Un-boxing- ‘Spring- Fling’ Fab Bag Apr’ 17

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The ‘Spring- Fling’ Fab Bag April 17 arrived at the beginning of the month and the bag did look very spring summery. It is a pretty floral patterned bag. There were six options in the bag and I received the one with gold and purple. It looks quite vintage and is quite durable.

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I received four products in this bag, one full size and three sample sized products. Let’s take a look at each one individually:

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  • SUGAR As Nude As It Gets SPF 15 Compact: 01 Latte (Light shade for Porcelain/Fair complexion) (Rs.699/-) FULL SIZE

Sugar is on a roll! They launched new lipsticks, new nail paints and now their new compact range is out in the market. The shade was for us to choose. I went for the shade 01 Latte. During summers it is very important to absorb oil and keep the make up in place for a longer duration. Additionally offering a sin protection also helps. This product takes care of a these needs. Besides this the product just blends into the skin making it look natural. The packing is quite sturdy and chic with a matte finish to it. I quite liked this product and will continue using it.

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  • Ayorma Radiance Glow Deep Exfoliator (Rs. 499/- for 100 gm) SAMPLE

This exfoliator is cream based and contains walnut granules. I think it might be a little harsh on the face. If you use walnut based scrubs on face you can try this out. It does smell refreshing and is perfect for a travel kit. This might last for 6-8 usages.

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  • Hedonista Fresh Face Scrub (Rs.1045/- for 105 gm) SAMPLE

This is a gel based scrub with coconut and strawberry seeds as key ingredients. It smells blissful. The scrub is gentle on the face and removes dead cells, giving a fresh glow to the skin. This is a perfect summer product and also apt for a travel kit. This might be good enough for 8-10 usages.

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  • Sand for Soapoholics Heavenly Dew Bathing Bar (Rs 275/- for 100gms) SAMPLE

Just look how pretty this bar looks! It’s so cool and refreshing. The bar is gel based and has chunks of coconut exuding soothing coconut smell. I love the Marker’s and Spencer’s Coconut and White Orchid shower gel. This bar comes quite close to it.

Over all the ‘Spring- Fling’ Fab Bag April 17’ contains all the products that are apt for summer. But they could have included one more sample product or given a full sized product.

You can get a 3 month subscription for this bag at Rs 1599 here

 

Book Review: The Indua Challenge

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Title: The Indus Challenge

Author: R. Durgadoss

Pages: 286 pages

Plot: Bharat is in chaos. While the kingdoms fight each other, Alexander’s forces gather for the assault, their leader lured by tales of supernatural weapons and the elixir of immortality. Only one man can save the subcontinent from domination by the Greeks: the young Chandragupta Maurya, trained under the aegis of the ‘dark brahmin’, Chanakya.

When an ancient seal is found, sharing the secrets of the brahmastra, the redoubtable weapon of the Mahabharat, it is up to Rudra, young commander of the Mauryan Nava Yuva Sena and lifelong friend and confidante of Chandragupta, to decode it. Along with his fellow commandos, and with the able guidance of his guru, Rudra embarks on a quest that takes him from the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the seas of Rameshwaram, hunting the clues that will lead him to the brahmastra. On the way, he meets the Chiranjivis, ancient beings tasked with divine duties, and learns the secrets behind his own birth and his mysterious powers.

But Rudra must be careful, for not all enemies were dispersed with the death of the mighty Alexander. Treachery lurks in the home, and when Rudra is framed for the attempted murder of his sovereign, he must pull every trick at his disposal to reveal the enemy, and save his kingdom from plunging, once more, into bloodshed and chaos.
A historical, mythological adventure story, The Indus Challenge is sure to appeal to readers interested in the storied past of India and the legends woven into its soil.

Thoughts: The Indus Valley Civilization is based over centuries right from the times of Kuru war to the Kal yuga. The plot is mainly based in the time zone when the Greek King Alexander aims to extend the boundaries of the kingdom across the world, to Chandraguta and Chankya’s conquest to dethrone ‘Nanda- the evil King’ and accomplish an ‘Akhand Bharat’.

