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App Review: Swiggy Food Delivery, Mumbai

Some people are addicted to substances, some to Netflix and some others, the average Joes like me are addicted to food. Like, this gets serious. I get hangry, and when I get to that point, I absolutely must eat what I feel like eating. Add some serious cravings and we are on the verge of war. But otherwise, on a normal day, like twice a month, I am a perfectly nice person.

So the other day, I was craving some Taco Bell and then I had to figure out how to get it at home. And that’s when I went exploring the world of food delivery apps. Up for consideration were Foodpanda and Swiggy. Since Foodpanda didn’t show Taco Bell in my area and Swiggy did (seriously, Swiggy has a lot more choices than FoodPanda), I decided to review the app. I went over to the Google Play store and they were even replying to people’s comments so I was a happy pup.

 

The Interface

The Swiggy interface is clean and has lots of tempting pictures of food. Which for a hungry person is evil but I understand where they are coming from. They give you options from your area and stuff that’s almost an hour away so you’ve plenty to play with. I like that it’s got the restaurant listed, the price point of it and also how much time it would take for the food to be delivered from that particular place. However, the timings can be really off so be mindful of that.

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The Order

Once you choose your restaurant, you get a list of all the items available at the place. You can then choose quantity and any customization you may want. The process of ordering was quite smooth and easy. Also because I knew what I wanted. For someone who’s trying a place for the first time, the lack of descriptions might make it a little difficult to make a decision. Then again. I don’t know why you would try something new with an app.

 

The navigation is really simple. The top bar allows you to quick scan through the items you may want. After this, they ask you to login before you can move on. Which really, I don’t enjoy. The app also constantly asks for permission to make calls, receive and send smses and the like. Not good. At some point, it wanted to control my entire phone. They then ask for your number, then your address and they probably asked for my first born but I was bored by then so I agreed to it. Once you put in your number, you’ve to put in a password. Then , it will ask for your address. This obviously I put in.

 

 

Payment

Once you give them all of this, they send you to the payment page where you part away with your hard earned cash. They’ve plenty of options to choose from here. From mobile wallets to cards to COD. Now, here, ensure you’ve clicked on ‘Add New Card’. I saw the HDFC logo and clicked on it quickly then realising that I don’t remember my Net Banking details. But you are probably educated and read so, you’ll not make these silly mistakes.

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Order Delivery

Once your order is place, you move to this map where they give you step by step instructions on what is happening with your food. First, it tells you if the restaurant has confirmed your order. Then they tell you who’s there to get your order. Then that they did , in fact, get the order and are on their way. After that, you can track this guy down to every exhalation till he gets to your place.

 

Once the guy was around here, he called me to get the exact location. When I went down to get it, he had no uniform on but that didn’t bother me because he had my food and after waiting more than an hour (to be fair, it did say 53 minutes), I was famished and couldn’t be bothered about his clothing. Also, the map showed him much farther away than he was so I was a little confused. There’s no Swiggy branding on the order as well. Maybe they know what’s going on? Swiggy?

 

 

Verdict: Overall, I do like the app and it makes it deliciously easy to get food you want at your doorstep. There are a few hiccups like delivery time and stuff. There’s also a lot of updating but I can’t tell if it’s real time because this guys was under my nose and the app showed him 11 minutes away. Anyway, it’s an app I would recommend trying the next time the cravings hit. BUT. BUT, please don’t ask for so many permissions to do things I wouldn’t let anyone do on my phone. Psst. Send nudes. kind. ūüôā

 

 

 

 

5 Really Cool Makeup Takeaways from the Namrata Soni Masterclass

Recently, Innisfree invited me for a makeup masterclass with celebrity makeup artist Namrata Soni. Now, before we go anywhere, let me tell you, this woman is a total rockstar and I have been following her on Instagram for, well, just about forever.

