9 things to know about shaving for girls

I have a confession: I have never shaved my body hair before. I’ve mostly waxed and used a depilatory creams for emergencies. The women in my life (mom, cousins, friends) don’t really shave and I’ve never really considered it an option.

But then I attended an eye-opening session on shaving with actor Kriti Sanon, dermatologist Dr Rashmi Shetty and makeup and hair expert Namrata Soni last week. During their candid discussion, I learnt that Kriti and Namrata have been shaving for years and swear by the technique. Both these women knew a lot about shaving and shared their personal experiences with hair removal, especially shaving.

Shaving for womenGillette Venus (8)

9 things about shaving I learnt from the experts

1) All three experts said that shaving is completely safe.

2) Namrata and Dr Shetty mentioned that dermatologists advise patients to shave instead of wax for patients afflicted with certain skin conditions or undergoing certain treatments.

Shaving for women Gillette Venus

3) Shaving does NOT make hair grow back thicker or darker.

4) Shaving is less painful than waxing, if you’re careful.

5) Shaving is super quick- you can do it in the shower or just before a party.

Shaving for women Gillette Venus

6) As long you calm your skin post-shaving (with calamine, aloe vera or a soothing moisturizer), you don’t need to worry about itches or rashes.

7) Since shaving doesn’t involve chemicals like depilatory/ hair removal creams, it won’t harm your skin.

Kriti Sanon panel Shaving for women Gillette Venus

8) No ingrowths if you shave correctly! (This often happens when I wax.)

9) You can shave your bikini area if you really want to and you’re comfortable with it.

Now that I’m hearing some positive (read non-scary) things about shaving, I’ve decided to give it a shot over the next few weeks. I will be taking up the Subscribe To Smooth Challenge and try shaving! Stay tuned for my experiences with shaving.

Parachute revives Art of Oiling with Nargis Fakhri

Most of us Indians (girls and guys) love a good champi (remember the old Johnny Walker song Sar Jo Tera Chakraye? Tel Maalish!). It can be relaxing, energizing, de-stressing, cooling and more…. whatever you want it to be.

Oiling is an ancient Indian tradition and coconut oil is a pan-India favourite. But oiling seems to have fallen out of favour with young Indians and hence Parachute Advansed Knowledge Centre is now seeking to revive this tradition with their Art of Oiling campaign. I got introduced to the Art of Oiling by actor Nargis Fakhri and international massage expert Moses Chundi.

Moses Chundi at Parachute Advansed Art of Oiling

The Art of Oiling is closely linked with massages, DIY and otherwise, using coconut oil. The best way to learn it is to do it, of course, so Moses took us through some quick, cool and easy DIY massages. As he explained scalp and face massage techniques (called The Art of Facial Glow), Nargis happily demonstrated them, while we followed with our oiling kit.

Parachute Art of Oiling kit

Nargis Fakhri at Parachute Art of Oiling

These simple massages take barely a few minutes but are quite effective. As I massaged my forehead, I could feel the difference already- my thoughts disappeared and I was less tense. Couldn’t get a better testimonial, right? 🙂

The good news is that these massages don’t need lots of oil, so if you don’t like greasy hands, you can still try them. Moses suggested applying oil with a cotton ball instead of pouring it into our palms.

The Art of Facial Glow:

Use your fingers and thumb for step one of this technique. Starting with the middle of your forehead press and rotate your fingers in small circles in upward and outward movements. Move downward, across the forehead, temples, cheeks, nose, under the nose, under the lips, chin and the neck. Then repeat with small pinches, and then just the first three fingers. Choose a comfortable pace—the massage can be as fast or slow as you want.

I had a chat with Nargis Fakhri about what she thinks of the Art of Oiling. Here goes:

PS- Coming soon- DIY massage and #artofoiling videos with Nargis Fakhri.

Pick of the Week: The Body Shop Tea Tree Flawless BB Cream

I have a confession: I am not a fan of BB creams. I tried several of them (from Maybelline to Bobbi Brown) when the initial hype began, but none of them worked for me. Most BB creams made my skin look flakey or too grey, or the shades were not right for my skin tone. After spending lots of my hard-earned money on BB cream fails, I finally gave up on them.

But then, last month I tried out The Body Shop Tea Tree Flawless BB Cream (perhaps the tenth BB cream I’ve tried!). The shop assistant selected the shade 02 for me, and while I was initially hesitant about the colour, it was perfect for me. And voila, finally a BB cream I like!

