Don't let dry skin dull your sunshine

Posted by Shabia Walia on

If you have normal skin, great. But having oily and dry skin come with their own share of woes. Oily skin comes with acne, pimples and other such problems while dry skin is more prone to wrinkles, flaking and aging faster. Given a choice, its better to have dry skin compared to oily skin.

However with proper care and regimen, dry skin can be tackled and its damaging effects controlled to a large extent.

Here are some of the magical ingredients to pep up your dry skin.

1. Honey: Honey acts as a humectant, attracting moisture and sealing it in your skin. Use it with orange juice or curds to make a super moisturising pack for your face. Wash it after a few minutes to get super soft, supple skin. 

2. Besan: Besan is a long known ingredient for smooth, soft skin. Mix it with a little turmeric and milk and apply. Wash off after 20 minutes for best results.

3. Chocolate: Chocolate not only moisturises, imparts glow, provides antioxidants to your skin but it also promotes production of collagen which lends your skin elasticity. Mix cocoa powder with honey and olive oil to make a luxurious, moisturizing facial mask. The effects will reflect in the compliments you get post using this one regularly.

4. Fruits: Bananas and Avacados are not inly good for your internal body but for your external body too. Mash a banana or scoop out pulp from an avacado, mix it with milk and honey and apply to face. A great mask for dry, peeling and scaling skin.

5. Coconut Oil: This oil is a magic potion for dry skin. It acts as a cleanser, moisturiser, restorer and healer. Use it all over your body before a shower and you won't need a moisturiser after your bath. Coconut oil protects against the sun, skin infections and also eradicates skin flaking.

Apart from these, keeping showers short, using soap free cleansers, drinking plenty of water and eating lots of fruits & vegetables will keep your skin hydrated well. You can buy our gentle and non-drying Rose Honey Body Wash here.

So go on. Let your skin drink in all the moisture with the above tips and say goodbye to dry, parched skin.

Have oily skin? Read our blog to handle oily skin.

Do remember to share this blog with anyone who could use them. Who knows, you might just add a bit of sunshine to someone's life!

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How to keep yourself motivated as an entrepreneur!

Posted by Shabia Walia on

I am an entrepreneur and I consider myself blessed most of the time, well at least for 327 days a year. The rest of the days I doubt if I did right by leaving my highly paid regular job to become an entrepreneur.

After all, let's face it, we are human and human beings often self doubt themselves and their actions. As an entrepreneur though, I believe I have fewer regrets than my counterparts.

The days I doubt myself are usually the ones when business is slow or I have got too much on my plate and I am tackling them all alone.

So what does one do when you feel low or demotivated? How do you keep going when there are no teammates to support or a boss to look after you or give you a pep talk?

Here are the 10 things I do when life doesn’t seem so great and entrepreneurship seems like a challenge, though these moments are few and far between.

1) Read blogs and quotes of successful entrepreneurs across the world – Yes, this one is like a caffeine kick. Every time I feel my adrenalin dropping to low levels, I resort to this trick. I read a few blogs of people who made a success of their businesses. I also search for quotes of great men and women and believe me, it instantly peps me up apart from really inspiring me to pick myself and start working.

2) Remember why you started – Going into a flashback of why you started your business or decided to be an entrepreneur will often put it all back into perspective. Was it a bad job or a bad boss who made you quit and start on your own? Was it your thirst to work on your own terms and time? Did you want to spend more time with your family? Did you want to create your own legacy rather than building someone else’s? Reminding yourself why you chose this path will clarify your doubts and re-inforce self belief.

3) Meet a fellow entrepreneur – Sharing your wins and woes with someone makes the entrepreneurial journey more exciting and less lonely. When you win, you have someone to pat your back. When you are down and out, there is someone to pick you up. We all need help, love and support and a fellow entrepreneur who understands your plight is the one to cherish. Meet for coffee, offload your woes, pick each other up and get ready for another day!

4) Detach for some time – As much as you are involved with your brand or business, sometimes taking a step back, detaching yourself and seeing your business from a third perspective helps tremendously. When you see it from an outsiders perspective, you will notice that all is not bad. It might even give you an insight into things you can improve, things you can work on and things you have done really well. Use that perspective to strengthen your weaknesses and solidify your strengths.


