Tuesday 26 December 2017

My First Hair Color Experience at Makeup Forever Lucknow

Hey everybody, how’s it going? Christmas in Lucknow was amazing and I’m prepping to welcome the new year in full swing with my mains. Well, the year 2017 has been crazy for me. With so many additions and changes in life, it’s been a great year so far! And if you’ve been following me on my social media all this while you must know I’ve recently got a permanent tattoo done which has brought in a lot more confidence in my personality. Along with that, I’ve been flaunting my new hair too.

I’ve been lucky enough to have received compliments for my natural waves in the past years, but with time I myself started getting bored of the same style. It’s been long that I’d been thinking about getting a visible transformation done to my hair. Like really, 24 years and it’s the same usual mane falling long and short since forever. Adding some highlights seemed one of the easiest and the most attractive ways to bring in a change! I’ve been told a gazillion times, coloring hair would add to my hair fall problem, but I finally managed to make up my mind one final day. It was definitely a hard decision, but I just had to take a chance. 

While scrolling through my pinterest feed one night, I stumbled upon a picture of gorgeous hair with double streaks in blonde and burgundy. I saved the image and sent it to Ishita Sood, who recently launched her new salon - Makeup Forever Professional at Eldeco Greens, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow. The pretty girl came to my rescue. Though with some hesitation initially she asked me if I’m sure to get the experiment done, and I without second thoughts said, ‘absolutely’. Next day, I was at her studio and we began the process. Scroll down to read a stepwise procedure that my hair underwent..

Step 1 : Gentle hair wash.

Step 2 : Complete Hair Dry.

Step 3 : Wrap desired sections of hair in foil & apply color with flat brush.
(1st round of color no. 1 - Loreal 'blonde' mixed with 30% developer)

Let the hair color stay for about 30 minutes.
Once all the streaks are colored and covered with foil, your head looks like this. Almost like a zombie's!

Step 4 : Remove the foil and wash hair with conditioner.

Step 5 : Completely blow dry all hair before applying the second round of color no.2.

Step 6 : Wrap desired sections of hair in foil & apply color with flat brush.
(1st round of color no.2 - Matrix 'burgundy' mixed with 30% developer)

Step 7 : Remove the foil and wash hair with conditioner.

Step 8 : Completely blow dry all hair and set accordingly (I chose curls for mine).

So, that's how my final hair look like after the curls done - fun and lively! I usually avoid using heat products but temporary curls with rod makes the double streaking stand out perfectly. You can clearly notice the visible streaks of both blonde (more prominent though) and burgundy! PS : Get the strength of your hair checked before using blonders.

This entire hair color procedure with double highlights (for medium to long hair), using the foil technique costs Rs. 5000/-

I can vouch for the quality of products and services since I've got it done myself. So, if you're looking for a hair transformation for new year, MAKEUP FOREVER STUDIO by Ishita Sood has many treats for you!

If you liked reading this post, share it ahead with your friends and family. For more updates, follow my on my different social media handles - facebook, instagram, twitter, snapchat. See you next year. Until then, love and luck!

Photographed by : Madhukant Tripathi


Tuesday 19 December 2017

Paradise for Chocolate Lovers - The Chocolate Room, Lucknow

Hey there, how's it going? I've been juggling between my semester exams and work, and have been only updating you guys with food posts on my instagram! Sorry for being MIA, but here's a brand new blog for you sharing my experience at the newly launched THE CHOCOLATE ROOM - cafe/bistro and mega store that sells the best of chocolate delicacies, desserts and savouries. It was launched on the 8th of September, and it has completed 3 months of successful existence in the city of Lucknow.

In case you're not aware, The Chocolate Room is a 10-year old Australian brand, and has more than 250 outlets across the globe. It has it's Indian headquarters in Ahmedabad with the corporate operations being held from Hyderabad! It's one of the fastest spreading cafe chains in the world, as their mission is to launch 500 outlets by the year 2020. Now that's something really interesting, because chocolate is going to flow in every corner of the world and that's what we look forward to!

As for my excitement, when I first heard The Chocolate Room has opened it's mega store in town, it was nothing less than surreal. Speaking of the interiors, the rustic brick walls with a raw but innovative decoration with bicycle wheels, exposed water pipes, newspaper covered couches and other colorful and comfy furniture are the eye-catchers! There's also a little pick-and-go cart full of ready-made chocolate hampers on the right, and a photo-booth on the left that cannot go unnoticed. Other cool addition are the indoor games that are available for you to indulge into some fun with your family and friends while you hog onto some yummy food!

