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Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Beauty comes in all sizes

11/22/2017 0 Comments
Hi everyone!

Are you usually the butt of all weight related jokes? Do you feel let down at all times because of the way you look? Since I have a narrow frame, I have often been greeted with "OMG, you are so thin, you are so lucky" or hear things like "You won't understand, you never have to worry about putting on weight" and through this post of mine, I thought I should share with all of you, a thing or two on how I "never" have to worry about putting on weight.




I have always been a healthy child and never had to worry about gaining too much weight since I was pretty active all through my childhood. The instant computers and cellular phones took over, my activities were restricted to walking to the kitchen and making myself a snack. At the age of 16, I suddenly felt the need to lose some weight and hence, I started crash dieting. I read somewhere that Kareena Kapoor survived on oranges to lose weight for the movie Tashan and started starving myself. Within a few weeks, I could see the difference it made to my body. I wanted and longed to become a Size 0 and was down to an XS, but the glow on my face had disappeared. I had lost interest in food. There was a boy in my class who even passed filthy, derogatory comments about my size. I was unhappy, I was sad, I was almost anorexic. My metabolism was messed up. But I still had no desire to eat healthy and put on some weight.



Once I turned 17, I decided to turn my life around. I started eating home food, walking back home from school and got back all the weight I had lost and also lost it the healthy way. I felt good. I was happier. I made more friends. I realized that my body had the capability to gain and lose weight quite instantly based on my diet and exercise. And that's when my doctor mommy diagnosed me with PCOD. Ever since the day I got my ovaries scanned, I was advised by my mother to ensure that I am exercising at all times. Even a little extra food and lack of exercise could build a stairway to obesity. I tried my hand at aerobics, swimming, cycling, walking and what not, but I never enjoyed it and my weight would always fluctuate. But somehow, sub-consciously, I was always aware of what I ate and never ate too much. I guess that really helped.



For the next few years, I was doing alright when it came to my weight. But in 2015, I happened to join a start-up that required me to work 16 hours a day. My eating habits became quite erratic and had no time to even go for a walk. In a span of 3 months, I literally gained 10 kgs! I had to buy jeans 2-4 sizes bigger than my usual ones. On my 26th birthday, I realized that it was about time I took my health and fitness seriously. I found out that my body fat percentage was over 40%! With a lot of motivation from my boyfriend and my friends (and the fact that I had spent 30K for a nearby gym :D), I was able to hit the gym regularly and brought down my body fat percentage by at least 5-7%. Had I not done anything about it, I'd have been obese by now. I was introduced to Zumba and boy, I fell in love with it. Since then, I haven't been able to stop! And now, it's more of an addiction than anything else - I get to improve my dancing skills, I get to be fit and most importantly, I love my body! I do believe that I still have a long way to go and know for a fact that there's nothing that can come in the way of my fitness.



I had not uploaded these series because they were taken during the time I was quite unfit, but beauty comes in all sizes, right? I rented this body hugging dress from LibeRent and if you want to wear a dress like this and look fabulous, work towards it! Find the one thing that you love and will keep you fit. Please, please understand that working out is for everyone. It doesn't matter what size you are! You need to feel good about yourself and that's all that matters!




Eat right, sweat it out and trust me, you don't have to spend a day worrying about your weight.

Love,
Hand On The Hip

Friday, 17 November 2017

How to be bridelicious 101

11/17/2017 2 Comments
Dedicated to Pooja, Harshita, Rakshita, Sneha, Taani, Meghna.. and the list goes on and on! These are the names of some of my really close friends who are getting married around the same time that I am. It's a contagious disease! Hehe! But congratulations, you guys! This one's for y'all!

Hello everyone!

From flashy Jet Wings on my flight back from Mangalore to Bangalore last week to pre-bridal packages in salons all around me to "tag your bestie who is getting married this year" posts being circulated on social media, for the past few weeks I have only been noticing everything that has the word "bridal" in it. As strange as it may seem, have you ever noticed that the instant the word "bridal" is prefixed to any service, one could end up making a ton of money out of it? Well, guys, with so much money being spent or carelessly thrown on weddings, as a bride-to-be let me tell you all that the pressure is real!

