Each time I am travelling I try to have a bath drawn out for me atleast one of the nights in my stay. It is the most relaxing feeling in the world, especially after a day of hectic meetings. I would so love to be able to do the same at my own home, don’t you? The Small Luxury hotels of the World (SLH) team has gotten us tips on just how we can do that
Hana Schwanzerbachova , Spa Manager, Chateau Mcley
“At Chateau Mcley, we have developed a range of organic products to showcasetraditional Bohemian herbal remedies, and Mcely Bouquet elixirs can be added to the bath for guests each night. At home, create a honey bath by dissolving one cup of honey, three spoons of virgin olive oil, two litres of unskimmed milk and one litre buttermilk into warm running bath water. Light candles and an aroma burner and relax in the bath for atleast 20mins. It was melt away your stress and leave your skin beautifully soft.”
Jennie Teo, Spa village Manager, Pangkor Laut Resort
“We offer a bath menu is all the rooms at Pangkor Laut Resort, and the Spa therapists draw them out for our guests. At home I recommend “Lovers dip”-a sensuous milk bath scented by fresh rose petals, kaffir lime and stimulating essential oils:
Mix fresh pandan leaf juice with kaffir lime juice in the tub and pour milk (about 3 ltrs). Pandan leaves are very beneficial for health, they are even used to treat several skin disorders. Kaffir lime acts as a great rejuvenator, alleviates colds and helps restore energy. Its also an excellent astringent and has anti-bacterial ingredients. Fresh milk helps hydrate, alleviate redness and prevent irritated skin.”
Well fresh milk is what kept Cleopatra look stunning all those many years ago so who are we to argue
Spas have become a big rage and trend around the world. Especially since our hectic lifestyles and travels leave our skins dehyderated and bodies absolutely tired. I for one try to fit in a Spa appointment atleast once a month, and especially if I am travelling I try to take time out to visit the hotel spa atleast for a massage if nothing else. I know alot of people who do the same and I am sure none of us would mind having such handy tips at home to soothe our senses once in a while. Here again the Small luxury Hotels of the Worl (SLH) team has put together a few tips on how we can create a Spa at Home.
Delphine Duffours, Spa Manager, Les Sources de Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa
“Relaxation is a question of atmosphere – even in the most ordinary bathroom, you can recreate the atmosphere of a luxury spa, thanks to some accessories and products. Here are my 4 tips to spa bliss in your own home – firstly put some scented candles around your bath. A soft light and fragrance will fill your bathroom, for an immediate sensation of well-being. Secondly, put on some soothing music. Classical, background music or natural sounds, choose what has the most relaxing effect on you. Then – take your time. Be sure that you won’t be interrupted during this “spa session”, give yourself some time to focus on your well being. Prepare yourself a cup of green tea and a plate of fresh fruits high in potassium, like banana, kiwi, or avocado, to help relieve stress and anxiety.Finally, choose new beauty products, with soft textures and delicate fragrances. Take care of your body with a scrub, take time for a facial mask, massage and moisturize your body and your face.”
Jason Sloan, Group Director of Spa, Per AQUUM Retreats
“Home scrub for skin like velvet, it works! Mix up some medium coarse salt or sugar (sugar is milder in texture and better for sensitive skin), cover the sugar/salt in grape-seed oil and some lavender essential oil. After being in the warm to hot bath for five minutes the skin has softened enough for you to scrub your legs arms and body as you bathe, the scrubbing circular action will remove dead skin and the oils will nourish, soothe and heal. Use with a loofah or exfoliating gloves if you wish. After the bath, shower with warm water to remove excess oils and pat dry, moisturise if necessary.
For a very gentle effective face peel; wash your face with a mild PH balanced cleanser. Mix fresh lemon juice with live natural unsweetened yoghurt leave on your face for 15 minutes (avoid eye area) and gently wash your face. Use a gentle toner and apply moisturiser. Very deep cleansing – try this regime 3 times a week and see the difference.Bring your spa to your bed – try adding lavender/rosewood to the final rinse in your wash cycle for your sheets!”