Innisfree is a Korean makeup brand that I was first introduced to when I made a trip to Delhi. The brand then came to Mumbai but since I found their skincare a little heavy for my face, I hadn’t made too many purchases from them. So the brand also has makeup which I knew but I kind of ignored. Their nail paints did look really interesting though.

Anyway, I loved the masterclass with Namrat Soni. She gave us some really cool insider tips and tricks which, because I am an amazing person, I will share with you here.

  1. Do up your eyebrows

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When we are in a rush, we can be a little dismissive of eyebrows and will slap on some lipstick and be on our way. Namrata explained that big, bushy eyebrows frame the face and wait for it, can make you look younger. Of course, by a couple of years, it’s not Botox y’all. But, yes, younger.

2. Light and Dark

Still on eyebrows. So you know how we go in with just one shade on our brush and do our eyebrows? Namrata says you should use a lighter colour on the inside and use a darker shade on the outside of your brows to make them look more natural. I always wondered why they had two shades in an eyebrow kit. Now I know.

3. Highlighter Mayhem

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I tend to have this issue where when I use highlighter, some of the texture on my face, the tiny bumps and all becomes prominent. And I asked Namrata about it. The key to not have your highlighter do that is to take a more subtle highlight. Something that looks like you’ve an inner glow and something that doesn’t blind people. Subtlety is key. I am as subtle as a raging bull, so…

4. Foundation Flaws

At the end of the session , Namrata was sweet enough to take pictures with all of us and recommend a shade , if we asked (of the cushion foundation that Innisfree is launching) and she gave us some stellar insights. She said that if you aren’t able to find an exact shade match, go for a slightly warmer shade, you’ll look better for it. Also, natural. I was like, you rock my world, woman.

5. It’s okay to cross

Another blogger asked if it’s okay to cross use products- foundation as concealer, lipstick as eyeshadow etc- and if it’s safe. Namrata said it was completely okay to do that. She did have a caveat, you just have to ensure it doesn’t break you out. I wouldn’t do this, but Namrata says go right ahead.

So how fab and unusual are these tips? I mean, Namrata was thorough and knew the brand and its products inside out. It was amazing.

We met Namrata as a part of a masterclass organised by Innisfree. The brand is introducing their cushion foundations and they will be in stores by April. The packaging is pretty fabulous and the concept is interesting too. You can pick your case, then your shade and in the range that suits you and even an applicator. Much fab.

 

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Hotel Review: Vivanta By Taj, Cuffe Parade

So over this weekend, we hit the luxurious Vivanta By Taj for a staycation with the girls. Which was amazing. We had so much fun. I also learnt, over this weekend, that day drinking is amazing. Shopping after day drinking is even more fun. It involves a couple of very confusing purchases and a lot of maintaining of balance but nothing you can’t handle. We 4 ladies headed to Taj pretty early, their check in is at 2pm but we couldn’t wait to get this party started. Now, I had called the previous day, Friday to confirm my early check in (I had asked for between 10am and 11am) and also if they could do something for my friend who is getting married. They said they could do something with flowers and a cake. I was really excited. I had spoken to Deval who was headed for a vacation but I was sure the Taj would have a way they communicate such requests internally. Now, let’s get right to the review.

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The entrance, front desk and welcome letter.

Arrival

We had mentioned an early check in but because we are hungry people, we stopped to get some lunch and only reached the hotel at 12:30. At the front desk, Rishab was there to assist us. He told us the rooms were not ready but said we could grab something to drink at Trattoria which would be complimentary. We were offered a welcome drink the last time we had stayed here. There was nothing there this time.

Check in

At check in, since the booking was in my name, the papers were all drawn up in my name as well. We were also asked for IDs. Pan Cards don’t work and everyone who’s staying has to give an ID. I was also made to sign a paper and given a welcome letter.