It's exciting and annoying when the whole world is constantly reminding you that you're "next". With literally 10 days left for the wedding functions to begin, here I am with another one of my posts about bridal tips. These are tips that I have followed/intend to follow and learnt the hard way, but I wish there was a crash course on how to look fabulous on your wedding day without caring about what "others" are gonna say, be stress free and attain pre-bridal nirvana. I think I am actually gonna look for it! Pahaha! In the meanwhile, let me share my experiences with you.


Eat clean, train dirty

I have been asked time and again if I have been "dieting" for the wedding and if I have started going to the gym because of the wedding. And surprisingly, most people actually do start taking diet and fitness seriously just a few months before they get married. After all, it's all about looking good for the photos, right? But if that's how it's perceived, then I guess I have been dieting all my life! I have been sweating my soul out at Zumba classes for over 2 years now and have tried several other fitness activities all my life. My food intake is always limited to hardly a bowl of rice with some veggies and I never binge eat (except for chocolates :D). I like to stay fit and have the option of being able to wear just about any outfit and rock it! It has got nothing to do with the wedding. But for those of you who haven't as much as even seen the door of a gym or felt the need to cut down on those carbs, here are a couple of last minute pointers.


  • For those of you who want to start focusing on your fitness 3-6 months before the wedding, I think you should start working out immediately so that you don't have to starve yourself or lift extra weights later. And God forbid, if you end up breaking something you don't want your arm to be in a cast during the wedding, do you? 
  • For the rest of you, it's not too late! You just gotta eat right, not be lethargic for the rest of the week and stay healthy. Eat a lot of fruits, drink a lot of green tea and other things that will help you improve your metabolism. Try squeezing in some light exercises, ab crunches or even long walks in nearby parks.
Options: 
For fitness - Zumba classes in CultFit in Bangalore, any group class in Apple Fitness and Kaizen Fitness in Bangalore
For diet - All kinds of fruits and veggies available, fruit juices from Raw Pressery, coconut water 

Love is in the hair

It's an impossible task for me to grow my hair long enough for a thick, long braid. My hair grows real slow and shabby! After putting a lot of thought into it, I decided to not go with the traditional, heavy South Indian bridal braid adorned with a kilogram of flowers and just stick to a cute lil bun instead. Sometimes it's better to stick to things you know will suit you best than try and get into something new at this point of time.


  • Always ensure that your hair is washed and blow dried for all wedding functions and keep your scalp clean and dandruff-free before the big day.
  • Do not try a new haircut just before your wedding! Do keep a gap of at least 2-3 weeks if you decide to get a haircut. 
  • Spend a good amount of time researching different hairstyles on the internet and explain to your stylist well in advance as to what you're looking for. 
  • Pamper yourself with a session of hair spa a couple of weeks before the wedding.
  • If nothing works, just get a nice blow out and you'll look fabulous!
Options: 
For hair stylist - Hair spa and hair cut at Veera's Beauty Parlor in Mangalore, Olaplex treatment at Jean Claude Biguine, hair treatment at Hairbitat in Bangalore
For hair care - Regular usage of Argan Oil and Pantene anti-dandruff shampoo

But first, skin care

When it comes to skin care, I am an absolute dud. But over the past few years I have learnt the importance of CTM, removal of make-up before going to bed (or even just make-up :p) and also how it is absolutely necessary to use primers before applying any product on to my skin. It doesn't make sense to go to skin clinics when you're a few days away from tying the knot, invest a bomb in derma peeling and what not and then deal with crazy side effects. Don't try anything crazy just before the wedding!


