Friday, May 27, 2011

Manicure Rant

I went in for a professional manicure 2 days back. It had been part of a package i took and manicure was left out. So I decided to treat myself on the way back from work. The manicure was all ok. Nothing great. Then, came the time to select a nail paint and I was really peeved! The shade selection was terrible!!! They had emerald green, cobalt blue, golden, fuchsia, true yellow and even orange! But not a single nude color... Now, I understand that they were bang on when it comes to trendy colours; but as professional manicurists, should they not offer neutral ones too? The kinds I can easily sport at work without worrying abt the attention they'll garner or the outfits they will clash with? The manicurist finally a shimmery light pink that I would not have picked out for myself. But it was the only halfway decent shade out there so I went with it. Here is how it looks...

The other issue i have with salons is that they stock cheap nail paints. Ok, I get that you need to have a lot of shades, I get that you need to manage costs and I get that nail paints are expensive. But can you not have a few options? For those who do not want to use these?I have found the perfect solution... the next time I get a manicure done, I am carrying my own nail paint :)

If this post makes you think I get manicures done all the time, you are wrong! I only go for manicures when my cuticles look horrendous and need some serious grooming. I don't take care of my hands at all and that is now beginning to show. Notice the tanning around knuckles? So, I have now taken to exfoliation whenever i remember it and slathering cream or moisturiser over them at least twice a day. I have also reduced the use of sanitiser because that was drying my hands. I used sanitiser a lot when Kuhu was born. Oh, I digress... what I wanted to tell you is my 15 minute home manicure ;)

  • Step 1: exfoliate with a body / facial scrub / loofah (not a bath lily mind you, a proper dried gourd loofah)
  • Step 2: slather some cream (hand or regular) and rub it till the cream is absorbed
  • Step 3: use the same cream to rub your nails and cuticles
  • Step 4: cut your nails and shape them (we are on time saving mode here, so no filing... just cut along the shape you want)
  • Step 5: apply nail paint or base / top coat for a shine
And that's it.... you are ready to roll...

Friday, May 20, 2011

My first FOTD - Inspired by Mehak

Mehak of Peaches and Blush did a fab tutorial on dewy makeup. Dewy skin has always awed me and I have always been jealous of those with supple glowing cheeks. When I read mehak's post today, I realised I could try this out. So, I did and I am not brave to put up before and after pics so just a few of them go here...

So, what do you guys think? I feel that I need to good concealer and that I should stick to matte. I skipped powder and compact and my skin was oily in less than 30 mins. Sigh, the dewyness isn't for me...

I used Lakme Perfect Radiance foundation, Colorbar creme compact as concealer, Colorbar Radiant Glow Highlighter pen, Oriflame visions mascara, Lotus kajal, Nivea lipbalm in pomegranate and ULTA lipgloss in nude.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hair Straightening - My Experience

Hi girls, this post is in response to Prerna’s question on Wise She. I remember fretting about weeks when I was thinking about getting my hair straightened and did quite a bit of research as well. I can totally relate to Prerna here and thought of doing a post rather than type inches and inches of comments! Hope you find this info useful girl!
There are more than one methods of straightening. I am talking about rebonding here. There is a new technique called hair smoothening which is milder and is for hair that is slightly wavy or curly. The end result depends upon your existing texture.

Don’t colour your hair if you are thinking about rebonding. The colour will be stripped off during the process. You cannot colour your hair for at least 2 weeks after the procedure. So, if you need heavy grey coverage, ask your salon to colour your hair during the rebonding only. I know this is doable because a middle aged lady got her rebonding done at the same salon while I was doing mine. Her hair was coloured.
Your hair will get weak because of this. So nourish your hair as much as you can in the days leading upto it. Oil them extensively and use nourishing masks. Do not use henna. You need to avoid using stuff that dries your hair out. They need to be well hydrated.

Hair rebonding is a long procedure. Mine took me a whole day including travel and waiting period. So stock up on your patience!! :)
The first thing they do is wash and condition your hair. Ensure that the conditioning step is not missed and that the conditioner is left for at least five minutes for best result. You can ask questions about the procedure, products etc. Your stylist should not mind.
They will then apply a cream to break the bonds of your hair and paste them on an acrylic board. You need to sit absolutely straight for the next half an hour or so. Mild hair colour will be stripped off your hair during this step. Carry a book or a magazine to read at this time – nothing too relaxing though, you cannot slouch. This girl moved and the chemical slipped to her shirt. Her shirt was stripped of the colour as well! Best wear a comfortable light coloured shirt :)
The stylist will test your hair by pulling on a strand. If they are springy and curl when released, the bonds are broken. Your hair is at the weakest now. So, make sure you do not brush them or do anything that breaks them. At this point, you can take a break. If they stylist offers it, do it. You will be sitting in a chair for a very long time from the next step.
Your hair will now be dried and ironed. This ironing is nothing like the ironing we do at home or the temporary one done at a salon. The iron is very heave and needs to be done from your very roots! Your hair will be pulled so that it is absolutely ramrod straight. Grin and bear the pain! Remember, this will save you a lot of effort later on. The straightening takes an hour or so depending upon the length and thickness of your hair. Mine is medium thick and falls to the middle of my back. So all you long haired beauties, do be patient!
Once the hair is straight, they will apply the cream to remake the bonds of your hair (Hence the term, hair rebonding!) This cream will stay on for another half hour and then washed again. This time, they will wash your hair with a special shampoo for rebounded hair. More about this shampoo later. Allow the hair to be air dried mostly. Once dry, they will need to be trimmed. Before you depart the salon, a smoothening serum will be applied for added protection.

