Month: May 2014

Envy Travel: Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur

Udaipur Oberoi

Unwind amidst splendour at this sprawling palace hotel

This is quiet, unadulterated luxury. It’s your first thought as you cross Lake Pichola by boat and see the Oberoi Udaivilas with its majestic domes bathed in sunlight. On the banks of Udaipur’s famous lake, the Udaivilas is spread across 50 acres of verdant gardens, rippling fountains and a conservatory. The indulgence begins from the moment you step into your room – relax with a glass of chilled rose-flavoured ice tea, while the butler unpacks your luggage.

You’ll be hard-pressed to leave your lake-view room with its sunken bathtub (fitted with a pillow) and breakfast served on the patio as peacocks strut near your pool. The opulent suites come with infinity pools and tented dining pavilions; and even the hotel’s premier rooms have marbled bathrooms, sink-into-softness beds and cushioned bay windows. Our suggestion: Book yourself an unforgettable holiday package, available till 31st March, which offers premium rooms with breakfast and spa discounts.


The hotel restaurant, Chandni, lets you feast under the stars on a traditional thali with spicy laal maas, dal churma and mini rasmalai. There’s also the informal 1930s-style Suryamahal, which serves Western, Thai and Mediterranean cuisine. At Udaimahal, lavish Indian dishes are served by candlelight. If you’re dining in, they’ll personalize dishes for you. We were treated to a low-fat, soul-satisfying mushroom risotto, warm brownie and vanilla bean ice-cream, and rich hot chocolate. Perfect for chilly nights.


SPA PARADISEspa_overview
The Oberoi spa has to be one of the most soothing spots you can chance upon. There’s a host of Ayurvedic massage therapies and beauty baths but we loved the Hydrating Sea Salt Crystal Rose Scrub. Over 90 minutes, your body is polished to a glow and a relaxing massage kneads out every niggling ache. The spa also offers a yoga session at dawn; we recommend doing surya namaskars at the hotel’s Bada Mahal. Afterwards, you can catch the feeding of deer and wild boar at the conservatory.

Check out MY ENVY BOX SPA Collection

If you want to step out, start from the royal family’s City Palace, followed by the Crystal Gallery at Fateh Prakash Palace hotel and the centuries-old Jagdish Mandir. Unwind later with tea at sunset on the island of Jag Mandir where Latin pop star Shakira has performed.


The Oberoi Udaivilas, Hardasji Ki Magri, Udaipur 01, Rajasthan. Inquiries, (294) 2433300.

Girl on the go: Your beauty routine can work a double shift

 girls on the go

Your beauty routine can work a double shift. We pick four young WORKING women who tell you how

Always travelling and in the limelight, she has to be camera-ready at all times.

AmbikaTravel Kit“When I travel, I carry a face mask with me and use it whenever I have some free time.”
Fitness Mantra:“I jog a lot, walk, do pilates and work out at the gym. I keep my options open, depending my mood. To ensure I exercise all the time, I eat oodles of chocolate!”
Can’t live without: “My sunblock and products that my dermatologist recommends.”

Check out MY ENVY BOX Sun Care Collection

MALINI BANERJI – Fashion Director, ELLE
Malini is always on the go, whether she’s at a shoot or at an event. She has to always look her best.

Quick fixes: “My lipstick doubles up as blush all the time. I take a look from day to night by doing up my eyes. I use lots of mascara, eyeliner or smudged kohl and some blush.”
Travel Kit: “I always carry my sunblock to prevent sun damage. I love Neals Yard Remedies Rose Facial Oil. Also, the Dior Capture Totale Hand Cream is the best that I have tried so far.”

Check out L’OCCITANE Shea Butter Colltector’s Edition Hand Cream here 

SAMYUKTA NAIR- Interior design & operations asssociate at Hotel Leela Venture
Samyukta’s work involves either being on a construction site or being dressed in corporate attire.    Nair

Travel Kit: “While travelling, I carry a powder foundation, eyeliner, blush and some lip balm. I keep it simple, as an overly made-up face doesn’t really fit my work environment.”

