Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Makeup At The Beach? Why not!

As you all know I was by the beach very recently so I suddenly wondered how many of you wear makeup to the beach. I'm prefer minimal makeup and favor a base, eyeliner and nude lips no matter where I am and what time it is so what I wear for dinner with my beau is pretty much the same as what I'll wear on Friday night so its no different from what I'd wear to the beach. Unless you're lucky enough to live in a beachy town, you go to beaches for holidays. And obviously you want to look your best when you're on vacation. However, no one wants to be that girl on the beach with an obvious face full of makeup on but that doesn't mean you have to go bare-faced.

Only a supermodel in an editorial can carry off bright eye shadow on the beach.
 Here are a few basics tips and tricks how to look like a natural beach beauty - 

Eyes
Eyes are definitely the most important focus of makeup for me. I have really small eyes and I look really awful without eye makeup so I always make sure I use gel eyeliner as it doesn't budge with water. Unless you're going for a beach party, skip the eye shadow. If you are wearing eyeshadow, 
 use a cream eye shadow (not a powder) in a neutral shade that complements your skin tone. Mascara is also a super simple way to accentuate your eyes. Of all the makeup you wear, mascara is the least noticeable, but that makes a great difference to your overall appearance. Just make sure whichever mascara you choose is waterproof: You don't want to emerge from the surf looking like a drowned raccoon. 

Lips
If you really want to accentuate your lips in a beach, you can use a simple trick too. Firstly, for a natural beach look, choose a lipstick that closely matches your own lip color. Definitely avoid any bright reds or dark tones, because it will make the whole beach look darker. On the other hand, if you want your lips a bit more pop, use a lip liner and a balm instead of lipstick to ensure it lasts. Also, you can look for special lip products that have SPF filters to avoid sunburn and other problems too. You can find many of these lipsticks at Target and at various colors. And you can also take some of online Target coupons at Chameleon John and get it all at your price range. 

Cheeks
A touch of blush warms up your face and gives you a natural, healthy glow. Once again, powders are the enemy on the beach, so opt for a cream version or a tint with a waterproof formula. I love Peri's tint by Peripera cosmetics. 

Face
For a beach, avoid any powder base as it will wash off the moment you get into the water. The best thing to do is mix your sunscreen and base to make your face even along with sun protection. Add a little of bronzer if you want to accentuate your bone structure. That's it! Also, look for waterproof products that will stay in place while you're swimming.


Do you wear makeup to the beach or go makeup free? I definitely want a little bit on the beach. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Handbag Trends to Pump Up Your Style

There's no better way to make the ultimate style statement than a unique, eye-catching handbag. As one of the foundation elements of any outfit, you always want to make sure that the bag you carry is not only practical, but also reflects your personality. I have a thing for unique and quirky bags for special occasions and you might remember that from this post.  If you're feeling a little lackluster and bored with your closet, getting a on-trend or luxury bag is the perfect way to take it up a notch. Here are some handbag trends that will take your look from meh to wow -

Statement Bags 
A statement bag is a great way to add fun to your outfit. Huffington Post says that a trunk bag is one of the hottest trends this fall. Whether its mini to oversized, a trunk bag can hold anything from your phone and lipstick all the way to your entire makeup bag and snacks for later. They may seem too chunky or cumbersome for an everyday bag, but they make a super-rad statement come nighttime or the weekend.  If you're looking for an affordable statement purse, check out Habbana that offers a wide range of handbags for ladies at all different prices. 

 Ethnic Inspiration

Ethnic prints incorporating some of India's traditional textiles or tribal prints and patterns are a great way to spice up your fall outfits. This gives a unique, borderline bohemian flair and can contrast beautifully with more structured, minimalist outfits. Bags like these also carry cultural overtones which can add a whole other dimension to your fashion statement, and can encompass traditional crafts and art forms. Try looking at designers that use artisans based locally if you're interested in getting into that side of fashion history.

The Belt Bag

According to Refinery 29, belt bags are back this fall. Before you roll your eyes at the thought of wearing a fanny pack, remember that only the truly bold and stylish can carry them off. And I'm not the only one who thinks so. And while a clutch can seem annoying to have to hold all day or night, wearing a belt bag around your waist allows for totally hands-free happy-hour-ing. From concert-ready suedes and snakeskins to sophisticated leathers with unique buckle details, there's actually a belt bag out there for everyone, no matter if you lean more boho or more uptown with your style.

