Monday, May 22, 2017

Posted On 5/22/2017 by Team iCynosure.

I’ve been a lipstick-addict for the longest time, and I can’t even remember when I first started wearing lip products. I’ve always been very careful about the type of product I pick for my lips and the must-dos for a lipstick in my vanity would definitely include moisturisation, pigmentation and lasting. I’ve experimented with lip tints, lip stains and long-wear lipsticks and lip glosses over the last few years. However now most of the lipsticks in my vanity are unintentionally matte finishes. 

Oriflame The One Lip Sensation Vinly Gel Lip Colour | Product Review

I have become so comfortable and selective that I just didn't want to experiment with the lipstick formulae, until Oriflame’s launched The One Lip Sensation Vinyl Gel lip colour in 7 perfect summer shades. The range is a perfect gloss lovers’ paradise, with a gorgeous range of purple to pink candy colours that excite the princess in you.

Oriflame The One Lip Sensation Vinly Gel Lip Colour | Product Review

As a regular Oriflame reviewer, the brand sent me the entire range to experiment with. The brand claims that the product is a super-light liquid lipstick that goes on like a gel, with an ultra-smooth plexigloss finish. The rich product formula is non-sticky with extreme colour coverage, glides on easily for super-slick lips with perfect colour clarity, while the conditioning formula keeps lips feeling soft and supple. 

Oriflame The One Lip Sensation Vinly Gel Lip Colour | Product Review
Oriflame The One Lip Sensation Vinly Gel Lip Colour | Product Review

I’ve used gel lipsticks only for the first time even though they have been around much longer and I think I’ve started late. The One Lip Sensation Vinyl Gel lipsticks are moisturising and have a impeccable glossy finish. Even though the lip colours aren't fully opaque at first swipe, I could easily build them up for a sleek-sheer finish. All of the seven shades have a fresh, I’m-not-wearing-any-lip-product look to them. However, they aren't sticky at all. I truly likes the light weight application and translucent accurate colour clarity.The glosses apply effortlessly and don’t feather into fine lines making the lips look fuller. With all these amazing things going on, my only concern was the staying power, but the One surprised me with its staying power of close to 3 hours without having to touch up.


Here’s how you make the most of The One Lip Sensation Vinyl Gel: 
§ Apply the lipgloss from the center of the upper lip moving outward towards the corners. 
§ Repeat on the lower lip.
§ Blot your lips with a tissue and reapply.

If you're looking to try them out, let me give you an opportunity to pick the shade you want. Yes we are giving away a few #PRSamples to some of our readers…
To win a shade of your choice, all you have to do is:
1. Follow iCynosure on Instagram.
2. Comment in the comments which shade you would like to win. (Check the shades here

Please note:
– Contest closes on June 2nd.
– We’ll pick winners by a random draw from pool of qualified entries.

Until next time,
 Heena

Monday, May 15, 2017

Posted On 5/15/2017 by Team iCynosure.

Girls know how tough it is to dress every day; and she takes care of not only her clothing but also her overall look, picking the right accessories, handbag and footwear. Trust me dressing-up is equally challenging for men and even if they pretend it’s their least priority, they are keen to make a really good impression every time they step out. And it is normal to feel as such. 


However, instead of trying to catch someone’s attention; Men, you must dress to impress yourself first, and that it should be in your comfort zone and should bring out your personality. Dressing has its own considerations to follow including occasion, time and reason; but you must take care of a few things that remain unanimous for making you feel good while making heads turn. 

Grooming

Facial Hair will either make it or break it for you. You may want to sport a beard or go clean shaven, it is your choice but ensure it’s done right. Clean shaven doesn’t take much to achieve however one must maintain a beard with specific beard products. Beards are in trend however are a great responsibility and you must style it well with beard balms or beard oils that will leave many swooning.

Accessories

Keep the accessories to the minimum, too much flash is never good. Add a pair of unique cufflinks that are conversation starters or pick a vintage wristwatch. A pocket watch or a pocket square are sure raise a few eyebrows. Stay away from jewelry especially ear studs, large rings or those cycle chains around your neck. 

Footwear

Alternate between formal shoes and loafers as the occasion demands. But ensure the footwear is clean and polished. Most women are able to spot filthy shoes from a distance and that’s where they will remain, at a distance. Slip-ons are great too but only when at the beach or a super casual gathering. Another important aspect would be to color coordinate the socks and wear a fresh pair every single time. 

So are you ready to stun the stylist?

Until next time,
- Heena

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Posted On 5/11/2017 by Team iCynosure.

