London food guide - The Indian Edit feat. Roti Chai

As many of you may know, I am Indian by origin. What few of you might know, is that I have a Masterchef-finalist-wannabe of a mother who excels at everything from Chaats (aka Indian street food) to Biryanis at home, and they are absolutely delicious! On tasting my mum's home cooked delicacies my friends often remark how I can like Indian restaurants in Britain?!  My simple explanation is the human need for variety. Plus I have a super foodie of a little sister who lives, breathes and Instagram’s food with passion. So after years of trying various Indian restaurants, here I am putting down some honest thoughts for those constant 'best Indian restaurants in London' googler's, straight from a native Indian foodie.


Post-Threading Breakout – SOS Recovery

Have you ever got your forehead threaded only to find out it caused you a bad reaction? Skin can easily get aggravated with threading as techniques differ across salons and the harsh motion can lead to skin that looks like it’s flared up with an allergy. This recently happened to me and it resulted in tiny acne like formation that looked not so glamorous. It was one of those skin problems that looked like it was going to take forever to disappear. Hence came out some salicylic acid warriors. Now because salicylic acid is known to cleanse pores inside out, I would suggest resorting to it instantly in such scenarios. Aloe vera on it’s own is not going to do you any good. I used Proactiv’s* Skin Smoothing Exfoliator to start with, followed by La Roche Posay Serozinc spray, Proactive’s Pore Targeting Treatment and finally a Teoxane Perfect Skin Refiner consisting of glycolic acid. Put this on repeat at least thrice a day, cobbled together with frequent skin cleanses with hot cloths and voila – the dreaded post-threading disaster should calm down in under a day. If you’ve never had the need to thread your forehead/brows, I envy you quite avidly right now #LittleMissPerfect.

*Proactive kits are sold on their official website usually with monthly direct debit agreements (as they suggest it’s a treatment plan and one kit won’t be sufficient) I went through a panic fit and a series of phone calls to get the Direct Debit cancelled. Make sure what you are doing is a one off purchase or alternatively buy from boots to be safe!


Luxe Rose Cosmetics – Andes Roses

Rose fanatics behold yourself, for I have just discovered a company that specialises in all sorts of cosmetics, skincare and haircare made from original Bulgarian Rose. The company Andes Roses was founded by a lovely couple, Anelia (An) and Desislav (Des) who after several years of trading in the skincare and cosmetics industry noticed the lack of genuine high quality rose products, which were all being sold at atrocious prices. The result was a ‘made in Bulgaria’ cosmetic range with only the best home grown Bulgarian roses.

Bulgarian rose is one of the most sought after ingredients in the perfume industry. It has the softest, gentlest Rose scent which lingers on the body like musk but is not overpowering. It is almost like a virginal rose scent, subtle and simply romantic. In a nutshell, Bulgaria is known for its roses like Amsterdam is known for its tulips. Bulgarian rose valleys have been famous for growing roses since centuries and apparently produce a staggering 85% of the world’s rose oil!

Taking advantage of their Bulgarian heritage, Anelia and Desislav founded Andes Roses – premium quality rose products. Andes Roses has developed an extensive line of affordable products starting from as little as £6 for essential oils. The range includes everything from rose and yogurt soaps, a variety of toners and floral waters, face masks, shampoos, creams, perfumes and even massage oils. What I really like about this range is how the Andes couple has developed household beauty favourites into read-to-buy products. For instance, the floral waters come in not only rose, but also in chamomile, basil, peppermint and lemon balm. Some other unusual products I cannot wait to try are the Bulgarian Rose Hair Serum and revitalizing shampoo with rose oil and caviar complex (Imagine how gorgeous the hair would smell…nom nom). The rose peeling soap-sponge also looks scrumptious! It’s made from rose peelings and infused with rose oil to gently exfoliate your skin without the harsh effects of synthetic bath sponges.

The star of Andes Roses range is of course the 100% real Bulgarian rose oil, also known as Liquid Gold. Rose oil with its proven healing properties has been used from generations in Ayurveda, Aromatherapy as well as to treat sinus, headaches, depression and anxiety.  Did you know that one gram of Bulgarian rose oil is created using more than 1,300 rose blossoms! So you can just imagine the intensity and depth of the fragrance from this little gem. But obvious this comes at a steep price, starting from 1ml for £18 in a wooden vile and 10ml for £145 in a beautiful wooden case and a certificate of authenticity. It looks like a collector’s item for those with a liking for the finer things in life.

Andes Roses ships free worldwide for orders over £25 ($35) so should be economical if you stock up winter essentials in one go! Or if you are feeling generous you can always buy the Rose gift sets for your near and dear ones this Christmas. To end on a sweet note – Remember, A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses!