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Vanity Cube

Posted by Buls on 1:59 PM in
I was looking for discounts on massages on groupon and came across Vanity Cube. Instead of buying a coupon for a random massage place which could turn out to be shady I was attracted to the idea of someone coming home and giving the massage.

Vanity Cube is a doorstep professional salon in Gurgaon. Basically, they come home and give you salon services.
I had booked a Swedish massage, foot reflexology though the coupon and a hair spa and threading. I called them and booked an appointment, was confirmed that someone would come on time and one day earlier was asked to mail the groupon coupon. No hassles at all. On Saturday at 10.45 am the salon lady was promptly at my door. It warmed the cockles of my heart to see the punctuality; being a punctual freak myself.

She set up everything in the next 15 mins- covering on the bed to prevent it from getting dirty, towels, pot pourri, the oil. It was a very relaxing 1 hour and the massage was done well. I am not fond of rough massages and the pressure was perfect.
This was followed by hair spa where L'Oreal Professional products were used. I have the same products at home and do it at home once in a while but the lady spent a lot of time massaging my hair and giving me steam.
The payment was by cash but I think they are working on getting additional options like online payment.
The only issue was when she started asking personal questions like "Do you have kids?" "No? Why? What's your age?" "How much do you earn?" and she did not take a hint when I tried to ignore her.

But all in all, judging them only by the services they provide it is a good salon. I would never get facial done here because I prefer VLCC for my skin issues and Vanity Cube uses mid range products only. But for everything else- massage/threading/manicure pedicure/hair colour etc I would definitely prefer it over going to the salon myself.

I find going to a salon very, very boring and hate it when I arrive 15 mins earlier but the service starts 15-30 mins late. And I hate spending 1-2 hours in a salon, it is so boring.
Atleast with Vanity Cube I am at home... and can watch movies/TV/read a book during the service.

I have already booked another coupon on groupon for this weekend.

Edited to add: I shared this review with Vanity Cube and they called me to clarify a few things:
- They train their salon people and will ensure nobody asks personal questions in the future
- They do have many brands for facials- Cheryls, VLCC, Lotus etc. My suggestion would be to inquire before booking. 

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B:Blunt washable hair colour

Posted by Buls on 4:33 PM in , ,
I have wanted to buy temporary hair colours for so long now...
- L'Oreal Professional launched them few months back but they don't sell the bottles. You have to avail of the service in the salon...
- Body Shop launched the hair chalk but it is quite expensive at 1000 bucks
- I ordered temporary hair colour from asos usa website but they did not reach me

I was so happy to see B:Blunt's new range on sale on purplle.com. Along with shampoo, conditioner, serums, waxes they have launched washable hair colours.

I bought the hair colour in blue shade, the same one the stylist had applied on me. He wanted me to buy all 4 and I was tempted but finishing this itself will be a task.
The bottle is a spray can which contains 54 ml of colour for 300 bucks. How cheap is that!!! The stylist told me it can be used 15 times. Even if it lasts 10 times, that is 30 bucks per use. Damn cheap.



I didn't apply it at home but the stylist applied it for me at the salon. You just need to take a strand of hair, place at tissue at the bottom and spray. Easy peasy. Don't worry if you get colour on your hands, it is washable.
The stylist applied it on my hair at the bottom... so the colour can be covered up if I want to and it looks better as a peek a boo.
I had expected the colour not to show up on dark hair but it has shine and shimmer and looks bright blue.

This is what it looks like.

Applied on the lower layers of hair. 


Peek a boo


With flash 

Without flash.

The colour makes the hair rough where ever applied but they did not look frizzy. It can be washed off whenever you want. I shampooed it off today and my hair are back to normal. There was no excessive bleeding of colour. In fact, I went swimming with it today and the colour did not come off. I was wearing my swimming cap, of course but my hair get wet anyway in the water.

If I finish this bottle, am going to buy the other 3 colours- green, bronze and copper, for sure. 

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B:Blunt Gurgaon

Posted by Buls on 4:17 PM in , ,
I discovered few days back that B:Blunt has a salon on Gurgaon. Why didn't anyone tell me? Anyway, I didn't need a haircut because am trying to grow my hair beyond my shoulders for the first time in 31 years of my life. But I decided to try the salon anyway and get a trim. I am so tired of unruly looking hair. Every few months after a trim they become out of shape. Plus most salons do not know how to cut hair. Everytime I end up getting layers. Isn't there anything else?

