Lakme Pot Pints and Me

Pop tints

Lakme  announced its new collection of nail and lip colour in March this year – something called “Pop Tints”, which incidentally, it seems, are the hottest colours of the season. Whether the hotness is due to the sexy as hell Kareena or the actual product I can’t say as the product is just about hitting the markets. As an aside, I often wonder whether these “brand ambassadors” actually ever use the product they endorse? Though some stuff in the Lakme Absolute Range is pretty good but will Kareena ever use Lakme- basically won’t anything below Chanel, MAC and the like be infra dig for her? Anyways, the point I was coming to is that until few days ago I kept on thinking that this new range was called “pot pints” and I imagined cute little pots with various tints all lined up at the counters. But no, these are called “Pop tints”.

The instigation behind this post is a mail I received a few days back from a sweet lady asking me if I was a beauty blogger and if I was, asking me to be more regular with  my review of beauty products as she liked what I had to say about the few products that I had reviewed on my blog. Well that I kept on calling “Pop tints” “Pot Pints” for a good 2months should show how clued I am to the fashion and beauty scene. So first things first, no I am not a beauty blogger, not by any stretch of imagination. My “review” of the few products that I have done is more in the nature of sharing something that suited me and helped me in my various wanderings in the dark alleys of beauty and make up. That some found it helpful, I’m glad and will try and do a few more in the coming weeks. But that’s the extent of my beauty blogging.Kareena-nail n lips

After this mail however I did have a look at the profile of some of the beauty bloggers and nah..I don’t fit the bill. Typically, they are 20 something and in their own words, obsessed with makeup, beauty and  the like. As for me, not only am I on the wrong side of 30, I have just recently discovered what “tight lining” the eye means and can’t still accomplish the feat without poking myself in the eye.  I have experimented and still do experiment with various beauty and skin and hair care products but my knowledge base is nowhere near that of these consummate beauty bloggers. As for the hottest colours or trends of the season- neither do I know, nor do I care- never have. I wear whatever I want to – this whole “in” colour or trend thing never made any sense to me. So, pops aside, white and pink have always been my favourites for the summers and continue to be so. Which is not to say that I don’t like pops- ever since Govinda popularised them in the ‘90s and long before big brands and celebrities made them huge, I’ve loved them.

Other than Pops,  the other happening thing on the beauty scene that I’m aware of apparently are the “crayons” that are being launched by practically every brand. No not the crayons children use but something for the lips – Clinique Chubby Sticks and their poor country cousins, Revlon Just Bitten Balm Stains and finally Lakme Pop tint crayons. Of course if your child mistakes it for one of his crayons and uses it to colour instead, you can’t blame the poor kid- they all look alarmingly like the traditional crayons. Talk about fancy deceptive packaging! And if you haven’t bought any of these already, don’t bother- Revlon it seems is sold out almost everywhere and Lakme is on its way to same fate as well! Already, you ask? Yup!! That’s beauty and fashion – no place for slow movers like me.

While I do admire all the hard work that goes into beauty blogging, (yes it is hard work- try not only keeping up to date with all the latest launches but also reviewing them with the tiniest of details and best of pictures and you’ll know what I’m talking about) and the good it has done to customers helping them make informed choices, I often wonder whether we are not getting too obsessed with what I’m calling “physical beauty” for want of a better term. No there is no harm in looking good- quite to the contrary I think everyone, women specially, owe it to themselves to look good, not for anyone else but for themselves. But where does one draw the line? When I see school going girls with kajals and kohls, I feel sad. Sunscreen- sure. Deodorant- definitely. But girls barely in their teens with done up eyes and at least a BB cream if not a full fledged foundation? Is there something wrong with me that I think it’s amiss or is there something drastically wrong with the world? I’m not advocating going to school with oiled hair and 2 braids like I did (!!) but what happened to the age of innocence? When did we allow style, fashion and brands creep in so early into our lives? Anyone who has seen the Hindi movie “Student of the Year” will know what I’m talking about. Is that really supposed to be a school? Even if it was shown to be a college, I’d lump it…but school? Really??