Quick fixes: “To make lipstick last longer, apply a primer on the lips to even out the skin tone. Then, layer on a lipstick, dab a little compact on your lips and apply a second layer. Dust on a little bit of powder over the colour to make it stay.”

Pernia Qureshi 1

PERNIA QURESHI – Stylist and owner,
When Pernia is not at her workshop designing her personal collection, she’s scouting for new designers for her online boutique.

Travel Kit: “On a business trip, a nice pair of sunglasses and an iPad are absolute essentials. I restrict my make-up kit to the basics.”
Quick fixes: “I take a look from day to night by just applying some mascara, retouching my lip colour and letting my hair down.”
Can’t live without: “My lip tint.”

Check out EMINENCE ORGANICS Cinnamon Kiss Lip Plumper

Envy Mood: Favorite Beauty Moment

beauty moment1

It could be a product, a treatment, a fragrance or a new ritual. What matters is the poignancy of that discovery and how it changed us forever.
By Aleena Trivedi

Dia Mirza, actressdia_mirza-normal

“One thing my mother always frowned on was vanity. She never allowed me to take how I look too seriously and as a result, I’ve never known myself to look in the mirror and assess how I look. But I remember feeling beautiful for the first time when I was four and a half and brushing my hair and thinking to myself, ‘Wow, my hair is beautiful!’ It’s one of the few times I remember my mother saying ‘Okay, you are beautiful, but don’t let it get to your head.’”


Angela Jonsson, model

angela1“I remember watching my older sisters put on make-up when I was a child and it was so exciting to watch. We’re a big family, with nine siblings in total and I was the sixth. There is an eight year gap between me and my oldest sister and when I was a child, I couldn’t wait to finally be her age so I could wear make-up and do all the things that she did.Now that I’m a model, I hardly wear make-up at all unless I have to.”

Pamper yourself with MY ENVY BOX skincare and cosmetics products: ENVY BOUTIQUE10655267-close-up-of-a-make-up-powder-on-white-background

Envy Tips: Manage your Beauty budget – Part 2

the beauty budget_2

On a budget? We ask the experts where you can multitask and save…

“Clear mascara can be used on the hair line to clean up baby hair and strays. You can also put hair spray on an old mascara wand and use it to manage stubborn eyebrow hair and set it in place.”
Clint Fernandes, make-up artist and hairstylist                                  5-fallbeauty-1629794f35

“Use the highlighter from your eye shadow palette to highlight the bridge of your nose and your cheekbones.”
Stafford Braganza, National Make-Up Artist, Lancôme India

“If you like to add extra glow to foundation, try mixing a pinch of pigment powder in light gold or silver. Or even a bit of bronzer for the same effect.”
Sonic Sarwate, Senior Artist, M.A.C Cosmetics, India

“Use a good facial moisturiser as a prep step to hydrate the skin before application of make-up. Mix it with a highlighter to achieve an overall glow and radiance on the face. In the middle of the day, apply the product on a wet sponge and gently pat it all over the face. This helps to freshen up the make-up and allows for fuss-free touch-up.”
Tiffany Chen, Training Manager, Benefit Cosmetics

91234_250x250 Check out CLARINS Day Cream available on ENVY BOUTIQUE

Envy tips: Manage your beauty budget – Part 1

The beauty budget

On a budget? We ask the experts what you should be spending big money on…

“Buy a good smudge-proof kohl pencil and foundation. Lipsticks can be used as cheek and lip stains, while tinted lip balms are wallet-friendly and effective.”
Namrata Soni, hairstylist and make-up artist

“Splurge on make-up tools. These are the essential middle-men
between your make-up and you. So invest in a good brand.”
Virginia Holmes, make-up artist, Fat Mu

“Never skimp on skincare. A good hydrating lotion is key. The need for foundation is reduced by
half with good skincare.”
Deepa Verma, hairstylist and make-up artist     cream

blush“Most definitely splurge on a good foundation. Correct application is key to making the foundation work even better making the foundation work even better. You should have two shades for your skin texture as color will change with the seasons.”
Bianca HARTKOPF, make-up expert, Revlon India

Check out EMINENCE ORGANICS Vanilla Cream Mineral Foundation

Walking the red carpet at the Cannes Festival


The Cannes International Film Festival, hold in Cannes, France, is known for bringing together the biggest stars of cinema. It has become, over the years the film festival the most publicized in the world, especially during the opening ceremony on the famous red-carpet with its twenty-four “Ladder of Success”. On the occasion of this high-end ceremony, celebrities dress-up and flaunt their stylish evening dress.


