{ E.D.I.T.O.R.I.A.L} Silken Sands

Hello June! Hello humid weather!

I have had an overdose of the sun thanks to the shoots on weekends and my meetings on weekdays.
But I am not complaining, thanks to a disciplined skincare routine and drinking lots of water. Hope you are hydrating yourself well too and the rains are just around the corner!

This  shoot was one of the most fun filled shoots because I had my friend to help me out, with the drape and she decided to stay back to see how our shoots look like. Naturally, It was hilarious for her to watch the BTS and be a part of the madness.

I dropped my cousin at the airport which was a few weeks ago at 6.30 am and packed this pretty saree from Triveni Ethnics in my jhola bag. I packed a bindi strip, lipsticks, bangles & neckpieces that I could find and my glares, everything while i was half sleepy. At 7 , we were at my friends place and realised we had no safety pins to secure the drape. Guess what, I didn't even have a petticoat. So I wore this saree over a linen pant . I can't even imagine how we managed to pull this , laughing our way throughout and draping it under 15 mins, thanks to her!

I cant begin to tell you how pleased I am with the Triveni online ordering system. I can't believe that a saree amateur like me, keyed in measurements for a blouse and got it like i imagined- all thanks to their descriptive measurement process complete with indicative images. A saree's beauty lies in the way you do the blouse. I wanted something contemporary that goes with my personality . So I was sure I wanted a crop-top like blouse which i could use with a pair of denims thereafter.

There is also an option to attach a reference image and so I attached a reference image of the blouse.  The whole measurement process is explained with diagrams as you enter your measurements one by one. I didn't even have a proper measuring tape . I used a metal measuring tape used for measuring spaces! And the team at Triveni just got it right. The blouse was 100% as per my expectations. Its unbelievable . You must give it a try. My eyes are on their lehanga collections which are so perfect for summer weddings and extremely affordable . Enjoy the edit!

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Saree: Triveni | Neckpiece- Vero Moda | mirror work cross body- Sarojini Nagar | Kolhapuri- Colaba | Sunnies- Rayban


Till next time, CIAO!
Don't forget to grab the daily Fashion/Beauty/travel/lifestyle bytes on my instagram handle.




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{EDITORIAL} K.e.s.a.r





The sun is blazing hot as I write in an open cafe. The open cafe though, is a state of mind, while I write inside the comfort of my living room. No cup of coffee, no people walking in, but its an open cafe, where I feel creative and at peace.

Don't worry, thats how Murakami got to me, and I spread the abstract carpet, so you could walk in with a faint degree of delusion . And btw, Happy Fool's day! Kesar by no means is a recipe post, I presume you were looking for Kesar infused recipes and landed on this page somehow . Never mind.


This blazing Kesar/saffron Kurta ignited with mysterious colours as we shot in the evening sun and I tirelessly wiped all the sweat dripping due to the humid air. Kesar (Saffron in hindi) is an exquisite spice used only in special culinary delicacies and on special occasions. if you love it, you know how much the sight of each strand excites! Sometimes I even count the strands of saffron in my rasmalai . (Another indian delicacy in case you haven't tried)  We all have funny habits, don't we?

For a carefree soul like me, I rarely indulge in expensive ethnic clothing. I reserve it for "special occasions" . This one is for a wedding , which is not planned as I write,  but I needed a reason to pin this into my wardrobe. Saffron is the colour , me and my mother always thought would complement my brown complexion. I had a saffron sari from the wedding too! I love the silhouette of this one and the drama created with volume.

When I speak of sarees, kurtas, its so not me. Its like I am possessed to actually buy or wear one of these! I cannot wear these beyond a few hours, I am the happiest in a pair of shorts. But you know what-I love voluminous silhouettes. And when i see them, I almost dance like a little girl - and make them mine, once in a blue moon.  (Wipes off more sweat from the dancing...Open cafe you know!)


Till Next time, CIAO!

