Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Face Toners Manual

If you want a great skin, then a proper skin care routine is a must.  It is a key to a beautiful skin.  It requires regular “CTM (cleansing, toning, and moisturizing) regime,” which is a primary aspect of skin care routine and this goes for everyone irrespective of the skin type.  However, toning is the step that many people miss out on or just skip it often.  And what made me say that? Recently I have done a post, reviewing one of the toners and I have received a number of queries pertaining to toners such as what is it, what it does and is it really necessary to use it, so I just thought to talk about toners today with you all.

Facial toner or skin toner is a water-based solution that is packed with much more than hydrogen and oxygen that tones the skin.  Toning is an essential step in your skincare routine, that provides multiple benefits for all skin types.  It plays a vital role in ensuring you have a healthy and clean facial appearance.  But, sometimes toners are really very confusing, especially for those who don’t know about this, because of their different names.  Toner is also known as a tonic or I would say skin tonic, skin-freshener, skin bracer, pre-lotion, and astringent.

Originally, toners came out in the 1900s.  The idea behind the skin tonics (toner) was to ‘soothe the nerves’ or to ‘take the fatigue out of tired muscles.’  The most common ingredients used in toners included witch hazel (a plant) extract, alcohol, camphor, boric acid, tincture of benzoin, and tincture of sage which all have antiseptic properties and are the examples of astringents.  In addition to that, they also used glycerin, some fragrant scent, and flower water for coloring to make it look pretty.

    Related Post:  An Ideal Guide to Makeup Primer     

The purpose of using astringents like alcohol, witch hazel extract, and tincture of benzoin etc is to cool/refresh the skin.  It also appears to have a skin tightening effect, reduce blackheads and blemishes; and not only does it stimulates blood circulation, but also it close pores.  Thus, toners with astringents properties play an important role.

However, back then, calling a substance an astringent generally meant that it had a stronger formulation i.e. it contained more alcohol (which dries out skin) and/or zinc or aluminum.  So some beauty companies started to make products for different types of skin.  For normal to combination skins, the toners are called as a “skin tonic” which contains fewer astringents products and those with a high concentration of alcohol labeled as “astringent” for oily skins.

Nowadays, toners are more efficient and advanced; so depending on the formulation, they do a whole range of things.  They not only balance the ph levels (when you wash/clean your face the pH level of your skin becomes imbalanced) of the skin, but also they prepare your skin for the next step of your skincare routine as well as they remove dead skin cells, excess oils, or even any leftover residues from cleanser (such as chorines and minerals found in tap water) and makeup.  They also shrink the pores of the skin, prevent blackheads, tighten the skin, and provide anti-aging nourishment.  Along with that, it provides anti-oxidant benefits, it allows your skin to breathe while keeping it refreshed, soothed, and hydrated.   And yeah, while some toners penetrate as deep as possible working on the layers of your skin to do what serums are made to do; others can be used as a facial mist that you can use throughout the day to refresh or rehydrate your skin.

You can either use a toner that is homemade such as rose water, green tea, or lavender, or a brand-name skin toner sold in your retailer's aisle, but you should incorporate them into your skincare routine.  Just remember to avoid using toners that contain alcohol because alcohol as a main component in any skincare product is a problem and it can excessively dry out your skin.  Nevertheless, all the alcohol isn't bad for your skin, but it just depends on the percentage and which type of alcohol it is because there are other types of alcohols too which are known as fatty alcohols and they are completely non-irritating and can be exceptionally beneficial for your skin.

So, if you aren’t using a toner yet, then you should be.  CTM is the simplest ways to a good layer of healthy skin.  And of course, don’t forget to exfoliate and protect your skin from sun damage by using a good sunscreen.  It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, female or male; you should do these things.  Starting a proper skincare routine is something like starting a retirement policy. The earlier you start, the better it is, and the less guilt you have to cope with later on.

What's your skincare routine? What products do you use? Let me know in the comment section below.

Stay Blessed, Be Happy..!! :-) 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Lotus Herbals RoseTone (Alcohol-Free) Review

Hello Everyone,

I hope you all are in the best state of your health.

We all are familiar with the term “Toner” and we know how important the usage of the toner is in a skincare routine.  It is as essential as the cleansing and moisturizing.  Hence, I have been using Dabar gulabari/rose water (natural toner) ever since I understood the importance of the toner.  But a few months ago, I thought to give a try to another toner and I went for my shopping.  I was so confused about which one to opt for and I eventually end up buying Lotus Herbals Rosetone Rose Petals Facial Skin Toner looking at its alcohol-free tag and natural ingredients and this turned out to be the best for my skin.  Thank God! I had made no mistake in buying the toner.   For those who don’t know about the “Lotus Herbals,” this is an Indian brand which has emerged as one of the Indian’s natural cosmetics company.