Go Wild

Remember the dialogue from The Devil Wears Prada which goes - Florals for spring? How original. In the same way, animal prints are synonymous with fall. There’s no better way to incorporate pattern trends than a handbag. Skip leopard print and go for a snake, zebra or giraffe to stand out of the crowd. If you want to keep it low key, then going for a neutral tone like beige is a good idea. However, if you want to get a little edgier, combine a trend like animal skin with a bright color. If you really want to make statement, carry a snakeskin bag in a bright, vivid green. Being brave enough to include bold elements of your look spells out fashion icon.

Handbags come in every style, structure, color, and material imaginable. What you need to remember, though, is that the bag should reflect your own personal style and personality. You should enjoy carrying the bag that you select, and it should also function practically and hold everything you need it to. Whether you enjoy trends or not, some of the current styles of bag in fashion are more versatile than ever. If you're not feeling adventurous enough to completely change up what kind of bag you've carried for years, give it a pop of color for an added boost in the style department.

What's your favorite handbag trend? Let me know in your comments below. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Outfit - Multiway Lace Cutout Dress

I've seen various multi-way dresses but to be honest, I've found them super confusing because of all the draping and tying. Maybe I should blame it on the left handed brain of mine but I really don't have the patience to sit and try the bazillion ways you can wear those. However, when I picked up this nude lace dress, I realized much later that I could wear it in various ways too! I got it from a rad store called 10 Dollar Mall which stocks a wide range of women’s clothing, plus size clothing, accessories and even menswear at just 10 dollars! Check it out if you're looking for cheap casual wear or basics for your wardrobe without spending too much. 

Here are the multiple ways you can wear this dress which makes it perfect for both formal occasions and a night out with friends -

Above the shoulder

Off shoulder

One Shoulder  

Strapless

Oh, and did I mention the cutout back?? :)

Photography - Akshat Bhatnagar

I love how versatile it is and how great the fit and quality are and it was all a steal at only $10!  You can buy it HERE.

I personally like to wear it above the shoulder and completely strapless. How would you wear this dress? Let me know in your comments below!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

My Gili Island Adventure

Ever since I got back from Bali, everyone keeps asking me how my trip was. I had a blast there, (check this post to read all about it) but to be honest, I think Bali quite overrated or maybe I expected too much. A friend of mine who's been living there for five years suggested me to check out the Gili Islands which are three idyllic atolls with powdery white sand, clear sparkling turquoise water and spectacular views of Bali’s volcano Mt. Agung. The islands are known as Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. To get to the closest island Gili Trawangan, we took a flight from Bali to another island called Lombok. We had to take a two hour drive from the Lombok airport to a harbor and then it was a twenty minute speed boat ride to reach our destination. 

That's me all excited aboard the speedboat! Felt like I was in a movie!
Gili T is the ‘Party Island’ with numerous restaurants and bars along the main strip and the beach and there's a party everywhere. It reminded me of Kuta but was a lot better as all the places were by the beach and definitely had less of trashy crowd.  Gili Meno is the quietest of the three and attracts a lot of honeymooners while Gili Air is a balance of the two so we stayed in Gili T for one day, skipped Meno and moved to Air after that.

Harbor selfie
The best places for snorkeling and swimming on all three islands are along the main beach areas.  You can see all types of marine life just by snorkeling including many fishes and corals and lots of turtles.

Disha lost a slipper while clicking pictures in the ocean but to her good luck, found one lying exactly there for the same foot in her size so here's what she wore for the next few days - 


That's not all. Her real slipper (the pink one) broke and once again, magically appeared a slipper on the sand for the same foot which fit her perfectly so she basically returned home with two random slippers instead of her own.



As you can see, the view is absolutely stunning and the beaches are breathtakingly beautiful with the various shades of blue in the sky, water and mountains in the background.


Just look at how beautiful the water in Gili Air is! In front is the third island, Gili Meno.


All three Gili Islands don't permit motorized transport so you need to walk, use bicycles or travel by horse carriages. There are a lot of cats on the islands, but I was very surprised to see a lot of them had really tiny tails and some even had bunny tails. Sadly, I couldn't take any pics thanks to no camera or phone.  Once I got back, I tried to research why Indonesian cats have no tails and found theories like people cut them off to depict that they are neutered, or they lose them in cat fights and downright hilarious ones like monster rats prey on stray kittens, preferring the tail as a delicacy. In the end, turns out the truth is that its a genetic defect caused by inbreeding.


