Travel : Yog Niketan By Sanskriti, Rishikesh

The city is a wonderful place for filling up on interesting people and inspiring culture- but nature holds all the ultimate truths. I have officially found my happy place, and it is the Yog Niketan by Sanskriti in Rishikesh. Imagine spending a blissful holiday in the lap of nature, embraced by its expansive bounty and yet enveloped in all the comfort and conveniences that luxury offers.

Luxury here doesn’t mean the sophistication one gets at typical business class hotels or at renowned resorts, but all basic comforts and a dreamy location in the heart of this pious city. The surroundings here are very clean compared to the other locations in Rishikesh

About the property : Yog Niketan  is a beautiful, green oasis that provides a soothing cocoon from the bustle of everyday urban living. From morning to evening, one can immerse into the enchanting view of the mighty Ganga. I don’t think there’s any place in Rishikesh which can offer a better view than this. It is a perfect place to listen to some music or read your favourite books and lounge, do nothing but lounge 😊

The Parmarth Temple is located right across the opposite side of the hotel and is a 5 minute walk via the Ram Jhula. I will definitely recommend attending the Ganga aarti in the evening as it is a truly magical experience. The atmosphere is mystical with the river being lit up with so many oil lamps and the continuous chanting of prayers by the priests.

Dining options : Coming to food, there aren’t many options but everything is freshly made with organic ingredients at their restaurant, no soft/hard drinks, only fresh fruit juices are available for beverages. A classical music performance also happens during dinner time. Guests can also sign up for an hourly session every morning at their yoga centre. The overall experience at the hotel was very calming for the mind.

Recommendation : If you are visiting Rishikesh for the first time or if visiting the various temples is on your agenda, Yog Niketan is the most suitable option. The pricing is slightly steep and falls between four thousand rupees to six thousand rupees (depending on season), but it undeniably has the best location in Rishikesh.

Night view from the room

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Do remember to book a Ganga view room whenever you visit 😍❤️

Dearpacker Sheet Masks From Nykaa 

Sheet masks are having a moment, thanks, to the benefits they provide for the skin, not-to-mention the variety available and convenient packing. There is a sheet for everything- to brighten, tighten, hydrate or reduce large pores. You can also get an overnight sheet mask and use it as a quick-fix at a destination wedding where you are not likely to find a salon.

I had never heard the name of this Korean skincare brand Dearpacker, until I saw their sheet masks being sold on Nykaa. They were organic, reasonably priced and had some salubrious ingredients making them worthy of a try. Nykaa had a fabulous offer by which one could purchase seven masks for 500 rupees. Here’s my review of the seven sheet masks I purchased –

But before I apprise you about the characteristics of each of these sheet masks, I want to add that Dearpacker has surprised me and the masks are much better than what I had expected them to be. In fact, these masks beat the sephora ones both in terms of pricing and quality. It is commendable that Nykaa is adding such a wide variety of brands to its array.

1. Green Tea + Jasmine Flower

Green Tea – improves the overall appearance of the complexion and neutralises the damage done by exposure to UV rays.

Jasmine flower- has soothing and calming properties to diminish visible redness.

Fragrance- None.

This was the first one I used and it did create an amazing first impression. It had a rejuvenating effect and added a fresh glow to the face, it is perfect to be used for any occasion especially when one has less time. 

2. Lavender + Argan Oil

Lavender- restores essential moisture balance to soften skin and its relaxing aroma provides natural stress relief. Sm

Argan Oil- is rich in Vitamin E to deeply hydrate and nourish skin, delivering dewy glow.

Fragrance- strong lavender.

This one had a moisturising effect. It is good for winters, when the skin gets dry and chapped.

3. Lab Collection Mask – Anti-Aging & Firming

The blend of active ingredients such as adenosine and almond oil improve elasticity, smoothen fine lines and wrinkles for a youthful glow.

I would recommend this one as a part of your facial care routine, not intended to give an immediate glow but helping to improve the texture of skin in long run.

Fragrance- None

4. Coconut

Coconut- helps the skin stay moisturised, with preventing moisture loss throughout and gives a healthy, smooth and even tone.

Ideal for a cooling and rejuvenating effect.

Fragrance- Coconut Cookie 🍪

5. Fenugreek + Cucumber

Fenugreek- has cooling agent for brighter, clearer skin and imparts a soft glow on the face.

Cucumber- reduces skin tanning and rashes. Also restores moisture and comfort to sensitive skin suffering from irritation.

This one is ideal to get an instant glow and nurturing the skin.