Let’s get right into the review.

Product Description:

What it claims?
Lotus Herbals Rosetone Rose Petals Facial Skin Toner claims to complete the perfect cleansing routine.  Rose water and Tulsi tones up the skin while Aloe Vera nourishes, revitalizes, hydrates and maintains the natural pH balance of skin leaving it fresh and clean.  The product also claims to be alcohol-free.

How it is used?
Lotus Herbals Rosetone Rose Petals Facial Skin Toner is easy to use.  After cleansing, wipe face and neck with cotton moistened with rosetone or you can rather just spritz the toner over skin after cleansing and let it sink in completely.  It can be used as a cleanser too to remove superficial impurities.  Use twice a day as a part of skincare regime.

Water, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Gel, Rosa Centifolia (Rose Petals) Extract, Ocimum Sanctum (Tulsi Leaves) Extract, Vetiveria Zizanioides (Vetiver) Extract, PEG-10 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polysorbate-20, Methyl Paraben, Propyl Paraben, Fragrance

First Look:
The toner comes in a transparent sturdy plastic bottle packaging with a spray nozzle to dispense out the product and the nozzle is covered with a transparent plastic cap [and I lost mine :(] that shuts firmly which makes it easy to carry in a bag while traveling.  The packaging is simple yet attractive.

Being a toner, the consistency of this product is watery which is light in weight and this is how actually a toner supposed to be.  The color of this toner is dark pink and I suppose it is because of the rose petals in it.

The toner has an amazing fresh rose fragrance which lingers on for few seconds post application.

My Take:
My personal opinion is that this toner absolutely works wonders.  It’s been a few months now that I am using this and I am on my fourth bottle already.  This toner contains no alcohol and as stated it is pink in color and it has fresh, rosy aroma that goes away after a while after the application of the product.  I used it twice a day as directed, but I spritz the product straight onto my skin and then spread it with my fingers evenly and gently massage for few seconds until it gets absorbed completely, rather than wiping out with a cotton swab.  I use the toner followed by my all-time favorite Lakme peach milk moisturizer.  The toner really does soothe my skin and make it feel refreshed with a visible reduction of open pores.  It also adds some hydration and makes it soft and supple.  It does not break out my skin.  It is such a multipurpose product; you can even use it as a cleanser, mix it with face pack or spritz it to freshen up.  I like its see-through packaging that enables you to see the amount of product left in the bottle.

The formula of this product is suitable to work for all skin types.  Though, it is not ideal for excessively oily skin because of its moisturizing effects.  The company claims to maintain the pH balance of the skin, but I cannot comment on that portion.  Overall, this is a great toner from lotus and I am more than satisfied with it and I will definitely repurchase it.

Pros of Lotus Herbals Rosetone Rose Petals Facial Skin Toner:
  • Alcohol-free.
  • Tones Effectively.
  • Hydrates well.
  • No Breakouts.
  • Travel-friendly.
  • Decently priced.
  • Easily available.
  • Fresh rosy fragrance.
  • Spray nozzle for convenient usage.
  • Acts as a good cleanser for the face.
  • With regular use reduces the open pores.
  • Gives a refreshing cool feel on application.
  • Best for normal to dry skin and combination skin.
  • Contains natural products like Rose Petals, Tulsi, and Aloe Vera.

Cons of Lotus Herbals Rosetone Rose Petals Facial Skin Toner:
  • Contains parabens.
  • Not ideal for the excess oily skin.

Will I purchase it again?
Yes,  I will!  This is my fourth bottle and I am definitely looking forward to buying it again once I am done with this one.

Will I recommend it?
Yes, I do!  It’s a ”Go, Grab It” thing.  So go ahead and grab it for yourself.  This product is worth trying.

It retails for Rs. 256 for 100 mL.

Shelf Life:
Three years.

Stay Blessed, Be Happy..!! :-)

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Britain Award For Mix-Niche Blog – My Fourth Award Nomination!

Hello Everyone,

This post is pretty late, but a couple of weeks ago, at the end the year, I received the notification that Scenario of Life was rewarded for the Britain blog award.  Since it was the beginning of the New Year following the New Year’s Eve, these days were the busy days for me, so I decided to let this alone for that moment and just decided to shout out to Erika Barbosa for taking the time to check out my website and nominating it.