  • If you have sensitive skin, now is not the time to experiment with new products. Stick to the ones that have always worked for you.
  • Do make sure you keep yourself hydrated and your skin clean, healthy and happy. 
  • Get yourself a basic fruit or glow facial that will help clean your skin a few days before the wedding.
  • Every once in a while, apply a sandalwood or multani mitti face pack. 
  • If you have the tendency of getting tanned instantly, then do not forget your sunscreen every time you step out. 
  • Prep your skin well in advance in order to handle those crazy layers of make-up on the big day!
Options: 
For skin care - Fruit facial, Banjaras Multani Mitti, Ryaal USA Black Mess, Glamisha Skin Lightening Cream, Satliva's Face Butter

Too glam to give a damn

Planning your outfits for the wedding months before your day is one of the most quintessential things for a bride-to-be. If you have more than one stakeholder in the wedding trousseau department, then you should be prepared to calmly take everybody's opinion and try to meet them halfway. Since I am not a big fan of unwanted criticism, I actually haven't shared any of the pictures of my bridal outfits with anyone other than my family! For those of you who still haven't figured out your outfits or make-up, here are some tips.


  • Set aside a budget for your clothes and make-up and find them accordingly. If you believe that there is no need to empty your pockets for a designer lehenga, then try designing one on your own. Pick up pieces of fabric and put together a look!
  • A tailor plays a very important role in your wedding. Make sure to give him at least 3 trial products to work on. Also, always start with the tailor chores at least 3-4  months prior to the d-day so that if anything goes wrong (like it did with me), you have enough time to fix it.
  • Make-up trials are supremely important! I could have handled make-up on my own, but eye shadow is a bit of a challenge for me. So finding someone with great eye make-up skills was key for me. Figure out what part of make-up is of utmost importance to you and find that person who can do it for you.
  • Watch wedding make-up tutorials on YouTube whenever you can so that you know how to guide your beautician if needed.
Options: 
For clothing - Soch, Commercial Street in Bangalore, Mysore Saree Udyog in Bangalore, Mehek in Mangalore, Saree Palace in Mangalore 

I dream in jewellery

Gold shopping is an important part of Hindu weddings. Being born in a traditional South Indian brahmin family, it was kind of impossible to get out of this. Once again, there was no point trying to find something ecstatic or unique because it would mean more effort and time. I stuck to traditional temple jewellery and some elegant pieces here and there.


  • Gold shopping is inevitable. Once you're done buying your Kanchipuram sarees and designer lehengas, find jewellery that will complement your outfits. I mean, if you wear temple jewellery with your pastel, silver sequined lehenga, it's going to look like a complete disaster. So, choose appropriately.
  • If you don't want to spend too much on actual gold, then you can always mix and match with 1 gm gold that probably has more variety and is cheaper.
  • Do not, I repeat, DO NOT forget to buy bangles in all colors possible.
Options: 
For gold and diamonds - Bhima's, Tanishq, Jos Alukkas
For 1gm gold - Hampankatta in Mangalore or Commercial Street in Bangalore

Shoes speak louder than words

Although 90% of the focus is on your outfit, jewellery and make-up, we usually tend to take the footwear part of it for granted. When it comes to Indian wedding footwear, there's only one rule. And that's COMFORT! I am usually very comfortable in wedges and that's what I picked up to complete my wedding look book.


  • Buy a pair of golden heels for sure. They practically go with everything!
  • Comfort comes first. Try to avoid stilettos or anything that's not going to be helpful while you spend long hours standing.
  • Get frequent foot massages and manicures to make them feet sparkle!
Options: 
For footwear - Catwalk, Steve Madden, Aldo, your bhabhi's/sister's shoe closet :D

What else?

Do not leave anything for the last minute. Always have a list of things you need to achieve by at least 3-4 days before the wedding so that you're not panicking at the last moment!
  • Get a big suitcase or a duffel bag and dump it with all the things that you might need for your wedding day so that everything is in one place.
  • Make an actual list of everything you would need and ensure that you have it all in place.
  • Make another list for things you need to do a day or night before the wedding, like purchase flowers, wash your hair, getting your eyebrows done etc.
  • Keep plenty of safety pins around for your disposal.
  • Bindis of all colors, sizes and shapes are a mandatory addition to your kit.
  • Practice smiling and smile hard :D
Overall, I think it's good to be pro-active about everything so that you have a stress-free wedding. If you are the kind of person who isn't all that conscious about your looks, trust me, you will eventually start caring! A little bit of planning won't hurt anyone, right? Good luck to you all!

Love,
Hand On The Hip

Monday, 13 November 2017

A picture is worth a thousand words

11/13/2017 1 Comments
Hi guys!