I don’t have a daughter. If I did, what would I tell her? Would I let her be fashion, beauty and style conscious in her teens? Or would that be yet another battle front in the mother-daughter relationship? And more importantly, what would be the right thing to do? Peer pressure is not an easy thing to stand up to even at our age let alone the already troublesome teens. How often we have ourselves succumbed to external pressure of looking a particular way or carrying a particular brand? Would it even be fair to not allow a teenage girl to tow the line of her peers? Yes there are more serious questions that Lakme’s Pot Pints has thrown at me than I was ready for. Answers, however, are not as forthcoming.

 

TVAM Henna Extra Conditioning Shampoo and Aloe Vera and Henna Conditioner – Dry Hair

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If there is a shampoo and conditioner for dry hair worth its name in the market, I’m sure to have tried. Maybe I stuck to it for years ( L’Oreal Absolute Repair and Kerastase Bain Satin) ; or maybe used it off and on ( Body Shop Rainforest Range and LUSH Cylvia Synthia Stout Beer Shampoo); bought it once but never repeated it (Garnier) or straight away tossed it in the bin ( Dove..sorry ! But it was pretty awful for my hair). Whatever may have been the outcome, tried it I must have. Yet I continue trying..yeah am kind of addicted to shampoos. Considering the number I’ve used and those I’ve stocked up, I’m practically an authority on them.

                     After trying and liking TVAM Henna and Indigo, it was just a matter of time before I tried their shampoo and conditioner… Henna Extra Conditioning Shampoo for Dry Hair and Aloevera and Henna Conditioner. Details ahead; verdict upfront..I love them! There isn’t much that is not to like about to them. Whatever little bit there is, its peripheral..the products are great and have given me unwaveringly good result in the 3months that I’ve been using them.

          Now the details. Both products come in standard 200 ml plastic bottles with a stopper. Lotion pumps are given along and you can use them instead. Personally however I prefer the disc top cap like most shampoo bottles have. Lotion pumps, as far as I’m concerned, are okay for lotions not for shampoos or conditioners. But that’s a question of personal preference and I decided to keep the stopper, cumbersome though it is. The first thing that hit me the moment I opened the shampoo bottle was the fragrance..simply divine.  What exactly it is, I can’t pinpoint but whatever it is, it had me sniffing the bottle. It’s a bit strong so anyone who has a problem with fragrances better check it out before purchasing. Being a huge LUSH fan and all things that smell nice, even if strong, I loved it. The conditioner too smells equally pleasant but is not so strong. The smell does linger on in the hair for a while even after the hair has dried. As I said above, that’s a pro for me but may not be so for many.

 The shampoo, brown in colour, is of a fairly creamy consistency almost like Kerastase Bain Satin or L’Oreal Absolute Repair. The conditioner on the other hand is not as creamy or thick as that of Kerastase or L’Oreal. It’s more on the runny side but as you apply it, you find it’s pretty much the right consistency. The list of shampoo ingredients reads as “henna, shikakai, bhringraj, aloe vera, amla, liquorice, neelkamal”. TVAM says “Henna Extra Conditioning Shampoo is an anti-hair loss shampoo for dry hair which activates the roots for hair growth. It deep cleanses the follicles, providing moisture and nourishment to the hair roots. It also conditions and energizes your scalp and hair shaft to improve the appearance of thin, fine hair, leaving them soft shiny and beautiful”.  I can’t say about the anti hair loss or hair growth properties of the shampoo but yes it does leave the hair soft and shiny with great volume.  One word of caution though- the shampoo stings the eyes really bad. Why I don’t know. Which ingredient makes it sting I can’t say but you do need to be careful about it.