As a working mother, I am always stressed about the safety and security of the environment my little princess is in, whether we're at home, in school, or on the playground. More often than not, I am careful about the hazards that could pose problems outside the home and affect her health. I get vigilant and take active measures to minimize any dangers lurking around, and I feel very proud of my accomplishments.

However, what I do tend to overlook are the ill effects of household products that may affect her health at home. Just like every parent, I strive to maintain a healthy and safe home where she can grow, and the infographic below is an eye-opener for me.

The simple yet detailed infographic serves as a ready checklist of four main household products that most impact the natural indoor air, infusing it with a number of toxins and pollutants. The infographic outlines how simple products like BPA plastic, home cleaners, hand soap, and air fresheners adversely affect the overall health and development of children. What I absolutely love about this infographic is that it not only identifies the products that you should eliminate from your home, but it also offers alternative solutions that are easy to adapt.

I've promised myself to not be fooled by advertisers and marketers, to read and understand all the fine print on product labels, and to take the necessary steps to make healthier choices for my family. I'm going to welcome this simple infographic into my life to help me create an organic, chemical-free home to protect my little princess. Take a look at the infographic below to learn more tips for making your home healthier.


Monday, May 08, 2017

Posted On 5/08/2017 by Team iCynosure.

Sometimes my skin feels great while at other times it is full of break-outs, with a deadly combination of dry skin, discolouration, pigmentation and fine lines. But these skincare concerns are not uncommon in a city like Mumbai, where I'm constantly exposed to numerous environmental aggressors that not only pose everyday skin issues but also a long term skin damage. 

Apart from the regular culprits; UV rays, pollution and smoke, one of the most crucial aspect of routine life that harms the skin is the artificial cooling during the summers. The temperature fluctuations that forces me to switch on the air conditioner, which actually does more harm to my skin than what I'd perceive. Controlled cool air not only affects the natural humidity in the air but also leaves the skin flaky and dry and in turn causes skin irritation and decomposition of the skin cells. 

So the question is how do I fight nature to keep the natural balance of my skin? 


 Oriflame Essense&Co Lemon & Verbena Range Review

The trick lies in the simple understanding of my skin and give it natural ingredients to grow and flourish. My usual go-to mantra for a healthy skin is creating a good skincare routine. Just as all skincare experts suggest, I follow the Cleanse, Tone and Moisturise formulae. While the benefits of cleansing, toning and moisturising are obvious, what some of us do not realise is that these CTM product may include harsh ingredients such as alcohol and parabens, which induce allergic reactions. So as I always say the most important aspect of my skincare routine is picking the products that suits my skin type. However if you are not sure of what would work or not work for you, pick products with a natural base, infused with essential oil and free of alcohol and artificial scents. One such range of skincare products that I'm currently crushing on is the newly launched collection Essense&Co by Oriflame India. 

Essense&Co is a premium bath and body range that is packed with the finest quality essential oils, that offers sumptuous textures and premium natural flavours. The products are pure indulgence that ensure a luxurious experience with a touch of nature, which is true to the Swedish heritage of the Oriflame brand. 


Essense&Co Lemon & Verbena Liquid Hand Soap
 Oriflame Essense&Co Lemon & Verbena Liquid Hand Soap Review
The hands are the most neglected parts, where skincare is concerned and thus brands are primarily focusing their product ranges to counter this. Essense&Co Lemon & Verbena Liquid Hand Soap is a liquid hand soap infused with natural essential oils that not only hydrate the skin but also delicately perfumes the skin with the uplifting Lemon and Verbena undertones. I loved the moisture-rich formulation, that would work well across all skin types and the gently lather, that would be perfect for daily use. 


Essense&Co Lemon & Verbena Body Wash
 Oriflame Essense&Co Lemon & Verbena Body Wash Review
Body washes are meant to remove impurities from the skin, leaving it dewy while concealing the skin pores without disturbing its natural equilibrium. Essense&Co’s Lemon & Verbena Body Wash is a hydrating body wash blended with natural essential oils of lemon and verbena. I absolutely love the delightful creamy lather that it produces, conditioning the skin making it satiny soft and beautifully scented with refreshing citrus notes.


Essense&Co Lemon & Verbena Hand & Body Lotion
 Oriflame Essense&Co Lemon & Verbena Hand & Body Lotion Review
Body Lotions are perfect for replenishing the skin with the much needed hydration and counter areas affected by mild dryness. Essense&Co Lemon & Verbena Hand & Body Lotion is light and easily absorbed into the skin leaving it visibly radiant and supple. I love the fact that it has a luxurious, non-greasy effect on the skin’s surface whilst keeping it moisturised and healthy. Even though I have sensitive skin the body lotion helps seal moisture deep within and keeps it hydrated and supple. 


