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

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

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Posted On 4/20/2017 by Team iCynosure.

Delhi based on-demand beauty service VanityCube launched in Mumbai a year or so ago and I was compelled to call in for their services since I was carving for that much needed ‘elusive me-time’ in the slithering Mumbai heat. As I absolutely refuse to step out of the house, I try to bring in a salon at my doorstep. And this has been a regular with me, having tried and tested the Home Salon genre with MyGlamm, LocalOye, Belita and UrbanClap. And now finally VanityCube, a beauty service provider that delivers beauty treatments, just the way you want them, wherever and whenever you need them; I couldn’t resist dialing in.   

VanityCube offers some great packages and I booked an O3+ facial, an anti-tan pedicure and manicure. On the day of the service I first received a confirmation text a couple of hours prior to the appointment and the aesthetician came on time, completely organized and well informed about every little detail I had provided during booking. 

The aesthetician set the working space as per the treatment requirements covering the service areas neatly with fabric spreads, towels, to ensure no spillage and mess. She suggested we first begin with the pedicure and manicure and so it worked out beautifully in tandem, giving my terribly neglected hands and feet the love that it absolutely needed. While soaking my hands in the activated water, she started working on my feet and then vice versa. The aesthetician was very careful while working on my feet, scrubbing off the dead skin, cleaning and shaping the nails and pushing the good skin closer to the cuticles instead of just scrapping it off. After the cleansing, she gently massaged my arms and feet and moisturized them well. 

 Again I opted an anti-tan O3+ Brightening facial since I had a few dark spots from my recent holiday. The facial was quite extensive, almost over an hour with pore cleansing, deep exfoliation, removal of dead skin cells followed by a light face massage; post which the aesthetician continued with a moisturizing pack and finished it with a rubber peal mask. Overall I absolutely loved the relaxation the facial offered and could instantly feel an improved elasticity and firmness in the overall skin texture. The visible impact of the facial was seen after a couple of hours as the skin seemed brighter with a highlighted radiance and glow.

I am surprisingly super thrilled with my experience with VanityCube, and it won’t be wrong if I say that they are indeed the best in the business at the moment. The brand checks all the relevant boxes including; same-day bookings, trained and professional aestheticians, good products and above all comfort of your own home.

What do you think about on-demand beauty services? Do share your experiences in the comments below!

Friday, April 07, 2017

Posted On 4/07/2017 by Team iCynosure.

I’m sure most of you are aware about my immense affection for Baaya Design for their unique theme where design meets tradition. The retail store located in the heart of Mumbai city offers a unique range of traditional and tribal art that transforms any living space into a cultural environment; with beautifully crafted pieces that promote art forms of Gond, Warli, Lipikam, Madhubani, Kalamkari, Dokra, and much more. Shibani Jain, founder and chief curator at Baaya Design shuttles her time between identifying and nurturing new talent and art forms, and bringing them to the retail store to promote and give wings to the artists.

The summers are here and in the heat, Baaya; is yet again set to offer brands that will bring in the cool quotient for the fashionista in you. Shibani has brought new brands Ohar, Stone Vibes and Sasha that will ensure you break the fashion monotony and indulge in something that has been specially created for you this season. The 4-day ‘Summer Somethings 2017’ exhibition beginning today will allow you to pick the best from the brands; especially light and trendy natural fibre garments, semi-precious stone jewelry and embroidered clutches. 

For the uninitiated, fear not. Here is all you need to know about the brands that are being showcased during the exhibition. 

OHAR works with a vision to craft each design with supreme care, providing an ineffable experience to the user. Under the Organic range, Ohar have used 100% Organic & Sustainable fabrics that are comfortable to wear and designed for Indian summers. For the handloom range, they are trying to innovate classic fabrics such as khadi or hand woven fabric from various parts of the country in modern but graceful silhouettes paying supreme attention to every detail from fibre to garment. 

STONE VIBES was born out of sheer love for colors and the positive vibes that the stones exude. All the pieces are carefully put together and thoughtfully designed to suit the woman of today, who are fearless, independent and confident. Crafted in copper, silver and micro gold, stone vibes have a full range of earrings, bracelets and neck pieces for both casual and formal occasions.  

SASHA is a luxury brand of exquisite handcrafted and embroidered clutches, custom made for every occasion created by model and designer Mamta Raja. The range of handmade collection includes the Maharani Collection on a rich silk embellished with faux pearls and gold thread work, Jaipur collection inspired from the beautiful city of Jaipur with its magnificent forts, palaces, peacocks and elephants, clutches on beige raw silk with zardozi embroidery and much more.

Aren’t these beautiful? Well head to the store and you will find many more options to pick from. 

Until next time,
- Heena

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Posted On 4/06/2017 by Team iCynosure.

