Winter lips

Given that the Mumbai winter is upon us, the first casualty of the season for me is always my lips, which have a tendency to get as chapped and rough as sandpaper, leaving me with a permanent addiction around these times to moisturising lipsticks and lip balms.

This time too, I’ve been rotating lipcare duty between these three beauties.


The Body Shop Born Lippy pot is an old favourite and has been an essential ingredient of my make up box for a couple of years now. I shift between strawberry and raspberry, and I’m told it has organic beeswaxi produced in an environmentally sustainable way in the remote forests of Zambia. This soothes my eco-conscience while keeping my lips presentable. It barely has any fragrance and gives a slight tinge of colour which makes it good for a natural look when you don’t want to look like you’ve applied something. But coming in a tub, I only use this when I’m home and have a towel handy to wipe my finger after applying, given we live in an era of touch phones and sticky fingers can be disadvantageous. It does feel a little thick though, so bewarned.

Rs 250 (If I remember right).

Vaseline Lip Therapy SPF 15

Disclaimer: This product was sent to me by the company to try out.

I instantly fell in love with the fragrance of this product. I have no clue what fragrance it is, but it is definitely something I have good limbic forgotten memory association with because I find myself applying it over and over again just to smell the fragrance.  It contains Almond and rose oil that keeps the lips smooth, along with Vitamin E and Petroleum jelly. Add to this is SPF 15 although I’m wondering if my lips really do need sunscreen. I like the fact that it is a twist up. Makes it easy to carry around and convenient to reapply. It lasts for around a couple of hours, and needs reapplication after eating or drinking. It doesn’t seem too glossy on the lips and has no colour absolutely except a clear tint. I find I like using it best after outlining the lips with a light pink liner and rubbing the lips together after applying the lip balm for a soft glossy look which is slightly defined.

Rs 150 for 4g

Nivea Fruity Shine Pink Guava

This is a lovely lip balm, one which I have been using for a while now. It has a slight hint of colour and comes in a twist up tube which makes for easy application. There’s a slight sparkle and a hint of colour which adds a slight dressiness to the look. It has a fruity fragrance that isn’t overwhelming and is actually quite pleasant. It also has SPF 10 for sun protection. The ingredients include Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil and Shea Butter. 

Rs 129 for a tube

Lacto Calamine and a long standing loyalty

When I was a teen , I was introduced to Lacto Calamine by my mother. Back then, the skin was oily, there was no concept of sun block and sunscreen and one wandered the city without hat or umbrella. Lacto Calamine stood me in good stead. The skin behaved. The oiliness was controlled and the skin was clear and could be looked at without wincing.

Then I grew up. And I shifted loyalties. I began using sunblocks and sunscreens. And moisturisers for day and night. And then the glut of the BB and now CC creams flooded the market. And it so happened that last month I happened to look at my skin and it was a scary moment indeed.

Of course, age had caught up. One doesn’t get to 42 without a certain amount of wear and tear showing on the skin, but the skin was also lifeless and dull. A bulb lit up in the head about how I would slather on Lacto Calamine and all would be well and I went to the medical store to hunt it down, knowing that it did dry out the skin a bit, but surely I could combat that with a bit of moisturising. Imagine my delight then when I found they have new variants out, with hydrating properties. I promptly bought that and have been using it for a month. The skin, while it will never go back to the glory of youth, is definitely smoother. I haven’t thrown out the BB and CC creams yet though, nor the sunscreens. But yes, it feels good to go back to something simple, trusted and effective.

Disclaimer: I purchased my bottle of Lacto Calamine. Also I do have oily skin, so I would recommend those who have very dry skin use their discretion before trying it out since it contains kaolin.

Here’s what the company website has to say about the product and its ingredients:

Lacto Calamine Lotion

Lacto calamine is more than two decades old, expert tested & trusted brand and is the choice of over a million women across India and beyond. Its unique Triaction Formula is a combination of Natural Kaolin Clay, Active Zinc Oxide and Pure Glycerin. Natural Kaolin Clay helps remove dead skin cells and peels away pore-clogging dirt, oil and grime leaving your skin looking fresh and youthful. Active Zinc Oxide diminishes dark spots and lightens skin tone.Pure Glycerin moisturizes and hydrates leaving you with soft, supple skin by nurturing goodness from within. And Aloe Vera extracts in Lacto Calamine Hydration Lotion nourishes the skin by retaining moisture and also renders a cool soothing effect.

Choose your Lacto Calamine as per you skin type. Lacto Calamine Oil Control lotion which is for oily to normal skin type, helps soak excess oil keeping skin fresh and healthy. Lacto Calamine Hydration lotion for dry to normal skin type which helps skin retain moisture naturally. Both Lacto Calamine Oil Control and Hydration are available in 30ml, 60ml and 120ml packs.