To check out more tips on how to create Hotel style at your home click here
When Slumdog Millionaire released, most of my Indian friends were quite mortified by the portrayal of India in the movie. I never really got down to watching the film, besides bits and pieces when it came on television. And I am certain if I were to watch the whole movie I really would not have been offended. What I have been noticing though is the major influence India has been making in the design and fashion circuit since the movie. I mean earlier Indian inspiration came only in form of prints and a few graphic symbols like Laxmi or Ganesh on T-shirts and Bedcovers, which came in the category of street fashion or hippie fashion, or there would be a one-off India inspired piece. Whereas now, there are full collections by renowned fashion and design houses which are being inspired by India. And I don’t blame them, in terms of design India has got a whole lot of inspiration, from natural beauty to the fabrics and colours and most importantly its vast history and tradition.
It could well be said that this is because luxury markets have taken a huge hit in Europe and America, while in India it has seen a steady growth. Whatever the reason I am quite kicked by the fact that India is inspiring so many people and collections. After all, I don’t know how many more time I can answer “So do you travel be elephants?” or be known only for snake charmers. The answer to the question by the way is, no we don’t travel by elephants most of us have cars and snake charmers are just one of the market side appeals of the country, no one has pet snakes at home. Here are a few Luxury brands which have showcased Indian inspiration in the recent past.
INDIA INSPIRED FASHION
This year Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld delivered his India inspired collection at the Chanel Metiers d’Arts 2012 Pre-Fall collection titled “Paris-Bombay”. The collection features intricate embroideries, raw silk and other extravagant materials characterise an exquisite combination of delicate Indian handcrafts and Parisian fashion. Models both men and women were adorned with accessories including head-jewellery and turbans. In Lagerfeld’s words “it is the Paris version of the idea of India”. The colours were from Fuchsia, to ivory-white to gold and silver. Louis Vuitton made headlines in the past when they came out with their collection of bags inspired by India and even changed the window display of their stores by displaying an artwork of Hindu goddess ‘Laxmi’ during Diwali festival. LVMH even launched a collection ‘L’ame du Voyage’ which is inspired by travels in India and the range consists of handbags, travel bags, jewelry and accessories. Hermes another iconic fashion brand, had recently launched its limited edition Sarees which are an extension of the famous ‘Hermes’ scarf. A silhouette which dates back more than 1,000 years has now been accepted as a ‘must-have’ drape in the fashion world. These Sari’s begin at $6,000 and since most of Hermes clients are Indian millionaires it is considered quite a steal. They also did a whole India inspired collection of scarves with bright colours and motifs like the elephant.
INDIA INSPIRED PERFUMES
In terms of beauty product and scents India has a vast history. There are a variety of materials which originate in India and have inspired designers over the years, like Sandalwood, Jasmine, Cardamom and many more. But over the years more and more Luxury brands and indulging in bringing out India inspired collections.
One of the best and oldest perfumes of great success was Shalimar by Guerlain produced in 1925. Shalimar was inspired by the love of an Indian Emperor for his beloved wife. The love story inspired Jacques Guerlain to create this masterpiece named after the Gardens Of Shalimar where the two Indians found love. This perfume is suitably exotic, blending fragrant floral with sensual notes of patchouli and amber to create a powerful love potion. Shalimar’s recognizable scent has captivated women and their admirers for almost a century now. Jaipur by Boucheron, is another perfume that invites you to discover mystic and enchanted Orient. The bottle is shaped as a bracelet which is considered a lucky charm in Rajasthan. This rich floral bouquet with sweet fruity notes was created in 1994. Jean-Claude Ellena, Hermès’ in-house perfumer, drew inspiration from Kerala– for Un Jardin Apres La Mousson (“Garden After Monsoon”) This perfume captures the quiet yet natural beauty of Kerala with its blue-green bottle and the smell reminds you of the romance of monsoons.
INDIA INSPIRED MAKE-UP
In terms of Make-up too alot of brands have come up with India inspired collections. They have been inspired by the earthy tones, metallic sheen as well as the bright hues of India all of which goes perfectly well with the Indian skin. Chanel’s ‘Bombay Express’, designed by Creative Director Peter Philips are meant conjure up “a specific vision of India”, from “Surreal princesses from an idealised empire” to “the scent of jasmine” and “lavishness of the Maharajas”. Clarins a Paris-base cosmetic company that designed one of their fall collections based on Indian colors called Enchanted. Holi, a religious spring festival celebrated by Hindus, inspires the colors in this collection. The Enchanted line consists of an eye shadow palette with a very Indian inspired packaging design. The collection features lips glosses named Pink Jaipur and Nude Delhi as well as a kajal eyeliner that Indian women have used as one of their makeup staples for centuries.Guerlain has come up with a mineral base collection called Terracotta which is supposed to be inspired by the earthy richness found it India. It has lip glosses by the name of Beige Bengali, Rogue Sultan and Pondicherry. It also has a Kajal mineral coal in Black Fakir.