The story focuses on the hidden knowledge of unveiling the secrets of Bramastars, Chiranjivi’s and other mythological events. Along with the historical facts about Alexander and Chandragupta, the fictional tale of Rudra, the Yuga Purash is weaved in. The blend of fiction, history and mythology is the highlight of this book.

The most intruding part of the book for me was reading about Alexander and Chandragupta together. We have read of them individually but imagining them together was quite a treat. I loved the historical and mythological insights that the book gave. The drawings and the symbols were very helpful while devouring the book. The narration was crisp but I felt it got too text bookish at times.

If you love historic and mythological tales, you can give this book a shot.

Ratings: 3/5

PS: – Thanks to TBC for sending a copy of this book for an honest review.

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Book Review: Deceived

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Title: Deceived

Author: Heena Rathore P.

Pages: 350 pages

Plot: How well do you know your loved ones?

A girl struggling to cope with the murders of her mother and five-year-old brother.
A journalist chasing the ghost of a potential serial killer.
A thirteen-year-old girl who slaughtered her parents.
And a revenge-driven psychopath who is about to destroy everyone’s life.

After 9 years, a young writer is still coping with the brutal murders of her mother and five-year-old brother, as she moves into a house of horrors, to start a new life with her lover. Will friends and family be able to redeem Ally out of the impending doom in time? Will her infallible love become the key to the destruction of her already fragile world? Will madness prevail over love; true love over revenge?

Deceived is a gripping psychological thriller that mazes through the deepest, darkest emotions of human mind through the story of a vulnerable girl who treads in the mist of deception bred from a long unforgiving betrayal.

Thoughts: Let me start by saying that this is Heena Rathore’s debut novel and I was blown over by the plot, the writing and the suspense build up. ‘Deceived’ is a psychological thriller tracing the unsolved murders from the past and the recent ones. The story starts with a news article from the 1970’s about a missing teenage daughter who is the prime suspect of her parents’ murder. In present, the story revolves around Allison, whose mother and brother were brutally murdered when she was a child. She lives with her roommate Sam and her well trained pet dog Max, until one day when she decides to move in with her boyfriend Danny. Steve, Allison’s cousin who is also a journalist decides to trace the recent murders with a motive to find the killer of his aunt and cousin. The more he finds out the dangerous it gets…

At the beginning of the novel the author has given clear distinction in traits of a psychopath and a sociopath that helps a person with a non psychological background like me to distinguish the trait of the characters in the book.  I simply loved the way the story was narrated from different perspectives. The journal entries from the psychopathic murderer were the most chilling part of the book. The outcome of the darker side of love, obsession, betrayal and revenge makes the book a must read for all the psychological novel lovers. . This book couldn’t have had a more appropriate cover. I simply loved it. I was expecting a little more from the ending since the buildup was phenomenal. Never the less the book was a page turner and I could barely put it down.

I would recommend this book to all the people who love psychological thrillers. I am sure this won’t disappoint you.

Ratings: 4/5

PS: – Thanks to the Citrus Publication and the author for sending a copy of this book for an honest review.

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Book Review: Finding the Angel

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Title:  Finding the Angel

Author: Rubina Ramesh

Pages: 139 pages

Plot: All She wanted was love…
Shefali is a die-hard romantic. Having lost her parents at a very tender age, she is in search of a place which she can call home. Her passion for Art lands her a job as an art curator to the famous artifacts of the Ranaut Dynasty. When she meets the scion, Aryan Ranaut, she feels that her dream might come true until…
All He wanted was to trust…
Living the life of a modern day Prince is no easy task for the young and dashing Aryan Ranaut. Having lost his father to a rapacious woman, Aryan has severe trust issues. But upon meeting Shefali, he feels he could let down his guard. Until…
All They need is to find The Angel…
Just as Aryan realizes his love for Shefali, one of the most precious artifacts, The Angel, goes missing from the Ranaut collection. All fingers point towards Shefali—more so because she leaves the palace without telling anyone on the very night of the theft.
Finding the Angel is a story where duty clashes with love and lack of trust overrides passion. Under these circumstances, can The Angel bring the star-crossed lovers together?

Thoughts:  “Finding the Angel” is a novel by Rubina Ramesh, the founding member of The Book Club. And there was no chance that I would miss reading this book.

‘The Angel’ mentioned in the title is a rare artifact that goes missing from the Ranuat Dynasty home and the entire plot revolves around finding it, with a passionate love story between a love stuck art curator and an arrogant prince running parallel. Shefali is an art curator by profession who has lost her parents at an early age. She is a person driven by love. A modern day prince, Aryan Ranuat is a charming, womanizer who is arrogant and has major trust issues due to his father. Both are damaged in their own ways. The flames spark between them from the minute they meet but as fate has it they can’t be together, neither can they be apart.

The passion shared between the leads clearly comes across to the reader. I loved how courageous and bold Shefali’s character was. More than the suspense the love story made an impact on me. The book was correctly paced with no pointless descriptions. It was crisp and to the point. The narration manoeuvred between past and the present. I wouldn’t say that the transition was seamless. It was confusing at few points but after reading a bit more the time of incidence taking place became clear.

I loved the story and I personally think that it would make a great Bollywood movie. Once I started the book, it was very difficult to put it aside. I would recommend this book those on the watch out for a royal love story with a suspense angle to it.

Ratings: 4/5

PS: – Thanks to TBC for sending a copy of the book for an honest review.

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Un-boxing- ‘Go Get It, Girl’Fab Bag Mar’17

This month I received my Fab bag by 3rd of March which made me very happy. The theme for this month was ‘Go Get It, Girl’ since International Women’s Day was round the corner. The March 17 Fab Bag has everything a girl needs to take on the world! This bag had more products than the previous two bags I received. This is my third bag and I simply love this entire concept of receiving new products every month!

I received this bronze orange color criss-cross textured bag which looked very sturdy. It has a carrying hoop on one end. Team Fab Bag had given an option to choose from a previous bag or the new March bag which was not unveiled. I went ahead with the new March bag because I like the element of surprise it brings with it and I was not at all disappointed.

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This bag contained 6 products. The products I received were:

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  • Seduction Las Vegas Lipstick 06 Nude Love- (Full size): Rs.180/- The shade of the lipstick was offered to choose and I went ahead and selected the shade Nude Love. I wanted something that would work for a regular work day. I liked the shade and it is enriched with Vitamin E, nourishing the lips when applied, making it perfect for daily us.                                                                                                                               Nail laquer
  • Sugar Tip Tap Toe Nail Lacquer Matte in shade 07 Carpe Crème (Full size) Rs.199/- I have started using the brand Sugar after I subscribed to the Fab Bag. Sugar has launched their range on nail lacquers in 17 shades. The shade I received was 07 Crape Crème and I simply loved it. It lasted on my nails without chipping for a week.  I am going to purchase more shades from this range. IMG-20170326-WA0003
  • Kronokare Flower Powder Face Toner – 55ml- This is a brand that I haven’t tried in the past. This toner claims to be made of distilled flower water and has purifying properties of lavender. It reduces the size of the pores and enhances the glow. This was a deluxe sized product and I am yet to try this.                            Shower Gel
  • Moha Herbal Shower Gel- 30ml- This shower gel is Aloe Vera based, infused with neem and tea tree to enhance the effects on application. It aims at detoxifying the skin and also has antiseptic qualities to prevent any sort of infections. This product is perfect for this month’s bag since the heat is setting in. This again was a deluxe sized sample product.                                          Sun Block.jpg
  • Ayorma SPF 40 Sun Block- 10g- Sun block is important for anyone living in the tropical region.  This product is infused with SPF 40 offering protection from the sun. It also claims to reduce melanin production and minimize skin imperfection offering a flawless skin.  Think it is quite similar to BB cream but the main purpose of this product is to offer sun blocking.  It was a little dry for my skin so I had to mix it with a moisturizer while application.Concealer
  • Lollipops Paris Anti Cernes Concealer-Light Beige- This product is something that I really didn’t appreciate receiving as much. I had already received the concealer in my last bag which was much better than this brand. This was a liquid concealer with SPF 15 and Vitamin E. The product I received looked a bit tampered with. I tried this product but it was too dry and cakey. I don’t think I am not going to use this again and my bag could do without this product.