A living room is the heart of a home. It's the place where the entire family unwinds and spend some quality time together. Having said that, it requires more attention than any other space in a home. While decorating the interior space one shouldn’t only consider the visual aspect; but put equal emphasis on comfort.

With that list of high priority, let’s list down 5 improvements that will bring coziness to any living room: 

Decorating the Walls
There are numerous ways to refurbish the walls at home. A traditional approach reiterates the use of paintings. However, with the surge of modern architecture simple designs with a mix of mirrors, posters and photos are given more importance. These solutions provide a clean look that perfectly fits in with white or uni-colour interiors where all items work in unison. Mirrors are especially great as they do not disturb the natural order of things, especially Hollywood Mirrors. Do check this rich collection of mirrors by

Surrounding with Shelves
Another excellent option to doing the interiors is to dedicate a wall or two to shelves. They are seen as obstructing wall decorations but they don't really have to be. One can always use part of a wall for shelves while decorating other walls with mirrors and posters. The main reason shelves should be incorporated into the decor is to make the room more cosier and welcoming; especially for a minimalistic approach. Shelves will also be functional as they will provide space to put out things, books and other trinkets that will instil life in the living space. 

Add the Right Trinkets
Every living space is full of small items, memorabilia and other trinkets; that have an emotional connect and triggers a memory. Although most people think that one cannot go wrong with them, they are wrong; especially if it conflicts with the colour of the room or if one adds a lot of them which disturbs the balance of the room. However when trinkets are in sync with the room's essence, they make for perfect decor. 

Lighting and Fixtures 
It is by far the least important according to people, but in reality lighting is the most important aspect of a living space. For a classic homey theme, yellow light bulbs are a perfect choice. While for a more modern 
clean decor, white lights create a uniform atmosphere. However with so many more options available these days homeowners are in dilemma whether to paint the light bulbs or buy coloured ones; which in turn can have an enormous impact on the interiors

Covering the Floor
There was a good reason for carpets to be invented. Besides the obvious fact they make floors warmer, they will also make the living room much cosier. Fuzziness of a carpet has important psychological impact that allows one to walk around without shoes or slippers. However the important point to remember is to cover the entire floor to have a full impact.

With these tips, go ahead and refurbish the most crucial aspect of your home and start living your living space. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Posted On 3/24/2017 by Team iCynosure.

As I watched this gorgeous video by Max Life the first thing that stuck me was the important message about life and insurance that was conveyed during the friendly banter between the lead characters. The visual rendition of an every-day home scenario beautifully conveyed how men and women today have become more involved in equality while creating healthy partnerships. I loved the playful manner which advocated the work hand-in-hand ethos to help each other achieve the goals and dreams. 

I know very few women like myself can boast of being surrounded by these supportive men. My father, the pillar of my existence always pushed me to take every path my heart desired without any inhibitions. Even the few errors I made, he validated them as learning experience that would help me build my life around. My husband whose love and encouragement took me from strength to strength as we grew together. During the building of my brand, he proved an unconditional motivator through the ups and downs and helped me emerge a better person with knowledge and skill.

Sometimes someone doesn’t need to move mountains for you, it just takes a patient ear, selflessness and understanding. With AB, I learnt that acceptance is the cornerstone of friendship, someone who gives you the space to be yourself, even if vulnerable. A huge part of our friendship stems from knowing I have someone I can count on, any time of day or night. AB helped me learn to rely on someone other than myself; whether I need information on work projects, or an honest opinion on a creative idea or advice about my finances, insurance  and investments, I know who to ask. 

Being in the same neighbourhood helped, as we pushed each other to be the best versions of ourselves. Be it challenging each other in the gymnasium or counting the calories on the lunch table or getting health screenings done; making ours a no-brainer crazy friendship. With constant encouragement from AB, I’ve managed to keep a check on my health status, eat healthy, stay active to be fit and above all be happy. He makes sure there is a simple connect that lets me be who I am, the best I can. 

You see, all the men in my life haven’t stopped believing in me and in all my crazy dreams. And they do more than their share to push me, motivate me, encourage me and support me in all that I want to do. So today I urge you to share stories about the man who supports you unconditionally, who helps you achieve your dream and stay the firm solid support in your life. Say ‘Thank You’ to them and make them the role models for the zillion other men to emulate. 

Now is a good time to start!
- Heena

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Posted On 3/22/2017 by Team iCynosure.

I know I’ve been continuously talking about the Mumbai Summers for the last few weeks, but it’s the harsh Indian reality. Unfortunately the heat arrives coupled with the consistent dust and pollution and lets face it, sucks the life out of us. We as adults recognise the changes that the weather brings to our lifestyle and overall health and we immediately take corrective measures. However what about kids who rarely know what damage is happening to them? 