INDIA INSPIRED ACCESSORIES
Christian Louboutin launched his gorgeous India inspired shoe collection earlier in 2012. This collection draws inspiration from India and Bollywood in particular. Earlier this year, he also opened up his first outlet in India. His love for India and its culture dates back to the days of 70s and 80s. He appreciates the diverse crafts and splendour associated with vibrant Indian culture. In his own words – “If India was a shoe; it would have to be a bright coloured sandal with some gold”. The collection has received a great welcome since its launch, its available in multiple colours, and have embellishments in studs and sequins reflecting the grandeur of Indian craftsmanship. Judith Leiber has a definite affinity towards India. Besides the India inspired collection of Ganesh, Elephant and Camel they also has Indian fashion designer Suneet Varma design bags for them. Though I am not certain how I feel about carrying a Ganesh in my hand,as pretty as it looks I am certain I will offend some religious person (besides the fact that I doubt I can own the $6,000 piece)
INDIA INSPIRED FURNITURE
Furniture has its own place in India, so where we usually associate Indian furniture with heavy oriental or classic pieces, in the recent past designers have infused Indian traditional pieces with European styles and created a fusion collection. For instance Eames did a limited edition Indian inspired chair. In fact even Indian furniture designers like Alex Davis have come to their own whereby they have been taking inspiration from India and creating furniture collections.
After their presentation of the Charpoy collection Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien continue their partnership with Moroso in the shape of two new products, My Beautiful Backside and Princess. Like Charpoy, these display a fusion of two worlds, India and Europe.My Beautiful Backside has a lacquered wood base frame with large cushions fixed to it to form the backrest. The cushions are covered with Indian textiles and decorated with very large, extremely beautiful buttons. Fabrics include silk and cotton and a Kvadrat wool cloth designed by Giulio Ridolfo which is woven like an Indian silk, the warp and weft are of two different colours.The Princess version, so-called for the Princess and the Pea fairytale, has five mattresses one of top of the other with variously coloured edges
INDIA INSPIRED FABRICS AND WALLPAPER
Indian prints have been great inspiration for fabrics all over the world. This has been going on for years in forms of fabrics and wallpapers. For instance Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s Jaisamand wallpaper for Graham and Brown. He named his line in honor of one of India’s most spectacular natural landscapes and used Rajasthani-inspired colorways. Or Morris & Co. which has had its own Indian design section for a long time. But there are also designers like British design Tricia Guild whose main inspiration for design has been India. She has lived in India and wandered all over taking inspiration and creating designs inspired by India and for India. Her latest collection Amarapali for instance is a beautiful collection with bright flowers.
INDIA INSPIRED FOOD
The French who are undoubtedly the best pastry chefs also took inspiration from India to create the Laduree Bollywood collection. The collection does not extend to flavour as much as the colour and shape. Sold in a box of four, the collection kind of looks like a box of sweets from India: Indian pink being grenadine strawberry, citrus green is mint chocolate, canary yellow is citrus lemon and ivory-white are coconut raspberry balls. The collection is also a slight departure from the usual macaroon recipe. Each ball consists of a biscuit garnished with cream and coated in a very light meringue.
Monsoon is a great time to give your abode a practical yet vibrant makeover. D’Decor, provides some useful tips and trends to re-invent your home décor this Monsoon.
With plenty of black and grays outside, it is a definite no-no for the interiors. Whites and creams can also be avoided as they get difficult to maintain, especially if you have kids in the house.Monsoon calls for warm and bright colors such as ochre, coral, shades of red or neon pastels. Lend a refreshing change to your home décor with vibrant colors, quirky printed fabrics and accessories to add a touch of liveliness.
With overcast skies, one would need whatever light that can enter the home to enhance the bright colors and reflective surfaces. Use light cotton or sheer curtains or blinds which do not have lining, to allow sufficient light to enter the room, yet providing the privacy needed.
Small colorful cotton rugs and mats are a surely recommended as add ons, so that one can clean their feet before jumping on the bed. Keep the bed clean as well as dry, such that you do not need to change the linen frequently. Cover the beds during the day with bed-covers made from blended fabrics and sit back and enjoy the pleasant weather!
The HerbalifeSKIN line is an all new addition to Herbalife‘s outer nutrition range of products that balances ingredients, botanicals, and extracts with proven science to achieve maximum daily results to ensure beautiful, healthier and younger-looking skin. . Herbalife SKIN consists of 10 unisex products which will be made available in selected markets across India from the middle of October 2014.
HerbalifeSKIN products have been formulated with an optimum blend of Vitamin B3 and antioxidant Vitamins C and E, and Aloe Vera to get softer, smoother, more radiant skin and diminish fine lines and wrinkles. Created to replenish and rejuvenate the skin with fast results, HerbalifeSKIN has been clinically proven to produce visible results in just 7 days*.The HerbalifeSKIN range is paraben-free, sulfate-free** and dermatologist tested. The HerbalifeSKIN line is comprised of 10 new products, which include a Soothing Aloe Cleanser, Polishing Citrus Cleanser, Energizing Herbal Toner, Line Minimizing Serum, Firming Eye Gel, Hydrating Eye Cream, Daily Glow Moisturizer, Replenishing Night Cream, Instant Reveal Berry Scrub and Purifying Mint Clay Mask.Made with fruit extracts, essential oils, plant enzymes, chamomile, and antioxidant vitamins, the SKIN line is unisex and is suitable for all skin types, with the exception of two cleansers: Soothing Aloe Cleanser for normal to dry skin, and Polishing Citrus Cleanser for normal to oily skin.
My personal favourites are the Purifying Mint Clay Mask, Rs. 1208 and Hydrating Eye cream, Rs. 2240 which are both effective and show almost immediate results
* 7 Day Results applicable to Line Minimizing Serum, Replenishing Night Cream, Daily Glow Moisturizer, Hydrating Eye Cream, Polishing Citrus Cleanser & Purifying Mint Clay Mask. **Applies to Polishing Citrus Cleanser, Soothing Aloe Cleanser, and Instant Reveal Berry Scrub.
So as much as it is supposed to be scary, there is something sexy about the creatures of the night. At least in current fan fiction. Here is our picks of the best Halloween products that have inspired designers..
1. Moi et la Rose Sofa, Sicis
2. Marie Antoinette chandelier, Bisazza
3. Magic Mo, Swarovski
4. Alexander Mcqueen Fall collection
5. Skeleton Watch, Corum
6. Spider Lantern, www.Spirithalloween.com
7. Skull Candle Holder, http://www.spirithalloween.com
8. Halloween Goblet, Walmart
9. Black Pumps, Christian Louboutin
10. Mask by Diane von Furstenberg for Elephant family
11. Social Butterfly mask, Laila Singh
12. Maleficent Lipstick, MAC
13. Hypnotic Poison, Dior
Coral is not a strange hue to appear in Autumn-Winter, but this time it has taken the unique Avtaar of a pleasant peachy-coral combination. All across fashion and decor this trend is quite visible. Here have a look:
‘Health is not simply the absence of disease’ is the philosophy on which the brand Navarasas bases its products. Holistic medicine is the concept of treating the whole person or animal rather than just parts. Harmonizing holistic healing & nature’s living energy in the form of Essential Oil blends & Aromatherapy, at Navarasas they cater to a wide range of all natural products for humans & animals alike. To keep the interaction pure, they don’t use any chemicals or additives.Their mission at Navarasas is to bring about eternal wellness & balance of mind, body & soul! While my mission was to test these products and give an honest feedback, and that is what I have done.
Hand Sanitizer, Rs.149
I know it is a strange product to begin with, but that is because being obsessed with Hand Sanitizers, this one i am addicted to. Unlike most Hand Sanitizer’s, this one does not smell like an antiseptic cream while having all the essential antiseptic properties and genuinely makes your palm smooth.
Lavender Ylang Ylang Sugar and Sea Salt Scrub, Rs.849
This scrub has excellent cleansing qualities and the essential oil leaves the skin feeling replenished and a glow on the face. Though the salt makes it slightly itchy if you have broken or dry skin, so you need to be careful for even despite the essential oils for it may pinch slightly.