 In all, I received 6 products in my March 17 Fab Bag, out of which my favorite products were the Sugar Nail Laquer Matte and the Moha Herbal Shower Gel.

Fab Bag* costs Rs 1599 for a 3 month subscription! BUY ONLINE

Un-boxing- ‘Go Get it Girl’ Fab Bag Mar’17

This month I received my Fab bag by 3rd of March which made me very happy. The theme for this month was ‘Go Get It, Girl’ since International Women’s Day was round the corner. The March 17 Fab Bag had everything a girl needs to take on the world! This bag had more products than the previous two bags I received. This is my third bag and I simply love this entire concept of receiving new products every month!

I received this bronze orange color criss-cross textured bag which looked very sturdy. It had a carrying hoop on one end. Team Fab Bag had given an option to choose from a previous bag or the new March bag which was not unveiled. I went ahead with the new March bag because I like the element of surprise it brings with it and I was not at all disappointed.

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This bag contained 6 products. The products I received were:

Lipstick

  • Seduction Las Vegas Lipstick 06 Nude Love- (Full size): Rs.180/- The shade of the lipstick was offered to choose and I went ahead and selected the shade Nude Love. I wanted something that would work for a regular work day. I liked the shade and it is enriched with Vitamin E, nourishing the lips when applied, making it perfect for daily use.                 Nail laquer
  • Sugar Tip Tap Toe Nail Lacquer Matte in shade 07 Carpe Crème (Full size) : Rs.199/- I have started using the brand Sugar after I subscribed to the Fab Bag. Sugar has launched their range on nail lacquers in 17 shades. The shade I received was 07 Crape Crème and I simply loved it. It lasted on my nails without chipping for a week.  I am going to purchase more shades from this range.                                                                                              IMG-20170326-WA0003
  • Kronokare Flower Powder Face Toner – 55ml- This is a brand that I haven’t tried in the past. This toner claims to be made of distilled flower water and has purifying properties of lavender. It reduces the size of the pores and enhances the glow. This was a deluxe sized product and I am yet to try this.                                                                              Shower Gel
  • Moha Herbal Shower Gel- 30ml- This shower gel is Aloe Vera based, infused with neem and tea tree to enhance the effects on application. It aims at detoxifying the skin and also has antiseptic qualities to prevent any sort of infections. This product is perfect for this month’s bag since the heat is setting in. This again was a deluxe sized sample product.     Sun Block
  • Ayorma SPF 40 Sun Block- 10g- Sun block is important for anyone living in the tropical region.  This product is infused with SPF 40 offering protection from the sun. It also claims to reduce melanin production and minimize skin imperfection offering a flawless skin.  Think it is quite similar to BB cream but the main purpose of this product is to offer sun blocking.  It was a little dry for my skin so I had to mix it with a moisturizer while application.                                                                                        Concealer
  • Lollipops Paris Anti Cernes Concealer-Light Beige- This product is something that I really didn’t appreciate receiving as much. I had already received the concealer in my last bag which was much better than this brand. This was a liquid concealer with SPF 15 and Vitamin E. The product I received looked a bit tampered with. I tried this product but it was too dry and cakey. I don’t think I am not going to use this again and my bag could do without this product.