India was the last year ‘guest country’ at  the event, Cannes Festival celebrated one of the most important countries in the world of cinema. Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan, Vidya Balan, Sonam Kapoor, Freida Pinto shined at the opening ceremony of 66th Cannes Film Festival on May 15, 2013.bollywood-actors-cannes-film-festival-2013-red-carpet

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, India’s official ambassador to the
prestigious Cannes Film Festival, will walk the Cannes
Red Carpet on the 16th and 17th May 2014 along with her
husband Abhishek Bachchan.




red carpetGet the Red Carpet Look with MY ENVY BOX

Just Cavalli Fragrance from Roberto Cavalli
Intensive Birghtening Serum from Clarins
Silicium Eye Cream from Thalgo
Lavender Body Lotion from L’Occitane
Pivoine Flora Beauty Cream from L’Occitane




Five cultural activities to enjoy

  1. Go to the National Museum (

There’s always an excellent travelling exhibit on; and the permanent collection is worth seeing too.

  1. Visit the ethnic neighbourhoods.

Little India and Chinatown are justly famous, but we really liked the colourful Arab street. The cafes that line it range from Mexican to Lebanese, and serve excellent meals through the day. If you go in the evening, get a table at Blu Jaz Cafe.

  1. Sign up for the NIGHT SAFARI at Singapore Zoo (

The 40-minute ride is quite a thrill.

  1. Take the cable car across to SENTOSA ISLAND (

There’s much to do and see, from Underwater World to Universal Studios; and for breaks in between, there are several  excellent restaurants located right on the beach.

  1. Walk around the city.

Singapore is a lush town, dotted generously with gardens, streetside cafes and swish restaurants. Brunch is a favourite pastime and we liked The Marmalade Pantry at The Stables ( Take a book or your iPad and spend a day just doing nothing but eat, read and stroll; you won’t regret it. For dinner, you can book a table at any of the pretty establishments on Dempsey Hill (

Going on holidays… Don’t forget to protect your skin from sun exposure: check ouy MY ENVY BOX Sun Care collection


Envy Food: Be in the Pink


Super healthy Quinoa
Sonam Kapoor swears by it. As does Jennifer Aniston. The quinoa seed is high in fibre and contains magnesium, which makes it good for cardiovascular health and migraines. Nutritionist Naini Setalvad suggests you use it instead of rice: “Make upma or cook it with vegetables like a pulao. Try it porridge-style for breakfast, with prunes, berries and nuts.”

How to make perfect quinoa:


  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1½ cups water
  • salt to taste
  1. Rinse the quinoa through a metal strainer with very small holes.
  2. Put the rinsed quinoa in a skillet and turn the burner on medium heat.
  3. Stir the quinoa around in the skillet until dry, and then continue stirring while the quinoa cooks in the skillet.
  4. The quinoa will start to pop a little bit and you’ll smell a somewhat nutty smell once it has been cooked enough (I stir it for around 3-5 minutes after it has dried).
  5. Add the water (and salt if desired), turn the heat down to med-low, and put a lid on top of the skillet.
  6. Tilt the skillet lid to the side a little bit so that the steam can escape.
  7. Continue cooking without stirring for 15 – 18 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed.
  8. Fluff with a fork and serve!


Recent research has shown that cutting down on carbohydrates just twice a week aids weight loss and controls insulin levels. So just pick your days and cut out foods like bread, pasta, potatoes and rice for a healthier, happier you.