Lavender Ylang Ylang Body Wash and Foam Wash, Rs.399
A very relaxing product, this is excellent for a soak in the bath after work. Inspired by the tranquil properties of lavender and Ylang Ylang it is bound to relax you and make you feel stress free. But it is better used as a foam bath than Body wash.
The tree and lemon Hand wash same as the Hand Sanitizer shows excellent results in terms of hand care. Crafted with all-natural germicide properties of tea tree and lemon oil it is a definite must buy!
Boost Shampoo, Rs.599
Packed with essential oils, this shampoo is supposed to be excellent for damaged hair and dandruff. It did have a good result on my hair texture, but I felt the consistency was too watery and too much product got wasted. Maybe after being used to soaps which lather a lot this was a bit different, but I would need more than one wash to be able to judge properly.
When you think of going to the beach, you think of sand and sea- shore or ocean right? Well, here are some amazing beaches that do not meet the usual expectations you had in mind, but look gorgeous anyway…
Maldives Beach Brings The Stars To The ShoreThis is one truly incredible sight to see! The lights on the shores of this beach are caused by a bioluminescent phytoplankton. Individually, these creatures are too small to be seen, but gathered together they look like a starry night!
Glass Beach in CaliforniaLocated near Fort Bragg in California, Glass Beach looks beautiful but is the truth of its formation is rather sad. Many years ago, residents used to dump their trash in these waters. Today, the glass is from trash materials moulded by the water and washed back onto shore.
MOERAKI BOULDERS “Dragon Eggs”, Koekohe Beach in New ZealandThe pieces of sedimentary rocks left behind are too hard for the water to completely break down, but as the water continuously rolls against them, it creates these egg like formations.
The Beach of the Cathedrals located in Ribadeo, Spain Over the years the water continuously pounds against these rocks, creating what looks like stunning cathedral architecture, all produced by the creative hand of nature.
Hidden Beach located in Marieta, Mexico The beautiful hidden beach, officially called Playa De Amor or the Beach of Love, was created by the Mexican government during target practice in the early 1900’s.
Ritual: Elixir Ultime 24 Carats,90 minutes, Rs.3,200++ Location: The Imperial Salon, New Delhi
The Imperial Hotel, which in my opinion is the epitome of luxury, now introduces a large variety of luxurious skin and hair treatments at the Imperial Salon. These include Kerastase Ladies Hair and Nail treatments, Signature facials with Natura Bisse Products, Bridal Preparations, Nair Art and Nail Care along with OPI, Special treatments for male grooming needs and a retail shop for all Homecare products.
My love for the Imperial Hotel, its Old world charm and exclusive services is very well known, which is why I never turn down an invite from them and am never disappointed. This time was no different as I tried out their Elixir Ultime 24 Carats ritual. The idea behind this treatment is to provide shine, nourishment, protection and resistance for the hair. This ritual combines a customization of treatments and massage techniques that best suit you to make you feel relaxed and beautify your hair.
The treatment begins with a Personalized Hair and Scalp Analysis with a Diagnostic Camera. This is to profile the thickness of hair shaft, sebum levels in hair, scalp sensitivity, any dandruff and hair loss. My results were that I have healthy roots but dry hair thanks to over use of chemicals and hence my treatment will focus more on my hair strands than the roots. The “Exilr Ultime” which was recommended for my hair starts with a shampoo and followed by the application of a Hair Booster and a beautifying oil masque, Oleo. Oleo – Complexe is precious luxury oil that contains Maize Oil for Nourishment, Pracaxi Oil for strengthening, Argan Oil for protection and Camellia Oil for smoothening. This is applied section by section across the hair and followed by a gentle massage.The in- depth massage has 7 steps that concentrate on enhancing hair growth, stimulating the scalp and encouraging circulating that provides long term hair beautification and also de stressing your crown chakra. These massage techniques which incorporates pressure point massage techniques, occipital work, push and pull and raking techniques from India, Bali and Thailand create a deep relaxation. After the oil massage, mask application ritual the hair is rinsed and a small amount of Elixir Ultime is run through the hair before a smoothing blow dry and style. And your hair looks a feels like a million bucks.