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While travelling, many times after reaching a tourist destination I have realised that I had forgotten to pack something. It is not necessary to compromise on your looks when you are travelling. You can look as well groomed as you usually do even during a vacation. I have kept a separate kit of travel beauty essentials so that I won’t forget anything. Here’s what I always carry:


sunscreen lotion

This comes at the top of the list, whether you are vacationing in a tropical country or otherwise. In warm climes the sun is hot and bright even in the winters. Why wait for tanning and freckles to occur before you take corrective action? It is best to prevent any problems, apply sunscreen lotion thrice a day and maintain your marvelous looks.


dry shampoo

A dry shampoo is the most practical thing to carry while travelling. Liquids may spill and ruin your clothes. A dry shampoo is in the form of a powder. To use, gently rub the shampoo on your scalp. It will absorb all the oiliness from your hair and leave it looking freshly shampooed.


cleansing lotion

Never fail to take your cleansing cream along. After a long day of sightseeing you must cleanse your face, neck and arms too. Just washing will not remove all the grime that’s stuck in the pores.



If you are are on a short trip an epilator or razor is not really necessary. But you might need one if it extends beyond a week. Hairy arms and legs look terribly sloppy!



if you smell good, you feel good. You will naturally go around seeing the popular tourist attractions of the holiday destination. If you are in a hurry and there’s no time to shower, a deodorant will come in very handy.


cotton swabs

You are going to need these for cleansing as well as for removing makeup. Always keep some handy in case you need to do some damage control of the makeup you have applied.


lip balm

The lip balm will effectively prevent cracked lips due to dryness. While travelling we don’t pay much attention to touching up our lipstick. Apply lip balm at bedtime and your lips will remain soft and luscious. If you are visiting dry or tropical countries a lip balm is a must.


nail colour

Good grooming also includes a good manicure and pedicure. I have already mentioned in my earlier post how well-maintained nails are a very important part of grooming. But what happens if you break a nail or the colour chips. Carrying this trio will come in handy. At the end of the day while you are lazing in your room, quickly file the nails, remove colour and apply a fresh coat. This whole process should not take more than 10 minutes.

These are a few of my favourite beauty essentials while travelling. If you can add some more I’ll be glad to update my kit. Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments below…


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almond oil






The last time I had met my friend Rebekah, she had blemishes on her face, acne scars and the skin texture was rough. This was at her 40th birthday party! I met her again on her 41st birthday and guess what?! Her skin is as smooth as a baby’s and she looks fabulous. So I had to ask, “What’s the magic mantra, a new beauty parlour?” And her reply was, “Just almond oil.” So let’s check out why and how a woman of 40plus can become a timeless beauty with just almond oil.

BABY SMOOTH SKIN: Massaging your face with almond oil will moisturise and smooth out the skin texture. Apply the oil and leave it overnight for best results.

NATURAL CLEANSER: Removing makeup can be a headache after a late night out. Apply a little almond oil on the face and around the eyes. Leave it for a couple of minutes. Wipe it off gently with a cotton ball and even your waterproof makeup will come off easily.

DARK CIRCLES GONE: Do you always have to use foundation to mask the dark circles around the eyes? Tomorrow start applying almond oil around the eyes at bedtime. Leave it overnight and in a few weeks you will need very little corrective makeup.

REMOVES BLEMISHES: If patchy skin and blemishes have plagued you for some years, here’s almond oil to the rescue! The nutrients in the oil will remove tanning, scars and blemishes to leave behind an enviably radiant face. It removes sun tan too.

NATURAL SCRUB: Why rush to the salon and spend on a pricey scrub? Just mix a tsp of granulated sugar in a tsp of almond oil. Rub it gently on your face in a circular motion till it feels dry. Rinse it off with cool water. This will give your face a fresh glow.

SKIN TREATMENT: As it is used to treat nappy rash, almond oil is definitely good for adults as well. Hormonal changes sometimes cause skin problems like rashes, psoriasis, eczema, etc. The root cause of most of these ailments is extreme dryness of the skin, so application of the oil will keep the symptoms under control and speed up recovery.

ANTI AGEING: Loss of collagen (a protein) is the main cause of ageing. The vitamin E in the oil balances the collagen level and helps to maintain a forever-youthful skin.

ACNE PREVENTION: Whose skin in prone to acne will love almond oil. When you apply the oil on a regular basis, old acne scars will be gone and new disgusting eruptions will not occur! You are free of this problem forever.