In all, I received 6 products in my March 17 Fab Bag, out of which my favorite products were the Sugar Nail Laquer Matte and the Moha Herbal Shower Gel.

Fab Bag* costs Rs 1599 for a 3 month subscription! BUY ONLINE

Book Reviews: The Girls

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Title:  The Girls

Author: Emma Cline

Pages: 355 pages

Plot: Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.

Favorite Quote: “…I was confusing familiarity with happiness. Because that was there even when love wasn’t…”

Thoughts:   There was a lot of hype around this book and it was a close winner of the Goodread  Readers Choice Awards 2017 for the Fiction category. I finally got a chance to read this book this month.

14 year old Evie, daughter of a divorced couple seems to lead a rather dull life until one day she spots a group of unkempt girls in the park. They are confident, carefree, with no care of being accepted, just being themselves, everything Evie is not. Suzanne from the group particulary caught Evie’s fancy and her obsession begins. She starts mingling with the cult which the society dreads, spending more and more time with them, filling the void. Over the period of time her obsession with Suzanne intensifies to the level where there is no line between right or wrong.

This is not a regular teenager coming of age novel; it is much deeper and intellectually well rooted. The plot is based in North California in 1960. The author has done a commendable job in bringing this era to life with her narration. The book unveils from Evie’s point of view transcending between the past and the present seamlessly. The book is very well written but at few places like description of a simple meals, etc is overly written.  The pace of the story is a little slower than it should have been. The characters were well carved but I honestly could not connect to any of them. I found Evie’s character annoying at the beginning and later her choices made me roll my eyes, but I really didn’t sympathize with her at any point. But I loved the parts where Evie nails the worlds perception about girls in genral and their illusionary love that fixes things.In all the book didn’t really impress me but few parts made the read worthwhile.

Ratings: 3/5

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Book Review: A Perfect Murder and Other Stories

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Title:  A Perfect Murder and Other Stories

Author: S.R. Nair

Pages: 170 pages

Plot: A naïve man and a divorcee, a wronged woman’s fight for justice, a poor woman’s desire for an iPad, a charming young man plots to seduce a beautiful, blonde tourist, a staunchly orthodox immigrant’s struggle to assimilate in the U.S. … These are some of the captivating stories in this book which heralds a distinct voice and is a “seriously good read”.

Thoughts:   I have always been a little hesitant to read short stories, until recently when I have read a few short stories in a row and I am becoming fond of short story books. A Perfect Murder and Other Stories by S. R. Nair contains 14 short stories about murder, matrimony, betrayal, greed, dowry harassment, reach of the internet, etc. The book is quite short but it covers wide range of genres. The plot of the stories are based in India and America. Most of the stories are spread across three to four pages except for two, ‘A Perfect Murder’ and ‘Salma’s Fate’ that are around twenty-five pages long.

I liked the fact that the author managed to do justice to each and every story in only 170 pages. The narration is crisp yet apt enough to understand the characters and the plot. All the stories seemed realistic and authentic and the emotions of the characters were easily conveyed. My top three story picks from the book would be ‘Ipad’, ‘Visa for America; and Zubair.

Ipad: This story is about Hira bai who just got aware of the existence of Ipad by her employee’s son who has visited from US. Her innocence and love for her husband are well portrayed in just three pages. The reason she wants an ipad is heart touching.

Visa for America: An executive form US finds his wife on an Indian matrimony site. But love is not always the reason people marry. There is much more to it. I like the mystery created in this story and I loved the end.

Zubair: A progressive Musilm, Zubair, is forced to move to US due to family pressure. He is really concerned about his orthodox wife and kids adjusting to the US culture. But to his surprise he is the one facing trouble while his wife and kids adjust easily to the west.

With gently detached narration, realistic plot and authentic characterization, makes this book is an enjoyable read.

Ratings: 3.5/5

PS: – Thanks to the author for sending a copy of the book for an honest review.

