beauty, skincare

Skincare, Korean style.

As the lot of following me on Twitter or/and on Instagram would know, I’ve had a skin debacle earlier this year dabbling with the Sunday Riley Power Couple combo. My skin was an itchy, acne filled mess, and I do not usually have to deal with acne unless I’ve been eating past 10 or sleeping poorly. I have had to invest a massive portion of the summer trying to get my ‘normal’ skin back and thanks to Peach and Lily, I did!

Now all you know about the Korean way of skincare is most probably true and here’s why it works for me. I adore fussing over my skin and the process of applying multiple layers of different consistencies of serums and creams make the entire process so… pamper-ey and great.

Now, my task was to keep the combination of 10+ products under 100 euros and do my best in assuring they are cruelty free. A lot of Korean products retail in China so this was an elephantine task, but I had a week off of work and was raring to go!

Thankfully amazon.de is a babe and I had all my products in 25 days – from Korea!

Started off with good ol’ double cleansing, ampoule, essence, eye cream, emulsion, cream and sunscreen!

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Awkward family photo. Photographed in order of usage.

The winners of this set are the cleansing duo of DHC oil and Su:m 37 rose cleansing stick – they are great for makeup removal and cleansing dry skin, and since I am still on the lookout for the right toner (on the move for Be the Skin Botanical Power Toner), I follow it up quickly with Mizons Snail repair Intensive Ampoule. Here is where it got tricky for me because whilst I can live with products that don’t ‘do much’ for me, I loathe products that set my skin in reverse. Bentons Snail Bee High Content Essence made me break out into red inflamed acne and so now, I skip over directly to the eye cream. Not Korean, but still the best I’ve used. Institud Arnauds Youth Eclat Eye Contour cream is a fantastic product that I first bought it in India a couple of years back when it was still available there, and it has magically lasted me until now! Also makes for a dope lip moisturiser.

But my true star, my true love from this set is the Skinfood Sake and Peach emulsion. As the name suggests, it has the consistency of emulsion and smells like slightly boozy peach. Perfect! This product has singlehandedly changed my mind about ‘runny’ moisturisers, and my skin! I love love love it. I got the Mizon Snail Recover gel for a double whammy of moisture for nighttime but unfortunately, it only works well solo. It is a great moisturiser on it’s own, but along with everything, it’s another inflame-ey nightmare, so with a heavy heart, it rests on the shelf with the Benton essence.

I use the Korres Emulsion Yoghurt with SPF 30 for sun protection. It smells of mango lassi to me and with that, and I am good to go!

I am very happy with my current routine, it’s 15 mins every night and every morning and with the right toner and essence, I think I’d be gold!

img_0631Winners.

img_0632Not so much.

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Just water cleansing phase post Sunday Riley.

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Only Mizon recovery and ampoule phase.

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With Benton snail bee in the routine phase.

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With everything but Benton and Mizon snail recovery. Ignore the deviated septum. Tadaaaa!

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beauty

Lips.

My favourite piece of makeup. Lip colour!

Which are your favourites?

I have been *a fan of makeup since I was little. Thankfully my mum, who even though, is not a big make up wearer, would always have amazing amazing lipsticks in her bag. Which then I would happily “borrow” following it up with dancing to loud 90s Bollywood music in the house.

Cut to adolescence and now, **adulthood, and my only true loves in the make up bag, are my lip colours. I don’t refer to them as lipsticks now because they aren’t really just sticks anymore. There are wands, and sticks and powders and pigments. I still swear by a couple of shades by a couple of companies that do not test on animals and they’ve slowly but surely become my everyday staples. My absolute favourites are still NYX and their matte cream shades. Stunning colours and so pigmented, so accessible and they care about animals! Perfection.

What I would love to try next, are lipcolours by MDMflow (cause they all look FANTASTIC), Kylie Cosmetics (those mattes… ah!) and of course, more stuff by Lipstick Queen! The cruelty free status of the latter two are still unknown but hoping for the best? And even though I am a sucker for matte shades, Lipstick Queens Velvet Rope has got me leaning to the glossy side just a wee bit…

Lipcolour selfie strip. From left to right, NYX’s Amsterdam, Morocco, Lipstick Queen’s Velvet Rope and again, NYX’s Antwerp.

Let me know in the comments or on Instagram what cruelty free lipshades you guys love, I would love to know!

*obsessed with.

**eugh.

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Uncategorized

Orange and pink and blue.

Having been in New York recently, it’s safe to say I am smitten*. It is one of those places that doesn’t underwhelm your expectations of it, or your senses for that matter. It is as exciting, cool and fascinating as I’d expected it to be and I loved being there! Just like so many people I’ve heard and read about; the ones who’ve gone to New York city for a holiday and can envision themselves living there, I am already intensely infatuated with the place. I am not moving there any time soon but the first impression it left was, essentially, “wow.”. I loved the little neighbourhoods, the food, the incredible shopping, the food, the pulse of the city which was very reminiscent of home, and did I mention the food?

