Friday, October 27, 2017

Plum Chamomile & White Tea Toner Review

This is my personal favourite toner. I started using this three months ago.
The first reason for buying this particular toner was : it is non-alcoholic. Alcohol is an ingredient in most of the toners and it tends to dry out the skin. Though it may serve the purpose of the toner, I would never opt for alcohol based toner. Second reason : Chamomile! I love Chamomile. It has so many amazing benefits.
Anyways. Here's what I've got to tell you about Plum's chamomile & white tea calming antioxidant toner.

I use it twice daily - morning and night after washing my face. 
I received it in a white bottle containing 200 ml of it. It is 100% vegan. Plum gives 1% of their sales to non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting the environment.

Now, to the main part.
It has a soothing and calming scent. I have noticed that people around me also love the scent. They ask 'Umm...that scent. Did you just put on your toner?'
The best part. I rarely like perfumes or scents. I am a migraine patient. But these, have never caused any headache.
It is not a spray. You have to pour it into your palm or soak cotton pads and apply. Let it dry and then you can move onto the next step.
It is for normal to combination skin type. Since I have combination skin, it works well for me.
I used to have breakouts every now and then. After using it for almost three months, I get pimples only during that time of the month, which is natural due to so many hormonal changes.
I never had a time without a dark or red spot on my face. Now, its a rare thing.
I didn't get any burning sensation during the first application. I had read among some reviews that there are people who got breakouts and some even got slight burning sensation. This happens when you buy products without knowing your skin type. This is for normal-combination skin type. If you have an oily or dry skin type, it is better to use something like rose water or products that specifically mentions that it is for your skin type.
My friends who have oily skin type has also tried out my toner few times and it worked fine for them.
One place where I wished it would have been different is, I prefer a spray bottle. You can just spray it onto your face and not overdo it. But, this toner needs to be poured and then applied, which can sometimes become excess. If you are careful, it is not a problem.
Overall, this is my favourite toner and I would definitely recommend it. One bottle can stay up to four months. I have already bought another one so that I can use without break when it gets over.

If you wish to buy one, I would highly recommend buying from Amazon as it has amazing offers. I bought my first bottle on 25% off and the second one on 51% off.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Doing Something For Yourself

Do for yourself for no one else will. - Johanna Lindsey

I am talking about some 'me' time here.
Time spent by myself is time spent alone with my thoughts, which I relish in a world of distractions. Once alone, I get to give attention to something mentally or not think of anything at all and simply appreciate the present moment.
I know when you think about yourself, most often, it’s viewed negatively by others and because of that you tend to stop thinking. But you can’t live your life pleasing others. You are not gonna get anything out of it. Accept it.
I am talking about a little ‘me’ time. Not asking you to be ‘mean’.
And if you really want to be happy with your life, you definitely gotta make some ‘me’ time. Keep the rest for others, but add ‘me’ somewhere.

Being alone with your mind, is one of the best things for your soul.

You don’t have to do great things like gifting yourself a car, well that sounds somewhat crazy. I’m talking about simple everyday things.

Here are few examples of doing things for yourself that can make you happy:

1.       Exercise.
I know you might be rolling your eyes, especially those not interested in fitness or health. I am not talking about any abs or thigh workout, I am talking about simple exercises like walking or swimming. That makes you happy. Just few minutes of walking in a place you like?
This has been scientifically proven to help you.

2.       Practice smiling.
There are few people I know who don’t smile because someone in the past told them they don’t have a nice smile. If you practice smiling every day, you can master it! The beginning is always uncomfortable, but when you continue you start to be really good at it and eventually a pro.
Oh, yes, you even learn to smile naturally with your eyes. No fake ones!

3.       Pampering your skin.
Use good products that makes your skin feel good. Like using a good quality moisturiser on your face every morning, every night, or if you live in a dry or cold climate area. I've got friends who say “I've got so many products, I have no idea what am I gonna do with them.” Use them! Once you start using them and you see your skin feeling all great and smooth, your skin likes it and it is thanking you.

4.       Stop to smell the flowers when you see someone selling it. Don’t just ignore. It may sound a bit cheesy, but try it. Why not try it when it can make you feel better?
If you are allergic, sorry about that, forget this one. I'm allergic to certain stuffs, so I totally understand that.