The Rooms

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The room decor was pretty. We got that stain on the wall complimentary

We had booked two rooms. At 2pm, we were finally given the keys to one of the rooms. We were told that we couldn’t be given adjacent rooms, or connecting rooms and pretty much all we could get were rooms on the same floor. This was a bit of a downer but we decided it was okay. While handing me the keys Rishab mentioned that the cake, flowers and the arrangements had been made in the room. When were entered, however, there was a small flower rangoli and nothing else. Of course, we mentioned this to them over the phone a couple of times. We probably called about 4 times each time asking if the other room was ready, that the cake wasn’t there etc. etc. No one called back to check if things were okay.

At about 3pm, finally quite annoyed at being ignored like this, we went down to the front desk to tell them this was rubbish. Rishab had no idea the cake wasn’t there and looked quite baffled. Ankita, the Assistant Manager, stepped in and said she would turn this around give us rooms next to each other and would shift us to another floor and that we should wait for only 20 minutes.

 

At 4:30, we went down again. We decided to go shopping at the Causeway. Our rooms were still not given to us. As we were headed out, the keys were handed to us. We asked them to keep it and that we would return later to collect them. When we came back, they had put fruits, cake (delicious) , wine and cookies on the table. The rooms were also next to each other.

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The bathrooms were average as well. Nothing to write home about. They did have cheeky copy on their toiletries though. That was cute.

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Breakfast

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Now one of the reasons of a stay is a fabulous breakfast and having stayed here before, we knew the breakfast spread was yum. Maybe we were just having a bad stay but breakfast turned out to be a very sub-par affair. They rVerdan out of several things in the buffet, people were constantly asking them for refills and even sugar took a while to come to the table. This is a Sunday breakfast. I am sure they expected plenty of people to come in.

As for us, we were getting a workout in during breakfast by flailing our arms to get somebody’s attention.We had ordered a dosa which had gone missing for almost a full 45 minutes. Overall, breakfast turned out to be a meh affair.

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Experience

 

I have stayed at this property before and on a weekend as well. However, while last time the experience was fantastic, this time, it fell extremely short. At every step, there were hiccups. Worse still, there was no effort from their end to make up for the glitches we had faced. Overall, a disappointing experience. And even with the promises to turn things around, nothing seemed forthcoming.

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This on the left is the view from the ocean view room. And you are allowed to pick your pillows, which I would have if I wasn’t, well, so happy by the time I was back.

Go for: Well, this time, I can’t strongly recommend anything

Don’t go for: The service or the Sunday breakfast

The wallet is lighter by : Rs.21031 for 2 rooms for 1 night. Inclusive of taxes. By the way, this was more than the amount mentioned on Booking.com when we booked but apparently the meal plan has some extra taxes. 

DESTRESS QUOTIENT: 1.5 AAHs

 

 

 

Website Review: Trivago

If you’ve been watching enough TV, you would have spotted this guy who looks like he really needs a tailor and a shave telling you about how you can great hotel deals. When yu do finally manage to move your eyes away from the desperately-need-to-be-cut-to-length jeans, you discover that he’s talking about a website called Trivago where you can get very good deals on hotels.

You think, do I really need this? And this was obviously the question that was haunting me as well. Haunting maybe a rather strong word. I gave it a thought. And since I am headed off to enjoy a staycation next weekend, I decided to give Trivago a whirl. So, let’s do a step by step review, shall we?

Website Review

When you first come on the website, the place looks like Google. Now because I have been conditioned to have ads, copious amounts of content and slideshows on the landing page, I was a little taken aback with this clean interface. I mean, bombard me with information already. Kidding, this was very welcome. And I knew prices were going to be INR because it said so. Nice, I like .screen-shot-2017-02-03-at-11-57-50-am

Now, when you put in the place you want to book a hotel at, for me it was Mumbai, it gives you options within Mumbai. These options didn’t seem to based on one particular thing so it seemed rather random to me. Take a look. Is there a pattern I missed?

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Once I chose Mumbai, I was given options of various hotels. At this point, they don’t know what dates I am looking at. But they gave me rates. I think these would be approximates. Once I key in the details- check in, check out and what kind of room, the search results changed. ¬†On the left, I had options of filters I could use to refine my search.