I am really honored to receive this award, especially since I am new to the blogosphere.  I always love getting tagged for such awards.  It's wonderful and encouraging at the same time to see that other bloggers recognize my work.  Erika from California, herself is a new blogger, so it’s great to be rewarded by a peer.   She has an amazing blog, too (by that I mean I have an amazing blog as well ;-) ) which is named as “Unapologetically Erika.”  And one of my favorite posts of her is “Hi, I’m Erika. I’m an Addict.”  In your spare time, do check out her blog.

“The Britain Blog Award- for Mix-Niche Blogs” is an online award that is given to blogger by other bloggers.  The goal of this award is to bring recognition to mix-niche blogs, meaning to recognize the blogs that cover a little bit of everything.  It’s an opportunity for bloggers to recognize one another for each of our contributions to the blogging community!

Want to know more about the Britain award? Click here.

Here are my responses to Erika’s posed questions:

1.  What made you want to start blogging?
My interest or maybe passion for writing.  I have been writing poems since my teenage and it's been a decade now.  Though I haven't wrote one for a long time and I ought to pick up doing that again.  I first got in contact with this type of literature when finding my papa’s (dad) collection of ghazals.  And my papa inspired me to start blogging too.  Read the full story here.

2.  What are some goals for your blog?
Well, I haven’t set up any big goals for my blog as of now, but yeah I have some goals that are pretty easy to accomplish and those are to serve my existing readers, to attract new audience, to reach out to as many people as I can with my contents and making my subscriber list.  That way I have small goals that I can focus on every day.

3.  Who are some of your favorite writers and why?
There are number of writers who I like and I can’t enlist all of them here, but yeah I would definitely like to mention the two and one of them is my papa (dad) of course.  He is a journalist for almost 3 decades now; he has composed countless articles, edited numerous books, and translated a number of books so far.  He used to write “ghazals” (an Arabic poetry) too.  I grew up reading his write-ups.  He is my inspiration for my writing and of course for everything I do in life.  The other one I would say Nicholas Sparks because he is one of the innovative writer and I love his ability to take the readers inside the heads and emotions of the characters.

4.  What is your motto?
This is something that I would like to keep to myself only.  So, I am sorry!

5.  What is the best movie you have seen this year?
I personally like to watch love stories, but the best movie that I have seen last year (I haven’t seen any movie this year as of yet) was “Hindi Medium” which is an Indian comedy-drama movie.  This movie deals with a pertinent subject of how language divides the Indian society.

My favorite posts made on my blog so far:

It’s quite difficult to pick just few of them because I love all the posts that I have composed so far, but as I have to list 4 posts only as per the award rules so those are:

My Nominees:

This list of nominees is in no particular order:

Kira Laurin at orange walls
Brinx Ta at The Movement Blog
Radhika Mundra at Expressing Life
Hayley Beth at Love Hayley Beth
Namrata Sinha at LifestyleNama

Here are the questions for my nominees:

1.  What are some goals for your blog?
2.  What is the toughest part of blogging for you?
3.  What do you do when you get writer’s block?
4.  Is blogging your full-time job? If not then how do you manage it?
5.  If you have a book you re-read often, what is it? If not, what’s your favorite book?

Follow these simple steps to accept the nomination:
1.  Write a post of acceptance – thanking their nominator for the nomination.
2.  Answer five questions chosen by the nominating blogger and ask 5 questions to their nominees.
3.  Nominate at least 5 other bloggers, no more than 10 mix-niche blogs for the award.  Notify the nominees.
4.  Like and comment on the favorite posts linked by the nominating blogger.

Congratulations to all the new nominees!  I look forward to reading your answers and future posts.

Scenario of Life has been rewarded 13 times last year including this one.  I would like to thank Erika for nominating my blog for “Britain Award.”  I greatly appreciate it.  And I want to thank all of you for tuning in and checking out my posts.

Stay Blessed, Be Happy...!! :-)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Makar Sankranti: The Fascinating Festival Of The Harvest

In today's world, there is so much of pressure and monotony in everyone's life that once in a while we all want to escape from it, isn’t it?.  And what’s the better way to do so other than celebrating festivals?  Whether it is celebrated religiously or secularly, festivals are always joyful occasion which adds color to the other dull life, and when it comes to India then it is not just arbitrarily called the land of festivals.  In India, there are about 22 major languages and more than 1000 minor languages and dialects.  It is a multi-cultural country which reflects in the festivals of India, too.  With so much diversity embedded within one culture, it is quite easy to understand why India is known as a “Land of Festivals”.

