The IGP experience

As a mom the most frustrating times I have are when I am unable to get out of the house and buy my friends or family members a gift on a special occasion. It is extremely annoying and makes me feel like a proper failure. There are gifting portals online, but I have never been able to find anything interesting or found the websites reliable. However now I do have a savior. Tried and tested! The Indian Gifts Portal aka IGP were kind enough to send me a voucher to try out their website and also purchase gifts. Here’s a lowdown of my experience and what I purchased from the website:

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IGP is Indias largest online gifting store in India, they started their website in 2001, which also makes them the oldest and most experienced in the industry. They specialise  in personalised gifts, flowers, cakes, festival merchandise among others gifting ideas. The website is clean in design, simple to browse and such that you can find a gift easily because of the various links on the home page itself. They have a simple animated video on ‘how it works‘ for anyone who is new to the website.You don’t have to browse through the whole website to find what you are looking for, they have four major categories ; ‘Personalised Gifts‘, ‘Gifts by recipient/occasion‘, flowers and cakes‘ and ‘Gifts by country/city‘. Apart from these, you can also find other filtered links like ‘Gifts for anniversary’, ‘gifts for Birthdays’ etc. They keep in tune with any special days that come up in the calendar like valentines, mothers day, etc. All this helps in streamlining the search and finding the gift.

I had taken this opportunity to buy gifts for my kids; purchased two for Baby Abbas and one for Batool. Fisher-Price Rock-a-stack and Snap-Lock beads and Funskool Sun Catchers. The price sticker for all of these was either removed or scratched,  which is very important if you’re having the gifts wrapped and delivered directly to the recipient. All items of the order were delivered together and on time, I shall leave you with pics of the same now…

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I am aware of a couple more gifting sites, but haven’t dared to try them. It was very nice of IGP to approach me to try it out as a courtesy.

My experience with the customer support was satisfying, I was having some issues with placing the order because of crappy internet, and wanted some information on a product as well, so I had reached out to their customer care and they were very helpful. The helpline operator, made a note of my query, gave me an estimate of when she would get back to me with the information I needed, and she stuck to it. I was very pleased with their service. When it comes to buying gifts for someone you want to make sure that everything is perfect and there should be no room for mishaps.

Nothing in the world is perfect is it? Critically analysing the website makes me want them to have a larger range especially for little kids, it would be nice to purchase products that I or anyone may not otherwise find on other retail stores in India as gifts. Also, since I was placing my order around the Mothers day the website was very slow, which also I got clarified by the help-desk that it was because they were constantly working on the website by adding new products for mothers day. But still it kind of was annoying.

Having said that , I will give IGP 4/5 and will definitely turn to them for future gift purchases. Especially since many of my friends and family reside in Dubai I always tend to lose out on doing something special for them, sending a bouquet of fresh flowers, or a personalised gift from here, would enable me to express my love for them. IGP delivers to over 90 countries, and over 350 cities have same day delivery option! Isn’t that impressive?

Highly recommend the site, have you ever purchased anything from there?

Winter Skin care products I love right now

Winter time calls for proper skin care. I am guilty for not being an avid moisturizer, but the pregnancy and the winters in Hyderabad this time around are screaming for skin hydration. Here’s a rundown of the products that I have been using, and almost done with! Sharing the love this winter….
1. 1. Himalaya for Moms Toning massage oil– I have already reviewed the product on my blog, you can check that out here. I especially love this oil because a winter pregnancy can be even more difficult on your skin. The non-sticky consistency, and calming lavender scent is divine. It’s easy to apply and definitely will purchase another bottle once I run out of this.