 Oriflame Essense&Co Lemon & Verbena Range Review

Since I’ve started using the Essense&Co range, I’m amazed at the gentleness and healing power of the products. The main ingredients Lemon, known to have a range of beauty benefits and Verbena, touted as an antispasmodic, antimicrobial and hypoallergenic work wonders for the skin making it highly elastic and healthy. Given the price point, life cycle and ingredient list of the range, I would highly recommend it to all, irrespective of your skin type. To know more about the range, you can check the complete range of products here, or follow Oriflame on Facebook to stay informed. 


Have you used the Essense&Co’s products? If so let me know your thoughts, and also let me know your skincare routine in the comments below. 


Until next time,
- Heena

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Posted On 5/02/2017 by Team iCynosure.

Set in the cool climes of Nuwara Eliya, surrounded by mountains and hills, way above sea-levels, the Heritance Tea Factory Hotel is the first factory to have been converted into a hotel in Sri Lanka, earning a UNESCO Merit Award for its restoration. A modern architectural masterpiece, the old tea factory used under the British rule, boasts of a great ambiance highlighting the Colonial times while offering the best services to make our family getaway filled with luxury of history. 


We arrived at the hotel after a few hectic days in Kandy, and were greeted with the rustic quaint, cooler than the rest of the country; breeze. The staff welcomed us with warm towels followed by a traditional Sinhalese welcome. The elaborate welcome made us feel like modern day royals; as we firmly wrapped our overcoats to protect ourselves from the dropping temperature. We waited for our rooms to be assigned while being serenaded with a variety of tea flavours from the hotel’s own tea estate. N sipped on Vanilla tea while I warmed up to a cup of Broken Orange Pekoe tea infused with a handful of spices.


The hotel is indeed ‘on top of the world’ at 3600 meters above sea-level, almost dancing into the clouds. The backdrop changes colours every second of the day, from a sunshine yellow, to a burning orange, melting into a teal blue and finally seeping into a grey hollow. Needless to say we spent one of our three days just gazing into the skyline against the plush green stage offered by the plantation.


The owners have done an amazing job with preserving the heritage of the factory while remodeling it to meet the needs of the new age traveler. Instead of taking down the original machinery they have created installations out of them to overwhelm the visitor. One of the most bewitching visuals that as a hotel guest we witnessed was the minute long running of the original engine that powered the factory, placed in the basement. The hooting and the force we felt from the top floor of the hotel is still as real as when we took the pictures that day.


Another win for the hotel is responsible tourism. The overall facility leaves little to no carbon footprints with their own water management system to waste reduction initiatives; organic farming to utilising local produce and generating local employment. All around the premises we saw numerous placards explaining the importance of that particular feature or in-room material emphasising ways and means of preserving natural resources. The hotel is the perfect example of luxury combined with eco-friendliness, which otherwise is a rarity.


If we thought that we had seen and experienced everything that the hotel had to offer, we were so wrong. As soon as we entered our room, we were amazed with the spacious Flowerdew Suite, which included a master bedroom, a kid’s bedroom and a sitting area with the best views of the Ragala and Randeingala reservoirs. And to top it all, we had a twin bath tub in the master bedroom opening into a Jacuzzi; overlooking the hills. It was indeed heavenly, perfect to relax and unwind at the end of a super cold day.


As vegetarians, we were restricted in terms of cuisines in the island country with so much of sea-food in abundance. However at the Heritance Tea Factory Hotel’s main restaurant Kenmare, there was a full-buffet for vegetarians as well as a large a la carte menu. We tried the buffet and were pleasantly surprised at how tea-themed dishes can add flavour to the palate. One afternoon, we indulged in a unique dining experience at the TCK 6685 restaurant, a 1930’s train carriage that was initially used to transport tea from the factory to mainland, now converted into dining chambers. The experience is unique with the Head Chef understanding the culinary preferences of each ‘passenger-on-board’, and then serving dishes specifically made for the guest with ‘whistle-blowing’ antics by the attendants immaculately dressed in railway uniforms. It is definitely a must-do at the hotel.


The hotel has a lot of activities organised within the facility as well as in the surrounding areas. A spa along with a gym, games room, library and a putting green form recreational activities within the hotel, while they also arrange activities such as pony rides, nature trekking, bird-watching and tea factory tours. We signed up for a couple of an eco-tours including plucking-your-own tea leaves experience and #PrincessHeer took to the pony riding adventure with her dad. However with the volatile nature of climate we had to cut out on a few activities, though we did not want to miss out on the beauty of the hills so we ventured out for short walks even during the slightly drizzly day. It was by far the most beautiful and romantic part of our stay at the hotel ….. walking through a gorgeous place in the rain. The hotel’s guide, Anniken was a pro and knew practically everything about the hills, the history and the village. He also narrated stories about wild boars, leopards and mountain lions during our trek over the hills.