Hope you had a great weekend! I spent some quality time with my family, my fiance and my in-laws. With the wedding around the corner, we have all been spending a good amount of time with each other trying to get things done, but we are also making memories. People all over the planet are capturing and documenting every moment spent doing something worth remembering. With apps like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, gigabytes of data is being sent across from one end of the planet to another within seconds. Now that I have to think of innovative ways to decorate my new home, I found a perfect way to ensure that all of the great memories are with me all the time.

With the entire world being en-capsuled in our smart phones and laptops, nobody does things the old school way anymore. Back in the day I remember buying a Kodak film and loading it on to a camera which would let me click 36 pictures. I'd then go to a studio and get them developed and manually insert each of the 36 pictures into an album. Those days sure were fun, but I cannot imagine spending so much time doing that kind of grunt work in today's busy world. I wish there was an easier way. During my engagement ceremony earlier this year, we got a gazillion photos taken and got some printed on an album as well. But it cost us a bomb and the album is not portable. How do I show the pictures to my grandma, who does not know how to use the internet and cannot really handle such a massive album?

Throwback Studio is the answer to all my questions! Throwback Studio is basically an app that lets you upload around 50 pictures from Facebook or Instagram or any file and print them on to a cute, fun-sized photo book that you can carry around in your hand bag. I decided to get some great memories from my life printed. And damn, I might need more of these photo books!


 

What I first noticed about this book is that the quality of the pictures are surprisingly brilliant! When I get my pictures printed in most studios, there's always a problem with the quality. But Throwback really made me happy with respect to the quality. Secondly, the pricing is reasonable. You can get one album for 699 INR and you get around 50 pictures. The best feature is that you can easily detach these photos from the photo book and use the pictures as individual pictures as well.


 

There's absolutely nothing about this beautiful invention that I do not like. In fact, the moment I received my very first order, at least four of my friends were so amused by the concept that they started ordering it for themselves instantly!


You can download the app on Android and the iOS app is coming soon. Do grab one book at least and you will realize the value of actual photographs in your life!

Love,
Hand On The Hip

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Tel ko tel lagao

11/11/2017 3 Comments
Hola!

Ever since I moved to Bangalore, hair care has been one of my biggest concerns! From the ever growing and never ending pollution to harsh bore well water, my hair has gone through hell and beyond. I also blame myself a bit for the condition of my hair as I don't take good care of it. I apply a lot of color, chemicals, straighten, curl and abuse it and don't maintain it later. Hence, I have very frizzy hair. To make matters worse, I can't stand the idea of oil touching my hair.

After watching a gazillion ads on applying coconut oil to your hair one hour before shampooing, I started following a hair care routine too. But it just did not do it for me! I was super annoyed with all the oil in my hair and that icky-sticky feeling. Taming the frizz at the bottom of my hair had become quite a task. Just when I was done using all kinds of oils, serums and shampoos to ensure that my hair behaves well, I was introduced to Pantene Pro-V Oil Replacement serum. This has been a life saver ever since I started using it!





As chemical based products are usually the main culprits of hair fall, I was really skeptical about this product. As soon as I got my hands on it, I did a patch test on a few strands of my hair and voila! No hair fall! :D Gradually, I started applying a walnut sized amount of the product on to my hair every now and then to dampen the dry ends of my completely damaged hair. Since most of you might be suffering from dry, frizzy hair like I do, here's a list of pros and cons of this product. Do take a good look!


Pros
1. The 80 ml tube costs only 85 bucks! It's THAT reasonably priced.
2. The serum is very easy to squeeze from the tube and apply on to your hair.
3. Your hair does not become greasy or oily after application.
4. This product can be used before using any heating products on your hair.

Cons
1. The mixture is quite thick making it a bit sticky while applying it.
2. The smell is a bit too much for my taste.
3. I wish the product had some anti-dandruff elements too.

Overall, it's definitely a thumbs up and worth buying for me! I don't think you could get any styling products for a price this low. This could be a great start for those of you planning to take care of your hair. What are you waiting for? Tel ko tel lagao!