We met a lot of lovely people and absolutely loved the vibe at Gili Air and are definitely going back there. Our original plan was to head back to Bali and spend a last day there but we loved Gili Air so much that we decided to skip our flight to Bali and stayed back. We thought we could go directly to the Bali airport from there to take our flight back to India but little did we know that there were no boats that leave from the island to Bali early in the morning and we HAD TO reach the Bali airport at 11am. When we finally realized the gravity of the situation, we had one helluva adventurous long journey that left us traveling halfway across Indonesia just to catch our plane. We left the island around 7pm and had to take a fifteen minute speedboat to Lombok and drive for two hours to Lembar, a harbor that has a painfully slow 5 hour long public ferry to Padang Bai in Bali. I also discovered that I have awful sea sickness so the feeling of nausea killed me and I couldn't get any sleep during that five hour boat ride. When we finally got there, it was almost 3 am and we had another hour and a half long drive to the airport.

We were famished, tired and sleep deprived and picked up this green bread from a supermarket which kept us alive for a long time!

Green bread = RESPECT
We finally reached the airport at 5am and were relieved that we finally made it and wouldn't be missing our flight back home. 

Here's me eating Dragon Fruit for the first time in my life!! Its so pretty!!
However, the sad part was that my strange prayer in my previous post had worked and thanks to the volcano, our flight was delayed till 6pm. To my dismay, the airline was totally mismanaged and did not tell us that it was cancelled till 11pm so they wasted the whole extra day we got in the Bali airport. One of their staff also misbehaved with a lot of people on our plane so please DO NOT EVER travel by Malindo Airlines. Terrible service and an awful experience. So ultimately, after traveling across what felt like half of Indonesia, we got to the airport at 5am and were there till 11pm next night. 

When I saw this instagram booth at the airport, you can see my fake smile and just how much fun I was NOT having at the airport. 


Note to self - In future, carry an extra $200 so that if you're stranded in an airport, you can drown your sorrows at a bar or kill it with the shopping. 

Oh and the airline took our luggage away but made us spend the night in Bali so I had to wear the same outfit for the second night in a row and spend a third night wearing it flying back to India. So much for being a fashion blogger. They put us on a morning flight to Kuala Lumpur and made us wait for another 6 hours for our flight to Mumbai. Here I am when we were finally leaving from Kuala Lumpur to Mumbai and I was so happy to be going back home because I was dying to shower and get some sleep. 


So that was the second leg of my trip at the stunning Gili islands and the misadventures we had! Hope you enjoyed reading! 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Garnier White Complete Range Review


I've been an ardent fan of this range by Garnier and have been using it for a decade now. It was previously known as Garnier Light and was introduced just after I finished high school. Since this range has been available in the Indian market for over ten years, it's obvious that these are bestsellers and I totally recommend you all to try it. For best results I suggest you to try Garnier White Complete Fairness range together.  

Garnier White Complete Fairness Face Wash


I am very fond of face washes that leave your skin feeling squeaky clean and Garnier White Complete Face Wash does exactly that. Enriched with exfoliating pure lemon essence, its formula cleanses and clarifies skin thoroughly and removes impurities that make skin dull. The face wash produces the perfect amount of lather and washes off  quickly and works perfectly with Indian weather and pollution as the heat and dust definitely leave our skin dull and tired. It has a subtle and pleasant lemony fragrance which is very soothing. The lemon essence is this face wash soaks the oil from the skin along with removing dirt and grime so your skin stays shine free for a long time. I can vouch for it as I've been using this product for so long and its super affordable as well! 

Price: Rs 145 for 100 gms

Garnier White Complete Multi Action Fairness Cream


Enriched with natural ingredients, this day cream  provides instant whitening and long lasting fairness. It also contains pure lemon essence like the face wash, and helps clarify and smoothen skin.
It has a non greasy texture and gets absorbed easily by skin. When I apply it, my skin looks brighter instantly.  It has Sun Protection with SPF 19 PA+++ so it protects skin from further darkening by harmful UVA & UVB sun rays.  It also promises fairer skin over time with regular usage
and is dermatologically tested so its suitable for all skin types. With regular usage, your skin definitely looks and feels fresh and moisturized with a natural glow.  