BODY BEAUTIFUL: Almond oil is a very commonly used product by massage therapists as a beauty treatment. This protein-packed oil rejuvenates the body and gets rid of soreness, fatigue, muscle ache, arthritic pain, and many other 40plus related issues.

CROWING GLORY: Forget about thinning hair, over-fine eyebrows, almost non-existent eyelashes, or any such worries. Oil extracted from almonds is a real saviour. It protects you from the ravages of pollution, ageing, nutritional issues, stress, etc. Make it a bi-weekly practice to apply some lukewarm oil on the scalp, eyebrows and eyelashes half an hour before bathing. That’s it!  And you will never need to worry about dandruff. If you leave the oil overnight and wash the next morning, that’ll produce effects sooner.

The ancient Vedic scripts extol the virtues of almonds and almond oil as natural beauty products. Almonds have antioxidant properties as they contain Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids. They are also a great source of zinc and vitamins A, B, D and E which are very good for the skin and overall health. You too can be a timeless beauty with almond oil, so go ahead and try it. Enjoy life…

Ancient Beauty Secrets of Honey Revealed



Guest blogger: Neena Vilas Talpade

I am standing near the window, enjoying my mug of lemon ginger honey tea, gazing at the small patch of greenery, quite rare in metros! The office music system is softly playing an old English song with its clichéd refrains of ‘Honey, honey’.

As I gaze at the trees outside, I observe a honey bee sizing up the window ledge for a prospective hive. Suddenly it clicks! Honey-that wonder of nature!

And I sit down to pen some of the ‘ ancient beauty secrets of honey’ revealed to us by our mums and grandmothers. A healthy mind in a healthy body.But equally- an enchanting appearance in a healthy body! And honey is truly one of the wonders of nature that does this.

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How honey benefits the ‘exterior’

Raw honey is chemical free and natural. It is a great friend of our skin in so many ways.

It prevents bacterial skin infections, including that bane of most women – acne;

It fast-tracks healing, including sunburn.

It has substantial skin-saving antioxidants, which deter aging, putting a halt to the ravages of time on our appearance.

Its silky, viscous texture that captures the moisture into the skin makes your skin as soft as a baby’s.

It is an excellent skin cleanser and exfoliates the skin. Who doesn’t want a soft, glowing complexion?!

It fades scars and can be used to lighten hair.

The humectant properties of honey help to moisturize hair. Besides, it is said to strengthen hair follicles. Result: A healthy head of hair.

It is a wonderful moisturizer that can even be used for cuticles, hair or…even the entire body.


Here’s a tried and tested fragrant, natural and ‘instant’ moisturizer, to use just before that special date:

Rose Water and Honey: Mix a teaspoonful of rose water with a teaspoonful of raw honey. Add a drop of jojoba oil or lavender oil. Mix it thoroughly. Dab it all over your face and lightly rub for about 15 minutes. Rinse it off with water. The glow will be visible even after the make-up!

Now let us turn to the ‘Interior’

Honey is nature’s energy booster that gives instant energy. Of course, we all love to see that ‘livewire’ bursting with life and energy!

It is an immunity builder.  Its antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties help improve the digestive system and helps in keeping healthy and fighting disease. And we do know the correlation between a healthy tummy and a healthy skin.

It is known to boost brain function, including cognition. And thus, enhancing one’s personality!

Well then, let’s see this traditional recipe, useful for skin, throat, etc.:

Turmeric Latte: Add  1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder to 3/4 cup milk. Boil. Allow to settle for a minute and strain. Add a teaspoonful raw honey. Sip while hot. (Licorice powder or root can be added while boiling to give a sweet, heady aroma!)

The alchemy by which flower nectar is made into honey by the ‘busy’ bee is truly amazing. No wonder then that ‘the beauty secrets of honey’- that sweet elixir, has excited the palates of humans since ancient times.


Free images courtesy unsplash.



Home facial 1

Would you like a superb trick for glowing soft skin when you have only half an hour to get ready for a party? There’s no time to go across to the stores or browse through a vast range of products. Besides, why spend a fortune when you can mix daily use-items from your own kitchen? Read on for a home facial that takes very little time but the effect is superlative.

There are four basic steps in a facial – cleansing, scrubbing, steaming and applying face mask. I have tried this home facial and it works. It is good for oily, combined and dry skin types. In fact, if you follow this procedure once a week, you won’t need to buy pricey beauty products ever again.

