Tag Archive | India

Let’s donate clean water with Essential Mall & UNICEF!

Dear friends,

Shopping is not only a global phenomenon, it’s also a very satisfying one!. Don’t you agree with me?. Especially with online shopping, things just got easier. Shopping for just about anything, from the comforts of your own home, is wonderfully convenient. Now consider this : What if you could be a part of a noble cause and donate to needy children around the world, while shopping for your favorite products?. Doesn’t that just elevate the satisfaction level involved in the shopping experience?.

Let me explain more. Essential Mall is a popular shopping site in UAE. What most might not know is that Essential Mall is a non-profit global and socially conscious online shopping network. Since 2014, they have partnered with UNICEF. They donate 100% of their net profits to UNICEF’s water aid mission, where UNICEF provides clean essentialwater to where the need is greatest.

The process is a very transparent one. When you shop on Essential Mall, for every $1 AUD (AED 2.83) you spend, 1.2 days of clean water are provided to a child by UNICEF. Other than spreading awareness about this mission, in this post I also wish to give you a code!. When you use this code, you will help double the social impact. So, when spending $1 AUD, you will be able to provide 2.4 days of clean water!. It creates a huge impact in the long run.

The social impact code is naznin

With the help of the below pictures, I would like to give you a peak into how this simple process works :

Suppose you decide to buy a ‘Redness FX Calming cream for dry skin’, which costs AED 91.81. On placing it in the cart, you can see under Social Impact that with this purchase you will help provide 38 days of clean water!


Now after applying my code, naznin, you can see that you are now helping to provide 76 days of clean water!. Can you imagine the social impact you create just by shopping!. You are not spending anything extra just for charity sake. You are just going about doing a normal and simple act as shopping but at the same time making a huge difference..


Sometimes it’s easy for us to not think about the world and It’s wide array of problems. It’s so very easy to get lost in our own world and our little problems. But did you know that one child in this world dies due to consumption of contaminated water every minute?. “I am just an individual and what difference can I possibly make” might be a question on your mind. But you, yes YOU, the one reading this right now CAN make a difference. Simply shop on Essential Mall. To date, Essential Mall has created over 220,000 days of clean water.

Essential Mall stocks more than 30,000 products and also offers between 10 – 90% off!. Popular brands on the site are Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Benefit, Dr. Hauschka, Clarins, Estee Lauder, Elizabeth Arden, Givenchy, Kevyn Aucoin, Lipstick Queen, Lancome, Max Factor, NARS, Laura Mercier and many more. Also, at the bottom of the site, you can find linternational links to the same site that serves in other countries such as US, Canada, India & more.

As of 21st April 2015, Essential Mall has stopped paid advertisements and depends on social volunteers to spread the word about their noble mission. When you use my code, other than doubling the social impact, I do not get any monetary benefits from it. Also, I am not paid in any manner for doing this post. I urge you to use the code naznin while shopping on Essential Mall and also, kindly spend a couple of seconds to hit any of the share buttons below this post.

To read more about Essential Mall’s mission, click here. Each month, they update their Facebook page with the amount of clean water they have provided to children in need. Let’s all support this noble cause!

Follow on BloglovinLove,

Naz ♥

Dubai Shopping Festival 2015 and mini haul!

Hey guys!

Last month I went to Global Village and if you haven’t read my post about it, please check it out by clicking here, before you continue reading.

Ok, now that that’s out of the way, here is more about Dubai Shopping Festival 2015 and a mini haul. I went with my family last weekend. I entered using the ‘Scratch and Win’ coupon which entitled me to a free entry :). If you have got one of those coupons, you need to hand it over at the ticketing counter and they will give you a ticket that is a bit wider than a regular ticket and doesn’t have a scratch coupon on it.


Once I entered (this time through Gate number 3), the first pavilion I visited was the American one. There are lots of stylish clothes, makeup and handbags there. I didn’t click any pix inside. Just took a quick walk around there, that’s all.


Outside this pavilion, there is a stall selling perfumes. I believe it’s name is Aabak Al Sahraa perfumes. They had a sale on, whereby when you buy two perfumes, you get not only 50% off but also another perfume for free!. The price of one perfume is AED 150. But he got three perfumes for that price. The funny part is, the lady asked if he has a kid, he said yes. Then she handed him a kid’s perfume, particularly one for boys. Then she asked if he has a car and he said yes to that too. She handed him over a car fragrance mist. Then she also gave my sister in law an after shower fragrance mist. Well, six items for AED 150, isn’t bad at all!. All of these are made in UAE and about 100 ml each. Also, they do smell nice and has staying power.DSF2


Next, I stopped by Yemen. This is one of my favorite pavilions, one that I make sure I visit every year. I love tasting honey of so many varieties. There were a wide range of spices, daggers and gorgeous jewelry, especially rings over there. The entrance shown below is a side entrance of Yemen. DSF3My mom bought honey from there. It’s a special one – honey with black seeds. All varieties of honey are priced pretty much the same. It’s around AED 200 per kg!. Mom bought a 250gms container which normally would cost AED 50, but got it for AED 40 after bargaining.