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The top filters on the left had stars, rating, price (so important), distance from city centre and other popular options like spa, beach, free wifi etc.

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Most of the hotels had 3 price options displayed. This were from different websites: Hotels.com, otel.com , Booking.com, Cleartrip, Expedia etc. They had 3 lowest price options and a 4th and cheapest option was listed in big, bold on the right.

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Since we wanted breakfast to be included, I put that in my search parameters. For us, Vivanta was looking good, so I clicked on the ‘View Deal’

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Now here’s the glitch. The website says the deal is on Hotels.com and ¬†I found the deal.

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I was still generally browsing seeing if I could score a better deal and I spotted the Grand Hyatt. Can you see the ‘Free Breakfast’? Yeah, it was still chosen. When I went to the deal however, even in the same price range, it wasn’t included. ¬†I am not sure what happened here. screen-shot-2017-02-03-at-12-24-06-pm

So it says the breakfast is part of the 27,250 rupees deal. When I was redirected, I was being shown rooms for much, much cheaper. That’s okay, because I assume that’s where it links to. Since this was two rooms, I calculated about Rs.13,000 per room and scrolled down. Even in this price point, the breakfast is not included! And you think, no, check the details. Nope, in the other rooms, this was mentioned clearly. But I have asked for a breakfast deal!

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Once you are on the other website, you are left to your own devices to figure out the details and trivago goes out of the picture.

Here’s a quick analysis of the website.

The Good

  • It’s extremely handy to use. Knowing the prices on different website certainly makes it easier. Plus, it will even mention if the hotel’s website is offering a good deal
  • It’s quick and comprehensive covering almost all sorts of hotels and will alert with a small blurb if there’s a deal.

The Bad

  • I don’t know if it lists websites that have not come on board with it. For example, there was no makemytrip and I know that the app offers some really good deals, so yeah.
  • The filters should work. If I ask for a room with breakfast, please show me one with that.

The Ugly

  • All the prices here are without taxes and when you finally add up things, it adds a decent amount to your total. For example, see this.

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Verdict: Overall, I think it’s a great idea to have a website where you can find all the deals you could possibly need on all the hotels. But like I said, if the website isn’t working with them, do they still include those? Hmm.¬†

Destress Quotient: 4.5 AAHs

 

 

Product Review: Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

There’s a point in my life where I have everything except a scrub. I have too many products at all times but I always think I could use something more. You should know that I do not need anything more. I just think I should get it. So I went hunting for a good scrub. A scrub that would leave me glowing and gorgeous and with the skin of a 16 year old. And I chanced upon the Dermalogica Daily Mircofoliant. Here’s a review.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

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Feel: Well, well, well. What do you know. First of all, this product will throw you right off because it’s not a scrub in the traditional sense. It’s a powder. It looks like something you could shoot up your nose but you shouldn’t unless you want squeaky clean nostrils and why do you want that? Anyway, this is a powder and it’s white. Trump would be happy.

Fragrance: It doesn’t smell like anything. Even mildly. Great for people with sensitive noses.

Price: Rs. 975  for 13 grams

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Buy it at:  Dermalogica counters (few and far between) and online

Verdict:¬†This is a super expensive scrub. But it’s also really gentle. When you make a paste out of it and apply it on your skin, the granules kind of disappear which is AWESOME. Makes you really believe the gentle claim. However, it is really pricey and you won’t notice a dramatic difference in the skin, so I am on the fence. I use it because I have invested that kind of money but ¬†I wouldn’t buy it again, so doesn’t come strongly recommended.

Product Review: Kaya Skin Awakening Rinse and Brightening Eye Serum

The description here is long. I know. But also this is a post about how dermatologists in our country are probably smoking up some very potent stuff. A lady at the Kaya counter was a very good sales person and she convinced I needed a facewash for the morning. Which let me tell you now, you don’t. You never will. A face wash doesn’t know timing and will do its job in the AM and PM. Yeah, so I didn’t need it and you won’t also. She also managed to sell me the Kaya Brightening and Firming Eye Serum promising me it would reduce my dark circles. Now if you don’t know, when someone says erases dark circles I will buy the product before they get to the end of their sentence. Yes, I am extremely gullible. So here’s a review of these two products.