Photography- Shashi Shekhar Kashyap. Stalk his work-here
Concept and photo Edits - Me


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{ SECRETS } How I said goodbye to Acne & Blemishes




Before I begin. this is not a sponsored post and the brands mentioned here have nothing to do with my post. This is my personal experience. 

A decade and a half of living with Acne and trying all means to combat the same, I had come to a point of acceptance. This acceptance was like defeat. I have been to the best dermacosmetologists, spent money on the best peeling treatments. I even had the best skin ever phase but the moment I stopped those peels, the whole acne thing came rushing back. Thankfully not as severe as it started when I was in 9th grade but this time in a muted way. On an average 5-6  acne on my face at any given time . Add to that all the spots that are memories of battles lost . 


From the last 2 years, I have been relying majorly on BB-CC creams to help the blemish story- my favourite being the Bourjois CC cream . I have also come across some very effective skincare products like the Herbalife Skin about which I blogged, though its a very expensive deal to be regular with . If you want to know about it read here- . 

It was in Sep 2016 that I was back to Mumbai from a trip to Croatia. I met this old man at a vegetable market in Dubrovnik who was passionately selling some balm called Immortelle to get rid of blemishes made by his daughter- All natural. I spent 700 on it , I don't know why I felt I should trust that man. 




Then later back home, I met my blogger friend Shayoni from Sweet and bitter who is diligent with her skincare regime . I have had the skincare over makeup ideology but when numerous attempts fail and acne comes back, its disheartening. I suddenly felt a strong skincare calling- this time with another set of products. In the meanwhile, the Croatia product amazed me. It turned out to be more effective than I had imagined. It helped to lighten blemishes and made the skin tone even and I was afraid I wouldn't get it anymore. I had to explore alternates .Thanks to my school best friend who is an Ayurvedic doctor , I took recommendations on what will suit my skin in terms of skincare products and medicines . My plan was ready . I just wanted to use organic and natural products, not chemical. 





In 2 weeks after I decided, I fell sick with dengue and was crossing my fingers that I escape live from the dreadful sickness and yes , I write to claim my existence. It brought a shift in my eating patterns drastically. If it wasn't for my mom, I wouldn't have had the luxury of a fruit plate for breakfast every morning with a glass of sweet lime juice. So here goes my regime. 

—-EAT—- 

1. Start with a bowl of fruits every morning + A glass of fresh SWEET LIME JUICE/ORANGE JUICE

Skincare isn't just about what products you use on your skin but about what you eat. This breakfast has definitely helped my skin. No cooked food to start the day but a bowl of watermelon/ 1 banana/ an apple and a glass of sweet lime or orange juice. Its a lot of fruit on the table but helps you kick start the day with fresh energy. 



On my Face



And now here comes the topical skincare part.

Morning: 
Products:

  1. Kama Mridul cleanser (mixed with water) to wash the face first thing in the morning
  2. Kama Eladi face cream ,first thing after my bath. 



The cleanser has worked wonders as its a natural mix of several herbs. Don't expect lather as it has no chemicals. Once you've had your bath, hydrate your face in the next 5 minutes or it dries the skin. I got introduced to Eladi face cream through a sample I got at Kama store . It has become my go-to since then. Also I showed contents to my Ayurveda doctor friend and she approved. Its been since October that I am using it daily and it has finally reached the bottom of the bottle. The cream is non-oily and so hydrating- it instantly makes my face bright. You wont believe but I have stopped using CC cream on top of face cream. I have been only wearing this face cream even to parties since then. 

Night: 
Products: 
  1. Kama Rose jasmine cleanser after I am back from work and before sleep
  2. Kottakal Ayurvedshala KunKumadi Tailam after face wash and just before sleep




The Rose & jasmine cleanser is another mild cleanser that works well on my skin with a little lather . Its best to use after a day’s work to remove makeup and dirt.