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2. Boro Plus Total results moisturising lotion (Grapes and Olive oil)- This lotion even though I applied on my face completely changed the game for me. My skin was a mess due to dryness, and while I was applying my regular moisturizer, my skin just needed something extra. The husband dropped by a pharmacy and picked this up upon recommendation. I love it!, it smells beautiful and does the job superfast. It says on the label that it’s developed by Ayurvedic and international skin experts to treat 8 signs of dryness ie unhealthy, itchy, tight, rough, papery, flaky, dull and no suppleness, sadly I was facing almost all except dullness. I used it twice a day as instructed and am a sure shot fan. Boro Plus is ayurvedic, strangely I didn’t know that. I am gravitating towards ayurvedic/organic/natural skin care and exploring more and more options not just as a mother for the kids but also for myself.

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3. Himalaya for Moms Body butter– This is my go-to hand cream substitute right now. You can read detailed review on my blog. I have already run out of the Lavender fragrance, and gave the rose one to my mom and am almost done with the jasmine. When you’re finishing off products, you know you loved them.

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4. Biotique Bio Morning Nectar– This lotion has been sitting around for quite some time. The bottle was already half empty when I found it in my stash, and decided to revisit it. I will definitely run out of this within few days. Again Biotique is an ayurvedic brand which has a vast range of products, readily available and at a very nice price point. They also do baby products. I am not a fan of their packaging, but product consistency is runny enough to be able to spread it evenly over your skin. The directions on the bottle talk about the face and neck, however I prefer using this on the body because of its consistency.

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5. Bio-Oil– This is my pregnancy discovery for stretch marks. A little goes a long way for Bio-Oil. Right into second trimester when I started to notice a visible increase in my belly size I decided I didn’t want to purchase the Palmers Body butter I used last time, it didn’t use much, I didn’t like the smell and stickiness of it and hence ended up with stretch marks. But this time I headed the trusty Bio-Oil route and purchased the 125ML size and love how effective it is. A little goes a long way. I only apply it to the stretch marks prone belly and waist area and the Himalaya for Moms toning massage oil for the rest of the body. So far I love it and highly recommend it. Application twice a day is justified and its nonstick nature makes it a very practical product.

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6. Lip care- I am almost out of my favourite ever lip balm i.e. Vichy Aqualia Thermal I have left the last half cm of it in my bag for one the go use. And am now back to basics with Vaseline, the cute tiny tub is handy and frankly I didn’t know it existed. I want to try out herbal lip balms from Kama Ayurveda. Will purchase once I am done with these.
Have you tried any of the Kama Ayurveda products? I am curious about their scent, that’s the only hesitation I have with ayurvedic products- the fragrance of the products.

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So that’s a run down of winter products…What have you been using?

 

Makeup Revolution Redemption palette Essential Shimmers Review

My first venture into Makeup Revolution was with the Redemption palette essential shimmers. I was looking for a palette that had golds, bronzes and browns. No matter how colourful you like your eye look, you will always want to have the neutrals, they work any time of the day, for any occasion and are the easiest to explore. When in doubt, go neutral! That’s my mantra.

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I had also purchased the Mermaids VS Unicorns palette along with this, the logic was to get one colourful palette and one neutral. Will review it in another post, for now I have the swatches for the essential shimmers palette.

There are no names for the shades, and they look more or less the same if you’re new into the makeup world. But after swatching and playing around with them you will discover the ones you love and be able to differentiate between the many shades of bronzes and golds.

On to the review: This is an all shimmer palette, and while you may notice minimum to no fall out, there will be some glitter flecks left after wiping it off. I use makeup removing wipes and then if needed go in with a liquid cleanser. The lasting power of the shadows is pretty decent; a primer would do you good. Some of the shades give more colour pay off than others, depending on your skin tone. I recommend using a soft brush for application so that it picks up a good amount of colour and doesn’t make the eye shadow powdery. You may not be able to pull off a look all on its own with this palette, you do require matte shadows to balance it all out. So if you have a neutral shadow palette or just a favourite shade you’ll be good to go. This is a great palette for all skin tones. If you’re looking for a matte palette with this kind of variety the Essential mattes  may be your solution.