Nv-Ya. Exquisite jewellery by Kajal Nair

Kajal is a self taught jewellery designer, who took the path less followed to pursue her passion in jewellery design despite being in the corporate world. I personally love her designs, they bring a touch of the contemporary with a hint of antiquity, making them perfect for any occasion. She recently showed at the IIJW-GIA Show in Mumbai (Aug’13), and here’s her design philosophy:

“Elegant, fluid, experimentative  and, yet, timeless, where form and function complement each other.

I find my inspiration in elements of nature and in the beauty of our environment. I also find the Art Deco movement deeply inspirational. Because I like stones to be the  focal point, I keep the use of gold to a minimum in my designs.

My inspiration for the collection showcased at the IIJW-GIA Show in Mumbai ( Aug’13)

Nature with all it’s different forms and colours.

Objects d’art that have rich colours, textures and shapes like Bohemian cut-glass crystal and Victorian lace.”

with the show stopper design and model Bamboo necklace with pendant of birds flying into the sun-set Bohemian crystal inspired red and pink pave necklace set Every cloud has a silver linning necklace set Multi level Navratan necklace set


Nikki Harale, the new designer on the block to watch out for

Nikki Harale designed and styled for Karishma Kapoor and Soha Ali Khan for an event in Navi Mumbai for Monarch Universal.

Karishma Kapoor’s Garment:-
Karishma’s Look was based on the theme Eco-Friendly. Nikki used a color palette based on nature which was green and beige. To enhance the look of the garment, she accentuated it with handwork embroidery. The fabrics used were cotton silk, georgette. The look was completed with just a ‘mang-tikka’ and finger ring.
Soha Ali Khan:-
Soha’s look was based on European style. The theme was European concept homes by Monarch Universal, and hence, she designed Soha a very Grecian look. She gave her a white full length flowing dress in net with hand stitched woolen flowers and pearl work. The look was completed by a pearl tiara, and silver- diamond earrings, diamond belt and a bracelet.

Product review: Dove Intense Repair range with Keratin Actives

Disclaimer: Samples received from the Dove Team

I am a Dove person, I was using Dove products much before I did their commercial so you could say I’m a trifle biased, but I promise to not let my personal preference for Dove come in the way of an unbiased product review.

Given that I’d dislocated the right shoulder and hair care had gone the way of the women who run with the wolves, the hair was in such bad shape that when a friend clicked a picture of me out at dinner a couple of weeks ago I yelped in fear looking at the wild hair, I could have done a walk on witch’s role in any horror fairytale.

Been using the Dove Intense Repair range with Keratin Actives for the past week. The range has a shampoo, conditioner and a hair mask.

Thankfully the fragrance across all Dove products remains constant.
The best I liked of the three was the intense repair treatment mask. Apply to wet hair, cover with cap, leave on for three minutes than wash with shampoo.
Two uses of this and my hair is almost back to its regular well behaved self. Would I recommend it? Yes. For a home care product it makes your hair feel amazingly salon finished smooth.
200 ml for Rs 215


Product Review: Lakme Pop Tints

Disclaimer: The samples for the lip tint and the nail tint were sent to me by Lakme

The colours I received as samples were a bright, happy pop pink lip tint (Pink sorbet) which, though not a colour I wear thanks to my current stage of mind which says post 40, except for red lips in the evening, all make up should be muted, I was happy to try and an orange nail tint (Orange Squash).

According to the information they sent out: The Lakmé Absolute POP TINT collection is a kaleidoscope of bright and happy colors, inspiring designer Namrata Joshipura’s grand finale show at Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2013.

Lakmé Absolute Lip Tints


These thick creamy pencils in 8 pop shades deliver rich deep color and incredible shine in just a stroke, to give you lips that pop like it should. A high performance make-up collection of lip tints in shades of summer, including bright orange, vivacious pink and flaming red for that amazing “read-my-lips” pout.

  • Rich color delivery
  • Unique Pop Shades


My experience-the chubby pencil stick is convenient to carry in the handbag, gives smooth coverage, stays on until you have a heavy meal at which point a reapplication becomes necessary. You need a couple of applications to get a deep colour, but a single application gives a nice hint of colour that works if you’re aiming at the understated look. The finish is glossy but not overtly so. The texture isn’t too heavy on the lips.

My only grouse is with the price. At Rs 800, it did feel a trifle expensive to me. But then this is a limited edition series, so perhaps it is worth it.

Priced: Rs 800


Lakmé Absolute Nail Tints include 8 brilliant Pop shades to brighten up your summer. Celebrating the hottest trend with POP Tints inspired from Namrata Joshipura’s collection Lakmé Fashion Week.Try dual tones, mix and match to make your look Pop.