I have been reading about the miraculous formulation of Kumkumadi Tail in various beauty blogs and people claiming blemish lightening as well as acne combat. I didn't want to try Kama here as it  is
overly priced and I found genuine reviews  for the Kottakal product which is 1/6th the price. 
Kottakal Ayurvedshala is an organisation making Ayurveda products from a century and again my Ayurveda doctor friend approved of the ingredients , so I had to buy this. Indeed, this tail turned out to be magic. If I have to name one product in my life, that was life-changing - It is this. Since November, I have used it regularly and I just bought my second bottle at 360Rs for 10ml. I use 3-4 drops after my before-sleep face wash .I rub it gently all over my face. On active acne , I apply a little more. The next day, acne seems to mellow down and goes away eventually. No drying. 

This tail has substantially helped lighten the blemishes and reduce the pores. You can use it on your lips if they are pigmented. It works so well. To find Kottakal products, just google in your city. They have tiny shops where they retail only Kottakal products , its a huge network . If you don't find one, Amazon has listings too. 

—Medicine—

My Ayurvedic doc friend prescribed this Kaadha. 2 bottles to be taken in 15 + 15 days as one course. Now, I wouldn't recommend you to take this without an Ayurvedic doctor’s consultation. This Kadha is the worst tasting thing I have had in my entire life. So finishing 1 bottle was my biggest achievement. I’ve finally bought my 2nd bottle. I was unfortunately not regular with this ,but the 15 days that I took the first bottle I was amazed. My skin has definitely benefitted from the miraculous formulation. If your doctor agrees, please have it without a second thought. This again was Kottakal Ayurvedshala formulation. There are other Ayurveda houses that make this too. But trust Kottakal blindly. 




Today, I don't know what I would do without Ayurveda. It has become a way of life. If you have the oily combination skin like mine, you may benefit from then regime above. This is the secret to my current skin and I am really happy with this. Discipline is essential with skincare and health. There is no way one should escape that. All the best girls . I wish you a lovely skin !

Till next time CIAO!
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{GIVEAWAY} Win CROCS Lina Embellished DORSAY worth 7000 INR


Hello Pretty girls!

Hope you had a wonderful February ,the 14th . We just concluded the Valentines's giveaway with Oriflame on twitter and Instagram with 3 lucky winners . When it comes to celebration & gifts, its an all year affair at TFMQ. As you know, I love you all to bits & love to bring giveaways on TFMQ to thank you for your support . This time, I have teamed up with the amazing people at CROCS to gift 2 lucky girls these chic yet comfortable slip-ons called the LINA EMBELLISHED DORSAY. You cannot say no to comfort that comes with so much oomph. These are the most comfortable and chic slip-ons you will see!

I hope you like this giveaway, let me know in the comments section. So yes, we are looking for  2 modern day Cinderellas who will claim  these dainty footwear along with a voucher of Rs.1000 each. The contest is running on Twitter and Instagram . Find the links below and don't forget to follow me and CROCS if you are new to the blog. Invite your friends as well to join the fun . Results will be announced on February 19 2017.




USE #TFMQxCrocs on all your posts.

ENTER GIVEAWAY ON

TWITTER: Click here

INSTAGRAM: Click here





Lots of LOVE,
XoXo
ILA


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{ TRAVEL } TOP 5 things to do in DUBROVNIK


Hello Travelbugs!

We spoke of love in Prague & Paris. We spoke of unlimited joy in Madrid & Seville. We spoke of delicious food in Istanbul. But Dubrovnik in Croatia , is bewitching!

A lot like Prague , in that its history never left it and you still feel like living in the olden times. For me its difficult to pen down this post especially when it took some 4 months to just come out of what I call an adriatic hangover. The hundred thousand photographs I clicked here had me spellbound and dazed. There was no way I could use them in a single post.

So this post is only going to be about this city , where I spent 5 , yes 5 whole days . As always I didn't want it to be a touristy one, so I explored it at my own pace with tips from the locals. Here is my TOP 5.








