Friday, September 26, 2014

Beauty Tip - Using Scrubs

This is a fantastic tip I picked up blog hopping long time back. I have shared it with a lot of ppl and all have loved it. So trying to spread some love on the blog too.

When you use a cream based scrub for exfoliation, allow it to sit on your face like a mask. When the scrub is semi dry, wet your hands and massage your face. This will allow the creams to penetrate deeper and give you much better results.

Homemade Scrub
Homemade Scrub

Try it and let me know if it worked for you. Or share your own exfoliation tip.

From my now dead makeup blog Novice Makeup. I miss beauty blogging and hence re-posting an old post here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Travelling Alone & Realisations at Trafalgar Square

How exciting it is to be living a traveller's life? You hear the stories of your friends who have been to all those fantastic places.. you see their pictures on Facebook... you see all the places they have checked in on FourSquare and you go, "Wow, What a fantastic life!" When you meet these people they talk about the wonderful experiences they have had, conversations with fellow travelers, acts of kindness by random strangers when they needed help and can't help wish, "If only I led such a traveller's life"

What these stories don't tell us is about the long waits at airports and train stations. What the smiling faces in pictures don't let on is the longing of being away from family and loved ones.

When I travelled alone to London a while ago, I was all kicked about sight seeing and exploring the place on my own. At Trafalgar Square, such a strong feeling of loneliness hit me that I almost went back to the hotel! I was so grateful then that my friend G came to see me the day before. That evening I realised the true need of good company. And so, I clicked pictures of people all around.

Leaving you guys with some pics from that evening :)





Sunday, September 21, 2014

Get Pregnant!!

One of these days I was catching up with Ikya of Makeup Monologues and just generally chit chatting about her life after the wedding. Inevitably, we came to the topic of "good news". You know how Indian relatives and associates are in general right? The would like you to go from the Vidaai Mandap to the maternity ward in nine months flat!

So she told me about hints that started coming in as early as three months into the wedding. In fact, a lady in her cantonment suggested the following:

" You know Dr. So and So. He is really nice. Set pregnant before he gets posted out of here!"

I understand that an army wife would plan her family on the basis of her husband's posting. But a doctor? That is beyond hilarious!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Review: Lotus Herbals Pure Color Lipstick in Mod Mauve

I am a major lipstick fan. I can go without anything but a lipcolour on my face. And since I favour lipsticks to glosses, I do collect them like crazy. 

A few years back, Lotus was always a skincare brand for me. I did not even know they were into makeup till I read some of the awesome reviews on beauty blogs.And then, I had to give these a shot. I picked Mod Mauve from the Pure Colors range. At that time I was looking for a good mauve colour and this one suited the bill perfectly!

What Lotus Herbals Claims about Pure Color Lipstick

Lotus Herbals website calls this Moisturising Lip Color.

What I Think about Lotus Pure Colors Mod Mauve

I differ on the moisture claim. I would call this a non drying lip colour. This is definitely not moisturizing. I do need a balm under this. That apart, I have no complaints with this little beauty. I am in love with this nudish mauve colour. What you see on the swatch is a single swipe. It can be build to a darker mauve with 2-3 swipes. It has a sheen that eliminates need for a gloss and can lasts for a good four hours on me. It fades evenly, without a tint.

Among all the Lotus lipsticks, I like the packaging of these the most. The pale gold tube with the lotus motif is quite nice in my opinion.

It has a sweet almond smell that I don't mind but others might. Think Rogan Badam Shirin! The smell lasts for quite a while after application.

What It Costs

These are available at counters for INR 265 a pop. Lotus counters are slowly making appearances in Big Bazaars, Pantaloons, Spencers etc. They even have their little pop-up shops at Major malls these days. You can also checkout the local beauty stores. A few of them carry Lotus colours. If you can't find them close to your place, turn to the internet. Lotus is available on most e-commerce sites.

Lotus Pure Color Mod Mauve Lip Swatch
Me wearing the Lotus Pure Color in Mod Mauve

The Good

  • Pretty nude mauve colour that will suit a lot of skin tones from fair to dusky
  • Non drying
  • Decent lasting power of 4 hours
  • At INR 265, it is amongst the most pocket friendly lippies

The Bad

  • Not moisturizing
  • Not creamy and tends to harden a bit in cooler weathers
  • The packaging does not indicate the colour. You have to read the tiny label at the bottom if you have a few of them

Final Rating


From my now dead makeup blog Novice Makeup. I miss beauty blogging and hence re-posting an old post here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dan Brown's Inferno : My Thoughts

I read Inferno a while ago. Not Dante's Inferno. Dan Brown's. I used to be a big fan of his and have read all his books with enthusiasm. Since reading the Lost Symbol, I had started to feel a bit disillusioned. Inferno just took that feeling to completion!

Dan Brown Inferno

Like every Dan Brown Novel this too had a heroine with super human IQ. Like every other Langdon book, the professor is clueless and is continent hopping on a trail of clues. Like every Dan Brown book, the world will end... I can understand writing in your comfort zone but honestly, that feeling of Deja Vu kills it. If I wanted to read the same thing, I'd pick my well read copy of the Da Vinci code again.

I know how tough it is to write a story. I know it is even tougher to write a book. Trust me, I have tried. As a result I have great respect for whoever manages to complete the book. And Dan Brown is a brilliant writer. His books have the twists and turns that keep the readers on the edge. Just wish he'd develop characters outside his preset moulds.  

