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When it comes to versatility, Ajay Devgn is one of the few actors whose name immediately comes to mind. Right from comedy to action, romance and drama; the actor has done justice to almost every genre. And this time, he chose a thriller to win the hearts of his fans. When reports of Drishyam's Hindi remake broke out and the final cast, crew details were revealed, people were curious to see if the film can do justice to the original Malayalam film that starred Mohanlal, or even to the later remakes that saw Venkatesh (Drushyam in Telugu) and Kamal Hassan (Papanasam in Tamil) in the lead. For someone who hasn't seen any of the above mentioned films, I was looking forward to Devgn's Drishyam already. After all, it had Nishikant Kamat taking over as the captain of the ship, the same man who gave us Mumbai Meri Jaan (gem of a film). The trailer increased my excitement around the film, and my expectations soared. Fortunately for me, the film does live up it all, and much more.


While several members of the audience (at the press show) knew the plot and kept comparing the film with previous adaptations and the original film, I was hooked on till the end credits unfolded. Drishyam is a drama - thriller that is based on the theory - what we see is not always the truth. The Salgaonkar family - Vijay (Ajay Devgn), Nandini (Shriya Saran) and their daughters (Ishita Dutta and Mrinal Jadhav) - are living a happy and peaceful life in a quiet village on the Goa - Maharashtra border, until one incident changes their life forever. Vijay's elder daughter (Dutta) heads out for a nature trip with students from other schools, where she comes across Sam, who is introduced as the son of a high profile personality. One freak incident leads to another, and the Salgaonkar family falls in to deep trouble due to Sam. What makes matters worse is the fact that Sam turns out to be the son of Inspector General Meera Deshmukh (Tabu), who along with Inspector Gaitonde (Kamlesh Sawant) leaves no stone unturned to prove that the Salgaonkars are responsible for her son's mysterious disappearance. The sequences that follow will both blow your mind and leave you on edge of the seat, right till the end.


Nishkant Kamat has done a great job of handling a thriller and has kept it simple on the presentation front. He does not indulge in unnecessary graphics or loud background score for thrills. The direction is flawless, with almost zero loopholes, which is a must for a thriller like this. While the first half is where you get familiar with the characters, it is in the second half when the plot thickens and nail biting moments await. A word for the excellent choice of locations, which is like a breathe of fresh air. The film is entirely shot in Goa and parts of Ratnagiri, and Avinash Arun's cinematography does complete justice to the beautiful locations. The editing is crisp, which is crucial for films of this genre. The background score is good, and so are the dialogues (Upendra Sidhaye), which are lucid and to the point. Upendra Sidhaye's screenplay is excellent and has been adapted brilliantly (originally written by Jeethu Joseph) . That is well expected from a writer who has earlier won accolades for his work in Mumbai Meri Jaan. A word to the casting director, who gets every character right and has done a great job of getting together an excellent cast, that have delivered natural performances.


As far as the performances are concerned, both Ajay Devgn and Tabu make an impact with their power house performances. While Devgn's expressions and perfect dialogue delivery makes you relate to his Vijay Salgaonkar, Tabu's portrayal of Meera Deshmukh has the right attitude and angst. Performance after performance, Tabu has proved why she is one of the best female actors in the Hindi film industry and her act in Drishyam is no different. But if there is anyone apart from these two who steals the show, it is Kamlesh Sawant's excellent portrayal of Gaitonde. He plays it with such perfection, that you will leave the cinema hall hating him to the core. The thirst for revenge in his eyes can be seen throughout the film, and Sawant has delivered a performance that will be remembered for long. Shriya Saran's portrayal of Nandini is good, as she plays her part of a meek yet mentally strong housewife pretty well. Ishita Dutta makes an impressive debut as Devgn's elder daughter in the film and emotes well. Rest of the cast that includes Rajat Kapoor, and other actors who play the roles of Uncle Martin, Prabhu sir, Sam (the boy who is often seen in a sprite commercial, plays the baddie here, and he almost makes you feel like slapping him) among others have all done a good job. A special mention of the little Mrinal Jadhav, who left me spellbound with her incredible act. This young girl is such a natural. She has the power to move you with her adorable presence. In fact, I almost shed a tear or two during a pivotal scene, which involved her. Surely, kids these days are taking their job seriously and are going beyond being just cute. Child actors like Mrinal and Harshaali are proof. Well done, girls!

Verdict: Overall, Drishyam is one power packed film that has got everything right. Be it Nishikant Kamat's direction, the cast's incredible performance or the perfect technical aspect, they have nailed it in every department. It is certainly one of the best Hindi films of the thriller genre that I have seen in recent times. It may not be your regular, entertaining commercial fare, but Drishyam has got everything that a good film should - drama, suspense, action, thrills, humor and above all - an excellent plot. Don't miss it for anything this weekend. A must watch!

