The Magic of Hibiscus Flower

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I'm a tea lover.

Yes I'm a coffee lover too, actually - a coffeeholic. I also did a post long time back to appreciate my affection (read: addiction) towards coffee. I can’t have enough of coffee but once a tea lover, always a tea lover.

Today's post is a journey of discovery, discovery of magical flowers with magical powers. One of these flowers is Hibiscus. Hibiscus are small trees that product large, trumpet-shaped flowers over a long season. The colours range from beautiful yellows to pretty peaches to exotic reds! Let’s talk about tea now. Tea is a wonderful aromatic beverage and its history goes back to Shang Dynasty around 1500 BC in China. Considered as the royalty's primary beverage, mainly for its ability to improve health it was also consumed in the ancient Nile Valley during the time of Pharaohs. In time tea was improvised hence herbal tea - the infusion of herbs, flowers and fruits prepared without the tea plant, became equally popular.

Benefits of Hibiscus Tea

I have always been a huge admirer of herbal teas and enjoyed many of these particularly Peppermint and Chamomile but Hibiscus was introduced to me only lately. I saw these being consumed by a few executive guests in my office and couldn't help asking what it was. I had NEVER seen such a gorgeous crimson colour. Reminds me of YSL lipsticks. Turns out its Hibiscus Tea. It is derived by from deep red cup-like structures formed by the Hibiscus flower sepals. Tea preparation is a piece of cake - literally. Take boiled water in a tea cup, dip the tea bag, done. Leave the tea bag in the cup (like I do) if you want a stronger flavor. If you like light tea, do 3-4 dips only. You can also add a bit of Ginger if you like the aroma. (Ginger tea is awesome too!) Even Mint.

The Taste: The taste is semi-sweet and somewhat like cranberries. At some point the sweetness is similar to as that of pomegranate.


The Science: This is important. If you know a little chemistry this should be easy to understand. In human body oxidation causes two electrons to break apart, leaving two oxygen radicals to roam about freely. These can damage healthy cell and even become cancerous. Hibiscus petals contain flavonoids and anthocyanins, plant pigments that give a red, blue or a purple shade. These are antioxidants, meaning they fight the negative effects of oxidation process.

The Benefits: Tea, generally speaking is the healthiest drink after purified drinking water and is a wonderful antioxidants. A recent research (complete research findings here) investigated over 3000 antioxidant foods and drinks to test - Hibiscus topped the rankings. It is a healthy alternative to other sugary beverages and juices which are high in artificial ingredients and preservatives. Since tea, specifically Hibiscus tea is rich in antioxidants they fight the cellular damage and support the immune system. The natural chemicals in the drink also help battle heart issues majorly Hypertension commonly known as high blood pressure. It also promotes digestive and bowel regularity, water control and weight loss. The benefits are promising! However, it is not recommended for pregnant women and people who suffer from low blood pressure.

 
Peppermint tea is my other favorite tea. I usually start my day with these. Above is the shot of my cup-of-tea early morning today. Hibiscus tea, however is part of my everyday 'healthy diet' routine now, until I run out of the tea bags and fall for the old flame - coffee! I hope not. *smiles*
 
Talk about Flower Power!

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SUBLIME New Fragrance by Carolina Herrera

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Hi Lovelies,
 
Today’s post is a review of an exquisite fragrance I came across while I was on vacation in London. Inspired by a sophisticated, sensual woman that has a sense of humor, the house of Carolina Herrera came up with a chypre based perfume this summer – Carolina Herrera Eau De Parfum Sublime. I have always been a huge fan of fruity top notes in a perfume followed by heavier, musky middle and bottom notes - Sublime does that beautifully. The scent complements femininity, elegance, sensuality and charm. Sublime woman is fun, cheerful and charming with a hint of mystery which makes her more special and irresistible. If you’re someone who lusts for luxury, this is the one for you.

SUBLIME New Fragrance by Carolina Herrera
SUBLIME New Fragrance by Carolina Herrera 
As you already know, the House of Carolina Herrera is a high fashion brand. The bottle is absolutely stunning and very glamorous. It’s all croc-embossed with blue stitching done around in contrast color. Topped off with a very girly bow and gold cap, this is the right mix of girly glamor. The bottle and the scent complement each other really well. The best part for me is the composition however. There is a hint of freshness from bergamot along with sweetness of passion flower, followed by exquisite smell of rose. This is almost inspired by old vintage scents of 20s with a twist of modernity. This touch of modernity also reflects in the bottom notes of orchids and leather.
 
All I can say now is that this fragrance is on top of my favorite perfumes list and has all the potential of becoming my signature scent as well. The chic bottle, sensual fragrance, the aroma makes it so magical so what’s not to love about this perfume?

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4-Step Smoky Eyes in Silver Black | The Body Shop

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There is nothing sexier, classic & more sophisticated than smoky eyes - period.

Smoky eyes were one thing I was most inspired by while I was discovering makeup in my teens. It was also something I found most difficult to achieve. But what do they say about success? Try, try until you succeed. Nobody wants to end up looking like a panda, right?



4-Step Smoky Eyes in Silver Black by The Body Shop

Today I wanted to take some time out to appreciate this 'one' palette that made me achieve the most dramatic & sexy smoky eyes. Behold 4-Step Smoky Eyes in Silver Black by The Body Shop. This palette was part of The Body Shop's Winter Makeup trends. It includes four eye shadows: Charcoal Black, Marble Grey, Ice White & Silver Highlighter. Charcoal Black is a really nice matte shade to create that depth & smoky effect to your eyes. Marble Grey is slightly pigmented & really smooth to apply however Ice White & Silver are pigmented & reflect a lot of light. They also help to give that glamorous touch to your smoky eyes. Also included in this kit is a Mini Eye Shadow Brush& Mini Eye Definer in Black.

I am really impressed by the quality of 4-Step Smoky Eyes in Silver Black. I must mention that I've always been a huge fan of The Body Shop's skincare & perfumes' range which are out of this world but I haven’t really tried a lot of their cosmetics. These eye shades are beautiful & the kit is all you need to complete your eye makeup -literally. The packaging is really sleek with instructions at the back which guides you through the process of creating that perfect look. The kit also has a wide mirror inside it which is really handy.

4-Step Smoky Eyes in Silver Black by The Body Shop
4-Step Smoky Eyes in Silver Black by The Body Shop

Here's how I achieve the look with this palette.

       Step 1: Apply Ice White all over eyelids.
       Step 2: Line your eyes with the Mini Eye Definer in Black.
       Step 3: Pat Charcoal Black right above the Mini Eye Definer.
       Step 4: Apply Marble Grey over the two eye shadows to soften the look and blend.
       Step 5: Finish off with Ice White in the inner corners of the eyes & below the brows.

If you're a smoky eye lover this palette is a must in your makeup collection. For me this is a definite repurchase.

How do YOU create smoky eyes?
 
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