Kids are adorable, cuddly with super soft and supple skin; the best among all. But we completely forget that they need more protection from the sun than we do. Most parents will ensure the kids remain indoors during the afternoon heat and cover them in layers of clothing; which are in a way efficient but insufficient ways to protect their delicate skin. Sun Damage among babies is a largely overlooked aspect and all parents must try to protect them without compromising on their childhood, but by incorporating Sun Protection in their daily routines.

#PrincessHeer at Baby Sebamed Multi Purpose Sun Lotion Launch

One of the biggest myth about sun lotion is that it is to be used only during the summers, but the fact remains that sunscreens are to be used all year around, especially during the summers. The most effective sun protection should be infused with both UVA and UVB filters, Pro-vitamin B5, a pH level of 5.5, an SPF higher than 25 and most importantly should be alcohol, paraffins, parabens, perfume and colour free. 

Baby Sebamed Multi Purpose Sun Lotion Launch at Radio Club

So when Sebamed India invited us over for the launch of their new product Baby Sebamed Sun Lotion I couldn’t contain my excitement. The launch event was a super interactive session with loads of activities planned for the children. From pop-up counters to photo-booths all the kids were super excited; especially as they were the stars of the day. The brand graciously invited all the kids present at the launch to take centre stage and unveil the product. 

Baby Sebamed Multi Purpose Sun Lotion First Look

Once the product was unveiled, the in-house health consultant from Sebamed shared some valuable tips on the right method of applying sunscreen on children:
§ Sun Protection must be used atleast 30 mins prior to going outdoors for it to work. 
§ A maximum of 3-4 tbsp of Sun Screen is enough for a child upto 6 years of age. 
§ Sun Lotion must be applied in circular motions on the skin’s surface. 
§ Reapply Sun Lotion every 2 hours when out for a longer period of time. 
§ Ideally apply Sun Lotion even if the child is to remain indoors. 

I’m also sharing some tips from my personal experience with #PrincessHeer about Sun Lotions. 
§ A stick formula works best for the face instead of cream, lotion or spray. 
§ Incase of sprays, use the spray first onto your hand and then apply on the baby’s body. 
§ Even when waterproof, reapply Sun Lotion as soon as the child comes out of the water and is dry. 

Coming back to the launch event, as the kids continued with their Sun Lotion experiments, we headed to the garden area of Radio Club for a chance to register ourselves for a record for a Yoga Session. What any mum would think an impossible task proved to be a record maker with almost 70 mums - kids duo made it to the INDIA BOOK OF RECORDS for maximum number of mums and kids participated in the Yoga Session #WelcomingSummer in the Group Attempt category. 

Baby Sebamed Multi Purpose Sun Lotion Launch and Record for India Book of Records

I have been using a Sunscreen for Heer which has given me satisfactory results, however with all the product features of the Baby Sebamed Multi-Protection Sun Lotion I’m looking forward to taking her skincare routine several notches up. I’m especially curious to try the product for its SPF 50 and ph5.5 levels, an oil free base and most importantly compatibility with sensitive skin. 

Have you used any Sebamed products? What has been your experience with them, share it with me in the comments below. 

Until next time,

Monday, March 20, 2017

Posted On 3/20/2017 by Team iCynosure.

It’s Monday evening and I’m in the Kitchen, addicted to trying out new recipes and experimenting with some odd combinations until they delight my flavour palate. Nope I’m not an old bore; just a mother trying to create magic for my child. 

After a fun morning at the launch of a Baby Sunscreen Lotion yesterday, the rest of the day was dedicated to "how to survive the Mumbai summers". The list not only had things that I need to do and get but also to design some finger-licking summer treats for #PrincessHeer that will ensure adequate nourishment but at the same time taste 
amazing so I don't have to shove the food down her throat. I’ve been extremely proud of my Kitchen Experiments those which got me loads of accolades until Heer realised that food isn’t all fun to eat! Over the last few months, it has become worst and I’ve time and again looked at my fellow moms for inspiration; however very little has really worked. 

In the tiring times, Hershey’s came to my rescue with their Hershey’s Recipes that have a range of recipes based on ingredient you wish to use and also on your cooking skill levels. When last week the brand organised a hand-on cooking workshop 'Hershey's Cook Along’ with renowned Celebrity Chef Rakhee Vaswani I joined in to stir up some quick, fun and exciting twists to your everyday recipes. 

Chef Rakhee had a well thought out plan for the workshop with a simple yet interestingly line of especially curated recipes to please the little ones at home. At the Palate Culinary Studio, I got to spend some unadulterated bonding time with Hershey's new range of product and amassed some knowledge to utilise them in various ways apart from the regular flavoured milk and shakes and as bread spreads. Read up, assemble the ingredients and whip up a couple of recipes with the Hershey.

