Sunday, 16 October 2016

Review Time: Himalaya Herbals Tan Removal Orange Peel-Off Mask

It has been 8 months since my last blog post. It somehow doesn't seem that long. That's probably because, for me, time seems to run at its own pace. Sometimes days and weeks blur in my mind. Is it a coping mechanism? I don't know. All I know is that I hate feeling disoriented, but today I woke up at 6:14pm feeling hyper and disoriented; I thought I was back at home for some reason. (I was there for 8 days, till this Thursday.) Everything was dark, and I couldn't find my phone. It scared me, I felt like I will never be able to get back home again. But now, here I am, about to write a review for a tan removal peel-off mask. Not everything has changed. At least, peel-off masks are still fun!


When the Himalaya Herbals team reached out to me some time in May to review their latest Tan Removal Orange Peel-Off Mask, I readily agreed because I like their range products in general. When they sent a surprise package late in September, I had almost forgotten about it. The package contained a sun hat, a colorful stole, a pair of Rayban wayfarers in addition to the mask. The whole thing set the mood for a beach holiday, which, sadly, I haven't taken in over a year and a half.

Here's a little info about Himalaya Herbals Tan Removal Orange Peel-Off Mask:

It is an effective blend of Orange Peel and Honey which helps reduce skin tan from the very first use. Orange Peel helps control melanin synthesis with the peeling action helping to remove tan. Honey soothes and moisturizes skin. 

Key Ingredients:
  • Orange Peel effectively removes tan the skin tone and can be very beneficial as it eliminates excess facial oil without damaging the skin. The Vitamin C and antioxidants present in Orange Peel work collectively on providing even-textured skin while acting as natural cleansers.
  • Honey contains superior antibacterial, probiotic, and healing properties and is extremely nourishing and hydrating.

Personal Review: I applied the mask evenly after cleansing my face and neck, avoiding the area around the eyes. It did smell a bit of chemicals at first, but thankfully it didn't stay for long. After about 15-20 minutes, when it dried off, I got to the fun part. I started removing the peel from the bottom of the face since pulling it down may harm the elasticity of your skin. I washed whatever was left behind with water. I did see a difference after the very first use. My face felt clearer, softer, and it felt cooler afterwards. I am not a fan of tanning (my first spa splurge was on a whole body anti-tanning treatment), and I am always looking for lazy ways to take care of it. I am glad Himalaya chose to come out with an anti-tan solution in the fun form of a peel-off mask, to be honest!

Tips: I have been using it once a week as that suits my skin better. I would suggest you do a patch test before using it on your face for the first time. While applying make the edges a bit thicker so that it's easier to peel off.

Himalaya Tan Removal Orange Peel-Off Mask is available in 50gm and 100gm is priced at Rs 70 and Rs. 130 respectively.  Available at retail outlets in your city and online.

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Tuesday, 16 February 2016

A Very Humble Take On The Trailer Of 'Ki and Ka'

A lot has been said about the new "Ki and Ka" trailer already. It is after all an R Balki film, and he has impressed me with every one of his films, be it the much loved "English Vinglish", or the much lesser appreciated "Shamitabh". And, every publication out there is going gaga over the 'gender bending' fun ride that the trailer of "Ki and Ka" seems to be. But, I am having niggling doubts. Yesterday, my flatmate said that she believes feminists would really love this film. The immediate question that popped up in my head was, "Would an Intersectional feminist love this film though?"

You can watch the trailer here and leave your thoughts for me to ponder upon.

I have learnt that there is a vast divide between feminists of different kind; all don't wear the same feathers. Different people have different agendas in mind when they champion any -ism, as history is there to prove it. The thing is, feminism, a.k.a. gender equality as the lesser of the brave-hearts call it, has now become a jhanda that everyone loves to fly. It is truly a double-edged sword now. On one hand, capitalism is selling the idea of equality in the name of bringing about change. Feminism has now become a viable, saleable commodity now. Well, if it brings about a change for the better, then good for everyone. But is it really being achieved when so many people involved in this selling don't even know that feminism is not about male hating after all? Now, that is a topic that deserves much deeper thought and I need more time to delve into it. I am just trying to analyse the trailer of a film that is trying to tell me that revolutionary change is finally happening in Bollywood where gender bending and gender equality can slowly, but firmly, become a norm, rather than a mere breeze that will be forgotten tomorrow. I mean, this film is being anticipated as a potential game changer for Bollywood; that is big!
I am repeating to myself constantly that this is R Balki after all, and that man deserves more faith. But, I cannot shove off the niggling fear in the back of my mind that they (as in big bad world of Bollywood) will screw it up, yet again. First of all, while watching the trailer, things went downhill for me when Arjun Kapoor's character announces he is neither gay, nor looking for a sex change despite the fact that he wants to be a stay-at-home husband. Isn't this statement making it clear that even if now men can stay at home and not want a career, but they must remain affirmatively, heterosexually cis. Then again at the end, he is shown he is beating up a bunch of goons, establishing his normative 'manliness' even more firmly. Even Kareena's character gushes and states, that this display of machismo is making her feel things that she perhaps didn't feel for Arjun's character before when he was doing the more stereotypical 'womanly things' at home.

Is it really gender bending to wear heels, cook, and be a 'house husband', while you pointedly distance yourself from 'those gays and transgenders' for whom it is okay to be feminine, and quite expectedly so? Are you really telling a revolutionary story by simplistically reversing the stereotype that the man always pays the bills, and the wife always depends on the husband for money ghar chalane ke liye?

Is it really gender bending that the career-oriented woman is being attributed the role of the 'man of the house', and the stay-at-home husband wants to be 'the wife' and wear a mangalsutra? How is assigning gender to everyday activities, like cooking and giving long hours to your job, earth shattering or gender bending?

Intersectionality is a real necessity in our society. We can no longer fight for one oppressed section at the cost of another one. We can no longer win cool brownie points by distancing ourselves from other marginalised sections while championing the rights of another.

When I commented a much more condensed version of these very doubts on a Buzzfeed article about the trailer, someone pointed out to me that we have to assume these mindless gags are only there to attract the larger audience, and we better keep our hopes up till the film actually releases. So, till the film releases, I am also keeping my hopes up. Make me happy one more time Balki saab!

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Thursday, 8 October 2015

Living In A Trance

We live in terror that if we ever show our true self, even to the one who has breathed into our skin and left traces in our bloodstream, we would automatically be deemed unloveable. This quote by Marilyn Monroe is so famous- "...if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."

Sure we would love to practice it for real. But, in truth we refuse to ask for what we think we deserve because we are so terrified of being left all alone. Most days you pretend you are good with it all, your brain dictates you to be more pragmatic. But, certain days when you are already feeling low, you just turn into mush and slowly dissolve into the nothingness deep inside of your hollow heart. Every bit of defensive behaviour is just a way to protect our hearts from being broken again and again. You say things to break off ties, before they can. Decades long friendships come to end, lovers leave, parents die, cousins get too busy- you stood alone to look at the moon even when they were around anyway. You never saw the same things and felt the same things about them anyway.

Tend your bruises in silence, tend them alone. No one else has a magical salve to soothe your burns. We are not faces, we are not bodies; we are just trembling fingers and toes trying to make sense of everything. We are all living inside our own heads, where we are the perpetual victims. Do we ever come out of that trance?

of fires that burn through you
of deliberately unclean shoes
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