Have you seen Drishyam? Tweet your feedback to us on Twitter with the hash tag - #Drishyam - at @priyaadivarekar

Love,
The Dancebee
From working for a bank to becoming the only Indian author to get a record $1m advance for his trilogy, Amish Tripathi has surely come a long way. The author, who hails from a simple Pandit family and owes all his success to Lord Shiva's blessings, has got a huge fan base in several parts of the globe. All his books generate curiosity and excitement among his fans. We witnessed this enthusiasm during all the launch events of the Shiva trilogy and now, the phenomenon was repeated at the launch of his latest book, Scion of Ikshvaku (one and a half years in the making), which was launched with a record number of pre-orders last month.
Be it hitting the bulls eye with his perfect promotional strategy or setting an advanced goal of writing multiple series in the next 25 years, Amish is doing it all, but all this, while ensuring that he gives enough time to everything that he loves - reading, traveling and of course, his family. In a candid conversation with Priya Adivarekar, on a super busy Thursday morning, the Million Dollar author talks about Scion of Ikshvaku, life as a writer, spirituality and more.

If you had to describe the book - Scion of Ikshvaku - to someone who hasn't read it, how would you do it?
One way of looking at it is the fact that it is a thriller, and I admit many will read it just as that. The other way is the fact that there is a core philosophy behind all my books. Scion of Ikshvaku is no different. Like in the Shiva trilogy, the core philosophy was “What is evil?” Similarly, in this book, the core philosophy is “What is an ideal society?” So I guess, that would be the perfect way to describe the book.

After The Shiva Trilogy, did the idea of writing about Lord Ram come naturally to you or were there other concepts that you had in mind as well?
Well, I had many concepts in mind. In fact, all these concepts are somehow linked. Once you see all these concepts releasing in the form of books over the next 20-25 years (smiles), you can come back to the Shiva trilogy and notice how I have left clues and hints related to all the concepts. They are all linked.


So, is it true that the Ram Chandra series will have 5-6 books?
Absolutely! I have several series in my mind. All of them will tell the stories of the vedic people of our age, over a period of nine thousand years. These stories will explore their highs and lows, the beginning of their culture to the times when it was destroyed. Well, I just believe we are their unworthy descendants (smiles).

What was your reference for this particular book and subsequently, the series?
I have grown up listening to several versions of the Ramayana, thanks to my parents and the fact that my grandfather was a Pandit. That was one source. Secondly, I read a lot. So, I have read some versions of the Ramayana as well, one of them being the Ramcharitmanas, which is widely read and well known among the North Indians (and was also a reference for the popular 1980’s Indian show – Ramayan – by Ramanand Sagar). I have also read the Valmiki Ramayan, Kambaramayanam, Adhbhuta Ramayan among several others.

You are known to be someone who is actively involved with the promotional strategy of your books. Do you add your inputs during the conceptualizing stage?
Of course I do! I have always been closely involved. There is a core team, which apart from my wife and I, also includes the senior staff at Westland and our agency partner.

 Apart from the exclusive promotional activities organized with Amazon (Midnight delivery, Kindle – Exclusive chapter launch), what else is on the cards?
Our partnership with Amazon has been wonderful and apart from the above mentioned concepts, they also brought out prominent advertisements and developed great buzz on social media. Yes, we have already planned several marketing ideas for the next couple of months. We had a few celebrity launch events and during the Mumbai launch, we also had an exclusive drum circle, where even I played the drums. There is also an activity with Kotak Bank called ‘Tweet to Purchase’, where the bank customers can tweet and purchase the Scion of Ikshvaku through their Twitter banking facility. From what I think, this is the first time something like this is being done.


As a writer, what is a typical day in the life of Amish Tripathi like?
My day starts at around 5:30 am. I start off with an exercise, and then I do my pooja. I read four newspapers every morning. During my writing phase, I get down to work and start writing at around 9 am. I don’t focus on any form of marketing or interactions during the writing period. Right now, it’s my marketing phase, so all my attention and energies are focused on that.

Every writer has special way of unwinding or a stress buster that keeps writer’s block at bay. How do you unwind while writing?
To be honest, I guess I have been lucky and have been blessed by Lord Shiva, because I never really suffered from writer’s block. But then, there are several other sources of stress in life. For me, listening to music, spending time with family, traveling and reading are the best stress busters.

How often do you read? And what are you currently hooked on to?
I read anywhere between 4-8 books every month. Primarily, I read a lot of non-fiction. But around 10 – 20 per cent of my reading is dedicated to fiction. Recently,  I finished reading Bhima by M.T. Vasudevan Nair, an English translation of the popular Malayalam classic. Next on the reading list is Flood of Fire by Amitav Ghosh.

What does spirituality mean to you?
Spirituality is essentially a search for the divine in your life. This is a search that everyone should undertake. And for me, divine is the god within.

Back in time, was there any moment or period where you thought your work will get the kind of tremendous success that is eventually did?
Not at all! In fact, I didn't even know if my books will get published (smiles). Everything that has happened is way beyond my expectations.

