4 Ways to Style a Blue Coat

4 ways to style a blue wool coat

You read it right! My Diwali look post made me aware that it has been a while since I wrote about beauty and fashion and was really missing doing those posts. So today, I am going to share my experience of styling a thick woollen coat. Having lived all my life in Mumbai, I had almost no experience of a proper winter. I had a great fascination for winter wear though. Who wouldn’t? Those long coats, the high boots.. they instantly glam one up. I bought a brown coat when I first moved to Delhi. It was a flattering cut, the colour was versatile and it served me well for a few years. However, being the lover of colour that I am, I wanted a brighter coat and a thicker one too.

During my North East trip in 2012, my leather jacket sleeve tore and so, I bought myself a long, thick wool coat in the most gorgeous blue and dark blue pattern. The only other option then was a drab black coat and I decided to chuck practicality out of the window and follow my instinct. The only things I looked for are good quality material, a good finishing and lots of warmth. I am so pleased I made that decision. This coat has been my faithful companion on all my travels so far. Here are some ways I have styled it.

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Introducing Alanna – Naturally Beautiful

Alanna - Naturally Beautiful Products
Hi guys,
Today I want to introduce you to Alanna – Naturally beautiful. Started by the beautiful Rasshi Bahel, Alanna is a range of natural, handmade beauty products. In Rasshi’s own words…

Our Product range includes Handmade Soaps, Whipped Soaps, Body Butter, Body Scrubs (Himalayan Rock Salt based and Sugar based) and Herbal Packs for Skin and Hair.

We are also planning to come up with a range of Face Wash, Body Wash, Shampoo, Conditioner and guess what ?! shaving cream for Men 🙂
We have received an excellent response and feedback for all our products, But if I have to pick out our signature products that are unique to us and hot selling, it will be our Lemongrass Soap, Activated Charcoal Range, Lavender n Cocoa-butter Body Butter, Rose Himalayan Rock Salt Scrub, Coffee Brown Sugar Scrub and our Cucumber, Bergamot and Lemongrass Whipped Soaps.
Now does that sound interesting or what? I know Rasshi from work. When she quit the corporate rigmarole to turn Entrepreneur, I was very impressed. I asked her a few questions about it and here they are for you.
1. Tell us a little about yourself Rasshi.

I belong to a Business family in Bhopal. Like most children from that city I too moved out of my hometown for studies. I lived in Bangalore for a couple of years where I did my MBA in Marketing and then moved to Mumbai in 2007. Over the course of 8 years I have had the privilege of working with various big brands like Tata Communications, Lenovo India Pvt. Ltd. and Samsung India Pvt. Ltd.  I have handled multiple roles in Product Management, Business Development, Strategic Marketing, Brand Communications and Retail Marketing. I am married and my Husband is an Equity Research Analyst working in Mumbai.My father has his own business, my mother  is a coordinator in DPS Bhopal and My sister runs her own bakery called Little Jar.

Rasshi, The founder of Alanna - Naturally Beautifula
Rasshi, The founder of Alanna – Naturally Beautiful

2. What made you turn an entrepreneur?

I was always keen in skincare and beauty. I remember being totally into it even as a kid. In my teenage years I suffered with huge amount of skin problems and my face was full with Acne. I tried a lot of cosmetics and creams in the market but really nothing made a difference. Then my mother suggested some home recommended natural treatments to me and that’s when I got seriously interested in natural remedies and since then this interest has not left me. I started experimenting various recipes and I even did a course to learn and hone my skills in this field. Though, the idea of turning my hobby into a profession came to me quite recently when I realized that in today’s market if I have to buy any natural products they are too exorbitant and I just don’t have a choice but to either pay a huge premium for my health or go for the chemical based options. I thought what if I can create products that are pure and can be offered to everyone at an easily affordable price. And that’s when it started…..