The Body Shop BB cream

Why I like The Body Shop Tea Tree Flawless BB cream:

  • First (and most important), the BB cream is right for my skin tone and it does not leave a grey film on my face.
  • The BB cream does not dry out my skin, nor does it make it oily. No adverse reactions, thank God!
  • The BB cream seemed to be in place even after an entire day of being out. (I refreshed once with a pressed powder).
  • The product provides good coverage, though not as much as a foundation. And yes, as per the claims, the product is light-weight!

So is it the perfect BB cream?

Not really. BB creams are supposed to be all-in-one products, but I did need a moisturizer and sun screen with this one. And while the product is good, it won’t be replacing my foundation anytime soon. The product is a tad pricier than other BB creams (it’s Rs 1095 for 40 ml), and I think it’s worth that price tag, that’s just me.

How I use the BB cream:

As advised by The Body Shop assistant I apply the BB cream after my moisturizer and sunscreen, using very little of the product (too much product makes me look dull and greasy). I apply the product like I apply a liquid foundation (little dots on the face and neck, then blend with fingers). Though the product has a foundation-like texture and consistency, it does not need a few minutes to “settle” like foundation. So I immediately follow it up with my favourite day compact powder.

Verdict: The Body Shop Tea Tree Flawless BB cream has now become one of the most important products in my daily makeup routine. Enough said! 🙂


Rating: 4/5

MRP: Rs 1095 (40 ml)

The Body Shop Tea Tree Flawless BB Cream is available at The Body Shop stores and counters across India. You can also buy it online on The Body Shop website.

Note: The product was provided by the brand / its representatives for consideration. However, the views expressed in the blog are honest.

Chic Reviews: Beauty buys of the season

Chic Reviews: Beauty buys of the season

This summer I tried on several new skin care products. Liked some, didn’t think much of some, and fell in love with a couple of them. Here is my take on the products I tried. Would love to know what you think of them.

Sun care

Nivea Sun Light_Feeling_Face_Fluid
Nivea Sun Light Feeling Fluid SPF 50+
This sun screen fluid is Nivea’s attempt to stand out from other sun care products. For one, it’s really a fluid- the milky texture surprised me, and so did the saffrony tinge. The flowy liquid is easy to apply, and performs its job well (sun protection), though I found it a bit greasy initially. Also the price (Rs 449 for just 50 ml) is a bit steep.

Chic Score: 3.5/5


Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 50+
What can I say about Neutrogena?  The brand almost never disappoints, and this product lived up to its promise as well. The light fragrance and the equally light feel is just what I needed for summer. It has now replaced my Kiehl’s sun screen, which was four times the price! I use it on my face and rest of the body as well when I step out or go swimming.

Chic Score: 4/5

Face care

Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Day Lotion

Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Day Lotion
I asked my friend to buy me this cream from the Sephora store in Delhi on a whim. All I had heard about Burt’s Bees was that the products were derived from natural ingredients. This cream is an excellent facial moisturiser for my dry skin, and I love the non-sticky feel. This cream has quickly made it to my top favourites list.

Chic Score: 4.5/5

NIVEA-Pure Effect-Total Face Clean Up

Nivea Pure Effect Total Face Cleanup
Despite the product packaging clearly stating that it’s meant for normal to oily skin, I was intrigued by the multiple uses (cleanser, scrub, pack) and the #just5mins claim. I’ve tried the face wash all three ways, and the product delivers on all its claims, from blackhead remover to visibly clearer skin. Despite my skin type, I just can’t stop using this “face wash”. If only they had a variant for dry skin, I would make it part of my daily routine immediately. (Anyone from Nivea reading this?)

Chic Score: 4/5

Body care

Forest Essentials Cream Vitamin_E
Forest Essentials Velvet Silk Body Cream (Vitamin E)
From the whole bunch of products I bought using a Forest Essentials gift voucher, this is my favourite! I have extremely dry skin, and this lightly aromatic cream is an absolutely rocking moisturiser. I loved the Vitamin E fragrance that lingered on my skin for hours, and the cream kept my body moisturised all day long. Unlike heavy creams, it was easy to glide over my skin. I’ve finished the 200 gram container already and I am very tempted to buy my next one, despite the price. The cream is worth every rupee of Rs 1,175 (MRP)!