Was it the success and response from fans that eventually led you to taking the plunge and quitting your job?
I know it sounds boring, but then, I don’t come from a very wealthy family. I have grown up in a humble family, so one has to be responsible when it comes to taking any career decisions. But eventually, the decision was primarily taken on a logical and rational basis. I wrote my first two books while I was still working. So, I was burning the candle at night and then, reporting to work in the day. By the third book, my loyalty cheque had become more than my salary. That’s when my elder brother and wife spoke to me, stating that it is rational for me to resign and focus on my writing career. And that’s how I took the plunge. 

#AskAmish Twitter Fan Questions


Amish: I write all my books the way they come to me. Honestly, I don't control the process.  It was the same with Shiva Trilogy, where I wrote Lord Shiva's character the way he came to me and not out of any conscious choices. So, that's the first aspect. Secondly, Lord Ram has been depicted in many ways. As I mentioned earlier, the version that most modern North Indians read is actually the version of the 1980's tele-series. If you read the Jain version of Ramayan, which is an extremely old version, Lord Ram is completely non-violent.



Amish: Yes, I have been approached for quite a few projects, but I haven't considered any offer as of yet. I am very clear that the core activities that I do and will always continue to do is writing books. So, if I can find some way to write scripts, without affecting the time that I utilize to write my books, I'll probably do that. But, it will never be at the cost of my books. My main focus will always be books - that is one thing I have always been clear about.



Amish: Of course, I do have the Maharabharata story in my mind. And as mentioned earlier, I will be writing all those stories in the coming years.

*interview continues*

Which means, you will be keeping your readers busy for the next 25 years. That's impressive!
Well, I hope they keep me busy and continue to read, buy my books. Otherwise I'll have to go back to banking (laughs).

Has there been any update on the Immortals of Meluha film adaptation?
Well, originally only The Immortals of Meluha was part of the contract. But now, the entire trilogy is a part of the contract, the right of which are with Dharma Productions. The trilogy will be adapted into a series of films and will be directed by Karan Malhotra. Karan and his wife Ekta are writing the script. My role is that of a creative consultant. I have explained the world and concept to them. I am not involved with the project in any other way.


It's been quite a busy year, with all the pre and post book release promotions and other work. Are you taking some time off for a vacation anytime soon?
I always take time out for a vacation. My wife and I love traveling, so we make sure that we include 1-2 foreign trips every year and at least 4-5 domestic holidays. Earlier, we would back pack while traveling. But now that we have a kid, comfortable traveling is a must. Recently, we traveled to Kenya for a wildlife safari vacation. We had a great experience, with some wonderful memorable moments. In fact, once there was a cheetah who climbed up on our jeep. It was a jeep that we had hired, where only my family (Amish, his wife and son) and the guide / driver were seated. The cheetah was at a distance where we could literally touch him, and well, there was no glass in between either. That was a divine experience! 

What’s the rest of 2015 going to be like for you?
I need to start writing now (smiles). Well, I need to start work on the next book, which I will once all the promotional work for Scion of Ikshvaku is done. There are a few visits and tours left. So, I'll probably start writing the second book in a month or two.

Love,
The Dancebee
Lately, I have realized that a lot of our blog readers, and people that I meet at events and meetings, often complain about sensitive skin. Sounds like a familiar term? Well, it sure does to me, because I have extremely sensitive skin, that reacts to a wrong product very easily. Even something simple like change of weather or temperature can cause havoc. And I am quite sure most of you have been facing similar problems, and have already consulted their dermatologists for tips. While it is necessary for everyone to get their skin checked and make sure that they are following the do's and don'ts, those with sensitive skin need to be extra cautious. A simple checklist can do wonders, while ensuring that you buy the right products, follow a few rules and don't go bonkers during the next sale at your favorite beauty or skincare store. We have compiled a list, that has been created after taking inputs from a few dermatologists, self experience and tips from a few others. Here are a few things that can help control sensitive skin and stop reactions.


 Golden Rule: The first and most important rule: Never buy a product that does not match your skin type or is not suitable for the concerns that you have been facing. You might just end up aggravating the concern. Sensitive skin can be calmed and controlled through the right set of products and a proper skincare routine. Do not jump to buy a particular product, just because your best friend has been raving about it. 

 The Product Testing Process: In case you are eager to try a new launch by your favorite brand, that promises to keep your skin calm and is perfect for sensitive skin, do a patch test before buying the product (do this for everything that you buy). You never know which ingredient in a product may just react and this test never fails. Do not test the product directly on your cheek. Try it behind your ear or the elbow area, and wait for at least 48 hours to check whether the product reacts or not. If there is any sign - redness/pinkness, flakiness, dry patch among others - do not buy! But if the cream passes this test, you can opt for another round of test by trying it on a tiny corner of your face and if it passes this test too, buy it. Remember, never be in a haste to buy skincare products. It is an apparel or accessory that can be tried on in one go and zoom, you are at the billing counter. Try a few samples (leading brands like Kiehl's will help you with samples on demand), follow the two tests and then, make a choice. Give it a good enough 3-4 days. You don't wanna take a chance with your skin, do you?