Price: Rs 160 for 40 gms


Garnier is also running a #7DayGarnierChallenge where you have the chance to win an amazing Garnier hamper. 

To participate all you need to do is:
1. Fill out this form (http://7daygarnierchallenge.com/) to receive the sample of the Garnier White Complete cream
2. Try out the cream for a week.
3. Share your experience on twitter with the hashtag #7DayGarnierChallenge and tag Garnier (@GarnierIndia) 

Photography - Akshat Bhatnagar

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Bali Bikini Guide - What I Wore

Its no secret that Bali is known around the world for its wonderful tropical weather, pristine beaches, and fantastic waves that make it a surfer's paradise. Bali is all about the sun and sea, so you know you're going need some beachwear when you pack your bags for a holiday. Make sure to carry swimwear, kimonos, palazzo pants, shorts and sundresses when you're going there. I like to wear new swimsuits whenever I go on holiday so I got these two beautiful bikinis from FashionMia.com. They're really cute, comfortable and high quality and I love their bright and bold colors. I like my swimwear bright because I wear boring colors in daily life and always wore solid neutral colored bikinis in the past. Sadly, since I lost my camera and my phone, I don't have any nice pictures of me wearing them. 

LOOK ONE 
This one is obviously inspired by the Mara Hoffman Rainbow Bird bikini. Detailed with a bright psychedelic print, it's high halter neckline tapers into a slim racer back. The cheeky Brazilian bottom looks fabulous and fits well too. 

Bikini - Get it HERE
Sunglasses - Vogue Eyewear
Fragrance -  Japanese Cherry Blossom by Bath & Body Works

LOOK TWO
If you're an avid online shopper, you must have noticed that this one's been all over the internet for a while now. I had been eyeing the blue version for a long time and finally got it recently. It fits me perfect and the color block detailing looks amazing along with the zipper details on the bikini bottom.

Bikini - Get it HERE
Sunglasses - Mango
Sunscreen - Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50 
Fragrance - Amber Blush by Bath & Body Works 

How do you like my bikinis? I absolutely ADORE them! Besides amazing swimwear, FashionMia also has a large range of dresses, tops, bottoms and accessories at great prices. The best thing about them is that shipping is super fast and your order reaches you way before you expect it to. Make sure you check it FashionMia.com. It's definitely my new favorite online store because of their great quality and fast delivery! 

Photography - Akshat Bhatnagar

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Bali Babes

Okay so I've been MIA for a while, not just from the blog but from all my friends and family too. About two weeks ago a close friend of mine called Disha whisked me away to Bali for an insane holiday and I lost my phone and camera just when I got there so I was totally off social media, the blog and other worldly contact. Thankfully, I'm back now so its time to take you through my wicked Bali trip!

Disha and I have been friends for almost a decade but we have never lived in the same city. We've met just twice in the past five years but were determined to do a girls trip some day or the other. She is a cosmetic surgeon and had to attend a conference in Bali, so she decided to turn it into an extended vacation and gave me one helluva surprise. 

DAY ONE

We were staying at the Horison hotel in Nusa Dua, a cozy property with very nice rooms and good service. Before heading out each night, we spent a lot of time chilling and chatting in our room over copious amounts of our duty free shopping.

We started off with a celebratory drink at our hotel
We had a lovely room by the poolside so we had ample space to click pics
We decided to check out the Pura Uluwatu temple which is set on a cliff bank and offers a stunning view of Indian Ocean along with a spectacular sunset.


Entering any Hindu temple in Bali requires both men and women to cover their legs below the knee by using a sarong so here we are in these beautiful purple ones that we could rent at the temple.

The building across the distance is the temple. The walk to to temple has a magnificent view so it is quite the photographer's delight.  

The sunset on the way back from the temple


If you're a seafood lover, Jimbaran's seafood cafes should be on your must-visit places for your Bali holiday. Not only is Jimbaran Bay one of Bali’s best places for memorable sunsets, but it is also the most popular coast to enjoy grilled seafood. These cafes offer selections of red snapper, crab, calamari, prawns and lobster served with steamed rice, and traditional side dishes of spicy plecing kangkung (stir-fried water spinach) As you all know how much of a pig I am, I obviously hit Jimbaran for dinner on day one itself.


The food took a while to arrive, but was undoubtedly the best seafood platter I've ever had. I loved how spicy and tangy everything was, which made devouring oysters and clams quite an easy process. The lobster, fish and prawns were outstanding too. I put up quite a fight with the crab, but emerged the winner as usual. 


