• Follow on Facebook
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Connect on LinkedIn
  • Follow on Instagram

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

HOTH Summer Faves

4/17/2018 0 Comments
Hey there!

If you happen to follow me on Instagram (@handonthehip), you're going to notice that I have been uploading images of a lot of cool things. Well, I am a collector of pretty things that may or may not be useful at the moment, but won't cost you a lot of money. In India it's hard to find products of decent quality without burning a hole in your pockets. But every time I go outside the country, I hunt for Target or Walmart or Kmart where you can get really amazing stuff for very reasonable rates. During my expeditions to these stores in Sydney, I have picked up some things that might interest you. Along with that, I also decided to post some of the other items that have been quite a hit with me recently. I hope you guys like it.

Essentials from Target and Kmart

I can't even begin to tell you how many things I've picked up from these stores in the past month. From furniture to clothing to kitchenware to underwear, these stores have been so important in my life. Setting up a new house from scratch in a ridiculously expensive country can be quite a challenge. Had it not been for these stores, I'd have been helpless. But you'll have to wait for a whole new post on how my husband and I set up our house. For now, here are a couple of things that I bought which I really needed and did not spend much either.

Water bottle from Target - $2
Flip flops from Target - $2
Hair brush from Target - $2
Floral top from Kmart - $1
Bling pouch from Kmart - $4

Garnier Micellar Water from Coles

I have started using this product and it's addictive. My face feels really fresh and it helps remove make-up quite easily and effortlessly. Sadly, I've heard that one of the ingredients in this product is carcinogenic. However, I haven't done much research on this topic and I suppose it's okay to use the product in moderation. But if you're looking for a great make-up remover, this is the solution.

Big Bottle - $13
Small Bottle - $6

XO Victoria Perfume from Victoria's Secret

I received a 100 ml bottle of this perfume as a birthday gift this year and although I already had a 50 ml one from last year, I was still very excited. This one has a very floral fragrance that's not too much, not too little and is just the right amount of perfume for a woman. I use this almost every single day and the packaging is the icing on the cake.

100 ml bottle - $125
50 ml bottle - $80

Penguin Luggage Tag from Chinatown, Singapore

On my way to Sydney, I spent a day in Singapore and just HAD TO go to Chinatown. Although I wasn't too keen on shopping a lot due to luggage constraints, I picked up this cute luggage tag for $1. Yes! That's not even 50 INR! It's sturdy and cute and now I wish I had picked up some more of these.

Luggage Tag - $1

Earrings from Chubby Precious Accessories

As a part of my very first collab in Sydney, I received two beautiful earrings from Chubby Precious Accessories in Perth. They are of really good quality and the patterns are mesmerizing. I chose these two chunky, statement earrings and they go with everything. Their designs are absolutely unique and classy. You can check 'em out at www.chubbypreciousaccessories.com and get your hands on these beauties!

Green Mermaid Gold Dangle Earrings - $28
Classic Fan-Shaped Pink and Green Dangle Earrings - $29

Moisturizing Creams from G&M Cosmetics

These creams were a blessing in disguise. I have been struggling with dry skin and they couldn't have come at a better time. I am still in the process of fully using them and putting up a complete review, but let me talk about how I've like them so far. They are simply amazing! I have had no irritation or oiliness on my skin like most moisturizers tend to cause since I started using these and moreover, my dry skin has bid adieu. You can check out more info on gandmcosmetics.com.au and decide for yourself!

Goats Milk & Manuka Honey Moisturizing Cream - $3.14
Lanolin Oil Night Nourishing Cream - $5.37
Avocado Oil Deep Moisturizing Cream - $3.95

Coin Pouch from Rubi

I don't usually like carrying massive wallets with 28465 pockets! I prefer having a small purse with all my essentials in it - essentials being credit/debit cards, some cash and my Opal card. It was love at first sight with this tiny pouch from Rubi. Rubi has so many cool purses and accessories like this one. If you happen to visit a store, do pick up something like this.

Coin Pouch - $3

Birthday Outfit from Westside

My lovely MIL always showers me with a lot of gifts and she has great taste in everything. She got me this dress before I was leaving the country and I liked it so much that I didn't think twice before making it mine. I also received a lot of compliments for this outfit when I posted it on my Instagram. I am going to style this in multiple ways and share a blog post on it. So stay tuned!

Dress - 1500 INR

Running Shoes from Nike

I left most of my stuff in India and it gets hard to survive in Sydney without a decent pair of walking/running shoes. I had been looking for shoes all over the city but nothing seemed to be in budget. Finally, my hubby and I found this beauty in Footlocker and it was on sale. It's called Nike Running Free Run 2 Sneakers. They are insanely comfy and I wear them to walk, run, hop, do Zumba in and so much more.

Shoes - $99

That's it for now, guys. I hope you enjoyed my top picks this summer. I have so many food pics to share as well, but for the time being make sure you're following my food blog on Instagram as well - @dowaqtkirotii and share some love! I will be sharing monthly faves more often from now on. Until then, ciao!

Hand On The Hip

Friday, 13 April 2018

Nail the nail art ft. My Artsy Attic

4/13/2018 0 Comments
Hello loves!

I am truly amazed how trends change by the minute and there's always something new to embrace. Who would have thought that contouring would become such a hit? Who ever imagined applying lipsticks of gaudy shades like bright purple and neon pink would actually look stunning? Nail art is one such trend that has caught the attention of many fashionistas. Back in the day, my mum's collection was limited to shades of pink and red. When I went to college, I was a little more adventurous and decorated my nails with some blues and greens along with glitter.  And now, nail art has become super popular and with the invention of gel nail paints and what not, it's easily achievable just by following a few instructions from the experts.

So I thought I should introduce you guys to one of the finest newbie nail artists on the block - My Artsy Attic. Suman from My Artsy Attic has been experimenting with nail art and nail polishes in general for years together. Inspired by YouTube nail art star Hannah Roxit, Suman decided to give her creative side a shot and she believes it makes her really happy. She takes about 30 mins to an hour for each design that includes the time it takes to dry and wants to explore more in this field. But what really motivates her is that she always has fun playing with colors and patterns on her nails. She is so into it that she changes the designs on her nails at least twice a week. That worried me a bit because it could damage one's nails. Thanks to nail massage oils, with the right amount TLC you could have the healthiest nails in town.

When I asked her how she started experimenting with nail art, she told me that a colleague whose nails were always on fleek once told her that no matter how underdressed you are, whether you're made up or not, when your nails are done, you're all dressed up. That actually stuck with her and she believes that well made and maintained nails are the only make-up that don't require you to look into a mirror, constantly reminding you over and over again that you are nothing less than perfect. She further adds that nail art has always been her end of the day therapy. After a long day of work and household stuff, she gives herself a soothing nail oil massage, changes her nails and says that it's her "me" time where she can't look at the TV or touch her phone. She finds it very therapeutic and is always showered with a lot of compliments.

Do take a look at her designs below and also a mini tutorial of how she achieved 'em.

Design 1 - Polka Party

Apply a bright base color of your choice and let it dry. Use the back of a toothpick to draw black dots (don't press firmly). Choose a metallic or glittery shade and using another toothpick add it on top of the black dot leaving a little space just like an eclipse.

Design 2 - Criss-cross Fiesta

This art is great for when your you've worn a nail paint for a few days and it starts chipping on the sides. Take some striping tape (or make your own by cutting cello tape in thin julienne like structures - don't worry about equal width). Put the tape pieces on your nail in a criss-cross pattern (remember to do one direction of tapes first and then go to the next direction). Apply black nail polish and quickly take the tape off using tweezers. Apply a top coat or clear polish for an even finish.

Design 3 - Blingin' Hard

Isn't it annoying how fast glitter polishes dry! Well, now you can reuse even almost dried glitter polish to create an easy gradient art. Paint your nail with a color that compliments the glitter. Once dried take your glitter polish and slowly drag it down on the nail but not all the way. Make sure the glitter is thick at the tip and thinner as you go down. Apply a top coat or clear polish for an even finish.

Design 4 - Dotted Sensation

Take a Matt polish and paint your nail. Once the matte texture is formed using any metallic polish that compliments your base draw some thick dots at the tip of your nail with the back of a toothpick. Keep drawing the dots until you reach almost the middle of the nail. Halfway through start using the tip of the toothpick to make your dots smaller. Trust your artsy instincts to judge the size or use pen refill to be more accurate.

Design 5 - Flower Power

Perfect for the spring and super easy. Paint your nails with a bright color and wait for it to dry. Use the back of a toothpick to draw dots that stick to each other in a circular manner. Draw multiple flowers depending on your nail size and fill up blank spaces with simple dots. Using the toothpick tip draw leaves in green you can do simple dots too if you are not happy with squiggly lines. Once dried use a black polish to define the inner circle of the flower (pssst just put a dot there) and you're done.

Design 6 - Glitter Gala

Paint your nail with a bright color and let it dry. Cut two pieces of cello tape and stick them on the lower part of your nail forming an X so that a V shape is exposed on top. Fill in with a matching or contrasting glitter polish and remove the tape. Top it off with some clear polish to even out the surface.