•  Inspection: While zeroing down on products during the testing stage, ensure that you check all the ingredients properly. You are investing in your skincare, so its always useful to invest some extra time for research. If you see any ingredient that matches something that was also used in your previous product that caused a reaction, strike it off your list.

 Simple Routine: Keep your skincare routine simple. This is one formula that I swear by, especially since my skin is also prone to acne and even redness during the summer to monsoon transition. A cocktail of products may just eventually lead to your skin getting exposed to an ingredient that may trigger a reaction.



Ban Toxic Materials: We try our best to prevent touching the face with our hands, but in vain. But if you have got a fresh manicure with nail enamel done, then keep your fingers away from sensitive skin. Most nail enamels contain toxic ingredients like Formaldehyde, dibutyle phthalate (DBP), Toluene among others. Since we often touch our face, these ingredients can trigger reactions. Fortunately, brands like Chanel, Zoya, Kure Bazaar among others are have toxic-free nail enamels, that are your best bet.

•  Drink up!: Nothing better than drinking oodles of water. Get those aerated drinks out of your diet. Opt for flavored water (add mint, lemon and cucumber) or even coconut water. But, ensure that you drink up at least 8-9 glasses of water a day. Drink up enough water regularly and the result? Well hydrated skin, that can keep most concerns at bay. It can also help heal dry cracks and patches on your skin (body or face).


  •  Keep calm: With the kind of lifestyle that we all live, a small break comes as a big boon. Use it to meditate, travel, listen to music, book a spa session or just get involved in activities that make you feel happy and relaxed from within. Sometimes, inner stress and angst can show on your face (in my case, it definitely does). For those with non-stop assignments, opt for 'stress buster minutes' in between work, by simply closing your eyes for 5 mins and letting everything go. Oh, and please make sure you get adequate sleep!

Make sure that follow these simple steps. But don't forget, you must continue to consult a dermatologist. It is absolutely necessary for you to understand the root cause of a concern that has stayed on for long. Treat it, heal it and Stay beautiful!

Love,
The Dancebee
Usually, I opt for a haircut only twice a year (April & September). And if I want the length of my hair to grow well, I will only opt for occasional trims and trust my stylist to add some magic by tweaking the hairstyle a bit. Oh! And I can be very fussy when it comes to choosing the right hair stylist. I have had the same stylist for years now and honestly, I get very skeptical when it comes to any form of hair makeovers with other stylists. So, when Juice Salon approached me to get a fun monsoon makeover, I wasn't too sure about it. But my team (especially Dhwanika, who takes care of Administration) kept insisting that I just get a little change of style. Eventually, I gave into their demands and agreed to get a mini monsoon makeover with Juice Salon. Now that my stylist is traveling for a month with a film crew, it was the right time for me to review the services at Juice (I have always loved the LYN and French pedicure here).
Oh! And we also have an exciting contest waiting for you at the end of this post.



The folks at Juice (Khar) had booked my appointment with their stylist Ronnie, who was extremely warm and a great listener. Minutes after exchanging hugs and greetings, we got down to work. Ronnie began by understanding my lifestyle and how I wear my hair (I mostly leave it open, except during workouts, run and dance rehearsals). Then, she began the 3-step hair inspection, when included inspecting the scalp, hair texture and checking for hair issues, if any. Currently, I am facing the same problem as most Mumbaikars - major residue build up due to the heat and humidity. Plus, if my workout hours increase, the residue builds up all the more. Ronnie took all the details into consideration and informed that I had a normal scalp and well maintained hair. She added that with a small change of style (I told her that I didn't want to cut off the length), she will chop off the dead ends and ensure that my hair looks healthy. Well, that's all I wanted and with that, we started off with the hair wash and conditioning process. Since she knew about my hectic lifestyle, Ronnie ensured that she adds a 10 minute long massage during the conditioning process. It was perfect, since I had a long working day.




After the wash, Ronnie began by getting rid of the dead ends and once done, she started work on getting the front layers right. Then, she moved on to the side bangs and within minutes, my mini makeover was done. Ronnie asked if I wanted any particular look (curls, straight) and I asked her to keep it simple and sleek. And there you go! A quick blowdry, leave-in serum and my new monsoon hairstyle was ready. Ronnie loved how the side bangs looked on me and said, "Next time, you should get fringes done in the front. You will look adorable." Well, maybe, I will give that a try in the future for sure.

Ronnie and I at the Juice salon after the makeover
What? - Juice Salon (Khar)

Services offered: Juice Salon takes care of all your beauty and hair care needs, right from haircuts, wash, color to manicure, pedicure, facials, clean ups, waxing and more. They also have exclusive services which includes the LYN manicure and pedicure, where the newly launched LYN Nails products are used.

Price range: Basic services starts from Rs 70. Haircuts with regular stylists Rs 700 and Haircut with senior stylist / art director / salon director is priced at Rs 900 onward.