5) Reach out to your mentor or a senior from the same field – It pays to have a mentor. I found mine quite by accident and cherish him like gold. Mentors can back you up with advice and motivation like no one can. They are like fathers who can hold your hand while you learn to walk. They are like mothers who console you when you fall. They are like friends who celebrate and applaud for you when you succeed and yes, having a mentor is like having an angel always on the lookout for you. Believe me, this mentor gave me wings. A coffee with him once in a month or just a two line chat with him on phone picks me up like no other. Find a mentor and yes, cherish him or her.

6) Connect with your customers – Your customers are your lifeline. You might not sell products everyday, business may not be as busy everyday but often these are good days to connect back with the very same people who made you a brand. These are the people who truly love what you have built. Reach out to your most loyal customers. Send them a handwritten note appreciating them, give them a discount offer, write a blog for them, ask them to review your product for you, let them write a testimonial, send them a free sample as a gift. Make them feel special, just like that. When your customer feels happy, you feel happy too. Giving is Receiving. Yes it applies here too.

7) Accept that there are highs and lows in everything – Acceptance is the first step to feeling better. Once you have accepted something, it becomes easier to deal with. Once you have accepted that things are not as good, write down what's working and what's not. Then get to work to correct the wrongs. Have the courage to throw out whats redundant and to accept new things. Constantly re-inventing yourself and your business keeps you charged and your brand relevant.

8) Count your blessings – You work when you want, you switch off when you need a break. You spend quality time with your family. You are answerable to yourself, not to a nasty boss. You do not rush in peak traffic to reach office in time. You do not have to wear a stiff tie and suit all days of the week. You work in the most comfortable attire you choose. Count all these things as perks of being an entrepreneur. Share notes with your counterparts who are stuck in 9 to 7 jobs. You will probably realise you are doing far better. Maybe often not in terms of a pay cheque but in the quality of life you are leading. You are living your passion, your dream instead of fulfilling someone else’s wish or command. That itself is a huge motivational factor to get you back into the game.

9) Switch off everyday for a few hours – Sometimes the reason for feeling low is often a burnout. Entrepreneurs often do not have fixed hours. There is no entry or exit time as in an office. The result is sometimes you fail to draw a line to demarcate your working hours. Avoid falling into this trap. Fix a schedule for yourself. Give time to your favourite hobby. Read on other topics apart from your business. Go for a walk. Meet your friends. Spend quality time with family without discussing your business. The more you make time for yourself, the more charged you will be to face the challenges of being in your own and being well.

10) Believe in yourself – Lastly but most importantly, BELIEVE. Believe that tomorrow will be a better day. Believe in your dream. Believe in the power of the universe and its manifestations of your dreams. Believe in your vision for your brand. Persistance, Patience and Passion, the three P’s make a deadly combination and will see you through the worst of phases. Believe you are the blessed one to have found an opportunity to work for yourself. Belief invariably leads to miracles. Never, just never let go of that belief.

These are the 10 tips which hold me in good stead when I am feeling low. If you have any such tips which you use, do write to me at

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Why I chose entrepreneurship over a six figure salary - Part III

Posted by Shabia Walia on

Once I quit my job with the leading entertainment channel, I felt a boulder lift off my shoulders. I felt free. I felt light. 

The fact that the company had asked me to work on a project from home also added to the comfort factor. I had to go to work for a few hours every week and I could work from home the rest of the days. It was truly an ideal scenario and I must thank my immediate boss then, who went out of her way to work out this situation. My case also paved the way for a lot of women who had babies after that and the company worked out similar alternatives for them too. Kudos to them for the initiative.

Work kept flowing in pretty steadily and one project after another followed. Based on my experiences with Mamma Mania (the book I had authored), I was even called in to write the pregnancy phase of a leading daily soap. This was a new one for me as though I had always written scenes, given feedback, changed them, I had never really written a full tv soap. But the ratings soared and I held myself in good stead even in this new role.

