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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Teenage bloopers - a guide to what not to do as a teenager!

5/31/2017 5 Comments
Hey guys!

Every fashion blog these days focus on promoting brands and talk about what you need to apply to your skin for a better glow, what you need to wear when and how etc. I thought I should enlighten you pretty girls out there on what one should not do as a teenager or a young adolescent woman trying hard to look good! From my personal experience, I have committed so many blunders trying to change or better the way I look. And trust me, if I could go back in time, I would smack myself in the head and talk me out of doing these things I did growing up! If you are as crazy as I was back in the day, you should deffo read this!

1. Do not get your eyebrows done when you're still a prepubescent child!
I was born with extremely thick eyebrows. Ideally I should not have cared much, but when you are a top to bottom girls convent material, you are under a lot of pressure to look good! I got my eyebrows threaded for the first time when I was 20? Nope! 16? Nope! 13? Yes! I was done with 7th grade and I somehow managed to convince my mum that I needed to get my eyebrows done! It was a bad idea - mainly because since then, I have had to get them done every two weeks! So, kids - please wait till you're 16 or something before you make this decision.

2. Do not try to create hot wax at home!
A friend of mine from high school once told me that I could get rid of all of body hair just by sitting at home. What she did not tell me was that I should not be attempting things that involved fire without adult supervision! So with no prior experience in cooking or using the gas stove, I decided to create this mixture of some lemon water and sugar and heat it. You won't believe what happened next! There was fire coming out of the vessel! Panic stricken, teenage me used a blanket to put off the flames and threw the damn burnt vessel away before my parents could ever find out what happened in the kitchen. I should have just stopped there, but no! I tried to create hot wax again. This time I was successful and the wax looked pretty good. What I did not realize was how hot it would actually be. The instant I spread it across my arms using a knife, my skin was brutally burnt! So, kids - do not try this at home! Like ever!

3. Do not try to use an iron box to straighten your hair!
I was born with super straight and super silky hair. It's a shame that I screwed it up by trying to make it even more straight than it already was! So, all of us or most of us seem to have baby hair creeping up from the topmost portion of our foreheads. What I did not understand was that I wasn't the only one with this problem. In early 2000, straightening irons were either too expensive or not available in India and I figured I could just use my iron box and get rid of the curls. Little did I know that the heat of the iron box and the heat of a straightening iron was not the same. As expected, I burnt a portion of my hair right at the center and if you see some of my pictures, it's still very much visible!

4. Do not cut your fringe if you're not good at cutting!
There was a time when everyone got a fringe and got these cool bangs and stuff, but parlors can be expensive when you're still a student. I was in college and desperately wanted a fringe! But why would I spend 200 bucks to cute a tiny portion of my hair, right? So I decided to use the only pair of scissors I could find, which was as blunt as it could get and snipped a portion of my hair. Aaaaagh! I was in shock! The fringe was completely out of sync and was way shorter than it should have been. But it's just hair and I had to wait for a few months for it to grow back!

5. Do not use excessive turmeric on your face!
Our mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers have all been a big fan of the classic turmeric face pack. While turmeric has a gazillion benefits for your skin, one should also remember how powerful the color content in turmeric is. When I was a teenager, I decided to apply turmeric all over my face and body to get that much talked about glow. But no one told me that I did not need to use the entire damn packet! Well, as predicted, I looked like one of the characters from the Simpsons for a couple of days till I managed to get all the yellow off my skin.

So, kids, I hope you learnt something today. I have so many more interesting stories to share! I might wanna wait a couple more months before I decide to let you guys in on my secrets.

Stay safe! Do not try crazy things at home! :D

Hand On The Hip

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Fashion forward

5/24/2017 7 Comments
Hello my dear fashion lovers!

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much would you rate your day today? A big fat 10 out of 10? Or are you having a bad hair day? How many of you understand the importance of this kind of data? Well I sincerely hope you are having a fabulous day! I most certainly am. My day job as a BI Analyst is going fabulous and my fashion blog is definitely picking up. Today I thought I should educate you guys on what exactly I do to earn a living.

A Business Intelligence Analyst or a Data Analyst is someone who utilizes data available and come up with meaningful insights that the owner of the data could use to make decisions. A lot of jargon? Ha! I thought so! So let's say over a period of 2 years, I ask you to rate your day in the morning, after lunch, after gym and before going to bed. I could use this data and create some wonderful charts, throw in some statistical analysis here and there and come up with a beautiful viz. What is my intention here? I am trying to analyze this data to ensure that you have good days every single day! I could look at the ratings across time, days of the week, hours of the days and look for patterns. Well, maybe you're a morning person and that's why your ratings are high between 7-8 am? Or you have a hard time at the gym and your 6-7 pm time slots are not a good time for you and you need to probably move your gym time to the wee hours of early morning?

I hope you got the point I was trying to make! Data analysis is very important these days. Business owners across all domains have understood the value of the data they have been collecting over decades. Tableau is one such tool that helps us analysts make sense out of different kinds of data. And since, this is a fashion blog and I can't stop expressing my undying love for fashion, I am going to show you a viz that I created at work.

