The Unconventional Indian Outfit

Tisha Saxena Draped Saree // New Look Shoes

For as far as my memory takes me, we Indians have held the good old 6 yard wonder (or 9 in some cases) close to our hearts and watched it, rather, experienced it, being reinvented as per the whims and fancies of the changing generations.
I remember haphazardly wrapping myself in my mum’s sarees as a child (or even an isolated dupatta if that had easier access), spending hours in isolation with a bulky mirror and my comical expressions. But as my little feet transitioned from comfortable jelly boots into gem-embellished stilletos and as ‘wrapping’ quickly transformed to ‘draping', I felt the urge to add my own touch of originality to this evergreen silhouette.

With so much being talked about the saree revival, I couldn't wait to add my own touch to Tisha Saksena's beautiful version of it. For a person whose job and world revolves around experimentation and innovation of fashion, this outfit spoke volumes to me in terms of its modernity, innovation and technique while not losing the touch of the Indian-ness of it all. The ensemble, to me, seems like an amalgamation of the modern saree, dhoti and choli reflecting perfectly well the signature style of Tisha Saksena’s sartorial work. But what stole my heart was the intricately crafted Zardozi work and the comfort of the silhouette in its entirety. I simply adored how the colours and cuts were experimented upon, befitting what we millennials desire in our avant-garde Indian avatar. 


2 Months To Go... #Shailoom

I'd like to remember how I feel today..forever. But maybe that's just me with every indescribably overwhelming moment. Maybe that explains my love for photographs? The need to hold onto a moment, a thought, so desperately?

I woke up up with an unusually tight embrace around my waist. My mumma had decided to give me the sweetest wake up call mankind had ever seen. Like every other groggy morning, my fingers fumbled to find the frosty screen of my phone. Two seconds of painfully bright light in my sleep drawn eyes later, ta-da, the date flashed before me. 5th December, 2016. 

Two months to go.

The first half of my day was uneventful, but, undeniably, unexplainably grumpy. Right from my favorite ashford marble to my faultlessly soaked almonds, they all seemed to be asking me one question. How long till you let us go?

Fast forward to 5pm. Outfit fittings for my absolutely delightful bohemian function. I walked out of the changing room (or should I say, regal suite?), rather perplexed, that a flouncy skirt with accurate measure of zardozi embroidery could make me feel this elated. A substantial amount of sashaying and strutting later - I just COULDN'T WAIT to experience what would be the most ecstatic week of my life.

8pm. My phone flashes with a new text. 'Baby, I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with you.'


7-Step Smokey Eye (Beginners)

Like the little black dress, a smokey eye is timelessly sexy, and yet, like pretty much everyone else, I never got around to doing it thanks to the amount of work it looked like. As part of my recent bridal experience with Estee Lauder, among all the other incredible elements and pampering, I also picked one trend to learn from Rani, the inhouse makeup artist. Could have been my upcoming wedding or simply the dozen other weddings I have to attend this month, but I instinctly picked the Smokey Eye.
While she did each step on my right eye, I replicated the same on my left eye to make sure I could go back home and re-create this stunning look.

 Conceal. Apply the slightest bit of concealer on your eye lids to prep them for the smokey eye. The concealer helps the color to seep in giving you a strong pigment, alongwith keeping the eyeshadow in place.

Take a kajal/eye pencil in black and start lining your lids starting from the end of the way and moving inwards. Line 1-2cm at a time and then immediately blend it with an eye shadow brush or smudger. Remember, you have to be quick to make sure to blend before the color sets in. Keep applying liner and blending until you finish the entire eye. 

Go over this step at least twice to get a smokey effect. 

Next up, take any warm toned eye shadow of your choice (I love Gold, Bronze & Burgundy) and start patting it on your upper lids in a tiny V motion - again start work from the outside. Key is to remember not to swipe, only tap/pat. Heaviest eye shadow should on the outer corner and lightest on the inner.

Take the same kajal/eye pencil again and apply it the same way as step 2.

Take some black eye shadow on an eye shadow brush and pat it over the black kajal ever so slightly. This step defines the 'smokey' element in the whole process.

Line your upper inner eyelid and waterline with kajal/eye pencil with intensity depending on how heavy you want the smokey eye to look. While you're lining your upper waterline make sure it's merging with your eye lids.