Activated Charcoal Range by Alanna - Naturally Beautiful
Activated Charcoal Range by Alanna – Naturally Beautiful

3. What is your business all about?

 ‘Alanna – Naturally Beautiful’ as the name suggests is a brand about Natural Skincare and Haircare products that make you beautiful inside-out. All our products are hand crafted and consist only of natural ingredients. We believe that safe and natural products are your right and they should be easily affordable to you. We also customize products that suit your beauty needs and your skin type. We are a cruelty free brand. We don’t test any of our products on Animals.
We are also product of the fact that we are MakeinIndia 🙂
Rose Himalayan Rock Salt Scrub by Alanna - Naturally Beautiful
Rose Himalayan Rock Salt Scrub by Alanna – Naturally Beautiful
4. Alanna is a beautiful name. Is there a story behind it?
Alanna as a term means beauty, serenity.  When I was thinking of names I wanted something that communicates the fact that it’s a beauty brand along with the fact that we are one with nature. I think it does that perfectly. Not to forget that I loved the sound of the name 🙂
Lemongrass Soap by Alanna - Naturally Beautiful
Lemongrass Soap by Alanna – Naturally Beautiful
5. What your your biggest challenge while setting up your own business?
Though I have worked with various good brands, I have never worked in the beauty industry before. Entering into a completely unknown industry with limited experience was a bit challenging and to a certain extent still is. But it’s something that I actually enjoy, cause it’s my passion and I enjoy learning something new everyday.
Herbal Anti Hairfall Pack by Alanna - Naturally Beautiful
Herbal Anti Hairfall Pack by Alanna – Naturally Beautiful
6. How did people react when you told them about starting Alanna? Was everyone supportive or did some tell you that you were making a mistake?
Honestly I have been very blessed. When I told my husband, my family and few close friends about the concept they were all very very supportive. They have actively participated in trying my products and giving constructive feedback and criticism.
Nature's Love Rose Soap by Alanna - Naturally Beautiful
Nature’s Love Rose Soap by Alanna – Naturally Beautiful
7. How did the first order feel like?
My first order was for a very dear friend of mine Reema. So it was even more special. The feeling of earning money out of something that you created with your own hands is indescribable. I never felt so alive even when I received  my first salary cheque 🙂
Bergamot Whipped Soap by Alanna - Naturally Beautiful
Bergamot Whipped Soap by Alanna – Naturally Beautiful
8.Based on your experience so far, what advice would you like to give people who want to start their own business?
I feel passion is one, but to asses the market gap correctly is very critical. If you have an idea that really serves a need in the market then there is a very high chance that your business will work. Also, never ever compromise o product quality cause at the end of the day, your product is what speaks for your brand and that will make or break your customers.
Green Apple Guest Soaps by Alanna - Naturally Beautiful
Green Apple Guest Soaps by Alanna – Naturally Beautiful
9. Any parting thoughts?
 Well my motto in life is to ‘Inspire and Be Inspired’. I strongly believe that one should always follow their dreams and take chances with their dreams , no matter at what stage of life they are. It’s never too late or too early
Depigmentation Face Pack by Alanna - Naturally Beautiful
Depigmentation Face Pack by Alanna – Naturally Beautiful
 If like me, you are tempted by the lovely pictures and want to know more, then head over to the Alanna’s Facebook Page. You can also download the product catalogue from here

My Envy Box September 2015 Review

My Envy Box September Products

I received My Envy Box September 2015 edition two days ago. This time, they had addressed it to The Stylish Ankita. Am sure the security guard in my building would be wondering why I keep prefixing my name with such adjectives! There were four products in this month’s bag including two full sized ones. Did I like them? Read on..

My Envy Box September 2015 Edition

Packaging

This month’s box is an elegant silver and black. I love this combination. I truly do. Infact, my home is done up mostly in these colours. The moment I received the box, the first thought I had was this is my colour scheme. My Envy Box September Packaging

Like the August Envy Box, the box was packed in another box and the products rested on hay like paper. I have seen some reviews of earlier envy boxes where they used to pack the products in a bag before putting them in the box. In my opinion, that would have been better. This month, the envy box did not snap shut properly. A lot of the hay like paper fell out when I opened the box.

Products

Two amazing this happened. First is that I saw a video by Lisa Eldridge and thought to myself that I have not bought a nice nude lipstick in ages. The second was that I was reading some beauty reviews and a lot of them praised the brand Za. I had wanted to try the brand out. This month’s Envy Box had both!

 Catrice Ultimate Shine Lip Colour

Catrice is a brand that I first heard of in 2010 but have never used it. I have had a lot of blogger’s rave about it so am keen to check the lipstick out. The Catrice ultimate lip colour promises to be smooth with a creamy texture and medium coverage.