Chic Score: 5/5


Avon VitaLuscious lipstick

Avon VitaLuscious Lipstick

This affordable lipstick is deeply pigmented, has long-lasting colour (colour stays on even after lunch), and it really does soften my lips. I’m trying the Reviving Red shade, and it’s a lovely maroonish red—perfect for Indian skin tones! The best thing is of course, the price—Rs 329 wonly!


Which new skin products have you liked this summer?

Chic Workshops: Personal beauty discoveries with Divo and Dermalogica

Chic Workshops: Personal beauty discoveries with Divo and Dermalogica

Couple weeks ago I attended a fun bloggers’ meet hosted by Divo (of hair accessories fame) and Dermalogica (the “white” skin care brand). At their workshops on skin care and hair, I learnt some new things. (Thanks to Akshata Honawar and Avni Amlani).


Some things seemed common sense, some were a bit surprising.  Here’s what I discovered:

Mom was right about not stepping out with wet hair, and not just because it gives you a cold. When hair is wet, the cuticle is open and cortex is exposed. The sunlight can then de-colour your hair, making it turn a couple shades lighter.

Brands now selling “hair oil” are mostly selling serums packaged as oil. That’s because oil would be used a bit differently and wouldn’t wash off that easily.

BTW, oil is not so good for hair, but the massage is.

Henna changes the texture of your hair, making it rough and frizzy. Use ammonia-free hair colour instead.

Even those with dry skin can get acne. I’m not the only exception!

Everyone thinks they have a round face and sensitive skin. But not all of us do.

Exfoliation is the most ignored part of our skin care routine.  But regular, gentle exfoliation is a must. I need to stop being lazy now!

Lastly, I also discovered a Dermalogica product called Pre Cleanse. I thought it was another of those beauty company gimmicks, but I’ve tried the product a few times now and it’s awesome. It’s like a face serum that becomes a cleanser once you add water. It cleanses skin beautifully without drying it. Loving it! 🙂

Beauty Review: Maybelline Baby Lips

Beauty Review: Maybelline Baby Lips

I’ve always loved lip balms- even before my tryst with lip glosses and creams, so I checked out Maybelline’s Baby Lips.

Maybelline Baby Lips

Available in Care and Color ranges (in seven cleverly-named flavours), my friend Lincy tried the Mango Pie (Care- Rs 125) and I tried the Cherry Kiss (Colour- Rs 150). Here’s our experience with the lip balms.

Are the lip balms as moisturizing as they should be? Yep, they’re soothing and my lips feel moisturized immediately after application. I particularly like the smooth, thick texture of the product. And as the product packaging claims, the balm actually does keep my lips moisturized for hours. I only need to apply it once in the morning and it’s good enough for rest of the day.

Maybelline Baby Lips

The colour of the Cherry Kiss is a light tinge of pink and almost looks like a lip gloss, but without the heavy-duty shimmer. Unfortunately the flavour is not too potent, with just a slight hint of mango and cherry that lasts barely a few seconds.

Lincy loves the balm so much to admit she’s almost addicted to it, running to re-apply it every couple of hours! And I love it too. I can’t wait for the Cherry Kiss to get over so I can try Coral Flush! Mmmmm….. 😉

Chic Guide: Top 5 things to do this week (Sep 24-30)

Chic Guide: Top 5 things to do this week (Sep 24-30)

Indulge in a “precious” bag

Each piece in Hidesign’s Blossom Collection by Alberto Ciaschini takes more than 30 hours to create, and the delicate ‘flower buds’ are embedded with Swarovski crystals. With only 60 pieces available of each design, this is luxurious craftsmanship at its best. If you’d like to indulge some more, check out Audelade’s bags of handcrafted and hand-woven fabric made of gold / silver in combination with finest quality natural leather.

Below: Blossom Collection from Hidesign, bag from Audelade

Hidesign Blossom evening bag_black


Audelade BA00006 INR 202000 - Copy

Blossom Collection available at select Hidesign stores across India. Prices Rs 12,500 (clutch), Rs 18,500 (evening bag). Audelade available at Skyzone, Phoenix Mills, Mumbai. Prices start at approximately Rs 25,000 for clutches.

Cheer in style

Skip the team jersey this T20 World Cup, and opt for more stylish clothes to show your support for your favourite team. Check out Sher Singh’s country polos that “represent” India, Australia, South Africa, West Indies and other T20 teams. And then there is FreeCultur’s T20 range of crew neck cricket-centric tees. While these tees are designed for cricket-loving men, I don’t see why women can’t wear them too!