View from the front

Photobooth and Merchandise Counter

Dessert Counter

My favorite corner, with the chocolate quote frames

I've been a huge fan of the brand and my love for chocolate is not hidden. But the best part about this first mega outlet, situated at 4th floor, Sahara Ganj Mall in Hazratganj, is that it doesn't only serve desserts (frappes, sundaes, pancakes, chocolates, cakes, etc.) but a wide variety of different cuisine snacks that are freshly prepared in their kitchen (pizzas, burgers, crepes, pastas, etc.). My fascinations for Italian and Mexican dishes often take me there and each time it's a bliss!

On my recent visit, I tried a number of dishes from the menu and felt it's high time I should spread the news that I love e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g there! From the sweetest ever Freaky Shake - Banoffee pie flavoured chocolate shake, topped with fresh whipped cream, colorful gems and confetti, served with a chocolate waffle; to Pasta Arabiata - the best Italian red sauce pasta, garnished with fresh parsley and garlic bread; to the crunchiest Mexican Cheese Nachos with a spicy red salsa dip; to the Chocolate Pancakes - topped with chocolate sauce, chocolate chips and whipped cream - in literal words it's 'death by chocolate' (on the menu)!

Freaky Shake - Banoffee Pie Chocolate Shake (Rs.299)
Perfect blend of banana and chocolate
(but a little too sweet because of the cream and gems and other additions)

Pasta Arabiata
Nicely cooked pasta - easy to chew, tossed in spicy red sauce
(one of my favorites at TCR)

Cheese Nachos with Salsa Dip (Rs.149)
Okay, they make their crunchy own nachos. And the cheese dip is to die for.
Salsa dip is spicy and refreshing.

Death by Chocolate - Chocolate Pancakes (Rs.249)
So much chocolate!!! Super fresh, soft pancakes. Heaven calls post death.

Well, the staff very courteously offered me water and took my order. Since I had ordered for four different dishes, it took about 30-45 minutes for them to get the first two and another 15 minutes to get the rest. The entire cafe was packed, hence the delay but I guess it was fine since I wouldn't have been able to eat all of it together anyway. I was super impressed with the clean platters and the service and needless to say that the presentation of each dish looked pretty drool worthy! Upon trying each of them, I can vouch for the quality and freshness too.

With an extensive menu offered, I got the opportunity to try just four items this time. But if you know me, you know I'm not going to leave anything untried in the coming days, so you've gotta keep a tab on my instagram food page for more reviews of the dishes I try in my next visits.


Please Note : The Chocolate Room also has a bakery counter inside with a lot of desserts recently put up for Christmas. From beautiful Christmas tree and Reindeer cakes, to plum cakes and fruit cakes to gift your dear ones of the festival, to Santa themed cupcakes and Christmas themed cookies and chocolates, the variety is sweeping. I also like the chocolate wine glass (picture below) - perfect for gifting purposes!

To end, chocolate is a treat to all the senses and if you want one-of-a-kind chocolate indulgence, The Chocolate Room, situated at fourth floor - Sahara Ganj Mall, Hazratganj, and One Awadh Center, Gomti Nagar is where you should be heading this December. It’s the best dessert destination to discover the sweetest feeling of happiness!

Find TCR on facebook HERE and instagram HERE.

The Chocolate Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Photographed by : Madhukant Tripathi


Sunday 10 December 2017

Wedding Vogue - Part 2 : Marriage

Hey dearies, how's it going? I've been trying to escape from the continuous wedding pressure at home, and juggling between work and studies and also trying to keep up with the pace here. Anyway, three consecutive years of publishing my wedding fashion series on this blog, and you've shown immense love to each post. Can't thank y'all enough for the great support throughout! Got the last part of this year's series today to show you a brand new marriage party look I created with the help of fashion designer - Aditi Jaggi Rastogi from STRAWBERRY FASHION STUDIO, and a dear friend and professional makeup artist - Simran Taneja.

So shall we get rollin'?! Yes? Great!
I guess it won't be wrong if I say that the most elaborate functions of the Indian wedding series is the wedding or the marriage ceremony itself. Starting from baraat and then the dinner party for the guests, followed by the midnight marriage rituals between the bride and groom; everything is done in the most perfect manner from both sides. Unlike the pre-wedding functions, the wedding day is the most lavish and a magnificent affair! The guest list is extravagant as compared to the attendees of the pre-wedding functions and its actually the day when not only the bride and groom are dressed up from top to toe in grand outfits but the family members and all the guests too. 