My Envy Box September Catrice Ultimate Shine Lip Colour

The shade I was sent is 270 Whats Ap-ricot? It is a definitely a light shade and I was seriously wondering whether it till work for me. Well, we will just have to see that now! While I am open to experimenting with colours and am okay if the shade does not work me (That is the point of beauty boxes anyway!) I am actually miffed that the lipstick was damaged. The bullet had scraped against something and was damaged 🙁

The Catrice Ultimate Shine Lip Colour sells for INR 610. This was a full sized bullet.

Update – Team Envy read this post and sent me a replacement. They sent me a Catrice Ultimate Colour in 320 Kiss Kiss Hibiscus. Read more about my Customer Delight Experience

Za Total Hydration Fresh Foamy Cleanser

This product was the winner of Vogue Beauty Awards 2015. I was thus doubly excited by this product. The description says that it removes excess sebum and unclogs pores. I am hoping this would well on my oily skin. The hydration claim should not leave the skin feeling parched.

My Envy Box September Za Total Hydration Cleanser

The product sells for INR 299 for 100 gms. The sample sent was really tiny though. It is 5 gms and would last 2 or 3 uses I unless this is one of those cleansers where you need the tiniest amount.

Trussardi Donna EDP

The great thing about subscription boxes is that you almost always get a fragrance to try out. Sometimes you strike Gold like we did with My Envy Box August with two fragrances and sometimes you get a teeny tiny EDP sample like My Envy Box September. Now Trussardi is a brand I have not heard about. Donna, the fragrance sample they sent is a Floral Oriental scent with fruity top notes and a sweet floral heart. This is the only item in the box that I have tried so far. I found the fragrance too sweet for my liking. Sickly sweet! Not a fan.

My Envy Box September Trussardi EDP

The Envy Box card does not mention the price but a quick Google search showed that 100 ml bottle of Trussardi Donna costs over INR 5000.

Davidoff Cool Water Shower Gel

Davidoff Cool Water is a quite a popular fragrance and to have received a shower gel of that fragrance quite thrilled me. I love water fragrances and this one is no exception. It promises to make an ordinary shower a spa like experience! I am very excited to try this out!

My Envy Box September Davidoff Cool Water Shower Gel

This sells for INR 1800 for 150 ml. The bottle sent is 75 ml. Since the gel is available is this packaging as well, this is another full sized product.

Final Thoughts on My Envy Box September Edition

I am sitting on the fence whether I like this one or not. Two full sized products is awesome. The cleanser is too tiny and I did not like the fragrance. Now if the lipstick works and cool water delivers on it’s promise, the My Envy Box September edition would be a hit else a miss.


Day 15 – September Blogging Challenge


 

Beauty Blogging #ThrowbackThursday

That I miss beauty blogging is no secret. I have said it so many times on social media and my beauty blogger buddies have responded too…

That btw is my older, defunct twitter handle!

So today, I thought of doing a roundup of some of my favourite and popular beauty posts. Go ahead and click on the titles to read them 🙂

5 Time Saving Grooming Tips for Busy Mornings

How many of you face crazy mornings? And how often do you skip your grooming? There are times I have left without as much as brushing my hair. But then, I realised that there are time saving devices that can be fit into the crazy routines. Here are some that I try. Read more

Review: Colorbar Velvet Matte Sultry Pink Lipstick

My most popular beauty post. It is the one that gets maximum organic search hits. I love the shade and how versatile it is. In the post I share swatches of the three ways you can wear this long lasting lipstick. Read More

Makeup for a professional Photograph

I once needed to get a formal professional photograph clicked. Before I became the makeup junkie, I would just brush my hair and get a pic clicked. But now, it would be a makeup crime. I read around a bit about how to do make up for a professional photo and made this six point list. Read More

Review: Lotus Herbals Pure Color Lipstick in Mod Mauve

Mauve is a tricky colour. When you find a good Mauve lipstick, you should stick to it! This is a great shade and goes with a variety of outfits. I reach for it a lot when I want a nude shade with a hint of colour. Read More


Day 9 – September Blogging Challenge


My Envy Box August 2015 Review

My Envy Box August

I might be the last person on earth doing the My Envy Box August review! But I took the pics and so I am sharing my thoughts with all of you. I was very happy with the range of products in the box. The samples were varied and generously sized. Read on to know more.

What is My Envy Box

It is a subscription beauty box. On their website, they say that –

We are redefining the retail process by offering consumers a unique and personalized way to discover, learn about, and shop for the best beauty, grooming, and lifestyle products on the market.

I couldn’t agree more. I was quite happy at the products that were sent to me this month.

My Envy Box August Edition

Packaging

My Envy Box August Packaging

Since August is Independence month, they were celebrating India in all its glory. The products and the packaging were very Indian. Check out the gorgeous motifs! This box is proudly sitting on my dresser now, holding the little knick knacks. This box was further boxed into a protective  boxed before being all wrapped up. The best thing was that the package was addressed to The Gorgeous Ankita! I mean who does that? Brought a smile to my face. Inside the box, the products rested on a bed of hay. It adds a bit of a rustic charm to the products. Does it not?

My Envy Box August Packaging

Products

My Envy Box August had four products. There was one skin care, one makeup and two fragrances. That is quite a good spread in my opinion. It would be boring to have all skin care items for example. No?

Hedonista Oudh Frozen Itar

An Itar that has the texture of a balm and smells like the earth! I know that reviewing fragrances is a very tricky business. So I will veer off the technicality and tell you how it made me feel. Like little buds had cropped up on freshly rained soil. Get the picture? Very earthy and yet delicately feminine, it has an old world quality about it.

My Envy Box August Hedonista Itar

The product comes in an aluminium tin that is very handy to carry around in your bag because the cap is a screw on variety. The texture is balmy and it gets absorbed in the skin very easily by a gentle rubbing. I have used it twice to work and the scent stayed on for the whole day.

My Envy Box August Hedonista Itar

It has no artificial colourants, silicones or parabens and is priced at INR 1045 for 20 gms which is the size of the sample they sent. So, this is a full sized product.

Soultree Ayurvedic Kajal

This is an organic, handmade Kajal containing carbon black from vegetable oil, ghee and sweet almond oil. Perfect for those of you who shy away from using chemicals.

My Envy Box August Soultree Kajal

This is a colour kohl and is available in 12 shades. Apart from the traditional black, it comes in brown, green, blue, copper, gold and even red! I was sent the brown shade.

My Envy Box August Soultree Kajal

The colour is a deep rich chocolate brown and quite pigmented. However, this is a Kajal so it is neither waterproof nor smudge free. Check out the swatch below.

My Envy Box August Soultree Kajal

Soultree Kajal is available for INR 350 for 3 gms. This too is a full sized product.

Suganda Neem Green Tea Mask

This mask is meant for oily, acne prone skin. While I do not have acne, I do have insanely oily skin. The product claims to have anti oxidant and healing properties.

My Envy Box August Suganda Mask

I have not tried this mask and hence cannot comment on the product claims. What I liked about the product though is that it has rice as well. So the texture is a bit gritty. This should help in exfoliation too. I would have to use it to tell you how well it stands up to the claims.

My Envy Box August Suganda Mask

The mask is priced at INR 900 for 60 gms. The sample sent was again a full sized product.

Forest Essentials Iced Pomegranate and Kerala Lime Body Mist

Now that was a mouthful. Wasn’t it? This is THE BEST item in the box. A body mist that has a delicate floral scent that envelopes you for the whole day. I kept on sniffing my wrist the whole day when I wore it to work. I am very vary of floral fragrances since they have a tendency of seeming overly sweet and girly. This product has no such problems!

My Envy Box August Forest Essentials Body Mist

The mist is available at INR 1475 for 100 ml. The sample sent was 50 ml.

Final Thoughts on My Envy Box August Edition

I am very pleased with this box. Three full sized products and one extremely generous sample. The full value of products sent is INR 3032 and the boxed is priced at INR 850. Now I took a 3 month subscription so I got an additional 250 off on the full value.

My Envy Box is definitely a great way to discover new products without burning a large hole in your pocket. I am excited to see what they have in store for the month of September now!

My Envy Box August


Day 3 – September Blogging Challenge