6 Most Instagrammable Beaches in India

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To go out with the setting sun on an empty beach is the perfect escape for me. The waves put my mind at ease. Just writing about this post makes me feel like I should be at a place where I can feel the salt in the air while sipping tropical cocktails and enjoying the sand in my toes. So if you are in need for some vitamin sea and looking for a perfect escape this season then here’s the ultimate guide to the most instagrammable beaches in India and the list does not include Goa!

  1. Varkala is a town located in Kerala. Essentially it was popular as a temple town but over the years it has become a popular tourist destination for its red cliff and beaches. Varkala has a beautiful setting where all the cafes are located on the top of the cliff facing the beach. You can spend your afternoon sipping some tea or savoring some local as well as international cuisines on the cliff while enjoying the breeze. A lot of places even offer Ayurvedic massages, yoga sessions and cooking classes for the tourists. The most popular beach in Varkala is the Papanasham Beach. But if you want some more peace and quiet you can visit the Kappil Beach and the Golden Island.
  1. Kannur is a coastal town situated on the northern most coast of Kerala. A quiet and dainty town known for its serene beaches and enchanting rituals. It’s a mix of cultural heritage and nature. What’s special about the Kannur beaches is that they are clean, calm and not as densely populated as the ones you might come across in India. They have their own drive-in beach where you can enjoy the waves in your car. Apart from this you can visit the Payyambalam beach, thottada beach, dharmadam beach and ezhara beach to name a few. On a day out in the town, do visit the Muthappan Temple aka the dog temple, Fort St. Angelos, Cliff Walkway, Port and the Aralam wildlife sanctuary.

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  1. Gokarna is a popular beach destination among tourists in India. It attracts a crowd which is more low key and looking to relax, unlike Goa. Gokarna again is a blend of a temple town and a beach town. If you go to the city you can enjoy the sacred Hindu pilgrimage temples surrounded by the local bazaar. Whereas, if you head to the beach directly you will see tons of bamboo thatched roof shacks lined up serving some delicious dishes. The most popular beaches in Gokarna are Kudle Beach, Paradise Beach, Om Beach and Half Moon Beach. Paradise and Half moon beach are more secluded than the other two. So if you are planning on building tents and taking care of your accommodation then stay at Half-Moon and Paradise. If you want to hang out at shacks and enjoy some volleyball and water sports then Kudle and Om beach it is.

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  1. Mahabalipuram is situated on the shores of Bay of Bengal and is famous for its heritage and beaches. The city is known for its rock cut temples and beautiful white serene beaches. The world heritage listed shore temple and other popular attractions like the Five Rathas, mahishamardini mandapa, arjuna penance and the trimurthi cave temple are breathtaking. You can also spend your afternoon on the beach shacks and enjoy some local cuisine. Mahabalipuram is also known for its local handicrafts like shell necklaces, apparels and carved chillams.

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  1. Mangalore is a busy city surrounded by some beautiful coastlines. If you are looking for beaches with soft sand and breezy winds then Mangalore is the destination for you. Dip your feet in sea and enjoy the sunset while relishing some spicy local seafood. When in Mangalore you can visit the Someshwar Beach, Tannirbavi Beach, Panambur Beach, Ullal Beach and Surathkal Beach. Manglore is also one of the major ports in India known for its coffee and cashew exports.

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  1. Pondicherry is a tourist favorite spot popular for its French heritage. Pondicherry has a very bohemian chic vibe to it with small French colonies draped with bougainvillea, sea side cafes and quaint shopping stores. Pondicherry also attracts a number of spiritual tourists every year because of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram located just north of the town. A few popular places in Pondicherry include the seafront, Notre dame des Anges and the rock beach. Enjoy your days shopping, eating French food, sipping chilled beer and meditating in mini France.

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Have you visited any of these offbeat beach destinations? What’s on your bucket list? Let me know in the comments below.

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5 Simple Ways to Use Tea Tree Oil in Everyday Life

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Create your own calm by adding a few drops of essential oil to your daily beauty routine. Essential oils have become quite popular over the past few years. They have been used for several uses from beauty rituals to treating diseases. Tea tree oil is one of the most popular and commercially available essential oil. Tea tree oil is known for its antibacterial properties and is widely used in DIY home beauty treatments. However a lot of times we only know a few typical ways to use essential oils. Here are 5 ways you can use tea tree oil and benefit from it.