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Book Review: A Tapestry of Tears

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Title:  A Tapestry of Tears

Author: Gita V. Reddy

Pages: 190 pages

Plot: Set in the early nineteenth century, A Tapestry of Tears is about female infanticide, and the unmaking of tradition. If a woman gives birth to a female child, she must feed her the noxious sap of the akk plant. That is the tradition, parampara. Veeranwali rebels, and fights to save her offspring.
The other stories span a spectrum of emotions and also bring to life the varied culture and social spectrum of India. Woven into this collection is the past and the present, despair and hope, and the triumph of the human spirit.

Thoughts:  The author, Ms Gita V. Reddy usually writes children fiction. She has ventured into writing short stories for adults with ‘A Tapestry of Tears.’ This book consists of 12 short stories deep rooted in the Indian culture. The stories touch upon various dilemmas that a woman faces. Issues like female infanticide, women’s struggle during partition, female killing, etc are well highlighted. The stories also touch upon an aging mother, self reflection of a person, losing your loved ones, working on marriage etc.

I am not much into reading short stories since I like to empathize with the characters of the book and since short stories are mend to be short, there is a possibility that they lack to offer a well crafted and  well expressed characters. But with this book I must admit that I was able to empathize and well as sympathize with most of the characters and their struggles. The stories are very well narrated and the word flow was seamless. I was immersed in each and every story in this book. My top three picks of stories would be ‘A Tapestry of Tears’, ‘The Quizzing Glasses’, and ‘Only Her Daughter’.

I simply loved this book and would recommend it to all those who like reading stories with female protagonist, books about relationships and emphatic tales. Looking forward to reading many more books by this author.

Ratings: 4.5/5

PS: – Thanks to the author for sending a copy of the book for an honest review.

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Un-boxing- ‘The Pucker Up’ Fab Bag Feb’17

I have recently subscribed to the Fab Bag for a year. I was contemplating whether to review it on the blog or not. But then I though why not? There is no harm in adding a flavor to the blog, right 😉

I have already received the Jan’17 Fab Bag and I was quite happy with it. Those who follow me on Instagram must have seen a glimpse of it. I received the Feb’17 Pucker Up Fab Bag last week.

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The products came in a cute white pouch imprinted with pink and purple lips and lipsticks. Getting the hint from the bag it was quite clear that this bag will be a lip product heavy one. Let’s see each product one by one.

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  • Sugar Liquid Lipstick Smudge Me Not 06 Tangerine Queen (Orange Coral) Full size (Rs.499) -Sugar cosmetics launched their new range of liquid lipsticks. I received an email from Fabbag to choose a shade of my preference and I went with Tangerine Queen (Orange Coral) since I have very few shades in orange. This clearly was my favorite product from the Feb Fab Bag. This liquid lipstick lasted long and also settled well. But if your lips tend to dry easily I would recommend using this with a non tinted lip balm.

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  • Matra Holistic Lip Care in Kiwi- Full size (Rs.199) I am a lip balm hoarder and this was a new brand for me to try. I received the Kiwi variant. This product is 100% natural and also infused with SPF, offering protection from sun. The product is barely tinted. It has a nice fruity scent to it. It is not the best in its range but worth a try.

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  • Just Herbs Lively Clean Honey Exfoliating Facial Cleansing Gel- 50ml (Rs.230) This is a honey based for face exfoliation and cleansing from “Just Herbs” It is gentle on the skin and smells great too. I love natural products, especially for the face since they are gentle on the skin. After usage my skin felt refreshed and cleansed. This is not a full size product but 50 ml will easily last a month, two months if used twice a week.

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  • Makeup Revolution the Matte Effect Concealer Stick- (Rs 550) I received this shade in MC 1. The concealer stick is smooth on the skin and settles easily. Though I thought it was a bit dry. I tried using both by direct application from the stick and by dabbing it on a brush and preferred the later one.

Over all I quite liked my Feb Fab bag and I would give is 3.5 stars. You can subscribe to the Fab Bag here