Service Experience: The services offered at Juice are quite good, with the stylists and staff that are well trained. The ambiance of Khar salon is really good. Tucked away in a quite lane, there is no sign of hustle-bustle. The salon is big and not very noise, even on weekends (a big boon). They stock up on professional L'Oreal and Kerastase products. They also offer exclusive hair spa treatments, which can be recommended after a detailed consultation with the in-house expert. As far as the haircuts are concerned, it is extremely important for a hair stylist to understand your lifestyle, needs and after examining your hair, give you tips on how you can improve the texture of your hair. Even while cutting / trimming, a good hairstylist will always inform you about the step-by-step process and keep you updated about the length that they are about to cut off. Ronnie did all that and much more, as she took great care of me and ensured that I have a relaxing experience, even during a haircut. The support staff is also very alert and humble. I also noticed that a lot of customers return back for their haircut and hair color services with their favorite stylist, which is proof of their long list of loyal customers.

Pros: Great staff
Good ambiance
Value for money
Good services

Cons: If you do not live in Bandra/Khar or the nearby areas,
locating the salon can be quite a task. Keep Google Maps handy.


Verdict: A must visit for those who believe in spending the right amount of money on quality services. Recommended services - Haircut, Hair color, LYN Manicure & Pedicure.


 Participate in our 'Get The Look With Juice' contest and two lucky winners (one on the blog and the other on Instagram) stand a chance to win a free hair experiential at Juice Salon. 
Answer a simple question, follow the rules and win! (Indian residents only)

Why do you deserve to win a free hair experiential at Juice salon this monsoon?

Rules
- Only one entry per person is allowed
- Participants of the Blog contest can comment in the box below or leave their answers on our Facebook / Twitter account with the hash tag #GetTheLookWithJuice
- Please mention your name and state / city along with your answers. 
- Entries without the hash tag and other details will be disqualified.
- Participants are allowed to submit their separate entries on both the platforms (blog and instagram)
- One winner each will be chosen from our Blog contest and Instagram contest
- For details of the Instagram contest, head to our official account

Contest Deadline: July 26, 2015 23:59 pm IST

Good luck to all the participants!

Outfit Details
Dress: Vero Moda
Grey Short Cardigan: Old Gift
Watch: Swatch

Love,
The Dancebee
Starting this July, we are excited to bring an all new monthly Celebrity Guest Feature as part of our fitness section. Our guest feature writer is none other than an extremely popular and respected Indian Holistic Health Guru. Yes, we are talking about none other than the leading expert with over more than 25 years of experience in the field of fitness - Mickey Mehta. The renowned health guru has a huge list of celebrity clients who swear by his teaching which includes Priyanka Chopra, Priety Zinta, Bipasha Basu, Lara Dutta, Smriti Irani and many more. A philosopher, life coach, an author and a fitness guru, Mickey Mehta has revolutionized health with his philosophies of zen, tao, tantra and ved, and blended the disciplines of exercises such as calisthenics, functional training, boot camp, agility drills, tai chi, pilates, yoga and swimming.
We are extremely delighted to have Mickey Mehta on board as the Celebrity Guest Writer, who will be providing fitness tips and answering reader queries every month on Diary of a Dancebee. This month, we got the Health Guru to talk about beneficial Monsoon Workouts


A splash of cool rain drop on your face no doubt brings in a sense of relief from the scorching summer heat and makes you swoon with joy. It is a season to rejoice and enjoy the beauty bestowed by the rain God on mother earth. But this season tends to be the most difficult one for the fitness addicts. Unlike other seasons, during Monsoon, it not only becomes quite difficult to step out on rainy days but it also gets tough to cater to ones fitness needs. In this month's feature, I have put together some great exercises, especially for the ongoing monsoon season, that one can practice at home, without taking the trouble of traveling on rainy days.

JOG ON THE SPOT: 
An indoor jog on the spot or around a house jog serves as a great warm up exercise and can be extremely beneficial. This is one important way to shed off the extra fat.

PUSH UPS: 
Push ups serve as a complete body exercise and can be easily modified in order to make it more challenging for your body. Sometimes, even the most avid exerciser can find several reps of this exercise tough. For fitness enthusiasts who feel that a regular push up is too easy for you, try the Single Leg Push Up.



BURPEES: 
One of the best exercises during monsoon is Burpees. This exercise serves as an intense, full body workout, and helps burn tons of calories. Burpees helps in increasing the metabolism rate as well. They are ideal for developing conditioning and endurance.

JUMPING LUNGES: 
Lunges serve as an excellent thigh toning exercise. Add to that, jumps between these lunges and the entire exercise form - Jumping Lunges - turns into an incredible calorie burner. It also helps keep your legs toned and fit.



CLIMBING STAIRS: 
The stairs in your building (home or office) serve as a superb exercising device by themselves. Walking up and down the stairs in between work is absolutely perfect for those who spent hours in front of the computer.