Which brings me to say that the entire wedding function calls for splurge. Whether you're the bride, or the bridesmaid, or the sister or the friend, you gotta dress your best and steal the limelight (or just shine as much as you can, eh?). As far as styles among Indian wedding lehengas are concerned, Indian women are generally open to a lot of choices! Considering the fact that wedding day is quite auspicious, lehengas as an element of the modern bride's wedding event trousseau has appeared to be much more stylish and trendy!

lehenga, kurta, dupatta : Strawberry Fashion Studio | all jewelry : Neha Diwan

The marriage ceremony for every bride is the most important, as she gets to dress in her dream outfit, for once in a lifetime! Tons of options to choose from but the quintessential lehenga-choli has always been one of the most favored choices of the Indian brides! It's no secret that a fancy lehenga gives a charming look to the bride as well as represents the Indian dressing aura. So, for my look this time, I picked a pure silk lehenga with mukaish in lemon yellow & white, with multi colored embroidery; paired with a banarsi silk long kurta in pink and gold. I've never worn a heavier lehenga than this one, which pretty much means this one had tons of layers for that beautiful flair when you twirl! Adding a little more grace, I draped the outfit with a floor length, heavy net dupatta with intricate zardozi embroidery on the borders. Undoubtedly It's one of the prettiest wedding outfits I've got my hands on!

I chose to accessorize the look with some traditional Indian jewelry, which included a pearl studded set of broad maang tikka and matching earrings, with a huge finger ring to impart the style of a princess (say from the mughal era?). Keeping it minimal with the styling, I did opt for a dense makeup and queen-curled hairstyle on the other side, which is one of the most essential parts of dressing up for an extravagant marriage ceremony. Simran gave me deep pink eyelids with false lashes and risen brows, making my eyes look bolder; along with bright pink lips and perfect contouring& highlights making my face shine aptly.

The entire outfit looked and felt magical to me. Twirling in it was my favorite part, and I'm not sure about you but if I get to be a bride anytime soon, I'm definitely opting for this piece for my big day!


We end with this year's wedding fashion series here. I really hope you liked reading both the posts (check out the cocktail look HERE)! Do let me know in the comments below what do you have to say about this look from Strawberry Fashion Studio; if it's princess like or not? 

Also, tons of thanks to designer Aditi Jaggi Rastogi and her entire team for the cooperation, MUA Simran Taneja for making me look gorgeous as ever, and photographer Yash Athwani for capturing the best sides of me! Until next, lots of love.


Sunday 3 December 2017

Wedding Vogue - Part 1 : Cocktail

Hello ladies, welcome back to yet another wedding fashion series on this blog. Unlike the last two years, I'm only going to write about two parts this time; out of which one is the cocktail party dress that I'm set to talk about in this post. So leave everything you're doing at the moment and read below the curation of this look with none other than STRAWBERRY FASHION STUDIO!

We all know that Indian weddings are an extravagant affair. I myself have told you this umpteen number of times, I guess! And every year with so many pre-wedding and wedding ceremonies to attend, you find yourself looking out for outfits that are in trend and still distinctive. So while I was on a drive to pick attires for this series, Aditi Jaggi Rastogi from Strawberry Fashion Studio came to my rescue. An internationally acclaimed fashion designer and passionate about singular creations (pre-couture and couture), helped me pick the best pieces from her latest wedding collection that'll leave you spellbound!

Gown, ring : Strawberry Fashion Studio | handcuff, earrings : Auhna Creations | heels : Steve Madden

Throwing a cocktail party is the latest trend, no more confined to the upper strata of the society. And it is probably the only occasion in the long Indian wedding celebrations where one can give the traditional wear a complete ditch. Well, it shall only be right if I say, with changing times and fashion trends, Indian wedding dresses have undergone a sea change in terms of design and style. Cocktail dressing was never a thing earlier, but in the recent times it's become essential to add a new, separate outfit only for an evening where you're sharing a few moves with your friends and family and enjoying drinks, and laying down the most gorgeously-happening-side of yours!

Standing tall in the pictures above, and flaunting my outfit just rightly, has already made you believe how much I'm in love with it. A pure Georgette gown it is in black with sequin embroidery in floral pattern on the upper front, with dazzling flares and cut sleeves, and so light in weight that makes my look appear captivating. I chose to wear this floor-length piece with my golden stilettos (you can opt for flats if you're taller or maybe some glitter shoes since heels are a bit uncomfortable to dance in) and a black-gold handcuff with matching gold-blue earrings and a finger ring that fitted aesthetically with the entire look!

