Thursday, 15 March 2012


If you are like me ,you have probably been searching for a good foundation to make you look flawless and born with perfect skin ! At the same time , the foundation could preferably be affordable, matches the skin tone and simple to use everyday !
I have realized i have that kind of face where even a little makeup like a blush , single colour shadow application and a lipstick makes me look 'madeup' .Do any of you face this problem ? Or is this my perception problem ?
Maybe i just don't use the colors right !

There are all kinds of foundations in the market today. The rupee bracket of 200-300 usually contain water based ones  which promise oil free and easy application e.g The ones made by Lotus herbals, Revlon [touch and glow] and Lakme [invisible finish ].The foundations of earlier decade mostly made the face look caked up and like a mask and worst ...there was dearth of shades.

I have hardly used foundation while growing up.I bought Lakme Perfecting Liquid foundation when i started working..thinking i 'll use it . However, i never did go around actually using it. Its sat in my cupboard,separated and then i had to throw it away.Then, i tried the Lakme souffle and since i never got the time in the morning rush to use it , it dried up and that too went in the garbage !

 Anyway, so you see, i stopped using foundations altogether till I found Maybelline's Stick foundations[ its been discontinued now]. It matched my complexion,application was easy however it left an greyish cast [at that time i didn't realize that !]. The problem with stick foundations is blending. A little goes a long way and if not blended properly it does not give an even finish.

Stick foundations are unforgiving if the color doesn't match to the T ! Our SA's at ALL the brand counters have 'fairness fixation'-  i have found they tend to give customers a shade lighter because they believe ALL Indian women want to look fair using a foundation [ wrong ! Wrong ! ]
It is simply wrong to use foundation to look fair ! The end result is a face white ghost like and arms,legs and horror – neck is wheatish brown ! I stopped using foundation for precisely this reason..i knew zero about makeup but i definitely knew i didn't want a mask like effect !

Here is my opinion of my brave buy of Max Factor's Panstik !

1.Its compact, easy to carry in the purse. No spillage !
2.It gives medium to high coverage, a dewy finish and brightens the complexion on its own. I ,however do mix a drop of oil free moisturiser and the foundation to apply quickly like a tinted moisturiser.
3.Lots of shades to choose from. Pester the SA to check all the suitable shades against your skin.
4.I bought it in winters but since summer is already here , i find i can use equally well on my combination skin in hot weather.
5.A great concealor  especially for small imperfections, here and there. Partially covers dark under eye circles !
6.Does not feel heavy on the face.It stays for 8-10 hours on the go and out in the sun too. I think its sweat proof.I have never experienced this with any other foundation till date !

1.Blend ,blend and blend. The best way to apply , i find, is on moisturised face , one part at a time. With a wet sponge, it makes the application easier ! Overall,not really a breeze on the application part !
2.Gives a whitish cast ! However , all i do is pat a wet palm all over my face and it becomes natural finish ! This works with my Maybelline stick as well !
3.No spf ! Its a shame. But i work this one with my Fabindia's Oilfree spf 15.

Price: Rs 660

Verdict: My search for a good foundation below 600-700 continues.But i like this Panstik way better than my Invisible finish lakme foundation. If you are ok with blending part you might want to give this a try !

Friday, 9 March 2012

Bhrahmi oil

I love a good head massage..especially the one which i don't have to do myself ! I mean, if someone does it for you its even more soothing,relaxing and sleep inducing ! If you have a grandmother pester her because whenever i used to tell my mom she usually said no- i got only 1-2 massages per year !
Earlier, my mom used to oil my head for my hair. Then when , i started college, i oiled hair overnight and washed the next day because i didn't want to be caught dead with oiled plaits/pony ! My mom gave up on my hair eventually !
However ,when i started to lose hair and sheen, i became a sucker for all kind of herbs based oils. I have never bought any herbal oil simply because its nauseatingly fragrant and yuck ! I have allergy to giddily aromatic hair oils [hint: jasmine oil/chameli tel ] - they give me headaches and sinus !

Hence, I started my journey into home made oils. Earlier ones are unmentionable !
Once again ,i asked my mom how to make one ! She said-' don't spoil coconut oil with your concoctions . just use the plain coconut oil ,for heaven's sake !'
Since i was a science student ,experimenting was a must ! So i trudged along -bought coconut oil, researched ,asked various old aunties, researched more, talked to mom , and then i made 3 different combinations of oil which i rotate depending on weather, my moods and availability of herbs on my kitchen shelf.