In Venice I wore one half of one of my favourite suits from Henry Holland. It’s orange, its lace, a crop blouse with a high waisted skirt and these are too many of my favourite things in one look for me to pass it by. The orange set I bought last summer in not available anymore but their current sale is fantastic!

Another great thing about a suit is that you can wear the pieces in different looks. On a day out to the MET, I paired the top half with an American Apparel dress, denim jacket and Nike flyknits. I had to throw some leggings on midway there ’cause it was freezing!

DSC03749Busted!

DSC03793Hypnotised.

DSC03817*smitten

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Warm and happy. Hey there.

  • – Nirja x

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Uncategorized, yoga

Just go with it.

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I have never been the biggest fan of travel and while everyone I meet or know just wants to pack up their bags and explore a new place, I believe I am happiest when ‘unpacked’ and settled in a place, unless I have my entire family and all my friends to travel with. I am the proverbial elephant in a world teeming with bumblebees. Not that I mind, elephants are awesome.

Not that I do not appreciate the thrill of seeing new places; there are certain spots on the planet I definitely wish to visit, I believe I am missing the “urgency to travel” or the wanderlust gene.

Well seeing as I like being in one spot with all my clothes and books and my beloved blender in my apartment, all convenient and routined, I have to travel. A lot. I travel for work, I travel because my family is full of bumble bees, and mostly I travel because my people are just so happy on flights and airport lounges nestling the idea of approaching a new place. I am not. But I distract myself with “airport style” and other such inanities. Another reason I don’t “dig” this constant movement is that it really affects my practice. I have been practicing Hatha asanas for almost 12 years and now the venture into Ashtanga has really kicked me hard. Hatha is beautiful and restorative and long. Ashtanga is quick and pacy and not exactly the key definition of restorative. Both are exquisite and life changing as is any physical practice that is followed over time, but there is something about Ashtanga before sunrise that feels like a mind and body cleanse. It has helped me in ways innumerable but I am most grateful for it’s effect on my bouts of chronic pain. And that balance gets hurt when I travel. For one, jet lag will confuse you regarding Brahmamurta. And then there’s the exhaustion and your minds innate resistance to anything that’s good for you. In the past six months, I have been to twelve cities in four timezones and with a terrible lot of groaning in the mornings.

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I love my life and I love my opportunities and I am forever grateful for my blessings but do any of you Yoga practioners out there ever struggle with discipline and focus? I would really appreciate tips. Maybe the re-transition to a vegan diet will be the boost I need?

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Lace and water.

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I spent a couple of days in Venice some time back and stepped out of the city with a serious case of mal de debarquement which is also highest in women in their 40’s but… anyhow. That happened. Venice is stunning. Almost untouchable and “how could people possibly live their go to work, walk to dog life here” kind of way because every thing is so damn beautiful.

I’d laid off the sneakers throughout the trip because this heaven deserves high heels dammit! And God knows beautiful shoes make the best gifts, so I ignored the weak ankle for four days and lived a little.

For Venice.

My favourite look from from my city escapades was this forever 21 top paired with a Henry Holland skirt (it’s actually part of a suit, but more on that later) and shoes from Odel, Colombo. Very Dolce & Gabbana Ss16, but at 1/12th the cost. BOOM.

Can’t link to the products unfortunately since they’re all from last years SS and FW collections. All current collections/ available products will be linked!

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Look how stoked with that complimentary wine!

You will also see one of the pictures mention Sunday Rileys Power Couple set and the havoc it wreaked on my skin. I love products and I really really love skincare. And I only buy them when they’re cruelty free – Sunday Riley seemed to have had hit the perfection trifecta, except my skin turned into a monster after a weeks use.

I will discuss the Sunday Riley debacle in one of the future posts!

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&otherstories glasses + my skin reacting to the Sunday Riley Power Couple duo. It got a lot worse!

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Mondays.

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& smoothies. For all those who do not know, I fast on Mondays. And yes, while this may seem like an awfully tough day to fast on, I am allowed fruits and milk and other sattvic fasting foods so working and practicing and running can all happen without the feeling of “bleh”.

So here’s my smoothie recipe that’s completely Monday friendly. I usually play around with recipes and add fruits that I like, but I am practicing more with Ayurveda body type approved foods so this is extra good for your Vata woes.

Monday smoothie:
1/2 Avocado
1/4 Mango (the mangoes I got are massive, so.)
A handful of cherries
1/2 glass full fat milk (I usually go with the Rice, Coconut, Pineapple variant that essentially feels like drinking love, but they come with added salts and Monday fasts are also sodium free)
A handful of almonds
A shot of espresso (not very Ayurvedic but this is also Monday specific)

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BOOM.

Let me know of your smoothie recipes in the comments section!

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