Here I have analyzed the top 100 fashion bloggers all over the world and what one needs to do to get into that list! The list was curated by Feedspot in Dec 2016. I hope you like this! And if you have questions interacting with this, feel free to write to me.

Keep it stylish, guys!

Hand On The Hip

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

The Satliva Experience - Part 1

5/16/2017 11 Comments
Hey guys!

How are you doing today? I have been raving about my US trip in my earlier posts. I had an amazing time out there! But do you know what I came back with? Apart from some goodies for my loved ones, a serious goof up with my circadian rhythm and some cherished memories, a very stubborn tan and frizzy hair! I am not even kidding! The tan is so disturbing and my hair has lost its shine and bounce! :(

A week after I got back, I received an e-mail from Harshaa, Satliva's Managing Partner with an event invite to the launch of Satliva. Well, what is Satliva? Satliva has a wide range of wellness products for hair and skin care that are made using hemp seeds sourced from the Himalayas and other essential oils. What is amazing about these products is that they are organically grown and are 100% chemical free. This seemed like a great deal for me and exactly what I was looking for at this point of time!

Namrata and Harshaavardhan, a dynamic husband-wife duo, who are engineers by qualification and have years of experience in various business verticals, decided to start this venture of their own. They are immensely passionate about building their brand and know their products in and out. After years of research and testing, they are finally ready to bring Satliva to the market. The event started with some refreshments and a brief overview of the products and the importance of hemp seeds in our day-to-day beauty products. I had a fabulous time as I met all of my other blogger friends and we had some interesting discussions and knowledge sharing sessions.

For those of you who are still wondering what hemp is, it's a non-drug variety of the Cannabis plant and it's grown mostly for the industrial used of it's derived products. And it's not the same as marijuana. (So, no, you can't get high on hemp! :p) This won't have any such after-effects and it's not illegal either. Hemp seed oil has a variety of health benefits and are extensively used in the manufacture of health foods, organic body care products and other nutraceuticals.

The best part of the event was that they literally showed us how they manufacture soaps! I had never seen something being manufactured so closely before! I felt like I was in Dexter's lab or something! :D The men at work started by mixing measured quantities of various oils and fluids with hemp to make the soap. The potion was heated and constantly blended for over 30 minutes. Oh yes, they did all of this manually! Once the mixture was ready to be molded into cakes of soap, it was poured into a tray and finally gorgeous pieces of soaps were carved out!

We were also asked to sniff and test some of their products and the event ended with all of us getting a cute goodie basket with products of our choice that we could use and review. I had never been directly exposed to essential oils made of carrot seed, lavender, spearmint and what not! It was a fascinating experience to actually feel the essence and understand the benefits of the same. The instant I got home from the event, I dabbed some of the creams on to my sun-tortured skin. In my upcoming posts about Satliva, you will be seeing a complete honest analysis of how these products affected my skin and hair and if it's really worth buying or not!

Until then, do check out their website and see if you like anything!

Hand On The Hip

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Electric and electic ft. Flyrobe

5/14/2017 9 Comments
Hello fashionistas!

While I've had a very fulfilling trip to SoCal and you will be updated soon with all the crazy shenanigans with my usual travel posts, I dug this one up to brighten up your Monday with this electric blue dress I rented from Flyrobe. We all know that Flyrobe is one of the best rentals out there and if you're a blogger Nazi like I am, you would have seen that from Akriti (La Chica Loca) to Aswathi, all the hipster bloggers out there are all renting clothes from Flyrobe like it's nobody's business!

My week has been rather slow, thanks to jet lag and withdrawal symptoms. I haven't gotten out much last week. While gym, shoots and partying have all been on hold, I decided that this week I should turn things around. How do you motivate yourself to be more productive? What are your drivers? Money? Fame? Helping others? Well, for me, I am easily motivated by appreciation from others. It's quite satisfying when your efforts are being noticed and acknowledged. Are you having a crazy day at work? Here are some pointers that I wish to share -
  • COFFEE! LOTS OF IT! I mean, I can't imagine my day without some caffeine. Coffee is the perfect remedy if you are drowsy or need a stimulant to be alert. But at the same time, too much of it could cause insomnia!
  • Plan your work and work your plan. I am a big fan of post-its! When I have a lot of things to do, I always make lists. And checking things off the list actually satisfies me in ways nothing can!
  • Dress to kill! Most people don't understand the importance of dressing up nicely and taking a shower everyday before going to work. A cold shower helps you wake up and if you make an effort to look good, you feel food. Some compliments pouring in from colleagues can actually brighten up your day!
  • FOCUS! PRIORITIZE! These are not just words! You need to make a priority list and set timelines for each of your tasks. Don't forget to also complete those tasks and not just spend your time making lists all day :D
  • Eat well, sleep well and drink lots of water. A healthy body is one of the quintessential things for a productive day. Don't neglect your health, ever!
I hope you follow these today! And about the dress - when I set my eyes on this piece, I knew I had to try it on! I can't even stop raving about the color for starters! It's such a bold, yet soothing blue that you could totally wear to cocktail parties or just a day out in the park. I got these cutesy earrings from them too. My bling shoes from Catwalk and a clutch from Bulchee and I was all set to go dancing! Gold and silver - bad combo? I don't think so! Gone are the days when you had to ensure that everything you wear should be matchy-matchy or color co-ordinated. This era is all about experimenting with colors, patterns, prints and pretzels. Did I just say pretzels? Clearly, I'm hungry! I should definitely get going :D But, although I'm old school and still new to trying out new things, if you think you are that person who doesn't give a s*** to what others think, then go right ahead and create something magical!