All in all for the price this palette is great, and fulfills the purpose of having a variety of shades to play with. It’s compact and solid plastic packaging makes it very travel friendly. For the party season, this palette can help you create beautiful night time looks

Makeup Revolution London Eat sleep make-up repeat palette

I have to say I love eye-makeup. The amount of time I spend watching YouTube videos of beauty gurus is irrational. But when it came to eye shadows I don’t know why, but I always preferred single eye shadows over palettes. Only in the recent past have I understood the significance and practicality of palettes in terms of money value, and brand exposure.

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When you’re new to make-up, or want to experiment with a new brand of make-up, or just want to try on different colours or textures palettes are the best way to go. Unless the brand is doing a proper rubbish job, you won’t be fully dissatisfied with any palette. Make-up revolution is known for their affordable range of make-up especially palettes. This is my third eye-shadow palette from the brand that I purchased and not only do I love it, but am tempted to buy everything the brand has to offer!

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Let’s dive into pics and swatches of the Makeup Revolution Pro Looks Palette Eat Sleep Makeup Repeat

Packaging: The palette comes in a card board case. The actual palette is made of plastic and has a total of 15 shades. This is the most vibrant palette from the Pro Looks eye shadow collection. I purchased it for the same reason. It’s divided into three sections, and the layout is just beautiful. A huge mirror and a two sided sponge applicator comes with it. Eat section has a white shade on top, and they go from plain white to pearly white and end with a shimmery white. They pair well with any of the eyeshadows in the palette and the fun colours can be mixed and matched for an insane variety of looks. There’s a transparent film on top with the names of all the shades.

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Starting from section 1 (swatches without and with flash)

Rave on (on top)

Say it Now, Right Now, Right Here (Left-Right)

Final Track (bottom)

Rave off (on top)

Needle On, Hot track, Re-mix (Left-Right)

Eat everything (bottom)

Repeat Again (on top)

Sleep All Day, Rave All Night, Magician (Left-Right)

Ibiza Heaven (bottom)

This palette is definitely not for the neutrals lover. I recommend it to anyone who is starting off exploring makeup and is a great gift too. We mostly will get scared of colours like those, but trust me, you can create some fantastic festive, Indian wedding appropriate looks as well.

The pigmentation on the colours overall is pretty consistent, some colours may require more layering than others. There is also variety in terms of the finish, some have tiny glitter flex in them, while some have a metallic sheen, while few appear matte. The only fail shade for me is Rave on, it goes on chalky, being the bright white that it is, you will really know how to work with it to be able to make proper use of it.

On my wish-list from the Pro looks eye shadow palettes is Big Love. I have another palette on my mind too….but this tops the eye shadow palette list.

Stay tuned for reviews on my other palettes from Makeup Revolution.

Himalaya for moms toning massage oil review

Continuing the Himalaya for moms exploration, today I will discuss the amazing Himalaya for Moms Toning Masage Oil, the 500ml toning massage oil by the new range was sent to me by Himalaya. The whole range of Himalaya FOR MOMS is aimed at shifting focus on the mother who needs the care and pampering just as much as her little baby. Since it is Himalaya bringing about these lovely products, it’s a mix of Ayurveda and years of scientific research, among the products launched in this range are nipple care butter, 3 scents of body butters, and anti-rash cream.

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Himalaya describes the Himalaya for Moms Toning Masage Oil as being ‘enriched with the goodness of traditional sesame oil that tones and firms the skin and winter cherry that rejuvenates and nourishes the body. Country mallow soothes the skin while lavender fragrance calms and soothes the mind’ The ethos of the product come from the fact that massages have had a therapeutic value since ages, and there’s no doubt a mom needs a pampering and relaxing massage post pregnancy while she juggles between motherhood and looking after herself. Himalaya has been a pioneer in educating it’s customer on not just the ingredients of the product but how the product itself helps; and they explain in 4 simple points the benefits of daily postpartum massages:
1. Tones and relaxes muscles
2. Relieves muscle aches and joint pains, eases fatigue
3. Reduces anxiety and stress, promotes relaxation and sleep
4. Helps improve skin firmness and smoothness