5.       Look nice on days when you have nothing special. Why do you only dress up for meetings or dates? Dress up for yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror and appreciate the way you look and give a thumbs up. We often dress up to receive compliments.
There are days, I dress up, do little make-up and click lots of pictures. And I've noticed how it makes me happy.

6.       Get some sleep.
This is very important. When you feel weak, don’t wait for yourself to fall asleep and later drag your body to bed. That’s more like a torture anyway. Listen to the signals your body gives, and get to sleep. Think of that amazing feeling you get when you wake up after a good sound sleep? Yes. You deserve that.

7.       Compliment someone.
You compliment someone else, but when you see them happy because of your compliment, it gives instant happiness for you. Isn't that great?
Compliment anyone you know on something they do for you, or something they do every day without complaining. You can even compliment on their looks or clothes, but that’s more common.

8.       Let your loved ones know that you love them.
Yeah, yeah. We know they love us and we love them, there’s no need of saying anything. But, there’s something special about letting them know we love them verbally, even if they know it already. Their reaction can be sentimental at times. When was the last time you said ‘I love you for everything you do for me,’ ‘I love you for taking care of our family’?
We may think about it when it’s too late. Better do it now.

I can make the list even longer, but hey, you gotta add things that make you happy too. So I’ll stop here.
There’s nothing to plan for ‘me’ time, you can start even now. 

- Shark

Bahrah, Saudi Arabia
1:11 AM

18th May 2016

Amour turns Twenty One.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Different and Beautiful

Back home in Bahrah. 
I wrote this down last week in India.

Flawed and imperfect. That is what we all are.
The world would be so boring and monotonous if we didn’t have different people. I love change. I don’t like seeing the same thing again unless there’s some emotional attachment towards it.
You are beautiful, exactly the way you are. I am not saying this because I love inspiring. But because I have experienced it. I feel beautiful when I am myself. There is a unique feeling in being appreciated for being yourself.
One of the most important thing I’ve got to say is, feeling bad and comparing yourself to others will never, N-E-V-E-R change you or make you better. It will just make you feel more miserable.
You can never make yourself like someone else. That is the truth. So stop wasting what you have. Make use of it.
Accept yourself. Then, make the better you.
Eventually, you will be happy to see the real you. Be proud of what you are. Confidence comes in automatically.
Try to change only yourself, not others. You can advise them, but don’t ask them to follow what you follow.
And do not expect from others. It leads to disappointments. Having hope is good, but you must make your mind strong enough to bear the loss as well. Blindly expecting things is not being positive. It is called ‘being crazy’. You never know, you might end up being your worst enemy. 
Do for yourself for no one else will. There used to be days when I had headache and I used to think, let them figure out I am having a bad headache, let them take care of me.
Well, there are no mind readers. Tell them, if you seriously wanna let them know.
Help others. Doesn’t mean you need to do huge stuffs like paying someone’s debt completely. That’s the toughest thing in this materialistic world right?
Do simple acts, where all you need is, YOU.
Smile. If you are sad, don’t make everyone around you too sad. There are so many people who just need someone to talk to. Talk to them. You might be making their day just by talking to them.
The happiness you get by making someone else happy is priceless.
I am a kind of person who doesn’t believe that life depends on money. You need to have enough of it to live or survive. Save. But for emergency or for better future. Saving to make yourself feel like you have some amount is dumb. Totally.
Express love to your loved ones when you feel it. Never wait for a perfect moment. Sometimes it gets too late and you realize it only after the person is gone forever.
Enjoy being yourself. Try to stay in good health. It’s not necessary to be happy always. It’s nice to get pissed at times. Or even sad. Going in a smooth flow isn’t as great as it sounds.
The ups and down are to make us better and real.
Stay blessed.
9th April 2016
7:49 PM

Vengara, India

Thursday, February 25, 2016

So many beautiful reasons to be happy.

I am writing this in one of my finest moods.