Though as I mentioned earlier, I soon got tired of the routine again. The soap writing didn’t really give me a high after a point and I decided to move on, again much to the shock of everyone.

I now shifted to full time script heading where I worked from home and was responsible for all the writing which happened on a show. This was a role I enjoyed. Working with other writers, giving them direction as per the channel’s requirements and getting a steady income month after month kind of brought things to normalcy, if not to an exciting one.

I had quit my job in August 2011. Now was December 2013. In this span, I had spearheaded several shows and even written and produced a telefilm. The fact that Sia was almost 5, in school for a better part of the day and needed me less, were all adding upto something. Only at that point, I didn’t know what.

It had been almost 20 years in media. I had done everything there was to do. Nothing was challenging me anymore. I felt stagnated. The money was great but the work wasn’t. I was tired of reporting to others and their fragile egos, taking feedback from people half as good as I was and the worst part was that television was getting more and more regressive. The regressiveness was something I couldn’t bring myself to digest even if I tried to accommodate the first two.

In my heart, I knew I was done with tv. I was dying to do something new though I didn’t know what. I was sure only of one thing. It had to be something drastically different from media.

I still kept pushing along thinking that this is what I am good at. Surely the 40’s can’t be the right time to plunge into something completely new. But destiny had other plans.

One day in December 2013, I read a quote which changed the way I thought and heralded me towards a direction I had never ever dreamt I would take. It said, ‘Work on your own dreams before someone hires you to work on theirs’.

It hit right where it was supposed to. What it manifested into and how, will be a part of the final blog in this series. Thank you for your patience.

To know more about me, click here.

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Why I chose entrepreneurship over a six figure salary - Part II

Posted by Shabia Walia on

Once I took the leap from teaching to media full time, I bloomed. I did non-fiction, launched a news channel as core team, was chief entertainment editor, interviewed celebrities, anchored news bulletins, wrote a column on God for Bombay Times, did fiction and donned several hats as writer, creative director, producer over the years. The years did quickly go by but not without event. A setback took me to Delhi but I turned it on its head by finding love and a husband on that journey. How I found him is a blog for another day. But yes, I learnt living on my own after being a protected daughter for several years and once I came back to Mumbai, my equity as a professional grew even more. I was earning a six figure salary, my bosses loved me, I kept getting offers, everything you need to safely call yourself ‘good at your work'.

Living in converted into marriage and as my husband zipped across continents shooting various films, I grew leaps and bounds in my own field. We both were doing well but my heart ached for a baby. And after three years of marriage we had one. That was the turning point, as it is for most women. I wanted to be with her but at the same time did not want to lose what I had gathered over the years. A neat work profile.

When Sia was barely two months old, she used to sleep for 4 hours at a stretch after her massage and bath. Everyone advised me to use those 4 hours to catch up on sleep but sleep is not your slave and after a few days of trying to do that, I gave up. And then an idea struck me.

I had read and researched a lot before and during my pregnancy. I was so obsessed with the idea that by the time I really got pregnant, I was a walking talking encyclopedia on the subject. I remember I had a bb messenger group where I would often advise mothers on what to do when the baby was crying incessantly or not sleeping at night. Breastfeeding, sleep training, home remedies, colic, you ask me and I had the answers. I decided to converge all this information into a book. So while Sia slept, I typed away like a maniac. I wrote down the index and the chapters first. This way I had a goal of completing it chapter by chapter. And in about 45-50 days I had my book, complete. Did you hear that? I had written a book while being a fairly new mommy. I called it Mamma Mania and it changed my life in ways I had never fathomed.

Mamma Mania got published and got me acclaim from all quarters. Firstly it was a one of its kind book written by an Indian mother and not by a gynecologist or doctor. Secondly it spoke about the trials of conceiving in a mad, fast world in a light, humorous manner. It wasn’t a ‘what to do’ book. It was a conversational book written in the style of one woman talking to another and therein lay its success. Women from all over gushed about how easy it was to read and how they could relive their own pregnancy journeys through it. The fact that the ‘Mamma Mania’ blog I wrote soon after for IBN Live went on to become a huge success, again re-iterated to me that I could write naturally. Good or bad, I wrote from the heart. And this was my strength.