                        The conditioner has following ingredients – “Aloe Vera, Henna, Brahmi, Liquorice, Green Tea Extract, Lemon”. TVAM says – “Aloe Vera & Henna Hair Conditioner is a light and easy to use, rinse-off conditioner that leaves your hair soft and shining and also protects it from the damaging effects of the sun. Combined with other botanical extracts, it improves hair manageability and also de-tangles hair, reducing the need for over brushing and tugging. The Henna Extract is a great conditioner and lends bounce and lustre”. Yes the conditioner is very light. While putting it you don’t realise how much you have put and once in the hair, it’s as if it’s not there. This is a departure from chemical ridden ordinary conditioners that sit heavily on the hair and are a pain to wash off. This one sits light, washes off easy and does it’s job. I don’t know about the protection from sun part but the hair is soft, manageable and overall nice, healthy and bouncy.

                         I have an unwritten rule of hair care- to the extent possible,no shampooing without some kind of pre wash treatment- be it oiling, hair mask ( my favourite being LUSH Jasmine and Henna Fluff Eaze), henna or just egg. However to give this shampoo-conditioner duo a fair trial, I tried it after all these pre wash rituals as well as without them. Every time result was the same- gorgeous hair. When shampooing oiled hair, I had to shampoo twice but that’s about it. No crazy fly away hair and no need for any kind of hair serum either. I was under the impression that all henna based products would be drying for the hair but using this shampoo and conditioner changed the misconception for me. The overall health of my hair is way better today than it was a year ago so that maybe a contributing factor. But all those ladies battling dry hair, this one is worth a trial.

PROS

  • 100% Natural
  • Lovely fragrance, at least for me
  • Delivers the result it promises

CONS

  • The bottle labels are of paper that start dissolving in water when wet. There is no other option but to avoid getting the bottles wet, if that is possible. And I personally don’t like the lotion pump. I prefer the normal disc top cap but as I said above, that’s a matter of personal choice.
  • Compared with the shampoos available in the market, they are expensive. L’Oreal Absolute Repair Shampoo and masque cost less. But if you are looking for natural products and for results, it’s worth a try.
  • The strong smell. It’s a pro for me but for many it may not be so. 

 

Price – Rs 922/- for 200ml bottle of Henna Extra Conditioning Shampoo

           Rs 790/- for 200ml bottle of Aloevera and Henna Conditioner

Available atwww.tvamnaturals.com and many online sites such as Jabong 

 

 

Kerastase Hair Ritual

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 Kerastase was, for a long time, my favourite brand. Expensive, and at one point difficult to get in India, but oh so luxurious! That is before I went all natural and green and crazy in the head…call it what you will. However,I still have a soft spot for it and it is easily one of the best hair care brands. What they offer you is nothing short of sinful, decadent indulgence, especially if you go for one of their hair treatment spas or what Kerastase calls a “Hair Ritual”. Yeah…hair for them is sacred and anything where you take care of them needs to have the sanctity befitting a ritual..Whatever!!

                         I indulged myself profusely at the then newly opened Kerastase Exclusive Salon-Tress Lounge Prive located in the upmarket Sector 9 of Chandigarh. Probably one of the very few Kerastase Exclusive Salons in the entire country, it was an experience worth relishing especially if you can strike a deal and get them to draw up a package for you.DSC07709

                   Coming to the Rituals themselves, there is a wide variety to choose from and you are most likely to be totally lost. The in-salon rituals include Nourishing Rituals, Smoothing Rituals, Colour Radiance Rituals, Curl Design Rituals, Strengthening and Reconstructing Rituals, Volumising Ritual, Repairing and Firming Rituals, Scalp Care Rituals and Elixir Ultime Liquid- Gold Oil Ritual along with the recently launched “Fusio-Dose” that addresses your primary and secondary hair concerns in one sitting. At the highest end of this high-end brand are rituals like “Chronologiste Caviar Ritual” and “Kerathermie Ritual”. Confused? Probably and rightly so. As if this is not enough, the same ritual can have two variants- “Express” that, as the name indicates, takes lesser time and “Experience” which includes a mist treatment for the hair and takes more time. And then there is a 10 minute “Instant Conditioning Ritual” to accompany regular services like haircuts, blow- drys and hair colour…phew ! Yeah…It is better to tell them your hair and scalp concerns, and let the staff advise you. Luckily, the staff at Tress Lounge Prive is well trained and qualified enough to guide you. Still it never hurts to hear them and apply your own mind at the same time as these Rituals cost a bomb starting from approx. Rs 1600/- and going up to about Rs 3200/- for a Kerastase Chronologiste. So do check up before starting and go with what your budget allows. Even the basic ones are a treat for you and your hair.

