My MemeBox package!!!

This was the best thing that happened all week..my Memebox package from Korea arrived and I literally grabbed it from my postman. Lol..

For those who are not aware, Memebox is an online Korean beauty store. They also sell monthly beauty boxes, similar to Ipsy etc. with specially curated beauty stuff. As you probably know by now, Koreans are big into beauty and naturally have innovative skin care and make up products. I had a mini shopping haul when I went to Thailand last year and I was eager to try out more. This search trail led me to this AMAZING new website.

The shipping from Korea did take a bit of time, close to 2 weeks, and this was specified when I ordered. They have lots of products which ship from within US but I wanted something in particular. I had ordered –

SUPERBOX #6 MY CUTE WISHLIST 3

To be honest, cute stuff are my thing. I love cute packaging and I was really excited when I  saw this on the website. The contents though are kept a surprise like all monthly boxes, so I did not know what I was getting. Korean products are  generally effective though so I was not overly concerned.

Anyways my box arrived – As you can see, Barney was also very eager to see  what was inside. Smile

memebox 1

The box had SIX FULL SIZE products and an insert detailing their description and how to use. This was especially useful considering that all products had their description in Korean.  Sad smile

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The first product in my box is the HOPE GIRL TINTED LIP BALM. I got it in a cute strawberry color. The ingredients for all products was thankfully in English. It has almond oil, grape  seed oil, jojoba oil, shea butter among other stuff. The scent is mild and fruity. The lip balm feels kind of waxy but blends on well and makes the lips moisturized.  The color is almost baby pink. image14                               image16

The second product in my box is Shara Shara Fairy’s Make Up Synergy Sun Cream.  It has SPF 45 and is supposed to be used beneath makeup, like a skin primer and promises to balance out uneven skin tone and texture. A huge plus for me, I would say. The best part though was the packaging, which you will guess why from the pictures below.

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The texture is liquidy white and frankly felt too whitish for my skin tone. But once I applied it, it blended well and did not look dry or stretchy at all and I did not even apply moisturizer. This definitely feels like a winner and I will be using it a lot.

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Third product – Ddung  Family Foam Cleansing Cream.

This is enriched with fruit extracts and protein extracts and comes in a cute package like everything else in the box.

image23  Oh so cute!!

Fourth – SHARA SHARA KISSING SUGAR LIP SCRUB

This was the first product that I used of the whole lot. Mainly because of it’s awesome yummy smell..OMGGGGGG..it smells like almond cookies.. I had to use it as soon as I opened it. This was very innovative and made my lips so soft. It has walnut shells and sugar for scrubbing action and argan oil and avocado oil for moisturizing. image25            image27

Yummm..

Fifth product – Youngwoosa Oh! It’s Lovely and Soft cream.(I know you think I am making these names up, but trust me they are real)

This is a moisturizer. The mercury is dipping over here and this was definitely welcome.

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Which brings us to the last product – Tonymoly Red Cheeks Girl’s Patch. Have you ever  used a cheek patch which makes your cheeks red. No?? You may have seen a lot of beauty products in your life but you have not seen everything unless you have seen this.

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Outside

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Inside

This was obviously the second product that I used from the lot, partly because once you open it, there is no way to seal it back. I hoped it would work when I was sitting but I had to lay down because it kept falling though it did stick on initially. This product honestly feels weird. Lol!! Instructions say to use it on your cheeks after cleansing and leave on for 20 minutes. It is a pink jelly soaked in liquid that you need to apply on your cheeks.

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I did not notice any immediate effect with this. But later after 2 hours my hubby commented all of his own, that my cheeks look flushed!! Surprised smile So it works !##$%%% WOW. Sad that it is a one time use product, otherwise would have saved it for an occasion.

Overall I am definitely very happy with the box. It cost me $29.99 which was including shipping from Korea. The products were full size so I definitely feel like it was worth it.  I will be ordering again from the website.

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You don’t pay my doc bills.

At 5’6 and 145 pounds, I am struggling with weight loss.The last thing I want to hear is how I am starving my body by not eating enough.

For people who advise on my diet, seriously, you are not the one dealing with health issues related to weight gain and I am not feeding my body poorly. Trust me when I say I have utmost care about my body and I am trying to set things back on track. So I’m sorry I can’t follow your ‘healthy diet’ ideas.