Photo credits - Purni Photography

On that note, I am going to go grab a cup of coffee from the pantry and stop being a lazy bum and actually work towards creating a better version of me. May your Mondays be short and coffee be strong!

Hand On The Hip

Monday, 8 May 2017

USA Shopping Haul!

5/08/2017 9 Comments
Hello peeps!

As you all know from my Instagram posts and stories, I spent two weeks in the US of A and had so much fun that I can't even tell you! Obviously, I have plans of doing city-wise posts and YouTube vids, but for now, I thought I should just show you guys all the stuff that I bought from the US. Yay! Isn't that exciting? Not so much for my pockets :D But I still managed to find stuff that were budget friendly! :D

1. Stockings/Tights from H&M, San Francisco
As I was freezing in the cold, I picked up these tights (two pairs) for about $7 and although they tore after one use, they did serve the purpose. However I would not recommend this. Forever21 probably has better quality stuff.

2) Maya Reyes sling bag from SFO
I found this one on sale for $15 or $20 or so and thought this would make a great gift for my Bhabhi dearest! I love the shade of this bag and also how handy it could be.

3) Some more goodies from Target, San Antonio
Target has been my most fave brand since I was little. I love the quality of their products. I found this cute little pouch only for $3 and had to pick it up because it had my favorite Aztec print and pom poms! I picked up some more cute things for $7-$10 each as gifts. I found this gorgeous looking candle smells amazing when opened. I got a couple of printed scarves for my girls back home. I also bought these absolutely adorable nail paints for myself that I cannot wait to use! Just look at the colors, I mean, just look at them! *drool drool*

4) Hair Straightener from Target, San Antonio
My hair went bizarre after a few hours of landing in California. When I found this compact, fun-sized hair straightener from Conair, I knew I had to have it. I spent about $15-$20 on this. It seemed to be better than the Philips one I own. Definitely a big plus one for this cutie!

5) Shot glasses from Paris, Las Vegas and Fremont Street, Las Vegas
Shot glasses are the best souvenirs! They have a purpose and they look cool! And if you are one of those people who like collecting shot glasses, then I got some pretty awesome ones! The one in red was a gift from my bff. She must have paid around $7-$10 for this one. I picked up a few for my friends and they were around the same price. Obviously, the one that says "Game Over" is for my fiancé :D

6) Soaps from a local store in Las Vegas
I found these Eco Botanics soap made of Chamomile and Honey for $2 a piece or something. I went crazy a bit and picked up lots of them! They are beyond amazing!

7) A beautiful gift
One of my loved ones gave me this delicate piece of work that I can't stop obsessing over. She also threw in these Toblerone bars that I AM NOT GOING TO SHARE :D

8) A crop top from Fremont Street, Las Vegas, a velvet top from H&M and a sweater/cardigan from a local store, Santa Barbara
My bestie and I got matching crop tops from Fremont Street and they were as cheap as $2 (pics on Instagram). We wore them with pride and celebrated my bachelorette! A couple of days later, I picked up this awesome velvet top from H&M that I cannot wait to style! This was probably $10 as it was on sale. As I was dying in the cold, I found a rack of clothes in State Street, Santa Barbara where I picked this off-white softie up for $5. I love the sleeves and how it feels against my skin.

9) Cheap eye make-up from a 99 cent store, Long Beach
Long Beach has a lot of cheap stores. Even the McD's at Long Beach was way cheaper than anywhere else. Out of curiosity, I bought these eye pencils and eye shadow palette for a dollar or two each. They are super awesome for the price!

10) MacBook Pro 13 inch Retina Display from Best Buy, San Jose
And did you think that a shot glass was all my bae was going to get? He wanted a new Mac and don't be surprised if I am on a shopping ban for the next year or so :D Considering I spent a bomb on the entire trip and an additional $1500 or so on the Mac (Beware! California has a 9% tax!), let's just say that I am not very happy with my bank balance right now :D But, anything for bae, right? :)

So, that's it for now, guys. I was left with $4 and loads of credit card bills to pay by the end of 2 weeks. But I made great use of my money and time. More updates to follow. Stay tuned! Tada!

Hand On The Hip