Love,
Hand On The Hip

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Raindrops on roses

11/08/2017 2 Comments
Hola mi gente!

While winter has kicked in and is keeping me frozen, there's not a day of the rains I miss out here in Bangalore. The rains this year created a huge mess in the city causing death of many innocent souls. I am still recovering from the shock of having to sail my scooty through drainage water that crawled its way to the roads. But despite all the madness, the monsoons in Mangalore is my favorite season.



Mangalore, a small town on the West Coast of India, is hot and humid throughout the year. Monsoons is the one time we end up using our jackets or sweaters. The rains are actually a blessing that is bestowed upon us from up above. The smell of the Earth after it rains, the raindrops on leaves of trees, sailing paper boats in mud puddles are some things that I have thoroughly enjoyed all through my childhood and beyond. I am often astonished when one does not enjoy the rainy season.






What do the rains remind you of? To me, it's mostly nostalgia. I grew up getting drenched on my way home from school, my umbrella turning inside out because of the high intensity of the winds and most importantly, the joy of knowing your mum is going to take you shopping for a pair of brand new rainy shoes! The monsoons bring out the kid in me. The monsoons remind me of all the love I received from my family as a kid. I absolutely miss it. I miss it all.




I pulled out a black tank spaghetti top from Jockey from my cupboard, teamed it with a black skirt I picked up from Van Huesen years ago and to give it a dramatic effect, completed the look with my uber sexy boho shrug from Max.




Well, some of us feel the rain, others just get wet.

Love,
Hand On The Hip

Friday, 3 November 2017

The cold shoulder tale

11/03/2017 3 Comments
Hello everyone!

What are some of the trends from the last couple of years that have caught your attention? Sneakers with dresses? Baggy boho outfits? Chunky, oxidized silver jewelry? From tees to cholis, five year olds to unmanageable teens, every outfit possesses it and everyone is sporting it. My wedding blouse tailor who can barely speak English even suggested it! I am talking about the talk of the town - cold shoulders! I have always been fascinated by cut-outs, but does cold shoulder really make it up there in my list? Well, let's find out.




While my mum is amazed with this trend, my dad jokingly once said that it has been created for doctors to make it convenient for them to give shots :D For me, this has been a love-hate kind of a thing. Somehow, cold shoulder tops or dresses don't suit all body types or outfits. Confused? Let me help you with some of the dos and don'ts of the famous cold shoulders.




1. If you are slightly on the heavier side, body-hugging tops with cold shoulder sleeves are going to make you look ever more fat than you already are. Stick to cold shoulders with bell sleeves.
2. If you have a narrow frame like I do, choose your cold shoulders and off shoulders wisely.
3. Although lehenga blouses with cold shoulders are very, very in at the moment, it could look shabby. Get some pretty sequins around the holes as it takes the focus off the shabby hem line.
4. There are so many ways you can rock a cold shoulder! For instance, florals and cold shoulders go hand-in-hand. If you are concerned about heavy arms, always wear cold shoulders with baggy sleeves. Stripes is another fun way to style them cold shoulders!
5. All things in vogue tend to be a little more expensive than everything else. But why buy when you can make them? Convert your old tops, kurtis, dresses to cold shoulders with one snip!
6. Try avoiding cold shoulder tops that have speghetti straps as sleeves if the outfit doesn't fit well.
7. Cold shoulder saree blouses? A big fat no!
8. Always make sure your bra straps don't say peek-a-boo when you wear cold shoulders.
9. How big should the holes for cold shoulders be? Probably start from the tip of your shoulder to half-way through to your elbow.
10. Cold shoulder jackets? Hell no!





 
Well, I hope you guys will remember all the tips are tricks of flaunting those cold shoulders. For this look, I picked up this casual, stripey top from Much Love Store and wore my denim skirt with it. To add some bling, I wore my bling shoes from Max. If you are looking for more options to get your hands on cold shoulder tops, check out Stalk Buy Love, Max, Lifestyle Stores, Allure Clothing.



Cold shoulders are in the list of last season's and this season's must haves! You can't miss it! Grab one right away or you could easily make one?

Love,
Hand On The Hip