Next, I went to the India pavilion. There is a nice stage set up there, where a lot of cultural dance programmes were happening. I spent nearly half an hour there. There is a really good seating area. It was breezy and so lovely to relax sitting there and watching the show.


There were a huge variety of dances from different states of India. I loved the energetic performances. Here are some of the different ones that I watched : DSF6

I love these lights hanging in the Indian pavilion. They are so colorful and festive!


Next, it was time to get dinner. We stopped by Kebab Shiraz Iranian Restaurant. I have got to say, food is pretty expensive inside DSF when compared to how much you would pay while eating out. Since we were six people, we chose the Shiraz family combo, which according to them is meant for 8 people, however I disagree. It’s OK for 6 or even 5!.


The food was absolutely delicious. It was cooked to perfection and was absolutely juicy. I just wish there was more. Also, we expected a full service along with the combo like hummos, garlic paste and all that jazz. However, the main course came with only rice and some Arabic bread, which was thinner than kuboos, something that reminded me of the Indian rumali roti. That cost AED 220!.

My sister in law ordered a chicken sandwich, which was smaller than a regular sandwich and my husband ordered a plate of hummos, which was absolutely amazing but again was much lesser in quantity than usual. Finally on receiving the bill, we realized that the sandwich cost AED 15 and the hummos was AED 20!. Seriously guys, in a regular restaurant anywhere in UAE, you will get more hummos for just AED 5 than how much we got here for AED 20.

If you are willing to spend that much on food, I would suggest you to try it, because the grilled food undeniably was one of the best I have ever had. Also, we used three ‘Scratch and Win’ coupons here that entitled us to get AED 10 off when purchasing food worth AED60 in any participating outlet. This restaurant thankfully participated in it and as such we were able to redeem it. We got AED 30 off the total bill.


Next stop, Cambodia. This is one pavilion I don’t ever remember visiting. You have got to know that the number of pavilions at DSF is massive and its almost impossible to visit all of them, unless you are making it a point to cover them all, by going back to the place on several different days. Sometimes when you have favorites, you kind of stick to it every year!. Since I already visited some of my favorites last month, this time I decided to try new ones or less visited ones. Cambodia has a pretty entrance.


This pavilion is small compared to some of the major ones I have been before. Still there are a lot of wallets, handbags, jewelry and makeup over there. In one of the stalls that I first entered, I saw these :


Knock offs!. This Louis Vuitton bag pictured on the right costs only AED 160!. It’s so gorgeous ♥. The quality is pretty amazing too. Then I saw these stunning wallets.


I am telling you guys, this is the perfect place to stop by if you want gorgeous yet cheap wallets. That blue Michael Kors one costs AED 40, the YSL ones cost AED 50 and the Dior ones are AED 65 each. I really felt tempted but since I have a new wallet and handbag, it really wasn’t necessary to buy more. So, I resisted. I am just such a fantastic girl 😀 Anyways, while walking ahead I came across the exact same Michael Kors wallet in another stall. I simply asked it’s price for comparison and he quoted me AED 45, which is AED 5 more than what the previous guy quoted me. So, before you purchase, shop around a little.

I bought my mom a glass of Pomegranate juice from there. It was AED 15 for a glass and so fresh. It was squeezed using a weird looking equipment. Anyways, do try that out while you are there. Then, I saw the rings and gosh they were so cute.. I couldn’t resist. I bought four. It’s AED 15 each. The lady there just wouldn’t let me bargain. She said even if I buy a dozen, it’s still going to be AED 15 per piece. My style is simple yet classy, when it comes to jewelry. Here are the 4 pieces that I chose:

DSF12There were a lot of others there too, that were priced AED 20 and AED 25 per piece. Then I saw a stall which had a lot of makeup/cosmetics products. They had Urban Decay palettes there. I was pretty surprised to see a Naked 4 palette. I  never even knew Naked 4 exists. Anyways, the packaging of all these palettes look cheap and fake. Since, the stall was unmanned, I couldn’t check the prices, not that I recommend you buy it anyways. If you really want quality makeup for a lower price, you can just shop online and get it from US to UAE in 2 – 3 days 😛 .