I will share one which i currently use. I use this oil for soothing head massage - benefit on the hair is just a byproduct because i now believe oils just moisturize the scalp and will not give me rapunzel like long hair. However, there some herbs like brahmi ,rosemary which promote strength in hair shaft and keep scalp disease- free. I have been using herbal oil since last 15 years and i have never ever got dandruff in my whole life !
Brahmi is a relaxant when used in hair oils and when ingested. It has medicinal uses in brain related ayurvedic formulas. For my scalp, its cooling and i have noticed it makes my hair soft and more manageable. I add castor oil because i love it- it makes my hair blackish thicker and more better looking than ever !
Feel free to add /omit any of the herbs except brahmi ! For homemade hair oils, there are as many recipes as there are grannies in this world !

What i did :

Bought brahmi and bringhraj powder, 200 ml of coconut oil,castor oil
I soaked a tsp of methi overnight, and made a thick paste with brahmi and bhringraj powder with hot water.i used 25 gm each. If you have fresh henna powder add that too -  2 tsp. Keep the hot water paste for 2-3 hours.
Alternatively, if you have greenest coriander [handful], mint and fresh amla 3-4 , chop them up  and blend them in mixie without water and adjust brahmi and bhringhraj's amount accordingly.

Then in a thick stainless steel kadhai add coconut oil,heat it on very low flame for 3-4 mins, then add methi seeds, paste and amla coriander mix.
Stir lightly and cook it on very low flame till it starts to resemble blackish bits. This cooking process takes 30-40 mins at the least !
Once the oil has cooled off strain and add half cup castor oil [optional] and store it in a clean dry bottle in cool dark place. Remember to use it up [instead of hoarding] and make small batches !
If you make it, kindly let me know your experience/alternatives.

  • Don't add more water than necessary to make thick paste ! The aim is to infuse herbs in the oil .
  • Use freshest herbs if possible and grind them and then boil it with oil .

Saturday, 3 March 2012

All time favourite movies

I love watching English movies- but not all of them and unfortunately nowadays most of them :P
You see, i have grown up on TNT - the TNT movies which was aired after 7pm after the HBO channel back in early 1990's. They used to show old Hollywood  movies - the black and whites, the singing and dancing musicals which were a treat to me  and my sisters. My Dad used to watch English movies in theater during his college years- all those Westerns and 50's and 60's greatest Hollywood productions which managed to come to Bombay's theaters !
He introduced us to Guns of Navarone, Gone with the Wind and yes The Sound of Music and my favourite -My Fair Lady.
Star movies, HBO et al are showing only crap nowadays and extremely rarely the greater movies.I appeal to all the English channel giants - please show the old movie classics on your channels in India.

Here are the list of the movies worth watching because they are fun, engaging, the songs are great or sometimes the actors are superb. But most importantly, most of them have a story to tell. This list is open to additions because i am sure i have not seen all and there must be some great movies which i might have missed.This list is no particular order.

  1. Gone with the Wind- my all time favourite and i loved Scarlett O' Hara's character and of course Rhett Butler ! :-) Vivien Leigh steals the show !
  2. All about Eve - Loved Bette Davis. I happened to watch this again when i was around 25 and i found a complete new viewpoint on it
  3. My Fair Lady
  4. The Sound of Music
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird- I had read the book twice back to back and then i read it again. I happened to see the movie only couple of years ago and i loved it but I love the book more !
  6. Birds - By Alfred Hitchcock. His movies are the only Horrors which appeal to me. And i love the way he made his mysteries ! Gruesome !
  7. Psycho
  8. The Shop around the Corner- Wowie, the lanky Jimmy Carter and the simple love story !
  9. Driving Miss Daisy
  10. The Kid- By Charlie Chaplin
  11. Ben Hur- i must have watched this movie  atleast 4 times, read the book twice
  12. The Maltese Falcon: based on Alistair Maclean's book by the same name. I loved the book and the movie.
  13. Roman Holiday - Audrey Hepburn  and Gregory Peck .Loved it !
  14. Breakfast at Tiffany's - I have read the book only recently and i love the book more ! But then i always love the books more than movie adaptations !
  15. The Godfather series
  16. It happened one Night
  17. Stanley and Iris : Nowhere near the greats but i loved Robert di Niro in it .loved the story!
  18. The Black Swan
  19. Taxi driver
  20. The Good ,the Bad and the Ugly
  21. The Bridge on the River Kwai
  22. Fiddler On the Roof : I enjoyed the songs and loved the story
  23. Scent of A Woman : Ooh Al Pacino !
  24. The Dark Knight
  25. Wait Untill Dark - 
  26. Gaslight -interesting plot !
  27. The Pianist - I fell in love with Adrian Brody !:)
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