By now I had started working for a leading entertainment channel since I had found a good nanny for my 10 month old baby. Believe me, I was never so unhappy in my entire life. The job stifled me and the guilt of leaving my baby while I contributed to the vast nonsense of melodrama played out everyday, drove me nuts. Somehow I trudged along fighting to lift my spirits each day when all I wanted to do was throw in the hat. And I did. As soon as I completed a year, I resigned, much to the surprise and shock of everyone.

People sarcastically asked me if I thought I was Mother India herself and if they didn’t have babies to take care of. Some warned me about the consequences of leaving such a good job. I would never find work again, some predicted. Some thought I was crazy to expect anything more from a corporate job. Some reminded me how I had the weekends off.

But I did not want to live just on the weekends, I wanted to live each day. I would fight for it. I didn’t want to just exist, I wanted to live. Surely there must be a way of working and living happily, both at the same time.

They say, when you want something badly, it manifests into reality driven by your own energies. And how the universe conspired to make my dream come true, is a miracle in itself. More on that, in my next blog.

To know more about me, click here.


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Why I chose Entrepreneurship over a six figure salary?

Posted by Shabia Walia on

I have always been a free soul. Two things which stifle me are routine and permanency. I probably did not know this before but now wiser and older at 41, I see the pattern. As I look back I realised that I have always had two careers or two or three things I have worked upon, always.

Way back when I was a twelfth standard student, I got offered a teaching job to teach 8th and 9th grade students. Why? I was able to reproduce what I had learnt in class and very confidently at that, they said. Not knowing any better, I took it up. I mean which twelfth grader teaches while studying? Not many.

My days started at 5 am, I would start my first lecture at 7 am in a south suburb in Mumbai, rush to college for my practicals at 9, attend lectures and practicals till 3 pm, rush again for another teaching session at 5 pm in another suburb of Mumbai, come back home by 7 pm and teach another bunch of students and finally retire at 11 pm after studying for one hour myself. While my friends asked their parents for pocket money, I was able to earn a neat sum every month with my teaching jig.

While I was in my final year of graduation, I went for an audition to participate in a game show. Again seeing my confidence, (my boss told me later why he hired me), instead of choosing me as a participant they offered me a job. I confessed about my teaching job and they agreed to let me teach mornings and evenings while I worked with them as a research assistant during the day. Thus started my media stint. I was again juggling two things at 21. And then came the third one. I started getting projects to write. Website content for someone, corporate content for companies, a jingle for an ad project, one thing led to another.

I still remember how me and my mother walked to nearby internet centres at 11 pm in the night should the client want to change a word. Today it all seems so easy when you have internet access at your home throughout the day. But far back then, my mother would keep sitting at the internet café till I finished with my writers block. Nevertheless it brought in an additional income and satisfied my creative leanings, both aspects welcome at that time. At 21 I had worked with big companies like Crompton Greaves, JK cement and many others. I certainly wasn’t complaining.

I must mention here that going along with the flow of life has always been a part of my personality. Having no mentor or father figure from a young age, I somewhere unconsciously had decided to make lemonade out of the lemons life handed me. As I reflect now, It comes from my mother. Her independent streak, her refusing to break when my father walked out on us, her teaching me to always take up challenges and always being there for me when I took up those, all snowballed into the woman I am today.

Anyways, my past aside, soon, it became impossible to juggle teaching and media and I chose the riskier option as everyone around me pointed out. Media was risky and uncertain. But little did they know I thrive on those two words - risky and uncertain. For me, knowing whats around the next bend was no thrill. The curiosity of the unknown fills me with an excitement like no other.

My own adventurous streak and the fact that I had great bosses and I was getting to travel all over India as a part of my job did it for me. I quit teaching much to my students disappointment, many of whom were around my age.

My first flight was through my media job and I still remember how I didn’t know to buckle my seat belt and the cute guy next to me seeing my helplessness offered to assist me with it. Just the memory of that awkwardness makes me smile.

Still with me? Want to read more about my journey to entrepreneurship? Do wait for the 2nd part of this blog.

To know more about me, click here.

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