Here is a shot of the side of this beautiful pavilion, courtesy of my brother 🙂



Next stop was Turkey. This time I just walked around there. Didn’t try or buy Turkish delights. I was surprised to see honey comb being sold there. I don’t remember seeing them there before. They looked pretty awesome. Last time, I didn’t include a shot of the main entrance. Here it is:

DSF14 I once again bought the Turkish Borek, since last time I got to have only a tiny bit. This is from a stand alone little structure outside the Turkey pavilion. This time, I clicked pix!

DSF15Though the product ain’t looking on point, like the ad there, it sure tastes good. This time, it was softer than before. It’s melt in your mouth kind of goodness. It’s slightly salty too. As I have said before, one tray costs AED 25.


Next, I went to Africa pavilion. It is massive and so colorful!. Loved the entrance. Inside, they had interesting home décor items, special teas, handmade baskets etc.



I went to the Iran pavilion next. It’s a really beautiful one. Here is a front, profile and close up look of the main entrance. They mainly sell dried fruits, nuts of all kinds and saffron there, though there are a few stalls selling jewelry too.



The nuts are priced pretty expensive. Almost all of the products there are AED 100 per kg. In the picture above, you can see a box of golden deliciousness. It’s a mix of saffron and honey. It costs like AED 600 for the box I think. Talk about super expensive. It sure looks yum though!

Alright guys, that’s all for now. I hope you liked this post and also got a great idea of what to look out for when visiting Dubai Shopping Festival 2015. DSF is on until Feb 1st, 2015. Also, go early around 4 PM when it starts each day and make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes and sweater. To cover these 7 pavilions, it took me 5 hours. Get ready to walk a lot :). I urge you to go visit now!

Follow on BloglovinLove,

Naz ♥

Review: Himalaya Herbals Kajal!

Hey guys!

I love eye liners of any kind. Kajals are intense liners. On my recent visit to India, I bought a kajal by the popular Indian brand Himalaya Herbals. It came in a little green pack.


It says on the pack that this is a ‘Herbal eye – definer’ that contains a unique blend of herbal extracts that cools and nourishes your eyes. It’s ingredients list contains some good names such as Almond oil, Castor oil, Camphor, Damask Rose and Triphala. It contains no harmful chemicals. The tube itself of the kajal looks like a little lipstick. You have to twist the bottom so that the product comes up.


The kajal is extremely smooth and intense. I love how it glides along the lash line so nicely. It’s easily one of the best kajals I have tried. It is waterproof. I didn’t necessarily reach for it because of that reason. Frankly, I don’t really care whether a product is waterproof or not. Once I wear it out for some hours, I remove it using one of my makeup removers along with the makeup on the rest of my face.


In this picture, you can see a single line created with the lightest possible pressure. This is the softest line and yet you can see how dark it is. I am in love with this jet black kajal ♥. You can easily achieve a darker and more intense look too. Using it instantly gives you a seductive and feminine look :P. This kajal is perfect for both beginners and experts I feel. Another awesome feature is it’s handy size. I actually went for the smaller size out of two available sizes. I love carrying it in my purse. In the below pic, look at how small it is!


The tube contains only 1 gm of product but it will last a good while. However, next time I am definitely going to buy the bigger size. I highly recommend this product.

Price : Rs. 45 (AED 2.67)

This product is available in UAE too. If I am not wrong, there is no small sized one here and the bigger size costs about AED18. It’s expensive here when compared to prices in India. That’s why I usually buy products like this that I use every day, from only India, when I go on vacation.

Follow on BloglovinLove,

Naz ♥

September link loves!

Hey all!

Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it!. Here is my September Link Loves (finally!). I missed doing it because I was on vacation. Better late than never yeah?. Without further ado..

1) Christina of Ensconced in Lit answered four questions about her WIP (Work in Progress) and I really am proud of her. She writes really well. Good luck to her!

2) Catherine Alford, who is the Wednesday Writer at Young Adult Money, wrote a beautiful post on ‘Three amazing things to buy in India. Her husband had visited India and had a great time there. It delights me when foreigners enjoy their time spent in my country :). India is really a shopping paradise!


3) Kristen of Holistic Vanity did a step-by-step post on how you can do an at home DIY facial. I found it very informative. I have never done steaming at home. But it’s so easy and I think I will try it out one day. You gotta read this!


4) Monica of Impressions of a Princess, did a post on the essential gadgets that a blogger should have. It is a review of Samsung Galaxy S4. She reveals why it is truly called Life Companion!


That’s all for September 🙂



Note : If you haven’t entered my ongoing giveaways, do it now when there is still time. For the UAE only giveaway, click here and international giveaway, click here. Ends on Jan 1st, 2014. Good luck!