Fragrance- Cucumber 6. Lab Collection Mask – Anti- Dry & Hydrating

This sheet mask contains a blend of hyaluronic acid aloe extracts which continuously plump and strengthen the skin’s natural protective barrier while delivering a moisture boost.

This again should be used as a part of daily skin care regimen to prevent any breakouts or allergy.

Fragrance- None 7. Pea + Yogurt

Pea- stimulates the process of regeneration and gives skin firmness and elasticity.

Yogurt- effectively reduces roughness and lightens skin without drying out.

Helps in improving the complexion and lending a youthful glow to the skin.

Travel : Bob Dylan’s Cafe, Shillong

The Scotland of east, Shillong, has established itself as the rock music capital of India. The winner of India’s Got Talent- Season 2 was the Shillong Chamber Coir. Bacardi NH7 Weekender, India’s largest multi-genre music festival hosts an edition in the gorgeous hills of Meghalaya every year.

Shillong’s love for music has been epitomised in the form of a cafe dedicated to the maestro Bob Dylan. You will fall in love with the quirky music based decor and the stunning views of hills all around. The cafe also has some souvenirs, which the visitors can buy as a token of remembrance. The food options are decent and the taste is much better than the other restaurants in Shillong, especially vegetarian.

Here are the pictures from our visit –

Beauty Review : L’Oréal’s Infallible Gel Nail Paint

I was drawn to the chic packaging of L’Oréal’s new infallible gel nail paints. These nail paints are comprised of two liquids – a colour base coat to resist dulling and a gel based top coat to magnify colour and shine. They are intended to provide a salon like finish to nails and a 14 day chip free wear without the need for UV lamps.

Presently, these are launched in four shades – Painty Pink, Mon-Drian Red, Blue Pallet and Mixy Violet. I purchased the red and the blue shade. Here’s the review-

Pros-

  • very smart packaging, ideal for gifting.
  • can be easily removed with nail polish remover.
  • the top coat adds a luminous glow to the nails.
  • lasts longer as compared to normal nail paints.
  • quite cheaper than getting a gel based manicure from salons.

Cons-

  • priced at 495 rupees for 10 ml.
  • doesn’t fulfil the 14 days chipping free promise, last for about 5 to 6 days without getting chipped.
  • only four colour variants available.

Overall Rating – 7 on 10

Shopping Tip- I purchased my infallible nail paints from Shoppers Stop, you can get them on a 25% discount from Myntra / Jabong.

Travel : Tripura Castle, Shillong – 2

In the first part of this blogpost , we took you through day one of our stay at the picturesque Tripura Castle in Shillong. For day two, we decided to shift to a treehouse cottage, which was situated right on the top of the valley. It is not place where life is dictated by smartphones or the obsessive need to browse through the many apps that exist on that device.

It is a place to enjoy what you have forgotten- the sheer beauty of being in touch with the planet and its many joyous sites. It was my childhood dream to stay in a treehouse and I couldn’t be more happier.

Here are the pictures-

Travel : Tripura Castle, Shillong – 1

Travel is more than the seeing of sights- it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.

So this was my first sojourn in the North East, a long awaited trip with my bestie. We took a SpiceJet flight from Jaipur to Guwahati, which is the quickest and the most comfortable way to reach. From Guwahati, prepaid taxis are available to Shillong for two thousand rupees.

About the property : Since it was just the two of us, we wanted a hotel which is a like a mini hill station in itself . Based on the reviews and images on Goibibo, we booked Tripura Castle . It is located on a hilltop and offers a panoramic view of Shillong. The property is beautiful and the plush wooden interiors give you a vintage vibe. The property is managed by female staff and Shillong is essentially a matriarchal society.

The best part is that the property blends in very seamlessly with the natural surroundings. It felt like living right in the middle of a forest with all the comforts you need. And you can witness the entire town of Shillong right from the room’s window overlooking the valley. In the evening, there are bonfires and musical performances to add warmth to the otherwise chilly weather. Sun sets very early in Shillong and by 5 pm it is all dark, a very different and quaint way of life.

Dining options : Food was something that didn’t impress me much, more so because I am a vegetarian which is not a great thing to be in North-East 😂. So, it was definitely a struggle finding decent vegan options. There’s a lot of variety for non vegetarians.

For day one, we stayed in a room located in the main building while for day two we opted for a treehouse cottage which was a fascinating experience. The pricing varies from five thousand rupees to seven thousand rupees depending on the season. Here are pictures from day 1 –