B:Blunt is located in South Point Mall on Golf Course Road. I booked an appointment for hubby and me. He wanted a hair cut and I booked a junior stylist for him and a senior stylist for me. I was not happy with the d├ęcor of the salon. It looked cheap... as in not cheap crowd types... but non expensive. This is quite a shocker because salons like Looks and Geetanjali which have similar charges look so much more expensive and luxe. The stylists themselves looked quite ordinary... no wacky hair styles or any style per se. I got a bad feeling about this but the appointment was booked, I was already at the salon and my hubby's hair cut had started. No way to back out now.
The senior stylist Javed asked me what I wanted. This is rule no 1 before visiting any salon... always know what you want. I have learned this after many unfortunate incidents. The stylist is not a mind reader and you need to know what kind of hair cut you are looking for. I told him I wanted a trim to give some shape to my hair since am growing them out. After a shampoo and conditioner, he gave me a fabulous hair cut. I was impressed by his knowledge of hair- not just about hair type but the way hair falls... what kindof hair cut will make my face look less round etc etc. What he finally gave me was some layers at the bottom since my hair are wavy... he gave few layers to make the waves bigger... volume on the top since my hair at the top fall straight... and fringe/bangs to cover my forehead. I am super impressed with the fringe... nobody has cut them this way before and I have visited all the good salons- VLCC, Lakme, Looks, Geetanjali, Enrich, JCB etc.
We also discussed hair products and I was happy to note that am using the right products for my hair. A post is coming up on that soon.
And in the end he decided to apply temporary hair colour from the new range of B:Blunt.

This is what I got. How cool is the blue colour? Totally matches my tee. See how the fringe falls?


And this is what my hair looked like earlier... this is after using gel and serum.


I think B:Blunt is a great salon for hair services, wouldn't recommend it for anything else though because I just didn't find it luxurious enough. Also, need to mention that my hubby was not happy with his hair cut. He had given a free hand to the stylist asking him to do as he pleased... the stylist gave him the same hair cut he always has.
Book a senior stylist only. 

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Empties

Posted by Buls on 12:47 PM in , , , , , ,
So, here are this month's empties.

Kronokare body lotion:
I got this as part of my envy box. Btw, I have not bought the envy box this month because the products didn't look exciting. I can walk into Sephora and get Kama ayurveda samples for free. Why pay for them?
I had received a sample of 35 ml. It has extracts of lavender and thyme and is parabens and SLS free.
It is an Indian brand and has an interesting website though their instagram feed is ridiculous.

The lotion smells of lavender (which I do not like), is white in colour and thick. I found it a little hard to blend because it is thick. I prefer lighter lotions for my normal skin.
The plastic bottle is also quite hard making it difficult to get the last of the lotion out.

Will I re-purchase? No but may try other products.


Marks and Spencer antiperspirant roll on
MRP Rs 199 for 50 ml. This is my 2nd bottle of the roll on. It comes in a plastic bottle with a white roll on. The liquid inside is red in colour and contains water lily. I like the smell. It is fruity and fresh, one of the reasons I bought the roll on.
It works quite well and keeps me sweat free for 4-5 hours even while working out.
The only problem is that the white roll on part gets stuck sometimes and I have to roll it a few times for it to get working.
The bottle has lasted me a month and I use it atleast twice a day.

Will I -repurchase? Not right now. I will try on something new but if I don't like it I will definitely pick it up again.
It is available in all Marks and Spencer stores.


Ponds white beauty cream.
MRP Rs 199 for 50 gm.
I was looking for a moisturiser which will moisturise and keep my oily skin matte. I rarely use drugstore brands but decided to try this one.
It claims to reduce spots and has SPF 20.
The cream is in a glass jar which is very stylish and safe for travel. The cream is thick but spreads easily. I did not find it very moisturising... I didn't feel it penetrate my skin but rather sit on top of it. It goes on completely matte which is a big bonus.
Overall, I did not like the moisturising part of it... but it gives a matte effect which is good.

Will I re-purchase? No




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Bourjois Velvet Stain

Posted by Buls on 4:56 PM in , , ,
I have been reading soooo much about this lipstick online and yet they have not yet launched in Delhi NCR. How can they be a hit already? Good PR?
I bought the shade Peach Club from asos.com. It cost me around 900 bucks including customs which is the price in India.


It is a lipstain which is a mix of lipstick and lipgloss. The consistency is that of a thick lipgloss which is completely opaque. The applicator is doe foot and applies well. 
The shade is a coral... mix of pink, red and orange. 
 



It applies comfortably and becomes matte in a few minutes... stays on for 4-5 hours and then fills into the fine lines. It becomes dry and I generally have to apply a lipbalm on top which turns it glossy.
It stays on for light eating and drinking but starts to come off after a heavy meal. Thats when it looks bad and needs a touch up or application of lip balm.

This is what it looks like immediately on application.


All in all, am ok about it. It does feel dry after a few hours and enters into fine lines which is a big con. But the color lasts since it becomes a stain after application of lip balm.
I don't plan to buy any more of these. 