CLEANSE Take 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. With your fingers apply it gently all over the face and neck. Rinse if off.

SCRUB Mix together 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon grain sugar and 1 teaspoon of honey in a bowl. You can use olive oil, almond oil or coconut oil; whichever is readily available at home. The oil is a natural moisturiser, the grain sugar scrubs off the dead skin and honey is a natural bleaching agent.

There is a right way of doing things. Don’t take chances with your skin! A scrub should never be rubbed hard over the face even if you are in a hurry! Take a tablespoon of the mixture and rub it over the face and neck in a gentle circular motion, till it feels slightly dry on your fingertips. This should take about 2-3 minutes. Rinse it off with water.

STEAM No need to go purchasing or borrowing a steamer. Just dip a cotton hand towel in hot water and dab it gently over the face and neck. Repeat this for a couple of minutes, till the skin feels warm to the touch.

FACE MASK This is the only step in the home facial process that takes a little time, but the result will be worth it. For different skin types use different mixtures:

  • Oily skin – Take 2 tablespoons yogurt. Mix it thoroughly with 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder.
  • Normal to dry skin – Mix together 2 tablespoons of milk cream and 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder.

Apply the appropriate face mask and leave it to dry for 10 minutes. Gently wipe it off with a moist tissue or cotton ball. Do not wash the skin with soap. Rub a cube of ice over the face and neck to close the pores.

The entire process can be done in 15 minutes max and will have you looking drop dead gorgeous. So when you want to pamper your skin, just pick these times from your kitchen and wow the world!

You can also read “8 Home Remedies for Age Blemishes that Work”  for some more tips on skin care.

8 Home Remedies for Age Blemishes That Work

Who doesn’t want to look gorgeous at 40 plus? There is no rule that says a woman shouldn’t. But sometimes age spots or pigmentation appear on the skin at the age of 40+. Blemishes are painless in the medical sense but can be very distressing. There is no need for expensive treatments. Here’s a list of simple home remedies for age blemishes:

  • Raw potato – Peel a raw potato and grate it. Squeeze out the juice through a handkerchief. The extract is a natural skin whitener suitable for all skin types. Apply the juice and let it dry for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with cool water. Repeat the process daily for about 30 days or more.
  • Lemon or Vinegar – Apply the juice of a lemon and keep for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with cool water. Make this your daily routine and it will reduce hyper-pigmentation considerably. The citric acid content prevents acne. You can also use apple cider vinegar instead. These remedies are better suited for oily skin types.
  • Aloe Vera – Polysaccharides contained in aloe vera are perfect for regeneration of skin tissue. It has anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Scrape out the gel from the leaf and apply it daily at bedtime. Rinse it with water after 20 minutes.
  • Tomato – Tomatoes contain antioxidants and Vitamin C. They are also rich in lycopene which cures age spots and blemishes. Extract the pulp of a tomato and squeeze it through a handkerchief. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes and rinse with water. Repeat the process daily till the blemishes are gone. Don’t forget to add tomatoes in your daily diet.
  • Turmeric – Milk cream + turmeric has been in use in India since Vedic times. Mix a teaspoon each of turmeric powder and milk cream. Apply with a ball of cotton and leave for 20 minutes. It lightens spots and adds a glow to the face.
  • Almond and milk – Soak 5-6 almonds overnight in water. Next morning, remove the peel and grind the almonds into a paste with 2 teaspoons milk. Apply over the blemishes and leave for 20-30 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water. Repeat this process for a month for a 30+ look. Add almonds and milk in your diet as well.
  • Neem – The leaves of the neem tree have anti-bacterial properties. This is another ancient remedy from India. In the powder form it is easily available in most parts of the world. Mix together 1 teaspoon neem powder, 1 teaspoon chickpea flour and sufficient water to make a smooth paste. Apply and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Wash it off with cool water. With regular application of this paste you can forget about age spots forever.
  • Honey – This is a natural bleaching agent. Apply a teaspoon of honey, leave it on the face for 15 minutes and rinse it off as usual. Add this process to your daily routine and in no time the age spots will disappear.

The usual causes of age spots are hormonal changes, long term medication, old scars or freckles, blackheads, neglect, etc. Before trying one of the options listed above, please do a test application on an unexposed part of your body. Being natural, in most cases these home remedies for age blemishes will not produce allergies. Stay beautiful…