Below: Regular fit India Polo in Nawab Blue from SherSingh.com, Tshirt from Freecultr.com

The Regular Fit India Polo in Nawab Blue INR 1399

Freecultr-cricket tee

Available at SherSingh.com (Rs 799 onwards) and Freecultr.com (Rs 599 onwards).

Get updated

Here’s the latest news from the fashion and shopping world:

Furla’s first India store is now open at Palladium, Mumbai. It’s got brightly coloured bags, clutches and wallets in its launch collection.

Accessories brand Stuart Weitzman will soon be in India through a long-term franchise agreement with Reliance Brands. The India launch will be early next year with stores in Delhi and Mumbai. The price range is expected to be Rs.25,000-Rs.75,000.

Stuart Weitzman RESERVE_DPS

Also, Myntra now sells saris from a dozen brands like FabIndia, Satya Paul and Satyavee Designs.

And Amit Aggarwal now makes has saris too- under his eponymous label (available at Ensemble). Expect his expertise in fluid drapery in his saris too.

Amit Aggarwal sari

Doll up your eyes

Highlight your gorgeous Indian eyes with some interesting products- Lakmé Eyeconic kaljal and curling mascara. The Eyeconic Kajal claims to last 10 hours, while Eyeconic Curling Mascara comes with a curling brush for defined lashes. The more interesting mascara is from Maybelline New York- it’s called the The Falsies Mascara which hopes to give a false-mascara look with more visible and fuller lashes.

Below: Lakme Eyeconic kajal and mascara, Maybelline New York Falsies Mascara

Lakme Eyeconic Range    Falsies V E_Product

Available at leading department stores across the country. Prices: Lakmé Eyeconic kajal Rs. 199, Lakmé Eyeconic mascara Rs. 250, Maybelline New York Falsies Mascara Rs 425.

Discard old season styles

I’m bored of the overtly feminine look of spring/ summer 2012. So pack up the girly prints, pastel blouses, pleated skirts and pussybow blouses. The new fashion season is here- enjoy it!

Chic Guide: Top 5 things to do this week

Chic Guide: Top 5 things to do this week

Watch: BE BLUNT with Adhuna Akhtar

Every fashionista loves a makeover show. This time, celeb hairstylist Adhuna Akhtar, along with Osh Bhabani wield their styling tools to transform girls from across India. The women get a fab hair makeover and a new look in this six-part series. And they get to meet their fave Bollywood stars too. 😉

BE BLUNT with Adhuna Akhtar 2

BE BLUNT with Adhuna Akhtar will air every night, 10 pm starting July 16- only on TLC.

Buy: Batman tees

Batman fans are in for a double treat this week. First, The Dark Knight Rises releases this weekend, and second- exclusive Batman tees! French Connection’s limited edition range of Batman tees feature comic book illustrations that fan boys will love (sorry, girls- tees are for guys only).

FC City Scape Bat universal teeBatman FC Fight Universal Tee

Batman tees are available at select French Connection stores across India for Rs 1699. Limited stock available.

Look After: Your leather bag

A wet leather bag is never good news. Here’s what you can do to keep it looking as good as new in the monsoon:

  • Pat your wet leather with a soft cloth.
  • Let your bag dry out in a naturally dry place or air-conditioned room. Don’t leave it under direct sunlight!
  • Invest in an appropriate cream or wax for your bag- choose one that actually “moisturizes” your accessory. Use it after the bag is completely dry.
  • Store your leather bag in a cloth bag to protect it from dust and moisture. Do remember to air it once in a while.

Hidesign leather bag

(Tips from Hidesign).

Shop till you drop: 50-50 at Oberoi Mall

This Wednesday, Mumbai will head to Oberoi Mall for its bi-annual 50-50 sale. During this one-day-only offer, 50 brands at the suburban mall will offer FLAT 50% off on their merchandise. There’s fashion (Jack & Jones, Wills Lifestyle, Jashn), beauty, department stores (Lifestyle, Central) and even food counters participating!

50-50 sale is on Wednesday, July 18 only at Oberoi Mall, Goregaon.