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Body Shop haul

I went crazy shopping on body shop website during the 50% sale. I had been eyeing the blueberry range since it was launched but did not want to spend unnecessarily. But with 50% off, it is all affordable now.
Another range that I love is the Ginger Sparkle. I hate ginger in my food but love the Body Shop range. Love the spicy smell.

I bought:
- Ginger sparkle gift set
- Blueberry body scrub
- Blueberry body lotion
- Cramberry reed diffuser set


Blueberry body scrub: MRP Rs 1195. Got it for 50%
I have been drooling all year over this. It smells so delicious. But did not want to spend 1k on a scrub. And now I bought it. After this, I am set till 2015 and do not need any more body scrubs.


Blueberry body lotion: MRP Rs 695. 250 ml. 
Needed a body lotion and picked this up for 50% off. 


Cranberry reed diffuser: MRP Rs 2595
I have become obsessed with the house smelling nice and have placed a reed/oil diffuser in the living room, bedroom and bathroom. I have the cranberry diffuser oil (picked it up 50% off in the previous sale) and it smells awesome. So, I had to buy this one. Expensive even after the discount.


Ginger Sparkle gift set: MRP Rs 2495
Last year Body Shop launched their X'mas collection which had vanilla, ginger and cranberry ranges. I became obsessed with the vanilla range specially the bath gel. Then I tried the ginger one and vanilla was soon forgotten. Had to pick this up at 50%.


It includes :
Body butter 50 ml

Shower gel 250 ml

Body scrub 75 ml: And now I don't need a scrub till 2016


 A cute heart shaped soap


How cute is the container...

Really like Body Shop service. 2 days after ordering I mailed them asking when it was getting shipped. An executive called in the next hour and informed me. The order reached the very next day. Hope they keep this up. 

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Forever 21 online

Posted by Buls on 10:08 PM in , , , ,
Finally... after months of waiting (yep, I was waiting)... Forever21 has started shipping to India. The shipping is free for orders above Rs 2500. For orders less than that, shipping charges are Rs 300-500.


I ordered a dress 3 days back and received it today. How fast is that!!!

Haul from forever21.com



Very happy with this. Now, I don't need to buy from asos.com. Anyway, the customs charges are killing. And I don't need to travel to Delhi to shop from this store.


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Shapewear

Posted by Buls on 7:22 PM in , , , , ,
Many times while wearing a dress I would wish for something to smoothen out the bulges. Of course the best way is to lose the bulge but that takes time. What do you do in the meantime? And how do those extremely curvy women like Kardashian have flat tummies?
So, I tried to find out online and the answer was shapewear. Basically, these garments are worn under the clothes (may or may not replace lingerie) and they smoothen out different parts of the body- waist, hips, thighs, tummy etc.
Unfortunately, I could not find any reviews for shapewear in India. I just found 1 post which was also a sponsored one. Finally, I had to experiment for myself and thats why am writing this post. I don't want another Indian woman to face such issues.
I bought shapewear from 3 brands- Marks and Spencers, Triumph and Hanes.
Rules to buy shapewear:
- Buy 1 size larger. I wear UK 10 and bought UK 12
- It should fit properly and not roll down or up
- It does not reduce your size. Example, if you wear UK 10, it will not make you look UK 6 or 8. It just smoothens out the bulges
- Buy in nude colour preferably so that it can be worn under anything
- A good brand product will be comfortable enough to wear even in summers
- You cannot wear it while sleeping (I read this question online)
- You should wear it only for short periods of time. I have worn it to office for 8 hours and it is mostly comfortable
- If washing in a machine, do not spin or use dryer. They will become loose.

And here they are:

1) Tummy control panty by Marks and Spencers:

Shapewear at M&S costs Rs 2400 and above. It has a whole section on shapewear. You should check it out. Out of all 4, this is my favorite.
- It holds your tummy in
- Does help in smoothening out thighs though
- Very comfortable and can be worn all day
- The top band rolls down slightly as the hours pass but it is not noticeable
- The material is thin and satiny making it very comfy
- Can be worn under everything- pants or dresses
- Reaches upto the high waist. I don't like shapewear which ends in the middle of the waist. I think it will push your bulge higher



 2) Tummy and thigh shaper by Triumph

This costs around 2k and is available in Lifestyle. Not available in Shoppers Stop.
- It starts from the high waist and reaches above the knee
- Cannot be worn with minis, short dresses or shorts
- Can be worn with pants
- Material is thick and satiny
- Comfortable enough to wear in summers
- Top band does not roll down which is a big plus
- This is my 2nd favourite of the lot



