Tuesday, 15 November 2011


I am a big fan of Paula Begoun who runs Cosmeticscop on Web. I think she is a lone crusader against the myths propagated by the owners and marketing departments of cosmetic industries which have entrenched in people's psyche as 'ultimate researched truth'.
What people forget is that Real Science which leads to drugs, molecules and techniques which can improve life is very much there and its slow.There are studies published - 90% of them are not tainted in spite of corruption in annals of science.

For people who are interested, read this article- 20 beauty myths .
If you want to really critically analyse , just type 'Pubmed' in google and when you enter Pubmed ,enter the studies she has cited under each myth. Read those research articles. or abstracts. And then decide for yourself....Do you want to blindly believe in sales girls and advertising and pay hundreds of rupees for useless products or do you want to make informed choices every single time and force the cosmetic industries to actually give a good product at a very good price...and then they may not have to spend lacs on advertising !

Cosmetic industries make huge profits on medioacre products and products where the raw material costs are paltry eg  lip balms [ they give just 4 gm of product  !] shampoos,conditioners and body lotions and inspite of that they mis-sell  and spread lies which get ingrained in the minds of misinformed !

I would love to know what you think about this .

Monday, 7 November 2011


X called me up the other day and said she had a shopping voucher from her measly company  which required her to go shopping.
I asked her what did her shopping voucher amount to . She hatefully blurted "thousand bucks".
Me : Your company pulled out all the stops this year ,huh ! How thoughtful....now you'll spend another 2-3k to spend that voucher?

X : HR in my company is Ivy league that's why they come up with these measly feel-good gestures......they are real talent.[she added sarcastically] Anyway, i wanted to buy some clothes  and probably some make up. Coming?

"When women are depressed, they eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It's a whole different way of thinking." - Elayne Boosler.

 Yeah, but that doesn't mean Men are less of shoppers than women.They just pretend to be not interested in shopping and then go out and buy a bombastic gadget which will make them feel and behave like a 5 year old.

Now, Pune is covered with malls these days.Infact, if i stand on X's terrace and throw a stone ..it'll land up in a mall. So we go to the latest malls- Phoenix and Inorbit which are neighbors.
My shopping experience in malls is limited to make up ,leggings and well a skirt. Most of the kurtas don't fit me and the one's that do fit are horridly expensive. For those people who know my sewing prowess, i calculate why these brands are ripping me off for a simple cotton kurta which will not last a single home laundry. X knows this and she still takes me along !

Phoenix and Inorbit have these stand alone brand shops..so while i window shop and swallow looking at the prices , X impatiently rummages the racks.We enter a shop where ambience is cold and floor empty. She picks up one kurta and shows it to me.

"Omg...its 1299 ! But you can wear it... see if you like",I giggle uncontrollably. The sales girl hovering around us glares at me.

Sales people have found new way of selling stuff at these hi-fi places: Look over the customer, make her uncomfortable if she hands over the garment wordlessly after trying it, glare at her if she checks prices before checking out the garment and lastly snobbishly answer her queries with every bit of lies they can come up with .

X looks at me and says : "its very similar to the kurta you are wearing. How much did you get it for ?

Me: Let me see,...2.25 mtr cloth at 80 rs per metre and i cut and sewed it in 2 days -with all the embellishment it cost me 200 bucks. 5 washes - as good as new"

X put the kurta down angrily and then went over to the western clothing racks.

X : Gosh.......how did the prices get so high ! Last time i went shopping and actually bought something ....remember that blue top ..it cost me 450 of this very brand. Now look at this simple top - starting upwards of 699 !

Me: [ i knew the prices had increased almost insensibly since i had been making more mall visits than her since last 8 months ] yep, i know...now just a branded jeans and top combo will set you back by 2-3k. Start taking care of your clothes, X .Soon, they'll become investments like gold !

X: [nodded ruefully] Yeah ,i already kicked out that maid .She managed to ruin our clothes while washing them in a  washing machine ! I wash stuff myself now....handwashing the ones which leach colours like crazy.

Me: You know what a price of the garments of these so called brands goes like : Rs 699 + 100 -for first time dry cleaning which  practically all the brands exhort you to do]. The price is exclusive of shrinkage, loss of color and durability of the cloth in first wash itself. If you do the math ,all that these brands are doing is recovering real estate and staff prices and their huge profit margins for very poor quality.

X: Oh yeah....i remember when we were kids ..my mom used to get our frocks stitched and they used to last forever. There were no washing machines....the maids used to wash and i remember my mom not letting them use brush except on collars and painchas ! And now within a year these ready-mades look old.

X pulled me out of the store and said ..."We'll go to the cloth market in camp and city ..i 'll pick up some material ..babban chacha still stitches . i'll ask him to make  kurtas and then mix and match with leggings i already have.You'll embellish them ,will you ?..please ...

Me : yeah ok . Maybe i'll stitch a kurta too for you . However, what will happen to the voucher ?

X: I will give it to my arch enemy !
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