1. WANDER AIMLESSLY IN OLD TOWN

If you land from Dubrovnik airport, you will likely be dropped at PILE gate beyond which no vehicles are allowed. So yes, you will have your first tryst with the stunning Old town when you drag your luggage through it - supposing you stay inside old town (Highly recommended). It is divine at sunrise hours, when the tourists don't crowd its glistening walkways and walls. Its a maze of stairs going up and down as you pass by a zillion eateries and local residences. Yes, the locals very much live here and I chose to stay in one of these inside old town. You can easily get lost in these narrow lanes surrounded by huge stone walls with the sun playing hide & seek and its fun. However , if you get lost in the night, just follow the Clock tower that you just saw at Stradun (the most famous street within old town). All the famous palaces are here , however there is nothing to see inside the palace. But you will love to be in the old city every sunrise and through the night. Stradun in the nights buzzes with local street performers and you can hear them play the best music ever and you wouldn't want to end the night. I did this for all the 4 nights and still craved for more! I will share more old town pics in an another blog which will be a style post









2. BANJE BEACH

The day you land make sure to hit the beach during sunset for the most amazing house music at BANJE BEACH CLUB that overlooks the banje beach. Pick up a glass of your favourite drink and maybe indulge in a Sunday like I did. See the adriatic sea light up in shades of gold along with the Stone walls. Such a sight to behold while the best party music blows into your ears. The next morning , be sure to come back right here around 9 to enjoy a dip in the water. The stony beach has very tiny stones which your feet can stand even without beach shoes. A swim at the beach is most relaxing especially as the depth of the water is barely 4 feet till a very long distance. This is the cleanest water you can find to swim or relax in.


3. VISIT THE MORNING MARKET

Every morning around 9am , the old town street turns into a local seller's haven. The tourists and locals alike shop here for fresh produce, special dubrovnik dry fruits, even locally made cosmetics- I bought this beauty balm from an old guy who claimed it will clear my skin of acne blemishes and Oh my God it did. I can't thank him enough. Do buy from him , if you find him there. I paid 7 Kuna (Approx 700 RS) for the balm called as Immortelle (L'Occitane makes something of this name) . You can also find cheap lavender room fresheners and related products. Its surprising to see that most sellers are very old . The young populace doesn't seem to participate here.







4. ENJOY THE VIEWS FROM DUBROVNIK WALLS

This is a no-brainer. Get your ticket for whichever time the sun favours. I would say something after 4pm or the first visit at 9am works best. Walking through the walls is a photographer's delight. You will be tired of clicking through the one hour of this trail over the old city. This is certainly a one time thing even if you stay here for 4 or more days. So make the most of that one hour you have, though it will tire you due to the sun. No food or water is allowed here so you need to refill it as you go .




5. EAT LOTS OF ICECREAM

This place is an ice-cream lover's heaven . Its cheap around 1-3 Kuna depending on the place and you get a huge scoop! Its certainly not gelato but is the best & creamiest ice cream you will ever have. My favourite flavours have been PISTA-CARAMEL-YOGURT. Oops and my mouth is watering while I write this. There are frozen yogurt shops too. Virgin Mint mojito is another favourite you will find in most ice-cream shops for 5-6 Kunas and they make it well. But have your fill of the best and cheapest icecreams within old town as food is a slightly difficult matter. Except for a yummy breakfast joint I had difficulty finding food. But I had the fresh goat cheese bruschetta every single morning and felt so good till 1pm, it was so filling. There was an Indian joint with amazing food but always booked so we had to do with takeaways or go real early.




You can also make a trip to the island of Lokrum, which is the forbidden island -the place where the Kings landing (Game of Thrones) has been shot. This island if you followed me on instagram scared me to no end. As they rightly say, the peacocks and rabbits besides other creatures have proclaimed this land and no human is allowed after sunset because he may not escape alive in the din of the crickets and tall dark trees covering the sky, besides abandoned walls in the middle. I just wanted to run away and we took the last boat out just at half sunset. I have never seen peacocks so brave and charging at humans that it seems unreal like you were Alice. I tried to swim in the waters but the slippery stony waterbed was too unwelcoming. SO yes, do go there around the same time i did- 5pm. And don't forget to read why this is a cursed island. Its for real!

Have questions, reach out in the comment box below!
TILL NEXT TIME CIAO!


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