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Ten Must Haves in a Working Mother's Wardrobe

After my daughter was born, the way I dressed change. Part of this is because I put on weight and part of this is because my time had other demands. I gravitated toward non fussy clothing and realised I am basically in a style rut. All my outfits were practically clones of each other and I seemed to sport a uniform at all times. Now men in uniform maybe sexy but women in uniform are boring. B.O.R.I.N.G.

The monotony eventually got to me and I am trying to break out of it. Over the years I have compiled my own set of rules and try to abide by them. Here are my must haves:
  1. Colourful Leggings: Leggings and Kurtas have essentially revolutionised the Indian Women's way of dressing in the last few years. The trend is still going strong and is here to stay. Leggings are comfortable, versatile and extremely fuss free. Whether you are chasing your toddler around the house or popping into the office for that important meeting, you can sport these with ease. I would recommend investing in basic black, blue and maroon and then adding colourful ones like pinks and greens depending upon your kurtas. Also go for a few ankle and calf length ones to pair with tunics for the indo-western look. 
  2. Pink Leggings
    Pink Leggings
    Viscose or Georgette Kurtas: Notice here that I said Viscose or Georgette. Cotton kurtas are great in comfort but I find that they fade easily. A cotton garment needs much more maintenance and a lower shelf life. These lasts much longer and does not lose its newness as easily. Most top brands have them now. I prefer the full sleeved ones that come real handy when I postpone my waxing sessions ;) Haven't we all done that? Sacrificed grooming in those initial years? 
    Orange Georgette Kurta
    Wearing an Orange Georgette Kurta
  3. Long Tunics: Tunics that fall to the mid thigh seem more flattering then the ones ending across the tummy or at the hip. The reason is that most women gain weight in the mid section post pregnancy. If the tunic ends in these areas, it draws attention to them. I have found thigh length tunics easy enough to pair with short leggings, capris, chinos, jeans or even formal trousers. The additional benefit is that if you have just started fitting back into those pre pregnancy trousers, the long tunics will hide the ungainly camel toes. 
    Long Tunic
    Longer Tunic: Better than a short tee
  4. Flat Sandals: The kinds that are easy to slip in and out of. Not flipflops though, they are a pain to run in and trust me once the lid starts crawling, there will be lots of running around! Flat sandals can be paired with a variety of outfits and will be appropriate for office, grocery shopping or the occasional mall visit. A soft sole will give your tired feet less grief.
    Chic Flats
    My chic white flats!
  5. BB Cream / CC Cream / BB Stick: Go for whatever suits your skin type and your pocket. The market is flooded with them these days and you are spoilt for choice really. These magic potions need minimum blending and most need no top up with a compact. To cut a long story short, pat, blend and go! 
    BB Cream Look
    Everyday BB Cream Look
  6. Stretchable Jeans: No one can deny the importance of jeans in any wardrobe! Unless your office has a 365 day formal dress code, you'd be wearing jeans to work at least once a week. With the changing body post pregnancy, I found finding a good pair of jeans a challenge. What came to my rescue were stretchable jeans with longer tunics. These were especially good in the cold winter months when leggings did not provide the essential protection. Stretch jeans and Jeggings looked good, were warm and even allowed me to sit cross legged on the bed and play with the baby at ease. I personally prefer dark wash even toned jeans with little or no embellishment. They are a bit tough to find but once you get them, they become a wardrobe workhorse! 
    My Best Jeans
  7. Large Stylish Satchels: The idea of carrying cutesy baby bags or diaper bags never did appeal to me. I always liked big bags so being a new mommy gave me the perfect occasion to buy some more large bags. The kinds that will hold a change of clothes, diapers and milk bottles for a playdate and phose chargers and pen drives for work! 
    Coach Bag
    Using my Coach Bag as a Baby Bag
  8. Skirts: Yes, skirts!! I found that whenever I wanted to change my look a bit, I was reaching for my favourite A line midi skirt. It falls a few inches below the knee and hides the thunder thighs, does not show a lot of leg and is extremely comfortable! And the ones in jersey material and wash and wear so no need to bother with the ironing either :) 
    A-Line Skirt
    A-Line Skirts: Universally Flattering
  9. Spaghettis, Ganjis or Light layering Tees: Remember those lovely nursing tops you bought? The ones with deep V necks or side openings? Well most of them would need a layering piece underneath if you want to wear them to work. And trust me, you can wear those to work. I have also worn such fitted tees under sheer tunics and kurtis. They not only provide coverage but also help hide the love handles when worn underneath a flowy garment. The idea is to buy then stretchable pieces that do not add bulk though.
    Layering is a great way to utilise the materinity wear
  10. Accessories: The most important item! Be it statement necklaces, earrings, cuffs, bangles, scarves or belts. Choose whatever catches your fancy. Most accessories can be worn irrespective of your weight changes and you can easily change up these to change your look. Switch your usual gold chain for chunky necklaces for a few days or wear large attention grabbing earrings. I also bought a few silk dupattas in tie and die. I pair them with a variety of kurtas for changing up the look. You'd be amazed at how the look changes if you wear a different dupatta with the same outfit or even change the drape from your usual style! 
    Turn Scarf into Necklace
    Turning a Scarf into a Neckpiece!
These were my 10 Must Haves for the working mothers wardrobe. What are yours?