You cannot tie, clip, clutch, pushback, tuck your hair in any way for the next three days. No hair bands, bobby pins, clips and absolutely no hair ties! If you wear specs, try to rely on contact lenses as much as you can. Any wave created in the hair can become permanent. These three days are painful, especially in the summer heat. Your hair will look very flat during these days. This is because of a liberal amount of serum applied to your hair will weigh it down. Also, if you had a bouncy hair style or wavy hair on your crown that had volume, they will suddenly look plastered to your scalp. Don’t be scared. Within the next ten days after your first wash, your hair will gain some bounce.
The first wash is critical and warrants yet another visit to the salon. No matter how careful you are, some of your hair will curl, fold, and tuck in the next three days. A lot of it will be resolved automatically when you wash. But, it could be severe and the stylist might need to tend to it. The first wash should be done with your head held upright. A lot of us put our head down and wash our hair upside down. That cannot be done for rebounded hair; particularly in the first wash.
Your severely pulled back straightened hair will regain their best length during the next three days giving you an uneven cut. This visit can be used to correct that. If you like bangs, time to get them now!
Get your shampoo and conditioner from the salon. They will give you the products from the same brand that was used for your rebonding. I am not sure what happens if you switch brands. But, you cannot use a regular shampoo for at least three months. And these ones are expensive!
You need to condition after every wash and hair spa treatment is recommended fortnightly. I was told to oil my hair but my friend was told not to. So, there is a bit of conflict here. Not sure what you should do, but keep your hair well hydrated. Dry hair will get brittle and break easily. Remember that your hair is still weak!

Why do it?
So, if you are wondering why go thru all the trouble? Is it worth it? IT IS!!! Your hair will feel like a curtain of silk and you want to touch it again and again. You’ll look ready to hit door the moment you wake up in the morning (ok, this is an exaggeration, you’ll still need to wash your face) because you will not have bed hair. Sleek straight hair suit almost every one and look extremely professional. And the best part is, bye bye frizz…! Your hair is always shining and manageable… :)

I think the effort and money spent is totally worth it once you look at the results… if you are looking for a makeover, rebonding is a sure shot way to get a whole new look…

Monday, May 2, 2011

You are never too old to learn!

We have heard this quote over and over again. have we not? Although learning gets difficult as we grow older, we need to keep learning. Specially in beauty! New skincare ideas, new makeup trends... there is so much to learn! Is there not?

If you are dabbling with basic makeup, you need to start small. Get a hang of what suits you and what does not and then proceed with high end brands and experimental looks! Trust me, it is very very easy to go overboard and look garish! :(

I have found some excellent sources to learn about makeup and skincare.

YouTube is a gold mine of information. But it is also very easy to get lost here. The first time I searched for makeup videos, i was overwhelmed! Plowing through piles of videos led me to Michelle Phan. She is a gorgeous blogger whose videos will have you hooked. She is a professional MUA and her videos are shot very well. The best part is that she goes over the technique as well. You can clearly see her movements for blending, eye shadow aplication etc. Little tricks are embedded in her videos! And she is pretty too...
Kandee Johnson is another MUA I watch quite often.... I like her easy friendly style...
There are tons of them and I don't want this post to seem like an endorsement, so I'll stop here...!

There are tonnes of beauty blogs out there where you can pick up fantastic tips! My favorites are IMBB, Indya Beauty, Wise She, Indian Vanity Case and Peaches & Blush. There are so many more that I read and enjoy. But these are my daily must haves! :)

Makeover Games
These are fun and addictive! You can play with colours and products and see how a certain colour looks on you! Yup, they allow you to upload your pics and change everything from hair colour to eye colour. You can spend hours and hours here! I like this one from Daily Mokeover

And finally, you can learn all the theory you want... but you have to practice! Try the tricks when you have time at hand. I know, its difficult but you can't get perfect unless you get your hands dirty... Set out an hour every weekend where you practice. Eventually, you won't need that long... :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Saving Time in the Morning Rush!

Hey there, hoe many of you face crazy mornings? Getting kids ready? Getting chores done and practically sprinting out of the house to catch your train / bus / taxi or beat the rush hour traffic? And in this madness, how often do you skip your grooming? I say grooming here and not makeup because makeup can be skipped but not grooming... there are times I have left without as much as brushing my hair. But then, I realised that there are time saving devices that can be fit into the crazy routines.... here are some that I try:
  1. Apply a bit of coconut or olive oil on your face while you do your chores. Let it abosrb well before your bath. Your skin will feel much smoother and softer after the bath
  2. Keep a small pot of gram flour / besan in your bathroom and use it instead of a face wash. This one is courtsey Ik from Makeup Monologues
  3. Get an easy to maintain hairstyle. Be it messy layers or permanent straightening. Something that is easy to style on the run
  4. Keep your skin care and makeup stash well organised. Trust me, you do not want to spend time looking for your moisturiser, perfume or hair serum when you have those five minutes to get ready
So, what are your time saving tips???

Hello There!!!

Its been ages since I tried to resist but I have finally given in and started a makeup and beauty blog. My interest in makeup is not new, but my indulgence certainly is! This blog will chronicle my journey through the makeup and skincare world. I am learning the ropes and being a professional with little time on my hands, i need products and techniques that are QUICK! This blog will talk about these quick to do skincare and makeup tricks!!