And no.. Not everyone needs 1200 calories. People with sedantry lifestyle might need less.  And even if it is not, I would prefer you don’t advise me on that, because

a) I already know that stuff

b) It is irritating to listen to it again

c) It is awkward when you try to stuff my mouth with food.

d) I don’t like answering questions like what did you have for breakfast, dinner etc.

e) You don’t pay my doc bills

f) You seriously don’t care about me

If there’s anything you have only irritated me long enough to stick to my resolve. Thank you.

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Almond beauty elixir

I have to admit, I have started getting wrinkles on my face. Yikes!!

I might blame the harsh winter wind or me putting on weight. But deep down I think, I know the reason. Lack of proper skin care routine.

As I was scouting for beauty tips to combat wrinkles, I came across Almond oil. Shahnaz husain claims it is a panacea for all skin ills(Shahnaz btw is the indian cosmetic goddess and beauty agony aunt). I decided I will take the plunge.

Your best bet to buying sweet almond oil is from an Indian market. It is extensively used by Indian women. There could be a bit of confusion in buying though as there is another oil called Almond drops, which is a hair care oil. It has additives and chemicals for usage in hair, so I believe it is not safe for use on skin.

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Bottle of almond oil. photobombed by Barney.

Sweet almond oil though, comes in a clear glass bottle. 300 ml of almond oil costs about 5.99$ depending on store. (It is about 12$ in better health market, I checked)The bottle is rather inconvenient, I transferred a bit in a glass vial with dropper and kept it in the night stand for easy use.

There are many ways to use almond oil. The most frequent use of almond oil is as a massage oil. On skin. Also hair.

It would be a good idea to do a patch test on a small area for 24 hrs to check for allergic reactions.

Ways to use almond oil –

As a cleanser – OCM

You have probably heard about OCM or Oil Cleansing Method, if you have not it is a method of cleansing the skin with oil. Take two drops of almond oil and massage onto face and neck. Wipe with warm wash cloth after. It also acts as an effective make up remover.

As a base for makeup.

If you have dried stretched out skin after washing your face, you will find use in almond oil as a base for makeup. Mix two drops with BB cream or massage one drop of oil onto face before applying your makeup for a dewy look. Adding too much might dull your face.

Scrub

Mix 3 tbsps almond oil with 4 tbsps brown sugar, for a home made exfoliating scrub, to remove dead skin, blackhead and goopy stuff.

Add it to your moisturizer.

For dry skin, add two drops with your regular moisturizer. You will find it spreads smoothly and results are amazing.

For under eye wrinkles

Almond oil is rich in antioxidants and helps with wrinkles. The key though is to massage it in one direction. At night, take two drops of almond oil on your palm, dip your index finger in it and push it in your under wrinkles upwards.

Night oil

After your eye, massage onto your face and neck including lips, for few minutes before your nighty night. (would be a good idea to keep it in night stand). Almond oil helps reduce wrinkles and dark lips.

After bath oil –

Chunk the expensive moisturizers and try sweet almond oil after your bath. Try using a small amount, right after bath, when you have some water still, so it is easy to spread.

For your hair!

The best use though is for your hair. Take few drops of oil and massage into the scalp. Take few more drops and spread along hair length too. Leave for 30-45 mins (or overnight if you wish), wash off with your regular shampoo. You will have shiny smooth hair without oily look. Don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself!

 

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A rose love affair.. Recipe for rose soda and rose milk.

Once you get used to Indian stores, it really is a treasure trove of exotic Indian stuff.  I would love to name a few in my upcoming blog posts.

I really miss the street food from India. My favorite though is during summer.

The place where I used to live has three seasons – Hot, hotter and hottest. In summer, streets are lined up with carts selling ice gola – crushed ice topped with different flavored syrups. A boon for school children as an after school delight.

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Ice gola

Another delicacy is Rose soda or Punneer soda or goli soda as it is called colloquially, is especially popular in the southern states.  Not to be confused with Paneer, a soft cow milk cheese, Punneer means rose water in tamil, an indian language. It is manufactured indigenously and comes in dull green glass bottle with a glass marble ( called goli) at the narrow end of the bottle near the mouth. I do not know the purpose of this glass marble though.