Design 7 - Mosaic Mania

With this design, you need to work quickly. Take 2 colors of your choice and paint your nails in really thick coats. The key is filling half nail with one color and half with the other. Once done take a toothpick to mix both colors into each other (do this really fast). Every time you'll get a different design and that's what makes a very good abstract, mosaic-like look.

Design 8 - Stripey Sunday

If you think these are all too complicated and your nail paint from last week is chipping, then just use the same cello tape method mentioned in Design 2 and paint your a nice bright pink or any color of your choice on your nails and keep it simple and easy. Doesn't that sound like a perfect thing to do on a Sunday?

Some product recommendations from the expert

Nail paints - Maybelline Color Show, Nykaa Nail Laccquer
Nail Oils - Khadi, Go Diva Nails
Base Coat - Jacqueline USA
Products that she can't wait to use - KL Polish, China Glaze

It is always satisfying to have a hobby that lets you create something no one else has ever seen or heard of. If you are talented enough or determined to achieve something, nothing can stop you. I have always wanted to be able to get funky with my nails. Hopefully this should motivate me and all of you who want to try out something new. Do follow her on Instagram at @myartsyattic and get inspired!

Hand On The Hip

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Summertime sadness

4/11/2018 0 Comments
Hello guys!

How are you today? I know that summer has just kicked in and everybody is sweating cats and dogs. While I have been experiencing a bazillion seasons in a day here in Sydney, my closet is always loaded with summer clothes and my freezer is always full of ice cubes. To give you guys a few pointers on how to beat the heat this summer and showcase one of my most fave pieces from Here & Now Clothing, I have come up with a post for you guys that should help you get through the summer like a boss. What are you waiting for? Grab a notebook and start jotting these points. Also, I picked this dress up from an cotton export store in BTM Layout, Bangalore for 200 bucks. You could find similar options online or even get something tailored with an old dupatta or something. What say?

Cottons please!
Let's start with the most basic thing - clothes. It really doesn't make sense to wear wool in summer, does it? Your skin needs to breathe. Wear breathable, cotton clothes that effortlessly absorb your sweat and also make sure you change your clothes at least 2-3 times a day depending on how much you sweat. Light colored tees, floral dresses, cotton shorts are some summer friendly options you need to invest in.

Floral fiesta
One outfit that I could spend all seasons in is, *drum roll please* florals! Florals are pleasing to the eye. Florals hide all your flaws and bring out the perky in you. Florals are THE BEST things to wear to kick summer's ass. I own a truck load of florals in my closet, but only some of them are actually comfy enough to spend summer in. You could never go wrong with a nice A-line dress that I am sporting here in these pics that's not too short or too long and yet look sexy enough to steal some attention in the midst of all the heat.

Minimal make-up
On regular days, I barely wear any make-up to work. Those of you who absolutely can't leave your apartment without make-up, stick to something very simple and minimal because you don't want the sweat washing away all that contour and making you look like a zombie. Make it a point to stick to nude, peach or orangish shades and try to not let your skin get oily. Do not use too many cosmetics or beauty products because they might end up giving you a terrible case of acne. You don't want that now, do you? You could refrigerate your make-up wipes and use them to remove make-up or just cleanse your face. Aaaah, I think I need that right now!

I have this terrible habit of forgetting to drink enough water. The move to Sydney has been hard on my system because it's super dry over here and one needs to be hydrated at all times. Buy yourself a fancy bottle and keep sipping water whenever you can. If needed, monitor your water intake and that could actually help you get used to drinking water. I definitely need to start doing this!

Say no to closed shoes
Closed shoes like sneakers or loafers could end up dropping a stink bomb in summer considering your feet might sweat more than usual. Flip flops are your best friends during the summer and if you must wear something a little more appealing than flip flops, try sliders or pretty looking flats. But make sure your feet can breathe and are not covered.

Shower time
I once had a friend who'd sweat ALL the time. It was uncomfortable for him and for everyone around him. But poor guy, what could he do about it? While hydrating on the inside is very important, it's equally important to shower more than once a day. Going to bed with dirt and sweat mixed together is quite unhygienic and you might wanna wash it all away before you sleep. 

I screeeeaam
I could seriously belt some ice-cream right now. Note to myself. Lol! Although for me, there's no season, time or place for ice-cream, you guys should definitely suck on some ice lollies to give you that much needed relief from this heat. Try not to get the milky, creamy ones, instead opt for fruit flavored bars of bliss like raspberry or mango ice candies. Lemonades with ice (and a little bit of vodka) can also be useful.

Hope these remedies actually help you make your summer less painful and more enjoyable.

Hand On The Hip