Final step! Repeated layers of mascara. Start from the outside in a 'wiggle and flick' motion


Vanity Cask

My first ever beauty subscription box came in the mail a week ago and I couldn't be more excited to unwrap its contents. The Vanity Cask box is a compilation of luxury beauty samples specially curated by beauty experts to meet your beauty requirements. Sounds familiar? I’m sure it does since it’s not exactly a neophyte concept with beauty maestros across the world putting it together since quite some time now. But what sets this particular one apart is the fact that it has been carefully concocted for the Indian consumer. 
The Indian skin is quite versatile in its own way and therefore it takes a little longer for us girls to figure out what product works best for us. Most of the beauty brands base their merchandises on a more westernised version of skin needs whereas Indians usually have a yellow undertone and/or are exposed to more pollution than more countries, and factors like these require attention. Ta-da!

At the moment, Vanity Cask only releases boxes periodically, in different categories for their consumer to pick and choose which one they would like to opt for. They will soon be moving into a monthly subscription format. Today I'm talking about their skincare box!

The box contained a sample of Clinique 7 day Scrub Cream, VĂ´tre Hydrating Moisturizer, Vichy Capital Soleil Sun Protection, Kama Rejuvenating Night Cream, Thalgo Ultra Hydra Marine Mask. Each of the packaging is meant to last for about 5-6 uses which is absolutely in sync with the amount of travel I have coming up in my schedule.
Major brownie points for their feminine black & pink packaging.

Looking forward to their upcoming Haircare and Bath and Body boxes!

P.S. They’ve also put in a little manual, just in case you are confused or skeptical about the savoir-faire of using these samples.


Brush Edit. My Top 5 Fave Brushes To Own Yo Makeup

Rewind to a couple of years ago, in my initial years of my blogging, when I perpetually wore sunglasses to hide the fact that I wasn’t wearing any makeup! Not quite sure whether my transition into being an absolute beauty junkie occurred with age or when the freebies started coming in but I have to admit, as of today, I'm officially a makeup addict. I wouldn't say I'm an expert yet but almost 90% of the makeup you see on my blog has been done by me and I make it a point to innovate with each look to get better everyday. I've been learning one step at a time and I feel like that’s the only you can go with it!
Slowly but steadily - I realised how crucial and instrumental makeup brushes can be to your makeup regime. I decided to put together this compilation for you thanks to all the trouble I went through in the early days.
Options for brushes are absolutely endless. Which could only mean one thing - never knowing which ones to pick! I've been experimenting with different brushes since years until I finally found my most precious essentials. I personally am a huge fan of drugstore makeup but when it comes to brushes, I haven't had the best experience with bristles falling apart and the likes. You might need to splurge the slightest in this category but the best part is you certainly don’t need to own a million different options - even a few tools can work as multi-purpose servers.

1. The ones for the Base - Foundation Brushes

Setting a good base is something you need to master. It sets the tone for the whole look and needs to be blended to utmost perfection, to make way for the contouring, blushing and highlighting part. Brushes that are used for this part are generally very dense as it makes it a lot easier to blend the foundation. I used the stippling method to apply my foundation and I feel like it suits me the best.

M.A.C Stippling Brush in No. 187
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
Bobbi Brown Face Brush

Ultimate Pick
M.A.C Stippling Brush in No. 187.

2. The ones for the Dark Circles - Concealer Brushes/Blenders

Like almost every other Indian girl - I have a never-ending battle with my dark circles and the one instrument I swear by to make them better is the beauty blender. Loads of beauty gurus use it for their foundation as well but I personally am addicted to using the pointed end for my concealer. I just dab it directly into my corrector/concealer and then dab lightly, repeatedly, over my problem areas.

Ultimate Pick
Beauty Blender

Multipurpose Trick
Use as a foundation applicator
Use to blend in highlighter
Use to reduce pigmentation of blush with the rounded side

3. The ones for the Eyes - Concealer Brushes/Blenders

Eyes are the trickiest. Trust me on this! If you’ve ever tried to use those little applicators that come in your eye shadow case, you probably already know they’re useless. I like denser brushes that hold more product as compared to looser ones that drop powder/particles on my eyes and under-eyes and call for a painful cleaning session.
Remember: Pick an eyeshadow brush depending on the size of your eyes. You don't want a XL bristles hovering around your tiny eyelids.

Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow Brush
Bobbi Brown Angled Eye Shadow Brush
M.A.C 217 Expert Blending Brush
Sephora Eye Shadow Brush

Ultimate Pick
M.A.C 217 Expert Blending Brush
Sephora Eye Shadow Brush

I use the Sephora eyeshadow brush to pack on colour on my lids and then blend it out with the M.A.C 217 brush. 

Multipurpose Trick
If you opt for a slightly larger bristles, you can always double up your eyeshadow brush to apply highlighter beautifully on your cheekbones

4. The ones for the Contour - Bronzer Brush

Love love love to work ‘em cheekbones! The best way to get those chiselled cuts is to use a brush that’s angled. I haven't been able to get my hands on one yet but been making ends meet with a blush brush to contour.

