of the great times, to follow!

2. Raw Passion- Whispering sweet nothings is all very well to woo her! But brace yourself- in bed women like raw passion! So go ahead and get imaginative. Make no bones about telling her with your actions how desperately you need her. Secret Tip- Remember to closely watch her body language as you do this. Quick breathing & you are on the right track… even a little stiffening of the body & its time to reconsider.

IMAGE COURSTESY : COSMOPOLITAN.COM

 

3. Giving it to fantasies- Now this one is bound to spice up your life for sure. All you need to do is delve into her mind and indulge her fantasies like never before. Whether it is those spankings or a rest room quickie- it will be worth your while as you find her returning the favor.

IMAGE COURSTESY : COSMOPOLITAN.COM

 

4. Adventure- Sure there is comfort in a familiar set up, but believe it or not women crave for some adventure in their sex lives. Once it gets down to becoming a chore, boredom is sure to follow. So spice up your life…go ahead and ask your girl what her fantasy role play is and enact it out for her….for real. So if she has been dreaming of actually going up to a bar & pretending to meet that hot stranger, its time the two of you walked into that upscale pub. Fake this one & add a zing to your relationship… remember Shaadi ke side effects? (We are talking about the movie & not the side effects that follow after the saat pheras!)

Image Courstesy : cosmopolitan.com

5. Caressing & kissing- No there’s no contradiction in displaying raw passion & yet taking the time every now & then to caress the small of her back or kiss her parted lips. After all the concept of yin & yang is pretty well established, isn’t it?

IMAGE COURSTESY : COSMOPOLITAN.COM

6. Dirty Talking- Yes, women may never admit it for fear of being judged but dirty talking is a huge turn on. Study after study has shown that couples who get verbally nasty in bed show improved levels of intimacy. Try it out of the bedroom though & say goodbye to the relationship!

IMAGE COURSTESY : COSMOPOLITAN.COM

 

7. Doling out orders- Women love it when men take charge in the bedroom. Tell her exactly what you want her to do- simple commands will have her ride the pleasure wave, in being able to please you.

IMAGE COURSTESY : COSMOPOLITAN.COM

 

8. Be vocal- So you thought women love everything prim & proper? Hear this- they secretly want to hear you moaning & groaning to tell them that they are doing a good job. Don’t hesitate to put your mouth to good use (no pun intended!)

IMAGE COURSTESY : COSMOPOLITAN.COM

 

9. Verbal Affirmation- Research says that a simple “I Love you” is the biggest turn on for a woman in bed. Now did you need statistics to tell you that?

IMAGE COURSTESY : COSMOPOLITAN.COM

 

10. Ending it with love - If all you do after sex is to turn over & sleep, think again. Cuddle up, talk to her, compliment her & see her fall… err or is it rise in love, all over again!

Most importantly, relax in the thought that women don’t expect men to be mind readers- it is enough just to be curious about every detail of her body . And sure enough, once you do that, her body, will do all the talking & lead you through.

How to make the most of a small apartment.

Are you thinking twice about buying a dress you so like because the closet in your small apartment cannot accommodate any more clothes? Do you hesitate in inviting more than 2 people over for dinner in your small apartment? Our advice is not to let space constrain you from doing things you want.

Multi-functionality is the watchword

Go about carefully choosing elements that are capable of, well, multitasking. When looking for a table, for example, look for something, that works as a desk & yet can double up as a dining table. A sofa cum bed works best for days you have guests while otherwise keeping the look de-cluttered. As a thumb rule, go in for pieces that lend themselves to easy re-arrangement as opposed to bulky pieces.

Illusion of Expanse

When you do not have too much space, do the next best thing- create an illusion of expanse. This can be achieved in multiple ways- mirrors at various locations or furnishings that are see through instead of curtains that are heavy & seem restrictive.

Maximize Light

As much as possible, try to maximize light for that is one thing that makes your apartment look larger. Whether it means bringing down a wall, increasing the size of a window or hanging glass framed pieces of art that create reflections.

Less Is More

In doing up a not so large space, remember that less is more. So instead of many small pieces filling up the room it is better to have fewer large pieces, giving it, at the cost of sounding repetitive, an illusion of expanse.

Zones Evocative Of Rooms

When space does not allow you to have different rooms for different activities, don’t fret. You can still create zones within the limited space that subtly announce different activities and evoke not just the feeling of multiple rooms but also of more space. A canopy or a curtain around the bed, a curtain separator for the kitchen or even a pull down screen are great to create this effect.

Soothing tones

When doing up a small place remember to go in for colors & tones that are pleasing to the eye & also make the place seem far more spacious.

 

Bespoke Furniture

Go in for customized furniture that does full justice to the available space. Those nooks & crannies can be creatively used as storage space or more. Similarly, sliding doors for closets & bathrooms go a long way in saving space. Remember, when the house doesn’t seem cluttered, it doesn’t seem small.

A perfect blend of style with functionality is sure to be your reward with these small tips, allowing you to enjoy your apartment without feeling cramped for space in any way.