Flying kites in the sky

In every 15 days, there is a celebration of festivals here in India; some are celebrated in the whole country while others are celebrated only in some part of the country.  The numerous and diverse festivals that are held throughout the year offer a unique way of seeing Indian culture at its best.  In India, there are few festivals that are celebrated on the same day, but in different ways and one of such festival is “Makar Sankranti.”

Makar Sankranti is one of the major and fascinating festivals that is associated with the harvest and is celebrated with a lot of zeal.  This festival is famous for its sesame sweets and kite flying.  On this day, the sun enters the zodiac of Capricorn (Makara in Hindi).  Hence the word 'Makar' is in the name.  And the other word in the name, 'Sankranti,' means the movement of the sun from one to another zodiac sign. Therefore, the name of the festival means the “movement of the sun into Capricorn.”  It is believed that after this transition of the sun, the days grow longer and nights become shorter till the next equinox.

    Related Post:  Diwali: A festival of lights and happiness!     

Makar Sankranti is celebrated with great pomp and gaiety, and show across varied states in myriad ways.  This festival is celebrated in UP with the name of “Khicharai or Makar Sankranti;” in Punjab, it is referred as “Maghi”; in Gujarat it is known as “Uttarayan;” in Assam, it is called as Bihu;” in southern part of India, it is called as “Pongal.  While in the rest parts of the country including Maharashtra, UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, and Bengal this festival is known as Makar Sankranti.


Sankranti is popularly known as Khicharai in UP.  People of this part celebrate this festival by following the ritual of taking a dip in the holy rivers.  Lakhs of devotees take bath in the sacred river on this occasion.  They consider this ritual very auspicious for the well-being of human beings.  It is believed that by taking the holy bath on this day, people’s sins are washed away and they are then sanctified.  Fairs are also held on this occasion.  As the name of the festival, the most prominent thing is the food “Khichdi”(this is a mix of rice with different kinds of lentils) which is served with many condiments like different kinds of ‘bhartas’ (mash vegetable with spices), pickles, lavish dollops of ghee (clarified butter), papad (Papadum) and raita (Indian condiment).


Maghi is one of the most awaited festivals of Punjab and it is one of the seasonal gatherings of the Sikhs.  They celebrate this festival by performing religious rituals in all the Sikh Gurudwaras (temple).  People take a dip in the holy rivers.  Fairs are conducted at many places on Maghi.  In some parts of Punjab, it is also traditional to eat khichdi, consume jaggery and raw sugarcane.  There is another festival known as Lohri which falls a day before “Makar Sankranti in north India, particularly popular in the Punjab region.  Lohri is celebrated by lightening a bonfire in open field or courtyard of houses.  During this winter festival, the lighting of a bonfire is an ancient tradition.


Among numerous festivals in Gujarat, Uttarayan is considered as one of the biggest and grandest festivals.  People celebrate this day by flying kites in the sky.  They gather together in field, open space, and on the rooftops and terrace of houses to fly kites.  In fact, many cities in Gujarat organize kite competition in which people cut the string of the nearby “kite-flyers” and bring their kites down.  People enjoy competing with each other.  During the festival, special foods such tilli ke laddoos (sweets made from sesame seeds), chikkis (sweets made from groundnuts and jaggery), and jalebis (sweets) are distributed among all.


Pongal is the festival which is celebrated mostly in the southern part of India.  The term “Pongal” is derived from Tamil word which means “to boil”.  On this occasion, rice is boiled in milk and then it is symbolically served to God as a means of showing gratitude.  Following that, the boiled rice is served to cow and then to all the family members.  Some of the customs which are a must on this festival are cleaning the house and decorating them with Kolams, and wearing new clothes.  During this festival celebration, people get themselves involved in eating sugar canes, dancing, exchanging gifts, and buffalo-taming contests.

Magh Bihu:

Magh Bihu, also known as Bhogali Bihu, is the second largest festival of Assam.  The word “Bhogali” is derived from the root Bhog which means “enjoying the food.”  On this day, people of Assam make cakes of rice and sweets of coconut.  The festival is marked by a bonfire.  Community feast and cultural programmes are observed all throughout the night.  Numerous traditional sports such as buffalo-fight, bird-fight (cock, hen, nightingale etc), and egg-fight are played in villages throughout the state for enjoyment.  Enormous crowds gather around these venues to enjoy the sport.  There is festivity all around.