Real Techniques Blush Brush
Real Techniques Buffer Brush

5. The ones for the Cheeks - Blush Brushes

 Blush brings the whole look together in an instance. Key is to be super light handed during application because let’s face it, we really don’t want to be walking around with two pink patches on our cheeks.

Bobbi Brown Blush Brush
M.A.C 129

Ultimate Pick
M.A.C 129

6. The ones for the Cheekbones - Highlighter Brushes

Highlighter – because I love the glow! Being a blogger, it is very very important to accentuate the high points of my face for that insane glow in photos by highlighting your cheek bones and cupids bow.

Ultimate Pick
Vega Fan Brush/My fingers

6. The ones to add Finishing Touches - Powder Brushes

Kabuuuuuki! The most adorable brushes man made :)
Big fluffy kabuki brushes work wonders for powdering your face and helping your long labour of makeup stay put. PS Love how soft they are!

M.A.C Kabuki Brush
Estee Lauder Powder Foundation Brush

Ultimate Pick
M.A.C Kabuki Brush

Quick white jumpsuit look to say goodbye! I hope you enjoyed this post & found it useful! Love you guys! Xx


It's All About The Base

Been testing out the new dedicated scalp care range under Biolage Advanced by Matrix - Scalppure, these past few weeks, and here's what I think of it!

I've always believed that you are on the outside, what you are on the inside. Whether it's the green vegetables you stuff yourself with, the gallons of water you kept reminders for or all those sweaty hours of leg day - it's all about making our 'insides' stronger for the same to reflect onto our outer appearance. The  Scalppure range works on a very similar philosophy, by focusing on improving your core (no, not the abs sillies!) but the core of your hair - your scalp. 

I've seen tons of products in the markets that give some pretty amazing attention to the ends, the thickness and the shine but was so pleased to watch the Scalppure range of products work their magic onto our scalps. Taking care of our scalps is an activity that is almost attached to our Indian culture. Vivid memories of my my mom or grandmom drowning my scalp in hot oil followed by an impressive massage come to mind and I can't help but remember their rants about how important it was to 'nourish our hair through the scalp'. As much as I'd love to, the gruesome process of oiling seems far from possible in this hectic routine. Dang. Precisely where Scalppure comes in. As the name suggests, this range promises to work as a solution to the 4 common scalp woes- Dandruff, Excess Oil, Itchiness and Odor. 

Here's how I used it for maximum effect. Rinsed with the Scalppure Clarifying Scalp Scrub followed by the Scalppure Dandruff Control Shampoo and then the Scalppure complete solution Conditioner, concluding with the Scalppure Complete Solution Scalp Serum almost naturally.

For me, personally, the entire range is truly a well-planned hair spa, almost like a scalp facial where you can’t skip a step. You wouldn’t want to. Because the result is the healthiest your scalp has ever been. The first step being the scrub, makes sure to remove all the impurities, priming the scalp to absorb the following products more thoroughly. The dandruff control shampoo, being the second step, controls the flakiness of the scalp with its mint extracts, keeping the dandruff at bay. Ensuing is the conditioner which is to be massaged indulgently so as to deeply nourish and enrich your locks. And the last but the most important step- the serum- a weightless formula that protects and arrests the moisture, so that all that previous treatment stays effective for much longer.

Take care of your roots and you’ll never have to worry about that mane again. It’s #AllAboutTheBase.


3 Months To Go... #Shailoom

Literally cannot believe there are only 3 months to till MY WEDDING. I can undoubtedly say, this past year has been the most challenging, most exciting year in my life. I am thrilled at the thought of waking up to the love of my life every day but to be entirely honest, the thought of not waking up to my parents, scares me cold. How, in this world, do I balance these two feelings?


Jabong's Republic Of DENIM

Experts from a super fun shoot with Jabong for their Republic Of Denim campaign! I chose a cropped denim dungaree dress to go with my Nike Roshe kicks.


Diwali Glam. Part Deux

What I'm Wearing - Ritika Mirchandani lehenga, Jewellery from Tanishq's Shubham collection

I've been swamped with work lately and I'm literally counting days till my Diwali break. I'm off to Calcutta with ze mother & bhabhi, (both rulers of my heart and life) for some delectable wedding shopping. Or so I hope. I've been told not to raise my hopes too high about the collections there but a girl deserves to dream..right? As soon as I'm back, the following week is swaddled with dinners, Diwali parties and a whole lotta gambling.

Our Hindu New Year, 1st November, also happens to be my personal deadline for confirming all my wedding outfits and as of today, I think I might be in a pretty content position. Nervous times await. Crossing my fingers and praying to the wedding Gods I make the right choices ;)

It's time to create Diwali memories, for the very last time as a Minawala :)