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The beauty of this product is the pleasant fragrance; it’s not too strong or too light. You don’t get any pungent herbal smell considering there is sesame oil and herbal ingredients in the oil, which makes this not only easy on the body for the mother, but also for the one massaging. You sister, mother, husband, friend anyone would enjoy the experience of massaging you. The consistency of the oil isn’t too thick and sticky, it spreads evenly and is easy to massage into the skin. It absorbs quickly, this is great if you’re the kind who prefers to take a nap post massage. You won’t feel uncomfortable and “oily”. Also, it isn’t hard work to wash off in shower. Packaging wise the bottle comes with a flip lid and oil pours out with ease, it’s not a hassle to deal with, you can control the amount of product you want coming out and the bottle has all the information you require on its label from ingredients, to directions of use.

The bottle I was sent in the hamper along with other products from the Himalaya For moms FOR MOMS range is 200ml and retails for INR200. The calming fragrance of lavender helps in soothing the mind, and promotes good sleep.Overall I will give this product a 4/5

Himalaya for moms body butter review

The excitement is uncontrollable. I have been on the Himalaya bandwagon for over 6 years now, and it just keeps getting better with new products, new packaging and now a whole new range of products for moms! I was delighted to receive the hamper from Himalaya and am even more intrigued to try them all and review them for you. Being half way through my current pregnancy it was just great timing!

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Let’s familiarize ourselves with the ethos behind this launch; as per the brand ‘Himalaya FOR MOMS is a range of safe, effective and gentle products specially formulated for women during pregnancy and beyond. Combining the best of Ayurveda with years of scientific research, these products effectively restore natural health and vitality of the skin’. The products in the line include body butters, anti-rash cream, nipple care butter and toning massage oil. Today I will review the Himalaya FOR MOMS soothing body butter.

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There are three body butters in the range that provide these three main benefits;
1. Smoothen and soften extra dry skin
2. Provide long lasting deep moisturisation
3. Intensely nourish and hydrate skin
I have been testing out all three from the range, that have different fragrances to cater to the likes of the moms; namely rose, lavender and jasmineThe formulation of all three is the same and I liked the fragrance selection, all three appeal to a large audience of Indian moms, and aren’t super strong. During pregnancy the sense of smell is heightened, and me experiencing that right now, find the mildness of the fragrances in all three comfortable. Also, they don’t seem like they would bother the new baby when I continue using them postpartum.



The body butters are essentially induced with ‘rich cocoa butter’ providing that thickness to the consistency and also moisturising. I personally love the lavender, and jasmine variety, rose is a little too rose-like for me. Ingredients and directions for use are mentioned at the back of the packaging; the products can be applied all over the body and are recommended for twice a day application for best results. They are all white in colour and have a thick creamy consistency. Pregnancy tends to dehydrate the skin, with all the stretching, changes in hormones, higher body temperature etc. the body butter delivers in its promise to rehydrate extra dry skin. I enjoy using it on my feet and hands, especially with winter approaching; it’s a great hand cream substitute that is rich and most importantly herbal!
Soothing Body Butter is available in packs of 50ml, 100ml & 200 ml priced at INR 120, INR 200 & INR 320 respectively. I have to mention, since it is body butter, it tends to get slimy if the area where it’s applied comes in contact with water, even after hours of application. It’s something that’s common with every body butter/moisturizer I have tried in general. Just a heads up.

For the product I give a 4/5. I do see myself running out of the lavender one quickly and buying it for further use. Have you tried any of the Himalaya FOR MOMS products?

Diaper dreams- Gender-specific diapers from Huggies

There is not end to ‘new and improved’ in the world we live in. Huggies has launched their gender specific pant-style diapers in Hyderabad. It took me some exploration to get to them, and while there’s still time for the diaper days to begin again for me, it was nice sharing my experience on world of moms.

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Catch the blogpost here. Leave comments with your experience/excitement for the gender diapers below and share the love….