Aromatherapy: When it comes to essential oils this is the most common use for them. Just add a few drops to a diffuser for a refreshing smell. You can even make tea tree scented wax candles if you like. Apart from this add a few drop of oil you to the water when you go for a shower.

Skincare Routine: Tea tree is known for its acne clearing properties. You can dab on a drop on a clean cotton ball and apply it on the affected area. Make sure to dampen the cotton with water before use. You can also make a DIY face mist by mixing a few drops of tea tree essential oil in rose water or regular water. Add a few drops to your moisturizer or foundation to protect your skin.

Hair care: Tea Tree oil also helps get rid of dandruff. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo and conditioner to do the trick.

Fight Bad Breath: Tea tree oil helps fight bacteria and germs. You can add a few drops of tea tree oil to a glass of water and gargle for fresh breath. You can also get rid of a sore throat by adding a few drop of tea tree oil to luke warm water with salt and gargle.

Fight Foot Odor: Add a few drops to a bucket of warm water and give yourself an aromatherapy pedicure at home. You can also make a mist by mixing 4-5 drops of tea tree oil and water and spray it on your feet. If you have smelly shoes then get rid of the odor by placing a cotton ball with a few drops of the essential oil. You can even place this fix in your sock drawer to make sure you have fresh smelling socks.

Tea tree oil has several other benefits and uses. I really recommend everyone to invest in a good brand. I recently came across Ryaal Essential Oils. They have a variety of essential oils and it’s a great product for a very good price. Ryaal brings you a little bit of nature to your home. They offer 100% natural and organic products handcrafted with love.

How do you like to use essential oils.

Shop Now: Ryaal USA

Discover the essence of handmade products with Direct Create

I have always been fascinated by handmade products. There is something special about each piece. It’s always more than just an object. Each piece has its own story and tradition to tell. When you are buying handmade products you are acknowledging the countless hours and time spent by the artisan to create one perfect piece. It’s a part of his soul that he has poured into the product. Each product is unique and resonates with the cultural mosaic of the diverse crafts. Recently I came across a unique platform which helps nurture and revive the age old crafts of India and decided to collaborate with them.

Direct Create is a platform which helps makers and designers connect with the buyers looking for exclusive handmade products. India has a very rich cultural heritage which can be seen in the traditional arts and crafts. But over the years mass marketed products and commercialization have reduced the value of handmade products and age-old crafts. Direct Create is trying to bridge the gap between local artisans and consumers by empowering the small artisans in the handmade community and enabling them to reach the global audience through their online platform. The online store has a curated list of products from clothing, jewelry, accessories, home décor and art. One thing which differentiates Direct Create from the other similar platforms is their customization option. If you love a product but want a different design or variation then you can get in touch with their community and make your own product.

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I received 2 items from the Direct Create Team. One was a notebook imprinted with conventional Rajasthani prints of Muchhad Series. If you are a stationary enthusiast then the printed notebooks on Direct Create are something you should indulge in. From crochet covers to printed books they have a wide range of notebooks.

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The other item I received was a dream keeper box. The dream keeper box has intricate patterns crafted after the Mughal woodcarving technique. These wooden boxes are handcrafted by the Hussian family who has carried forward this delicate art for generations. Each wooden box speaks of the Persian values while keeping an eye on the contemporary times. Both these pieces would be a great addition to your personal collection. The dream catcher box can be used as a jewelry box or even a coin box. It is also a good gifting option for someone who likes personalized pieces.

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I absolutely loved both the products sent by the team to me. I also received a handwritten letter which made me feel extra special. This is probably the first handwritten letter i’ve ever received.

I often hear people complaining that handmade products are so expensive and that they aren’t value for money. But often people forget that when it comes to buying a handmade product it is about supporting an individual artisan and the local tradition rather than cheap prices. When you buy a handmade product it’s unique and shows that you care. Each piece is carefully crafted to perfection where the craftsman spends hours designing the product. Join the handmade movement and support the local artisans.