3) Tummy, hips and thigh shaper by M&S

Costs above Rs 2400 and available only in M&S stores
- I loved this when I bought it initially. In fact, this was my 1st purchase but after a few washes its true colours are visible
- The skirt rolls up and so it cannot be worn as a slip. For a sheer dress/skirt I need to wear a slip over this making it very uncomfortable. 3 layers of under clothes is a bit much
- The top band has started rolling down making it uncomfortable
- Comfortable enough to wear in summers
- I wouldn't recommend this product to anyone. In fact, after this experience I won't be purchasing from M&S shapewear. They cost a bomb and the quality changes after a few washes



4) Full body from Hanes

MRP Rs 600/700 on flipkart.com. It came with a hole in it but I saw it much later and could not return it. flipkart.com really sucks these days. Their 3rd party vendors send any crap across.
- The material is thick and cheap. But considering the price that is expected
- It shapes the body moderately
- The biggest problem is it is so uncomfortable. If you have to pee, the entire thing needs to come off. I don't think this is a brand problem I just bought the wrong product
- Can be uncomfortable in summers since material is thick




If you ask me, Triumph comes out tops. It is affordable with good quality.

Want to see the difference shapewear can make?

On the left : I am not wearing shapewear and you can make out the uneven shape
On the right: Wearing Triumph shapewear and my tummy looks flat.

Which is real? Both are.



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Haul

Posted by Buls on 10:19 PM in , , , , , , , , ,
I went to Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj for some work today and came across MAC's new collection. Below is my haul:

Top to bottom:
- NYX lipstick in Fig. Bought it from Sephora for Rs 360. Online everyone has been raving about these and I decided to try them out
- Inglot lip brush. MRP Rs 1000. I like Inglot brushes. They are cheaper than MAC and good quality
- MAC lipstick Up the Amp. MRP Rs 1100 from Playland collection
- MAC lipstick Candy Yum Yum. MRP Rs 1100 from Playland collection
- MAC long wear waterproof brow set. MRP Rs 1300. This is part of a new collection. The collection has gel liner for the brows, brow sets and mascara.



The brow set has to be applied over the brows (of course) with a mascara type wand. I am using a NARS brow pencil gifted by my sister right now and previously was using Oriflame's super cheap brow pencil. Have decided to try something new.


It is brown in color and has a mascara wand. Can I use it as a mascara too???


Left to right: MAC candy yum yum, MAC Up the Amp, NYX in fig.

Candy Yum Yum is a neon pink. I had to stand and recollect for 10 mins if I have this shade but then decided that I don't. It is a very neon pink and instantly brightened up my face. It is matte and has a crayon like consistency.

Up the Amp is a berry colour. I do not have this shade and decided to buy it.

NYX fig. An everyday colour... nudish... coral... for daily wear.


Swatches: Top to bottom : NYX fig, Up the Amp, Candy yum yum




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Mac's new collection

Posted by Buls on 10:04 PM in , , , , , , ,
MAC has launched a new collection this week. This is the mailer I received from the company few days back. Generally, the mailer comes in a week earlier and so I had expected the collection to be launched in stores next week. MAC launches new products on a Thursday and everytime I go on a Monday to check them out, they are already stocked out... or all the products are not launched in stores. Which is quite a bummer. Makes me think they launch like 5 pcs of each product.

Here it is... it has:
- bright lipsticks in matte and glossy
- cream blushes in pop colours
- liners in super pop colours like blue, orange, pink. I loved these but didn't want to spend on something I will wear rarely
- lipglosses
- eye pigments

Do check it out.


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Casual on a Sunday afternoon

Posted by Buls on 10:19 PM in , , , , , , , ,
I bought blue linen shorts from asos.com. I had been eyeing them for a long time and when asos sent me a 10% off coupon for my b'day (yippie!!!) I finally bought it. The fit is kind of off and I didn't know what to wear it with.
White? Black? And then I decided to pair it with blue shirt from forever21. 
The shorts needed a belt to look presentable and I have only the pink one which is slightly broad. So, I had to wear pink flats from Rockport. I bought these flats online from flipkart/myntra/jabong/fashionandyou.com at a discount... don't remember which. They are sort of uncomfortable which is surprising considering Rockport is a very expensive brand. 






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What I wore today

Posted by Buls on 10:11 PM in , , , ,
This is what I wore today. A new pairing with a red skirt. 

Tulip shaped skirt from Koovs. This was my 1st purchase from koovs.com and I am very impressed with the clothes and delivery timeline. They even have models walking on the runway wearing the clothes making it easier to assess them. The website is built just like asos. 

The tie shirt is an old purchase from forever21. I like the store for such purchases... things that can be layered and worn with everything. I wear this shirt with low cut dresses to cover up. Very handy.

Footwear is from Charles and Keith. Honestly, I don't like their footwear... they are so uncomfortable. The heels make a lot of noise. I bought the footwear when I was alone and killing time at the mall in Mumbai. 





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