  • 1 coat dries in 40 seconds
  • Unique Flat Brush
  • Unique Shades



My experience: Smooth colour, went on quick thanks to nice broad brush, dried super quick. In fact, I so liked the product, I went out and bought me a couple of more shades, what works for me is the bright pop of the shades that perks up a gloomy monsoon day and the fact that before I get started on the next hand the first hand is dry and set.

Priced: Rs 250


(Disclaimer: Sample received from Maybelline)


I’m a little old fashioned and don’t really go beyond the black and brown for eyeliner, so when Maybelline sent me this liner in a brazen electric teal I was a little reluctant to try it out, given I have this mental block against coloured eyeliner.

A dinner out some days ago, and I decided to bite the bullet and try it out. I applied the liner over the upper eyelid lash line and topped the lashes with a double coat of mascara in black, lining the inner eye with my fave Lakme Eyeconic eyeliner in black. The effect was quite startling and bold. What I liked about the eyeliner was that it had a nice glossy effect that lasted through an entire evening, it went on smoothly and it stayed put, needing serious cleanser and face wash to get off. In fact, it peeled off rather than washed off. The brush is convenient to hold and maneuver, and the eyeliner is seriously waterproof. The colour though was a little too dramatic for me, and not really great for my skin tone so I’m going to go to the store and get this in black-I can see it making for a good dramatic eye look for the evening.

Price: Rs 350/- for 3 g

Product review: Dove Split End Rescue Shampoo and Conditioner

I’m rather vain about my hair and don’t really change around when I find products that suit my hair, so for a while now I’ve been doing a mix of Clear Shampoo and L’Oreal’s Intense Repair Conditioner, alternated with Dove Nourishing Oil Shampoo and Conditioner.

My hair is washed every other day and allowed to air dry. I comb out my hair only with a wide toothed comb. I rarely use a hair brush, am rarely out in the sun, or in airconditioning continuously. When I travel by auto rickshaw, I tie a scarf around my hair or use a cap.  I rarely use a hair dryer on my hair and iron it lightly only if I have an event or a party which might be once a month. I am also over due on a hair cut for months. Were my ends split, I suspect so, although it didn’t feel too rough or look visibly damaged ended to me.

Shampoo large440-304155dove split end rescue 2

For the past week, I’ve tried out the Dove Split End Rescue Shampoo and Conditioner and I’ve had three washes so far.

My reactions:

Mild pleasant fragrance

The hair felt lighter and softer

As for a reduction in dryness or a noticeable difference in the quality of hair, I can’t really say I noticed anything drastic but all in all, the hair feels soft and bouncy even though it is summer and my hair misbehaves the most in summer.

I’d give it an entire month of regular use before coming to a conclusion on split ends, but yes, the hair is rather soft to the touch.

Product description and instructions:

The Dove Split End Rescue Shampoo is a part of the Dove Damage Solutions range, specially formulated to help bring split-ends together. It has fiber actives that work on the deepest level of your hair, to give you up to 4x lesser split-ends*.
Directions to use the Dove Split End Rescue Shampoo:
• Apply to wet hair, lather and rinse. In case of contact with eyes, rinse thoroughly.
• For best results, follow with New Dove Split End Rescue Conditioner.

The Dove Split End Rescue Conditioner is a part of the Dove Damage Solutions range, specially formulated to help bring split-ends together. It has fiber actives that work on the deepest level of your hair, to give you up to 4x lesser split-ends*.

Directions to use the Dove Split End Rescue Conditioner:

  • After shampooing, massage through the length of hair and rinse thoroughly after 1 to 3 minutes.
  • In case of contact with eyes, rinse thoroughly.
*Based on lab test with regular use of Dove Split Ends Rescue System + Conditioner system
vs. non-conditioning shampoo.

(Disclaimer: The sample was sent to me by the Dove team)

Interview with Matthew Curtis-Hair stylist

Matthew Curtis, hair stylist and owner of the ‘Matthew Curtis Hair Design’ salon in England, has worked on high-profile fashion and beauty campaigns around the globe since entering the hair industry 11 years ago and is considered one of the decade’s most accomplished stylists.

A veteran in runway and editorial styling, Matthew has created looks for Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs and many other high profile designers. Curtis is regularly sought after by publications around the globe for his advice on the latest runway and everyday trends in hair.

Here’s a brief q&a with Matthew on hair care and basic style advice:

What is the basic minimum hair care regimen you recommend?

The minimum care regimen I recommend is shampoo, conditioner, a styling product and a finishing product. All of these products work together to create healthy feeling and looking hair and the TRESemmé brand has a variety of ranges to cater to specific hair needs. Check out their website to find out which range of products will best suit your hair.  Your hair is a permanent accessory and it’s important to provide it with great care.

What are the main mistakes women make when it comes to hair care?

One of the main mistakes women make is not using a heat protection product. Nowadays heated styling tools are frequently used and it’s important to protect your hair, make sure to follow all of product instructions when using these products.

What are the strengths of Indian hair?

All hair types are fantastic and have their special qualities but one of the strengths of Indian hair is that it has a great natural gloss to it!

What are the looks that are strong internationally right now in terms of hair style?

There are so many great styles making their way around the globe for Spring-Summer 2013. Take for instance the side parted hairstyles. The part is versatile and can be seen everywhere. Whether your hair is long, short wet, dry, up or down, the side part is 2013’s statement pairing. Some of my other favorites include:

The wet look: It was seen on runways in 2012 and for spring 2013. The style is easily applied to any type of hairstyle and creates a wet finish. The look can be achieved with a number of techniques such as oils, sea-sprays and gels.

Low Ponytails: It’s a great and easily achievable trend. We’re all familiar with the classic ponytail and this version is created by gathering the hair at the nape of the head or lower, rather than at the center of the head.

The 60s Bouffant: This hairstyle is another great trend that exudes confidence and class. On the runways for spring 2013 a number of shows featured elegant, retro-inspired bouffants. To get this hairstyle, the hair must be teased, leaving the crown of the hair very full or volumized.

Tomboy Hair: This trend is great and it has countless variations. While some tomboy hairstyles are slick and clean; the majority are about creating a look that is effortlessly chic.

To know more about the latest styles, head to and

Any quick fix hair tips you can recommend for busy urban professional women to go from work to partying?

Our lives are so busy nowadays it’s important to know how to easily transit your look from day to night. I recommend keeping the following essentials in your cosmetic bag or desk drawer at work:

  • Travel size can of dry shampoo

  • Elastic teasing brush

  • A few hair pins

These will help you to quickly pull back your locks into smooth top knots or a sleek chignon to easily glam it up before you leave the office.  Keep this kit handy to make yourself chic in seconds.

Product Review- Maybelline Clear Glow Shine Free BB Stick

I am a recent convert to BB creams. Of the BB creams I’ve tried so far,  the Maybelline and the Garnier BB creams have both been tried out, and I’ve done a repeat purchase of the Garnier one, primarily because although the Maybelline one gave good coverage, it was a little difficult to blend and thick for my already oily skin, the Garnier BB cream felt lighter and blended more easily. My all time favourite remains of course, the Olay Touch Of Foundation, which is light and blends in easily without leaving an obvious coverage.

The Maybelline team kindly sent across a sample of the new Maybelline BB Stick for me to try out. Sadly, the shade wasn’t exact for my skin tone, so I tried it out just for the feel of it at home. Since I haven’t tried out the other shade, I really have no idea whether it would be right for my skin, which is a medium fair to wheatish, my recommendation is to go to the counter and test both shades on your cheek and view it in natural sunlight before making a decision, not the in store flourescent lighting.

To start with, I like products that I can carry along in the handbag, which don’t take much space, especially skin products for middle of the day touch ups and this comes in a convenient sized packaging. It went on smoothly, blended easily, didn’t feel too overly greasy like some sticks do, and soon went to matte from the initial slick feel. If you have oily skin like mine, you might want to daub some compact powder on top of this to keep the skin matte, but if you have normal or dry skin, this would be perfect for you. It isn’t very difficult to blend in and stayed put through upwards of six hours without getting dislodged or sweated off–an impressive task given the climate in Mumbai which makes it tough for make up to stay in place if one is not continuously in airconditioned confines. I’m going to go the store and check out the other shade soon, this is a product that seems to be value for money and good to have in the handbag for a quick pick me up in the middle of the day or anytime you want to freshen your look.


This is what the brand literature says:

 Here’s how our BB Stick is different from our BB Cream:


Flawless, radiant skin + 12hr shine control + 8 benefits in just 1 step!

1. Mineral clay formula guarantees 12hr shine control.

2. Contains Salicylic acid to manage combination & oily skin.

3. Provides a soft, matte and radiant finish.

4. Sweat-resistant and sebum – resistant formula leaves skin fresh all day.

5. Hides appearance of pores & imperfection.

6. Contains SPF 21/PA+++ that protects skin from sun damage.

7. Instantly evens skin tone. 

8. Provides a power-light feel on skin.

Price: Rs. 250.


Expert Tips On How to apply BB Stick

  • Swipe BB Stick on your forehead, nose, cheeks and chin.
  • Blend in an outward direction towards hairline and jawline using quick, short strokes.

Available in 2 shades: 


2. Fawn

(Check it here:

Disclaimer: The product was sent to me by Maybelline to be reviewed

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