                  s_ritual_menuThe Ritual itself includes four steps – Diagnose, Bathe , Treat and Texturise. The Diagnosis starts with a questionnaire followed by an analysis of your hair and scalp with a magnifier. My perennial problem is of dry hair and an occasional dandruff resulting from this dryness. I was advised the “Smoothing Ritual”, a nourishing ritual, meant for dry, frizzy hair. The Kerastase Nutritive (orange coloured) range is the one meant for dry hair and that is what they used for this ritual. The “Bathing” is the shampooing, which thankfully did not turn out to be a nightmare as it often does for me, with water trickling down my back. Comfortable seats, water at optimum temperature and all is neatly done – hair wrapped and you are ready to start

                  DSC07701 Then comes the primary component of the Ritual – “Treatment” of the hair. A small fancy looking glass bottle, consisting of a concentrated dose of what your hair needs is taken, cap is replaced with a spritzer cap and the dose applied to your hair from root to tips. In my case it was the orange coloured cap again meant for dry, frizzy hair. Once the dose is applied, it is followed by a deep conditioning masque. Once that is applied comes the luxurious, relaxing massage lasting about 10-15 minutes…not one of your vigorous “champi” style massages but a very soothing, relaxing massage that can put you to sleep. Thereafter the masque is left on your hair for another 10 minutes or so. If you are going in for the “Experience” variant of the Ritual, the time of the massage will vary and will be followed by another 7-10 minutes of mist spray for the hair. I also tried the “Experience” Ritual later and found the mist to be a high-end version of the steamers that are used everywhere after a hair spa or hair oiling. Only that this one does not scald your scalp and is meant for better absorption of the product by the hair.

                             Finally the “Texturise” part. The masque is rinsed off and thankfully no water dripping down the back again. Then comes the blow-dry. While after other hair spas you are advised not to get a blow-dry, with a Kerasatse Hair Ritual a blow-dry is an integral part of the process as the Kerastase products are activated by heat. In any case, a heat protecting product, Elixir Ultime or Nectar Thermique, is applied before the blow-dry. Ordinarily I dread getting a blow-dry as I have ended with scalp burns way too many times. Besides the styling won’t hold even till the next morning unless a spray is applied to hold the style and I do not like these sprays. My hair is invariably left feeling like straw. But I was in for a pleasant surprise as the blow-dry was done beautifully without burning my hair or scalp. And miracle of all miracles, the style held until my next hair wash. Cannot thank the hair stylist, Mr Ajay, enough for that!!DSC07714

               The results, needless to say, depend to a great extent on the original condition of your hair. If you have totally fried, damaged and ruined hair, don’t expect a miracle in one sitting. When they assess your hair at the beginning, they will advise you a certain number of sittings to achieve the result you desire. Thereafter, probably a hair ritual once a month is what you will be advised along with a home care regimen. Obviously, they will suggest Kerastase products to maintain the results. But no matter what is the condition of your hair, you will definitely come out with much healthier and happier hair and you. The staff at Prive is courteous, attentive and always ready to pamper you with coffee, tea and mocktails while the stylist pampers your hair. Despite my conversion to all things green and eco friendly, I cannot resist the temptation of dropping by to pamper my hair and myself occasionally.