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Goli soda

Even more delectable was the sweet rose flavored milk. Topped with ice and lots of nuts, it was usually reserved for the special evenings.

The closest I can come to getting all these stuff in the US is with a bottle of rose goodness from the Indian market. ROOH AFZA or Rose Syrup.

Rooh-Afza

It is a rose syrup made with other herbal ingredients. Based on an old system of medicine called Unani, it is used to cool the body(perfect for summers!). You get an equivalent brand of rose syrup called Dabur rose syrup. I prefer this to Rooh Afza since there is no extra herbal taste spoiling my drink.

Let me tell you two easy ways in which I use this syrup.

Rose Milk – Recipe

Ingredients –

Dabur Rose Syrup – 3 tablespoons

Cold Milk –1 cup + 1/3 cup (We use full fat)

Sugar – as desired

(The syrup is already sweet, so use sugar only if you have a sweet tooth like me!)

Ice cubes(Optional)

Directions-

In a glass, add rose syrup, followed by sugar and top it up with cold milk. Stir vigorously till combined. Top with 2 ice cube if preferred. Enjoy cold.

rose syrup       process

Rose milk

Delicious pink frothy goodness!!

Hubby likes it after he comes home from work and before he goes out to play. Why not, it is an alternative to plain cold milk and it’s yummy!

Rose Soda / Punneer Soda – Recipe

Rose Syrup – 4-5 tablespoons

Plain soda (not flavored) – 1 cup + 1/2 cup

Directions-

In a glass, scoop the rose syrup and top with cold plain soda. Adjust syrup quantity according to taste.

This is a variation to plain soda, and can be served in a party as a variation to usual flavors!

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Bubbly red soda Smile

Bye till next time.

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Your guide to the “not so friendly” neighborhood Indian store.

Patelbros

Indian stores seem to be everywhere in the US. I suppose it has got something to do with the Indians everywhere.

In my entire year of shopping in the store, I have seen just about two locals shopping there. I cannot blame them. There are some legitimate concerns which might bother someone when shopping at the “Friendly” Indian store.

They do not seem friendly. Period.

In fact, they seem rude!

Reason – The illusory rudeness is due to the culture difference. You see, Indians fail to acknowledge superficial emotions, a welcoming smile or greeting. Do not get me wrong, this is not a post ranting about people being superficial or good customer service. It is merely to point out the subtle differences in culture.

It’s about the way we are raised, we don’t smile at people unless we are really happy to see them. I think the reason being, that words carry a lot of significance in Indian culture. (mantras etc, you get the picture!) I remember my mom asking me to be VERY careful of the words that I use. Which meant, no words like, “Kill me” or whatever. It was because there were god and angels looking over us and whenever we utter something, they say ”Thatastu”- Sanskrit for “So be it”. In other words she said they bless everything we say. I do not know if that is true though, but it does show the belief.

A similar ideology by someone whom I don’t remember goes something like this. “Be careful about your thoughts because they form your words. Be careful about your words because they become actions. Be careful about your actions, because they become habits. And habits shape who you are.” (I think it’s by Vivekananda)

Thought process goes something like this. See someone—> Feel happy —> Smile.

When you ask an Indian, “How are you today?”, he will probably blabber about recent incidents in life, instead of just answering it with Good or not so good etc. I had many confusions when I came here because of this. Imagine the plight of the person when I responded to questions like these. Most of us are preconditioned to mean something to actually say it.

In other words, when your Indian grocer looks too rude, he probably does not know he is being rude. He is simply thinking about something else. When he is smiling though, he is probably really happy to see you.

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Peek into my life..

Rangoli

I wanted to start this blog primarily to chronicle my life in the United States.

Hi,  I am 26 years old and I shifted to the United States a year back from India. The Myriad of  cultures here in the United States is mind-boggling. The culture, confusing. Adapting to the western culture has had some pitfalls but has also been a humbling and enlightening experience.  Some sweet incidents/people and some, not so sweet stuff. But I guess, Life goes on.

My life here revolves around my husband and our pet dog Barney(He is 4 months old Smile)  My interests include  baking, indian cooking, shopping and frugal living (which I kind of devote myself to).

I look forward to sharing a sneak peek of my life here and gaining some good friends in the process.

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