I have seen so many things unfold in my life in just these two months. When I turned down, depressed for one whole year, almost lost faith and trust, never did I think of God’s plan. Maybe because I was never into religion, I did all the obligatory things to be done, but my body not soul. I kept complaining about every single thing that went wrong. I continued on the dry land with no hopes, but continued, because I never wanted anyone else to know that I was depressed and lost, specially my parents. Sports being one of my greatest passions, lifted me up a bit. I could forget about everything I was worried about when I sprinted. Though, just few seconds.
Gradually I started to accept the way my life is and started to work with things around me. I came across the real good people, people who had the worst experiences and made their life beautiful, people who genuinely loved, cared and people who noticed inner beauty.
Inspiration brought me closer to happiness.
And almost a year later I made up my mind that no matter what, I am going to do things to utmost perfection yet imperfect. I will enjoy every single moment, cherish every moment I meet or see the people I love. It was a simple decision taken up in my mind. Never thought of it every day nor wrote it down anywhere, but something led me on the exact path I wanted to go. I stopped thinking about people who wanted to destroy me, who hated me because if I thought about them, my life was being under their control. And I have made myself stronger than ever to keep away from people who don’t deserve to be around me and right now I only have people who deserve to be with me and I with them.
If you are one of those I have around me, you are among those I love.
It even includes few people I have met through my blog and made friends, not just people I have spoken to verbally.
I choose to be happy, love every beautiful soul, and respect my family and religion. And move on in life no matter how huge the thunder is, and use the lightning to bring beauty in.
God is the best of the planners and he has even bigger dreams for you than yours.
Let Go and Let God handle it.

Cochin, Ernakulam
18th February 2016


Just wanted to share another piece of happiness, I was awarded on 17th February in IISJ for being national topper in Humanities Stream among all the CBSE affiliated schools in Saudi Arabia.
Even though I never aimed at being one, I believe whenever God gives, he gives the bestest of best. Seeing my family so happy and proud, just brightened me up. 


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Nineteenth Year on the Planet ‘Earth’

When my 24 year old sister acts 14, why can’t I be 18? ;)
I can stay eighteen forever.

Like my previous posts, this is definitely not about being grown up or acting mature or even India.
Experience in simplest words.

I talk to God, almost every single day. Even when I am studying so hard and don’t even have a minute to spare a day before Zoology exam, I talk to him. Of course, I am alone during these times because I wouldn’t want people to judge me on that basis. I do it because it makes me feel good.
My inspirational sister always asked me to turn towards him especially when I get alone and don’t have anyone to talk to. There are certain things I don’t share with a-n-y-o-n-e. She says ‘don’t you know how much a mother loves her child, Allah loves you even more than that.’ She wrote that in a letter she gave me before I left Jeddah, I read it whenever I miss home.
The first three days of college, the fresher’s were given orientation to have an awesome start, on the last day, Beena Ma’m, who shared inspirational experiences from her life, said ‘even if we believe in God, it’s really difficult for us to say “Lord, Have your way in me,” because we are not sure whether God want’s the way we want or whether we would like the path he chooses for us.’
I have a huge collection of dreams, few more like impossible, but I wanted each one of them to come true at some point in my life. I was never gonna give everything in his hands, even though somewhere I knew everything was under his control. What if he skipped one of my dreams?
When I went to sleep, crying every night because I was too far from home, alone in hostel, missed the free flowing life, I asked him why can’t I just be strong and let the three years to pass especially when I thought I am not sentimental. I asked him too many questions and then went to sleep.
I don’t remember when was it that I made up my mind to accept his way in me and go through it no matter what. It wasn’t a decision taken one fine day, it just happened eventually.
I’m sure I see dreams every day, though I forget most of them. There are few dreams I can remember with exact details. About my future, my fears, my expectations and even my weaknesses. Obviously all of this didn’t start suddenly, it’s happening since the past few years, but it took time for me to notice the way things are proceeding in my life.

Sometimes I just look up, smile and say, “I know that was you Lord, Thanks!”

2:27 PM (IST)
17th January 2016
Vengara, India

Notice the 7 again. ;)

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Best Days

Wasn't planning to post anything this month until one of my friends messaged me this.
Prompted me to post.