JUMP SQUATS: 
Do a regular squat, then jump as powerfully as you can (reach up for the ceiling or sky). Jump Squats  not only help in burning more calories, but also helps keep your legs fit and pushes you to challenge yourself for more.


 JUMP ROPE
Jump roping is an amazing and simple workout option. There is no end to the tricks and variations you can do with a jump rope. Not only jump rope is a good exercise, but it also helps you work on co-ordination and balancing your body. Jump roping burns a lot of calories and is also the cheapest form of exercise. No frills! Just a jump rope in your hand and you are good to go.

JUMPING JACKS:
 Jumping jack is a structural workout. It is a full body workout and strengthens your core muscle very well. It also serves as a good warm up exercise. It is an effective exercise for the joints and also helps strengthen them.



YOGA: 
Practicing Yoga on a regular basis is a must. Yoga is an incredible form of exercise that can be performed both indoors and outdoors. Select an airy, clean spot in your house, bring out your Yoga mat and practice simple asanas to keep yourself fit. Start with the basics like Pranayam, and slowly, move on to asanas like the Surya Namaskar. Yoga also helps diminish respiratory problems that are very common during the monsoon season.

DANCING: 
Everybody loves dancing. And if you are someone who swears by it, then dance like no one's watching. Dance is an incredible form of exercise, who not only helps keep you fit, but also makes your body more flexible and free. Choose your favorite music and dance genre, and burn calories without having to worry about hitting the gym on a rainy day. 


Make fitness and wellness a part of your daily lifestyle. A dash of discipline, good food habits, regular exercises, combined with adequate sleep, rest and relaxation and a graceful attitude will surely get you rejuvenated, revitalized and Mickeymized this Monsoon!

By Mickey Mehta 
for Diary of a Dancebee
The Body Shop recently celebrated 9 years of its existence. For a brand that is well loved by beauty enthusiasts and environment lovers alike, The Body Shop has always surprised us with their range of products that smell absolutely fantastic and are made up of all things natural. This time, our team was introduced to their all new Drops of Youth range and after knowing all about the collection, Team Dancebee was quite excited to know more about the Bouncy Sleeping Mask, which is also a part of the range. I guess it was the name, or maybe the ingredients and claims, that got us hooked on to it. We tried the product for a month and the result is here! Read on to know what this mask is all about.


What? The Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask
Quantity: 90ml
Price: Rs 2295/-

What does it promise? Refreshing, bouncy cream-gel leave-on mask containing cell-renewing Edelweiss stem cells. Overnight, moisturises and replenishes for youthful-looking skin which feels - Bouncier, Smoother, Refreshed, Recharged and Renewed.

How to use? Smooth onto face before bed either alone or after Drops of Youth™ Concentrate (or your regular CTM routine), and allow to sink in overnight. Do not wash off. For best results, follow the Bouncy Massage Technique -- 1. Over The Rainbow Hands on forehead and arch out over the eyes to temples 2. Under The Clouds Massage under the eyes out towards the side of the ears 3. Quenching The Earth Massage outward with palms of hands, across the cheeks to the ears 4. Under The Sea Use sweeping upwards movements from the décolletage up the neck 5. Pitter Patter Use finger tips to lightly tap across the forehead (watch the video here).

Packaging: The product comes housed in a beautiful (and heavy) glass jar, which is placed inside a box. This glass jar holds the creamy texture of the mask very well. Inside the box, you will also find a small spatula, which is a boon, since it is impossible to measure the mask perfectly with one's finger before application. Since the glass jar is heavy, the packaging is not travel friendly. 



Texture: The cream-gel texture feels very, very soft and bouncy (Yes! It does have that bouncy texture when you take some in your hand using the spatula). As you can see, the product is pure white in color.

Overall Experience: During the test period, I continued with my regular night skincare routine, and used the mask as the last product before sleeping. That's how it is supposed to be when it comes to sleeping masks, which has to be left overnight. Since I have sensitive (combination) skin, I did not skip my moisturizer, which those with oily skin may have to do (thanks to the rich texture of the product). The product was massaged well using the 5 step bouncy massage technique and within minutes, I could feel how the product had started working from within. The massage techniques help (though I wish someone could do it for me, especially on days filled with truck loads of work) and adds a touch of relaxation. Add a cup of chamomile tea or hot chocolate to your bed time routine and trust me, the whole process will make you fall asleep within minutes. 
Coming back to the mask; just a little bit of the product is enough for application. You don't need to lather on several spoonfuls and end up looking like a white ghost. Post application, the mask does not leave a layer. Instead (on my skin), it got absorbed very well and left a lovely sheen. The fragrance is lovely, filled with herbal and natural tones. It lingers around for quite sometime post application. The next morning, I washed my face with plain water and my skin felt quite refreshed. Though overtime, the difference could be felt more, with my skin feeling quite hydrated and supple. But that's it! Nothing more than that. So in a way, it does work according to its claim, but don't expect miraculous changes, especially for those with specific concerns. The product is like a night face charger, which does a good job of leaving your skin feeling refreshed.