Shop Now: http://www.directcreate.com/

Dream Keeper Box: INR 350/- https://shop.directcreate.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1265

Mucchad Diary: INR 599/- https://shop.directcreate.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1751

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Day 2: Red Carpet Look at Fatmu Makeup Academy

You don’t have to be famous to have your own red carpet moment. All you need to do is dress up. The second workshop at Fatmu Makeup Academy was all about the red carpet look. The workshop content focused on getting a glam look for your next night out. This workshop was all about getting sexy, glam lips and eyes with an international, sophisticated twist to be paparazzi ready.

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Today we were trying to recreate the look by Emma Stone at the Oscars with our own twist to it. The workshop started with our instructor Nikita showing us how to achieve the look on her face using different products and then we got an hour do achieve the same look on ourselves. Here are a few things I learnt at the workshop. One of the most important things to remember when you are going for a glam look or glamorous eye, make sure you do it before getting to your skin and face to ensure there is no eye shadow fallout or a messy base. For your eye shadow always use a flat eye shadow brush. Before applying any color to the eyes make sure to apply a base color and blend it with a fluffy brush. Also do both the eyes together rather than one after the other to get a perfect finish. Remember to clean around your eyes once you are done in an upward motion.

To define your eyes press the liner onto your lash line. Also use a more natural shade of blush when opting for a glam look. Use copper or warm blushes on the cheekbone and blend in an outward motion. Copper and peach blushes look great on Indian skin tones. Now moving on to the lips, use a lip pencil for precision when going for statement lips. Define the center first and then fill the lip with the pencil. Filling the lip helps maintaining a long lasting color. To avoid bleeding of the lipcolor clean the edges of the lip with a pressed powder.

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If you feel that your makeup is melting the use a blotting sheet to blot the t-zone and then go over with a powder. I decided to enhance my look by opting for a dark lip rather than the peach one worn by Emma Stone at the Oscars. I went for a look which resembled her look at the La La Land premier.

You can check out my Day 1: Everyday Makeup Look

To find out more about the course: Fatmu Academy

Let me know what you think about my look in the comments below.

Day 1: Everyday Makeup Look Workshop @Fatmu Academy

I have always been interested in makeup and beauty. I even wanted to become a professional makeup artist after completing my graduation. But I never got the time to pursue it. Every summer break I check for makeup workshops and classes for a short term course. So when I came across a 3 day workshop at Fatmu I was thrilled. The academy is known for its makeup courses. It was a two hour workshop each day. Each workshop focused on a particular look.

The day 1 was all about everyday makeup look. It focused on achieving a look where your makeup looks casual and more natural. So you can say that it was more like a no makeup makeup look. One good part of this workshop is that the academy provides all the products required for the workshop. All you need is the time and maybe a book and a pen to note down the point. The class was taken by Nikita, a makeup artist at fatmu academy.

Everyday Make up look

All the products are high end products. You can try products from nyx, mac, ben nye and other top brands. Plus the instructor guides you which type of product is suitable for your skin. The workshop begins with the instructor giving you a demo of the look and the different forms of application on her and then you get an hour to replicate the same on yourself. The instructor is there with you at every step to ensure that you are doing it correctly. The hand on experience along with the guidance is what I loved the most.

A few things that I learnt from the workshop was that you need to moisturize your skin even if you have an oily skin before applying any makeup.  Synthetic brushes are for creams and liquids and hair brushes are for powders. Go for a concealer which is warmer than your skin tone and apply in a patting motion. Apply your liquid and cream products together and then all the powder products after. If you have a chiseled face then apply the blush on your apples. If you have a chubby face then go for the cheekbones. Bronze and copper tones are better for Indian skin tones so opt for a palette with these shades. Last but not the least set your makeup with a powder even when using an eye pencil for a long lasting look.

Everyday makeup look

If you are wondering about the product application for your everyday look then check out my previous blog on Makeup Products (Face): Order of Application

Overall it was a good learning experience and I realized that I have been using the wrong shade of foundation all this time. 😛

Price: Rs. 1500 for one 2 hour workshop
Rs. 3450 for three 2 hour workshops

(I chose the second option)

Find out more about the workshops and other courses:Fat Mu Courses

Let me know what you think about my look in the comments below.