Talk about: Superdry coming to India

Superdry is not a new dry cleaning service. It’s a casual wear brand with unique urban clothing that’s set to enter India in partnership with Reliance Brands. Superdry fuses design influences, from Japanese graphics and vintage Americana, with the values of British tailoring, and has got unmistakable branding. Superdry offers mostly casual wear- t-shirts, jeans, sweaters, joggers, shirts, rugby shirts, polo shirts as well as bags and accessories. They have a premium approach with vintage detailing, tailored fits and bespoke fabrics- so expect higher pricing than other casual and sports wear brands Jack & Jones, Levi’s, Puma, Adidas etc. BTW, celeb fans of Superdry include David Beckham and Zac Efron.

Superdry in India

What are you planning to do this week?

Chic Guide: What to do this weekend

Chic Guide: What to do this weekend

Shop: Vinegar

I visited the new store Vinegar at Bandra recently, and loved their collection. It’s feminine, quirky and chic. I especially liked their focus on multiple shades of green, seen on everything from shorts to lacey blouses.

The Vinegar Store, the ground floor of ‘Kirabo’, behind Shree Khatwari Darbar Trust, 13th road Khar, Mumbai.

Visit: Monsoon Bazaar

If you’re in Mumbai, check out the Monsoon Bazaar. They’ve got 60 women entrepreneurs and NGOs at the exhibition, selling everything from clothes to jewellery. And the add-ons are good too (tarot card reading, cooking demo, free mehendi).

Monsoon Bazaar at Blue Sea, Worli. For one day only (June 9, Saturday), 11am-7pm.

Relax: Purifying Foot Soak Fizzy from Iraya

If there’s one thing you need after a long and tiring week, it’s a good foot soak to relieve tiredness! Try Iraya’s Purifying Foot Soak Fizzy- Neem, Basil & Mint that cleanses, tones and refreshes feet. Its ingredients have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Their Lavender foot soak seems promising too.

Rs 95 for 25 gm, available at Iraya stores and select spas across India.

Iraya Foot Soak Fizzy LAvender

Discover: Ralph Lauren Big Pony fragrances

Ralph Lauren’s Big Pony collection for women has four distinct scents, and each relates to a different type of woman. My personal favourites- Pink (No 2) and Purple (No 4) matched my personality perfectly (sensual + stylish)! So spritz on the four fragrances and figure out your scent. 😉

Rs. 2900 for 50ml and Rs. 4100 for 100ml, available at leading department stores and perfumeries across India.


Ralph Lauren Big Pony fragrances-women - Copy

Chic Beauty List: Products that took me through winter (from Kiehl’s, Lakme and Nivea)

Chic Beauty List: Products that took me through winter (from Kiehl’s, Lakme and Nivea)

I don’t usually blog about skin care/ beauty products, so this post means I’ve got something substantial and special to write about. 🙂 This winter has been a harsh one for my skin. Mid-December I travelled through some of the coldest places in north India—Delhi, Mussoorie, Rishikesh and Haridwar. Then I came back to Mumbai where it got quite cold and stayed that cold for about a month.

My skin is already on the drier side, so this winter I was geared up for the worst. I tried a number of products and luckily found the right skin care mix for myself pretty quickly. Here goes my list.

Face: Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate

The product literature dubs this product an “elixir”, and it claims to give you a smoother, more radiant complexion the next morning. Well, that didn’t really happen the next morning, but it did happen couple days later. The colourless serum with a hint of lavender moisturised my skin well, and did a superb job of giving me softer and supple skin. In short, I absolutely LOVED this Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate! I will continue to use it even in summer (it doesn’t make the skin oily).

Rating: 4.5/5

Body: Lakme Fruit Moisture Honey & Avocado Winter Care Lotion

Lakme Honey & Avocado winter care lotion

Unlike other Lakme skin care products, the fragrance is strong but not overpowering. The Honey and Avocado lotion did a great job of keeping my skin moisturised throughout the day, though on some days I needed a re-application by night. Even so, I enjoyed using this lotion and the proof lies in the almost-empty bottle. 🙂

Rating: 3.5/5

Body: Nivea Happy Time Body Lotion

Nivea Happy Time Body Lotion

The trusted Nivea’s relatively new product “repairs dryness” and gives a “feel-good sensation”. Does it live up to its two major claims? Yep. Besides, the mild orange flower fragrance is lovely and I find my skin soft and moisturised even 12 hours after application. I could have done with a larger bottle of the product!

Rating: 4/5

Note: These products were provided by the brands’ PR agencies for consideration. But this post is based entirely on my experience with the products.