Pros: Rich texture
Perfect for those with dry skin that needs hydration
The fragrance and application soothes your senses and leaves you feeling relaxed
Hydrates and replenishes your skin overnight
True to its claim, refreshes your skin in the morning

Cons: The packaging is not travel friendly
Not suitable for those with extremely oily skin
Do not get confused by the use of the word 'Youth' in the product name. This is not an anti-ageing mask.

Verdict: For those with super oily skin or specific concerns, we suggest you give it a miss. But, if you have dry or combination skin and have been looking for a good sleeping mask, then this is definitely a must try,. Make sure you massage the product well and follow your regular night skincare routine. The result? Wake up to well hydrated, supple skin everyday.


Love,
The Dancebee
July is here and we are back with yet another edition of The Must Try List! From gorgeous make up products to stunning shoes, entertaining cinema to the best of monsoon fashion, we have got it all covered for you. While you may end up getting the best bargain during the ongoing sale season, a few products here may force you to make some extra space in the wardrobe (or the vanity shelf, shoe rack). 




Must Use - MAC Lightful
The science of skincare meets the beauty of makeup. One of the products that tops our Must Try list this month is M·A·C’s latest Lightful2-in-1 with radiance booster tinted serum, a creation that comes packaged in a modern dual-chamber bottle. Now what's amazing is that this bottle holds two potent formulas – a hi-tech treatment serum and an incandescent tint. Use the lightweight and translucent gel-like serum all over the face at night to curb hyper pigmentation, and the tinted serum during the day to continue the brightening effects. All this, while instantly helping even out the skin tone and
adding luminosity. When hear that when this 2-in-1 treatment is used together, the two formulas target a multitude of skin concerns, from dark spots and dehydration to
uneven skin tone/texture. The product will be available in 5 shades (tint) and is priced at Rs 2700. Sounds good to us and we can't wait to test it already!


Must Have - Nike Zoom Air
Now this is one pair of shoes that every running fanatic (including us) can't stop eyeing. Nike recently launched the all new Nike Zoom Air and the stunning color combination has already left us drooling.  Zoom Air - the fastest, most responsive cushioning platform Nike has ever delivered - has the power to change a lot of things that an athlete can feel about his gear. The lightest of the Zoom training family, the Air zoom is a minimalist streamlined propulsion device designed for athletes, who want to stay fast and light on their feet in training or competition. Forefoot Zoom Air gives runners a snappy response off the road. The lowered offset (eight millimeters) puts runners closer to the ground for more control, and a sleek upper combines Nike Flywire technology, 
no-sew overlays and lightweight mesh for a supportive, breathable fit. In short, the Nike Zoom Air is all you need to get going on the running track like a pro! Priced at Rs 8995, the Nike Zoom Air is now available at select Nike retail stores.


Must Buy - Lakmé Absolute Gloss Artist
Who doesn't love a good, smudge-free eyeliner, that is perfect for the monsoons? Well, here comes Lakmé's all new Absolute Gloss Artist to your rescue. The Lakmé Absolute Gloss Artist, that comes in a gorgeous, dark black shade, promises to deliver a high-definition shine that will last all the day, without smudging. Its compact packaging (which has always been a plus point for Lakmé products) makes it easy to carry. But wait, there is more to it than what meets the eye. This vinyl eye-liner comes with a felt-tip brush, that makes application extremely easy and smooth. Get ready to turn artist and make your eyes the canvas, while you experiment with winged, retro or just simple bold lines. Priced at Rs 600, we certainly think Lakmé has got another winner here!



Must Wear - Rain Jackets by Wildcraft
Everybody is busy stocking up on Umbrellas, Rain coats, windcheaters and more. While most folks are done buying rain essentials, if you are someone who is still looking for funky, colorful yet comfortable and wearable options, then check out Wildcraft's monsoon collection, which is filled with a varied styles of rain wear. Choose from ponchos, rain jackets, rain coats and rain pants in fun colors. Light weight and packable, the rain jackets from this collection are a boon to those, who are tired of  carrying heavy umbrellas. The collection also includes a Pro-rain range, where the jackets are made up of dry-vent technology and has superior water resistant of up to 5000 mm. Items from the collection are priced at Rs 995 onwards.

Must Watch - Bajrangi Bhaijaan & Minions
There is a similarity between the two films (apart from the fact that both are releasing in the same month). Well, almost everyone loves the Minions and Bhaijaan aka Salman. While Bajrangi Bhaijaan marks the return of Salman Khan on the screen a year after his Eid blockbuster Kick, Illumination Entertainment's Minions is a prequel to the super hit Despicable Me series. Looking at the recent events that Khan went through and the fact that the film is a Holiday release, trade pundits have already predicted a 100 crore+ opening for the film. As for the yellow pill like creatures, it is said that they are eyeing a good $100 million debut. Well, it certainly looks like the month of July is gonna be one helluva blockbuster month. 