Kaya Skin Awakening Rinse

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Like I said, you don’t need a morning face wash. This fact was further driven home when I started using this product. It does absolutely nothing.

Feel:¬†It comes in a tube that’s transparent with a hint of orange. Now you would think that this would be for some reason but that’s not the case. It has a screw on lid that if not closed real tight will allow the product to leak through. The product itself is a gel and is quite runny.

Fragrance: It‚Äôs¬†smells like Tang. That’s a good thing right?

Price: Rs. 490 for 100ml

Buy it at:  All Kaya counters, stores and online.

Verdict:¬†I wouldn’t recommend this product to anyone. This does absolutely nothing. It has some suspended glitter particles but mine have just collected in a corner and sit there just chilling. It does not refresh you, certainly doesn’t give you a ‘bloom’ (as mentioned at the back of the product) and is a complete waste of you money. Avoid.

Kaya Brightening and Firming Eye Serum

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Let’s just say this product is really weird.

Feel:¬†It said it was a brightening serum and i bought it. The product comes with a dropper and you have to dab the gel around your eye area. You do that and nothing happens. My dark circles haven’t budged and they don’t look firmed up at all.

Fragrance:It smells like nothing. There’s a faint fragrance but I can’t classify it.

Price: Rs. 990 for 10ml

Buy it at:  All Kaya counters, stores and online.

Verdict:¬†Don’t fall for their tall claims. Nothing happens. And infact, when I applied this product, there’s this weird white residue that comes up around the eye area. And that’s why this product is not recommended. It’s expensive and doesn’t perform. Apparently, a lot of dermatologists work at Kaya. Maybe they should get other jobs.

 

 

Website Review: Koovs.com

You know what happens when you have a million things to do and you get really overwhelmed? Yeah, some people will power through and start ticking things off that list. I, on the other hand, will go shopping. I indulge in retail therapy more than is normal, usual or socially acceptable. Since I give 0 f***s about society’s opinions on my shopping or anything else for that matter I headed over to Koovs.

Just so you know, this is not a sponsored post. If it was, I would be shopping for much, much more.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the website. So, the interface is just about okay. Nothing too pretty or fancy. I have gone to Koovs before and liked their clothes so much more than the Jabongs and Myntras of the world. So yeah, also there was a sale and the clothes are going for really low, peeps, I mean, it’s a steal. I got 3 tops for Rs.800 *collects your jaw from floor, attaches it back to face*. I know right?

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So, that’s not very pretty. It’s very sales-y. But I fell for it. Khee khee.

Even the product pages, not very exciting. Meh.

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They have the usual, the sorting out options- by price, colour , size and the like. The thing I don’t like is you can’t add the product straight to your bag from the main page. You can see the sizes, how it looks front and back but can’t add it to your bag. You have to click on it to do that.

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And now is the bit that juggles with my snuggles. I mean, it annoys me. They let you do your shopping and you are like I don’t want to give you any info, I will continue as a guest.

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But they then ask you all your details and I don’t even know what the difference would be if I signed up.

My email address, my phone number and all that. They of course need my address to give me my clothes but yes.

Okay,specifically here, remember to save the details once you put them in and not just clik on ‘Place Order’ coz it deletes it and you’ll have to rewrite the whole thing.

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But see, see how much I paid for 3 tops. And one from New Look which bes expensive. Your payment options range from credit cards, debit cards and bank payments to all your usual suspects.

I am going to get the clothes in a few days so I will update this post with pictures of that. Let’s hold of the verdict till then about the products itself?

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However, I must mention that it’s got one of the better, more interesting collections in the online world.

 

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