For an even perfect team up, my MUA - Simran Taneja, tied my hair into a beautiful bun and left a strand flowing on the side. JSYK, this is the first time I've been convinced to carry a bun and it looks absolutely enchanting. For my makeup, she gave me half smokey eyes and pink tint, false lashes, high brows and shimmery face with dense contouring & highlights and bright pink lips!

Keeping the look minimal and elegant, I am dressed in a brand new piece from Strawberry Fashion Studio. One stop shop for all occasions. Get your outfits customised according to your style and liking and I'm pretty sure you'll love the outcome! Store address : A-1, Shahnazaf Road, Opp. Sahara Ganj mall, Hazratganj, Lucknow.

Photographed by : Yash Athwani


Tuesday 28 November 2017

Lucknow's First Truck Themed Restaurant - The Urban Dhaba

A mélange of people from all over the country, Lucknow has a diverse culture, which is also reflected in its eating habits. People are now more open to exploring new experiences, and a host of restaurants have come up to satiate Lucknow food lover’s inquisitiveness. And it’s not just new cuisines that the customers are looking for, but also spunky and innovative ambience, that gives them a unique and memorable dining experience!

With the recent launch of THE URBAN DHABA - Lucknow's first truck themed restaurant, Lucknowites have got a quirky place to hangout with friends and experience the best of North Indian 'dhaba' style food in the comfort of a fine dine! Walk in and the quirky decor will scream out to you (there is literally a taxi hanging from the wall). The Bollywood theme with the posters hanging from the wall and dhaba-like atmosphere will put you in the mood for intensely buttery, garlicky naans and melt-in-your-mouth paneer at Mirch Masala. High on kitsch, quirk and must-Instagram-this-now quotient, there are painted matkas, low cots (khatiya), overturned lassi glasses suspended from the ceiling, truck engine counters and walls filled with rugged tyres; all to satisfy your highway dhaba craving within the city!

Outside View

Taxi Seating


Truck Engine Counter

And my favorite soon-to-start corner : The Paani Puri Stall

As cool the concept of this dhaba themed restaurant is, the much cooler is it's food. While in conversation with the chef I got to know that it's not just the well-flavoured North Indian food that surprises the customers at The Urban Dhaba, but also the Mughlai, Chinese and Continental cuisines that make them drool. One of the most talked about dishes from the kitchen of this restaurant is the BAHUBALI THALI. Which is one of the hugest thalis served in town, presenting an amalgamation of - Soup, Paneer Tikka, Veg Kebab, Dal Makhani, Paneer Gravy, Mix Veg, Veg Kofta, Veg Pulao, Raita, Achaar, Papad, Naan, Missi Roti, Sweets.

Well, apart from the Bahubali Thali, I also tasted some of my favorite dhaba dishes that I'd been craving for the longest time. My picks from the menu was the Blue Shoe mocktail (which tasted pretty refreshing), along with Dahi Kebabs and Hara Bhara Kebabs in the starters that were super succulent and delectable. It's been a while since I tasted the Hara Bhara Kebabs so I literally hogged onto every single piece that was served, and I am glad it didn't disappoint me.

Then I jumped onto the main course menu and ordered for Dhaba PaneerStuffed Capsicum (stuffed with spiced-mashed potatoes),  Pindi Chana along with Butter Naan. Literally the best combo at the dhabas, often! Starting from the soft paneer to the best baked capsicum to amazingly flavored chana, all gravy dishes, that tasted heavenly. Gladly, it was lunch time and I went with an empty tummy, filling it with delicious delicacies that left me super satisfied! 

To end the meal, I ordered for Fruit Triffle - a dessert made with thin layering of fruit cake, loaded with fresh cut fruits and topped with fresh cream and nuts. It was a perfect balanced sweet dish, tasting nothing else but toothsome! 

Blue Shoe Drink

Hara Bhara Kebabs, Dahi Kebab

Dhaba Paneer

Baked Capsicum

Pindi Chana, Butter Naan

Fruit Triffle

My first experience at The Urban Dhaba (situated at 3/178, Vivek Khand, Above Spencers, Near Neelkanth Sweets) was mind blasting. Tasted the best of Indian food and got clicked in rusty interiors! What else could have I wished for?! Read my overall review below :

Food - 4/5
(Loved whatever I tasted)

Service - 5/5
(Very courteous staff, good at explaining about food prepared)

Ambience - 4.5/5
(unique interiors, vibrant and bright lighting - best part)

The Urban Dhaba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Check out The Urban Dhaba on Facebook and Instagram. You must visit this newly launched restaurant and enjoy a widespread of cuisines. Do let me know your experience later! :)

Photographed by : Yash Athwani