Even though I lost my phone, I'm sure I wouldn't have clicked too many photos as I'm kinda lazy. Thankfully, Disha compensated for it and loves taking pictures. In fact, she's so fond of selfies that I renamed her Dr Selfie and I have all these photos for my blog all thanks to her. 


A lot of friends told us that Kuta was the place to go and even though I didn't like it much, we ended up going there every night for three days in a row as there's not much else to do in Bali after dinner. Kuta is like a never-ending frat party filled with hawkers on the road offering you drugs or party flyers, streets jammed with bleach-blond and tan Australian students.  When you're in Kuta, Bali’s trademark authenticity is wiped out and replaced with American fast food and hotel chains and Australian surf shops.

All the clubs in Kuta are side by side blasting reggae, top 40, R&B, and mainstream dance music to attract youngsters. It wasn't really my scene but I didn't have a choice so we went to a bunch of them - SkyGarden, Bounty, Enigne Room, Eikon are all what I remember. Wouldn't be surprised if I had hit up a few more in those three nights. 


DAY TWO

The next day we hit Geger beach in Nusa Dua. We got there by early evening but almost everyone had already left the beach. Contrary to beach goers in Goa, the ones in Bali like to start their days pretty early.  I was also pretty shocked by the weather as it was rather cold compared to what we face in India. 


We stayed at Geger to watch the sunset and ended up witnessing the most beautiful moon I have seen in my life. Its golden and the reflection on the ocean makes everything so surreal.  The Indonesians are a lucky lot to have so much of beauty all around!


I have an epic thing for instant noodles and Indonesian ones have always been my favorites so I used to hit the 24/7 supermarket opposite our hotel every night to shop and would whip up a new flavor each night. I even brought back like ten packets with me. And since there were no plates in the room, I chose to pour my instant noodles into a tea cup. 


On day two I was determined to never ever go back to Kuta (well that didn't work out) and decided to go to Potato Head, a swanky beach club in Seminyak which is considered to be one of the hot spots in Bali to drink, watch the sunset or party. Potato Head is fancy, posh and definitely pricier than everything in Kuta.  Its like the places I party at back home in Pune. But you know what the problem with Potato Head was? It's too uptight. No one there looked like they were having fun. It was like sit down and drink and talk softly and watch the ocean. And that on a Friday night. After spending a little more than an hour and a few drinks there, we decided to head to Ku De Ta, a similar place in Seminyak. However, a group of students from the US told us it was equally uptight so as usual we ended up going to Kuta. 


BONUS STORY - Just a day after we were leaving Bali, Potato Head was hosting a festival called the Sunny Side Up which had a bunch of artists I listen to. I was pretty distraught about this as I wanted to go for it and even called up the airline to check if they would move our tickets by a day or two. But extending our trip would cost us a bomb so we didn't change our tickets.  I was so sad that I kept wishing that the active volcano in Indonesia erupted so that we could stay an extra day and attend the festival. Here's me making a strange prayer to a god who seems to listen to my impractical requests because, exactly the day before the party, the volcano did its magic and got our flight canceled so that we had an extra day in Bali! Did we go back to Potato Head for the festival? Nah.... You'll know in my next post why.

If you've watched The Ring (I know you have), I look like I just saw Samara get out of the tv set
DAY THREE

After two nights of non stop Kuta, I decided to sleep through the day for recovery. That didn't work too well because as you can see below there I am shitfaced before the debauchery on day three even begun. This was before we hit the clubs on our final night in Kuta. Disha decided to concoct whiskey cocktails for me in the hotel room which my system obviously could not handle. Turns out a giant cup of frozen yogurt with multiple sprinkles and toppings is a great way to beat the booze. I was fine in no time.  

Check out my muscle tone besides the fact that I'm plastered
At this point of time, even my hand looks like a hangry (hungry + angry) beast in need for froyo. Its hilarious to think how plastered I was. I'm never THAT bad back home (okay, quite bad back home too actually)


And the selfies begin yet again once we're back in the hotel after the final night of shenanigans in Kuta. After these three days in Bali, we headed over to the Gili Islands in Indonesia, which are a well kept secret among lovers of pristine beaches as they are less commercialized and crowded but way more beautiful than the beaches in Bali. I'll tell you all about my Gili adventures in my next post!


See you soon!

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