Doesn’t that make you want to plan your trip to Nuwara Eliya’s Heritance Tea Factory Hotel right now? If not, follow iCynosureinLanka for some inspiration or see the images below... 


Until next time, even #PrincessHeer says ciao!
- Heena

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Posted On 4/27/2017 by Team iCynosure.

Every season I appreciate a style and inculcate it with my sensibilities to flaunt it on a day-to-day basis. This summer I’ve taken a shine to the modest yet super stylish Kurti with the thought of experimenting with a piece every morning to find new ways of putting a look together rather than a plain repetition that sets a mundane for the little fashionista in me. 

I love the idea of embracing the simplest of pieces and expressing myself through them, leveraging my style-sense to stand out each time while putting together a look. Sometimes when I’m asked in my professional capacity to refurbish a wardrobe for a young professional, the first thing I discuss with them is the ease with which they are willing to trade their jeans with other available options. That sets the tone for the overall haul and the base for the transformation. It is the same basis I’ve revamped my casual-formal ethnic wardrobe, with picking my kurti online; because sometimes even I need some bravery to remain as fashionable and stylish as I claim to be. 

Just as any aspect in life requires a firm foundation, so does fashion. And for that one needs to pick the basics well. I believing in keeping one of the two elements toned down while experimenting with the other especially in the ethnic wear game. The fashion industry has always been experimental with ethnic wear, with design variations from sweet school girl styles to the daring siren styles. Do not limit yourself with any, go bold and try everything; even that what is not on offer. Fashion and style are like a language, some of us may know it while some of us can learn it; so fall into one of the two categories. 

So here, I’m going to going to curate a few looks that can easily take you from brunch to lunch or from office to party or from day to night in a jiffy. 

Asymmetrical Kurti
Don’t let boredom set in with the straight hemlines, try asymmetrical kurtis for a cleaner and more polished look. Not only will it give the wearer an illusion of height but also highlight her beautiful silhouette. Pair it with fitted leggings or churidar pants for a seamless look and trade the bottom with skinny jeans for a sleek fun look. 

Deep-Slit Kurti
Long straight kurtis are back with a bang this season, to make the wearer look taller and sharper. Not only will it make the wearer look chic but also will bring out her professional look. Pair it with large bottomed palazzo pants for the office and then trade those with full long skirts or dhoti pants for an enhanced casual look. 

Layered Kurti
Add dimensions to the overall look with an overlay – layered kurti. Not only will this style accentuate the upper body of the wearer but also make her stand out in a crowd with its unique fall. Pair them with full body skirts or churidars for a formal gathering and trade the skirt with colourful palazzo pants for casual and fun outings. 


Let me know in the comments below, what’s your favourite of the three kurti styles and another other look you recommend for me to flaunt. 

Until next time, 
- Heena

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Posted On 4/26/2017 by Team iCynosure.

Horror stories have always fascinated me, but only when I’m sure they are imaginary. However now-a-days I hear way too many horror stories of compromised security, and those give me goosebumps. Technological advancement has made life so much easier but in hind-sight the same has made every user open to numerous potential risk factors that cannot be mapped.


Just like computers are prone to virus attacks, every device that is connected to the internet poses the same problem, including your Android device that is under constant threat. Chances are, your device is well under the influence one or many "virus" that you may not even be aware about. Mobile and handheld devices are the prime targets by hackers looking to steal you data; especially since most of us are glued to our devices 24x7. Another crucial factor remains that we logged into our accounts on every available platform, including storing our banking details on our devices; which is a complete security breach. Many of us don’t realise until it’s too late, the dangers of being so careless about security.

More often than not it is better to be safe than sorry. As my phone is my bank of confidential, sensitive and vital information, I have put in a lot of efforts in protecting it and securing my privacy. One of the easiest way to secure my phone was to install an android antivirus app. Though there is a lot of debate about the need for an antivirus app, it is a good idea to install a security software on it. A majority of android security apps come as a comprehensive package that include a host of features including real-time security updates, scans for malware, scans for performance issues, alert for malicious downloads as well as remote lock or wipe in the case you lose your mobile.


I’ve installed the AVG Internet Security that offers a choice of free or full protection. The impressive security automatically updates itself, while its acts as a cutting-edge virus scanner that blocks and removes viruses, spyware and other malware, Block unsafe links, downloads and email attachments, Keep hackers away with Enhanced Firewall and offers a 24x7 customer service via contact AVG.com.

Not only does my phone remain protected and secure, but also the app doesn’t slow it down. Perfect solution, isn’t it?

Until next time,
- Heena