 

Coony Essence Mask Review

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Recently I was visiting Ahemdabad where I found Tokyo Store. I was just browsing through and found these masks by Coony, but the funny part is that they aren’t from Japan but Korea. I like trying new masks with different ingredients so I picked up 3 of them; Coony’s Red Ginseng Essence Mask, Coony’s Green Tea Essence Mask and Coony’s Gold Essence Mask. I got a great deal for the mask which one of the reason I decided to try them. Also they have a huge variety for different skin types and some scary ones too like Bee’s Venom Extracts and Snail Extracts. Here’s what I feel about the masks.

How to Use:

  1. After Cleansing, apply your regular moisturizer. As a cleansing ritual I use a face wash and face scrub before apply a mask.
  2. Take out mask and unfold, press lightly with fingertips to set in place over face.
  3. Softly pat remaining essence into skin.
  4. Relax for 15-20 minutes and remove mask.
  5. Use 2-3 times a week for better results.

Gold Essence Mask: Gorgeous Celeb- Look

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The gold essence mask gives a radiant and firming look. The gold essence helps detox your skin revealing a softer skin. The mask helps nourish dry skin and give you a revitalized and healthy glow. The mask helped brighten my skin and give a very soft and smooth finish.

Green Tea Essence Mask: Nice Ingredients, Nice Skin

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Green tea mask helps moisturize and brighten your skin. The different vitamins and antioxidants from the green tea extract help build a natural moisture layer. The mask helps brighten your complexion giving a more clear and luminous look. It helped hydrate my skin.

Red Ginseng Essence Mask: Warming and Super Nutritious

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Red Ginseng extracts warm and nourish the tired looking skin. It helps capillaries circulate blood giving a smoother, healthy and radiant complexion. This mask is meant to nourish and revitalize your skin. The skin felt refreshed and smooth.

Overall the masks are value for money. When I opened the pack each mask was dripping with the liquid and didn’t dry out even after 20 mins which is a good thing. One of the things which put me off was the fragrance. It doesn’t smell like nay of the ingredients but rather a regular moisturizer. I love masks with a hint of fragrance of the ingredients. I am looking forward to trying more masks by Coony’s. It’s a steal deal for the price.

MRP: Rs. 99/- Onwards

Style Guide: Little Black Dress

A little black dress is a must have in every wardrobe. But it can get a bit dull or boring at times. Surely it’s sexy and something you can never go wrong with, but if you are going for a party you will end up seeing half the women wearing a Little Black Dress. So how do you make your outfit standout and get noticed. Here’s how I like to style my LBD for a cocktail party.

Recently my sister got married and we had a youngster cocktail party post the wedding for a celebrating the happy couple. I was initially supposed to wear a red dress I got tailor-made for the event. It looked something like Emilia Clarke wore in the movie Me Before You. But just as I was getting ready for the occasion the zipper broke. I was freaking out. I had nothing to wear for the cocktail party. Sure I had a lot of dresses but none seemed appropriate enough. A little black dress would be too casual for an event like this. So I amped by my casual LBD with a statement jacket.

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A statement jacket is one of those pieces in your wardrobe that you use rarely but should really start using more often. I had an animal print jacket from H&M for a while. But I never knew what to team it up with. I felt the jacket was too loud for me. Plus in Mumbai its crazy hot so you don’t really have a lot of places you can wear a jacket like that. So teamed up my LBD from forever 21 with the animal print jacket and rolled up sleeves, black pointed-toe heels with an embellished necklace from Accessorize. Since it was a party and I was the sister of the bride I went with a little heavy makeup. I went shimmery eyes and bold red lipstick.

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You can also team up with jacket for a casual look with distressed dark blue denims and a black spaghetti top. Team it with a thin multilayered necklace and some gathered bracelets. If you aren’t a fan of long jackets you can even opt for a short jacket or shrug for your LBD. You can go for a printed coat, a shimmery jacket, or a leather jacket for a bomber look. If you don’t want to invest in a jacket you can even team up your LBD with statement shoes. These days sneakers are in. You can pair up your LBD with emoji printed sneakers for a casual look or studded stilettos for a diva look.

How would you style a LBD? Let me know in the comments below.

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Dress: Forever21
Jacket: H&M
Shoes: Payless
Necklace: Accessorize