A cruise ship met with an incident at sea, on the ship was a pair of couple, after having made their way to the lifeboat, they realized that there was only space for one person let.
At this moment, the man pushed the woman behind him and jumped onto the lifeboat himself.
The lady stood on the sinking ship and shouted one sentence to her husband.
The teacher stopped and asked, "What do you think she shouted?"
Most of the students excitedly answered, "I hate you, I was blind!"
Now, the teacher noticed a boy who was silent throughout, she got him to answer and he replied, "Teacher, I believe she would have shouted - Take care of our child!"
The teacher was surprised, asking "Have you heard this story before?"
The boy shook his head, "Nope, but that was what my mum told my dad before she died to disease."
The teacher lamented, "The answer is right."
The cruise sunk, the man went home and brought up their daughter single-handedly.
Many years later after the death of the man, their daughter found his diary while tidying his belongings.
It turns out that when parents went onto the cruise ship, the mother was already diagnosed with a terminal illness. At the critical moment, the father rushed to the only chance of survival.
He wrote in his diary, "How I wished to sink to the bottom of the ocean with you, but for the sake of our daughter, I can only let you lie forever below the sea alone."
The story is finished, the class was silent.
The teacher knows that the students have understood the moral of the story,  that of the good and evil in the world, there are many complications behind them which are hard to understand.
Which is why we should never only focus on the surface and judge others without understanding them first.
Those who like to pay the bill, do so not because they are loaded but because they value friendship above money.
Those who take the initiative at work, do so not because they are stupid but because they understand the concept of responsibility.
Those who apologizes first after a fight, do so not because they are wrong but because they value the people around them.
Those who are willing to help you, do so not because they owe you anything but because they see you as a true friend.

Those who often text you, do so not because they have nothing better to do but because you are in their heart. One day all of us will get separated from each other, we will miss our conversations of everything and nothing; the dreams that we had. Days will pass by, months, years, until this contact becomes rare... One day our children will see our pictures and ask 'Who are these people?' And we will smile with invisible tears because a heart is touched with a strong word and you will say : 'It was them that I had the best days of my life with.'

Taught me so much.

4: 55 PM (GMT +3)
31st December 2015
Bahrah, Saudi Arabia

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Last Day in India for 2015

The six months wait is over. Hoping not to make it a negative post like the previous ones.

First two-three months were tough, but the other three were smoother. It was my cousin's wedding today. I was meeting my relatives and cousins probably after months. Wedding is always a get-together.
I have made more good friends in these few months. Friends worth being called a friend.
Having the tag of 'NRI', born and brought up in Saudi Arabia, who can't speak proper Malayalam, I thought it would be difficult to make good friends, specially those who can understand me. Yes, it sure was difficult, but come on, nothing good or worth comes easily.

Nufa, who sometimes is shockingly great at understanding what I am just gonna say. She's from my district in Kerala, so she can understand at least a bit of my Malayalam.
Rizwin, she's our selfie stick, sounds like a guy's name, empathies, she can laugh at the lamest jokes and make others laugh too.
I love people who can make me laugh and those with a good sense of humour.
Mariya, who never misses an opportunity to show off  'the perfect teeth', or like I call it 'Smile worth million bucks.'
Lakshmi, who is madly in love with her place, Thrissur. She has got the Trichur accent too and the way she says 'A a aaa' in that typical Mallu tone sounds funny.
Sanjuna, the lipstick queen, she doesn't need a mirror to apply lipstick, she is a pro at it.
Parvathy, the tallest among us and the one with a lazy bum. She is so damn lazy to attend classes that one of her teachers once asked 'Did she get married?'

I love my class mates for bearing with me cause I have been the worst representative they could ever get, yet they selected me again for the second semester, which is hilarious. Maybe they like a lazy, irresponsible 'Rep' who is never in the class.
I have learnt to manage myself. I have experienced real hunger. When you know you have no other choice but to survive this period, you learn to adjust. Yes, I have learnt to adjust.

Staying away from home and family, taught me their value. I have never stayed away for this long. And this would be my story for the next two years to come. I have huge dreams and I am surviving this period for those dreams to come true someday.
Plus, I have shed more parts of the Tom boy. Though I still hate pink or anything too girly.
Now ready for the next challenges that life has to offer.

11:07 PM (IST)
17th December 2015

Notice the 7. ;)

A Huge THANK YOU to everyone I've met this year, for the changes you have brought in me. May Lord bless everyone with goodness.