Lust List -  Sonny Air Force denim culottes by Stella McCartney
Almost every girl is going gaga over culottes this season, and what better than a pair of denim culottes? Mixing two big trends into one, the Sonny Air Force denim culotte is a versatile piece of apparel, that will go well with even the most basic tank top. With subtle embroidery on the back pockets and a comfortable fit, these culottes are definitely topping our lust list this month. 
PS: For those who don't mind splurging, matchesfashion.com is offering a neat 30 % off on these denim culottes. Was Rs 34,730 | Now Rs 24,295. Go buy em before stocks finish up!



Love,
The Dancebee
During my hunt for new hair leave-in (honestly, I was looking for something new, although I was quite happy with TIGI's Ego Boost Leave - In conditioner), Kérastase launched their brand new Elixir Ultime Beautifying Oil Cream. Before its official launch, their team very sweetly posted the products with a customized diary to our HQ and honestly, it couldn't have happened at a better time. The trial period began and so did the process of feeling a change in my hair. Let's face it, monsoons have more bad hair days than good ones and all the humidity, damp environment leaves us with limp or frizzy hair (depending on the hair texture). So, does Kérastase Beautifying Oil Cream live up to its expectations and serves as a good product for this weather (or for that matter, all seasons)? Keep reading to find out!



What? Kérastase Elixir Ultime Beautifying Oil Cream
Quantity: 150ml
Price: Rs 2200
Shelf life: Approximately Two years
Availability: Exclusive to all Kerastase Consultant Salons

What does it promise? Elixir crème fine is Kérastase's 1st beautifying oil day cream for all hair types: a cream of precious oils for lightweight moisturizing, protection, and flawless perfection. Hair is instantly replenished, radiant and lustrous.

Packaging: Just like all their hair products, the Kérastase beautifying oil cream comes in a classy tube with a metallic cap. The packaging looks very rich, especially due to the choice of golden hue for the tube. It is travel friendly and our personal experience was that it did not spill in the bag during a day long travel. Although similar tubes cause such problems, this one was sturdy and fuss free.

How to use? Take a pea-sized amount in your hand. Apply to the lengths and ends of dry or towel-dried hair. Gently massage the product in.




Texture: Supremely smooth and light weight. Just the way this brand likes to call it, the texture of this product is indeed like silk. A pea sized amount (or a little more, if your hair is longer than mine) is enough to go a long way and ensures that your hair gets de-tangled, feels light and smooth. The product has a little bit of shimmer, which is not visible on your hair, but it does not go unnoticed when you check your palms after application. Despite infusing oils and being a cream based product, the texture is not heavy at all.

Overall experience: I used this product regularly for a month, post wash and towel drying my hair well. During Summer, my hair goes through a lot of wear & tear, thanks to major traveling (especially under the sun during hot afternoons), different forms of work out (and tying up my hair), using hair styling equipments for shoots among other things. Plus, the humidity post Summer (mostly in June) makes my hair feel really heavy and limp. That was the major concern and most products only lead to additional build up of residue. When I started using the Kérastase Beautifying Oil Cream, the first trial felt just like most other products, although the texture was really amazing. It would make my hair feel soft and shiny for a few hours and then, all the traveling would take me back to square one. But, as you know, we do not judge anything based on just one trial. After a couple of trials, overtime, I realized the product is actually doing a good job of keeping my hair light, smooth and soft for a couple of days. By the third week, I could notice how even after several hours of work, my hair did not weigh down or feel heavy at all. I also used this along with a pre-styling cream before using the blow dryer for a shoot, and noticed how my hair did not dry out even after two days (which would happen sometimes earlier). I was the happiest when I paired this Oil cream with another product from the same - Elixir Ultime - family. I used the Kérastase Elixir Ultime Versatile Beautifying Oil as a pre-wash treatment and realized that when combined, these two products work as a magic potions for the hair. My hair felt so good, that now, the product has become a part of my hair essentials kit.





Pros: Smooth and extremely soft, light texture
Good packaging
Works overtime to ensure you get the best result
Adds a great, natural shine to your hair
Requires a small amount, so the product will last long
Perfect for all hair types and weather conditions

Cons: None

Verdict: This amazing product not only leaves your hair feeling soft and shiny, but also makes it perfect for experimenting with different hairstyles. Say goodbye to oily, heavy hair that leaves you with no option but to tie it up in a bun. This product comes to your rescue and stays true to almost everything that it promises. Its perfect for my hair and keeps it in control, especially in this confused. I highly recommend the Kérastase Beautifying Oil Cream. Give it a try!

Have you tried the Kérastase Beautifying Oil Cream or any other product from their Elixir Ultime range? Tell us about your experience on Twitter - @priyaadivarekar - Join the conversation!

Outfit & MU Details
Butterfly print dress - Reliance Trends
Leopard hand cuff - Zara
On my lips - MAC Miley Cyrus Viva Glam
Eyes - Chanel Liquid Eyeliner
Hair - Kérastase Beautifying Oil Cream (no styling equipment used)

Love,
The Dancebee