Furthermore, there are few things that are not only limited to particular states only.  Be it having khichdi or tilgur, flying kites.  The frolic and fun that accompanies kite flying make it a quite popular tradition even today throughout India.  Nobody gets exhausted by flying kites from dawn to dusk.  The entire sky becomes so colorful with multi-colored kites of several shapes and sizes.  Foods like khichdi, til (sesame), gur (jaggery), and groundnut are added to the extensive menu.  As a token of goodwill, these sweets are usually accompanied by the saying, "Til-gur ghya aani god god bola", which means “have Tilgur and talk sweetly.” Since this festival falls in winter, eating tilgur is regarded beneficial to health as they are warm foods.

So this is how Makar Sankranti is celebrated throughout the country.  On this day, all around, there is an atmosphere of merriment and an air of festivities.  The harmony of different traditions and cultures is best experienced during festivals in India.

Wishing you all a very happy “Makar Sankranti.”  May this festival fill your home with happiness and positivity.

Stay Blessed, Be Happy...!! :-)

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Another Pace In The Journey Of Life!

Hello Everyone,

It’s the 6th day of New Year today and this is going to be my first post of 2018.  I hope you all are enjoying your new year!

Here we go again.  Another year is closed and another blank page is rolled out in front of us, and it’s the time to take this as an opportunity to write a new chapter of life, and of course, a time to say goodbye to our past and pave the way for our future.  Nonetheless, it appears to me that my 2017 has gone rapidly, it seems like I had recently celebrated 2017.  But yeah, it’s a year that has passed never to return.  So, how you have given the farewell to 2017? How you have celebrated your new year?

Welcoming 2018:

If you ask me, I would say, like every other year, this year also I had a small New Year party at my home.  We have a joint family in which there are 16 members including 9 youngsters (siblings and cousins), so it’s always a fun to celebrate an occasion/festival with all of them and basically, having just a small party with them means a lot.  According to me, the best happiness comes to you when you share few laughs with your near and dear ones i.e your family and your close friends.  Although I won’t lie, those New Year’s Eve parties seem fascinating and I am not trying to bash on anyone who goes to those parties.  Even I would like to attend one someday in future.

So yeah, we had a small party at our home that started late evening.  We played games, had food, and bought gifts for everyone (it was like a little 'Happy New Year' gift).  At 11:59 p.m., we began the countdown and at approx 12 midnight, we had fireworks and shouted for joy.  Following that, we cut the cake, cheered with everyone and gave New Year’s greetings and family hugs.  And before I forget, we danced until 2 a.m. and took pictures together.  Overall, we had quality family time.  Next day, on New Year’s Day, we went to the temple as always and worshiped and prayed to the Lord.  So, this is how we welcomed our 2018 in our own way.

Reflection of 2017:

Although the past year was quite a rollercoaster, I had to find a new job because the firm where I was working had got notice and would probably be closed down, my mom had an operation, and there was a death in the family and so on.  On the other hand, we had got awesome news pertaining to my dad's employment; there was a marriage in the family, I had started this blog and some other great things have happened too.

As I aforementioned I had started Scenario of Life last year and it’s been 4 months now.  There has been a huge learning curve that was to be expected as a newbie.  I didn’t know anything about blogging before I started this blog.  But now, I can say I have created a space, a website that reflects me.  Scenario of Life has become a part of me and it has certainly helped me become more outspoken and given me the chance to voice my opinion.  Of course, it could use some tweaks here and there, but all in all, I love it and I am proud of what I have created.  My work is being recognized and this blog has been awarded for 12 times last year.  I am so thankful for all of you and for the previous year, that has taught me so many valuable lessons.  The previous year has taught me that if you want something or if you want to do something then you have to dive in.  Overall, it has been a year of hope and thankfulness.

The Beginning of 2018:

Now, I am looking forward to 2018 and what it brings.  For me, this will be the year of being more positive and the year of making more dreams comes true.  As they say - “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.  Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”  So, in addition to the above, this will be the year of being more confident too and of being the better version of myself.  I hope this year illuminate our life in every aspect.

I am glad we are in 2018.  I wish you all a very happy and a prosperous New Year filled with immense happiness that brings joy and mountains of love.   May your soul be as pure as water and your days shine as bright as the sky.  I pray that by Gods grace this will be a "Blissful" and a "Wonderful" year for all of us. ☺

How was your new year’s celebration?  How did you celebrate? Did you make any New Year resolution? Or if you have a word for the year, let me know in the comment section below.  I would love to hear.

Stay Blessed, Be Happy...!! :-)

Thick, Curvy, or Thin: A Healthy Woman Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

I wanted to write on this topic for long, but couldn’t make it possible for some reasons.  And now I thought this is the time when I sho...