Here I'm sharing two easy-peasy recipes that have become my staple go-to from the workshop.

Nutty Chocolate Bowl for Breakfast : No child will refuse a chocolate bowl at anytime. However the fun here is adding some super nutritious ingredients which otherwise they will point blank refuse to eat. 

Chocolate Ingredients : 1 Cup Oats, 1 tbsp Dried Cranberries, 1 tbsp Chia Seeds soaked in 1/2 Cup Soya Milk, 1/4 Cup Mixed Fruits and Nuts as per choice and allergy, 1 tbsp Hershey’s Caramel Flavoured Syrup and 1 tbsp Hershey's Chocolate Flavoured Syrup. 

Chocolate Preparation Method :  Add oats, soaked chia seeds and Hershey's Caramel Flavoured Syrup in a small pan. Stir the mix over medium heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer until oats are completely cooked. Add to a serving bowl, top it up with mixed fruits nuts. Finish it with a drizzle of Hershey's Chocolate Flavoured Syrup.

Strawberry Paapdi ChaatDoesn’t it already sound exotic enough to bite into? It sure is, especially at snack time its sure going to be hit with not only the kids but everyone at home. 

Chutney Ingredients 4 tbsp Tamarind soaked in warm water, 2-4 Dates soaked in warm water, 1 tsp Masala Powder as desired (Chilli, Jeera, etc) and 4 tbsp Hershey’s Strawberry Flavoured Syrup.

Chutney Preparation Method Toss all the ingredients in a pan. Set aside to cool.

Chaat Ingredients100 grams Boiled Potatoes, 50 grams Mix Boiled Sprouts, 50 grams Yogurt, 25 grams Sev, 12 Ready-to-use Paapdi, 1 tsp Masala Powder as desired (Chilli, Chaat, etc), Coriander Leaves to garnish and 6 tbsp Hershey’s Caramel Flavoured Syrup.  

Chaat Preparation Method Arrange Paapdi in a plate, top it with mashed potatoes and sprouts. Sprinkle with some Masala as desired and add Starwberry flavoured chutney. Top it with Yogurt and some Hershey’s Caramel Flavoured Syrup. Sprinkle Chaat and Chilli Powder and Sev. Garnish with Coriander Leaves. 

If you want to try some more recipes, check the video below or head to Chef Rakhee's youtube channel

For me, my earliest memories in the kitchen are those of sitting on the counter-top helping my mom chop veggies and mix batter for pakoras. Thats what I’m going to bring in with Heer in our kitchen, the new Hershey's Super Mum-Kid duo on the block to experience #EverydayHappinessWithHersheys. 

Until the next time,

- Heena

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Posted On 3/18/2017 by Team iCynosure.

Pepe Jeans Junior has become synonyms with #PrincessHeer’s wardrobe. Every time we head out to shop, she instantly chants the Pepe Jeans anthem. When the brand invited us to preview the Spring Summer 2017 collection last month, PrincessHeer practically #PepeWalkThisWay. 

The SS17 collection has bought back the Portobello Road to the stores with its eclectic style as a constant source of inspiration.The collection revolves around the gorgeous famed street, infused with attitude and a natural stage to sashay forward with an inhibited spirit. The neighbourhood is part of the act, witness to the length of the road, experiencing its mix of attitude and style. 

Summer freshness is captured in this collection, ideal to complement the colour palette for the Indian summers. The collected upped the game with the Blue Soul, Super Ego, Portobello, Viva Cuba and Only Play Collection not only for adults but similar styles adapted for the little ones as well. Both Heer and me, particularly loved the #50ShadesofBlue with sparks of corals and reds, and the Tropical prints, Pigment Dyes, Bleach Washes along with the Tie Dyes, Quirky Patchwork, Aztecs, IKats, Batik and Embroidery. The light fabrics, vibrant colours and unique styles were then a must that scream street style with a touch of swag. 

My favourite corner has to be the Junior section, where I found everything that would make it to my summer must-haves list for Heer. From beautiful dresses to basic tees to gorgeous skirts and tops were beautifully stacked on the racks and shelves in the store. So Heer went ahead and let loose to upgrade her #summer wardrobe.

 Look 1: Basic TShirt (Buy Here) with Tie-Dye White Shorts (Buy Here)

Look 2: Aztec Print Blue Top (Buy Here) with Peach Filigree Skirt (Buy Here)

I would highly recommend that you walk into the store today. 

In the meanwhile, with these two looks Heer is joining the #PepeWalkThisWay digital catwalk. You can be a part of the brand history, submit a still or moving image of you in your neighbourhood walking towards the camera with an attitude that screams "London W11th” and share it on social media with the hashtag #PepeWalkThisWay and follow the brand on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Until next time,
- Heena