Monday, December 8, 2014

Bonobos Winter Style Challenge: Suits for Men

I am not fashion person at all, so when Bonobos clothing contacted me to take part in the Winter Style Challenge, I was hesitant. I hate dressing trendy, buying pieces that will only last one session, or are just not meant for my body type. What I do love are classic pieces, clothes that flatter your shape and not just a hefty price tag to show off some name brand.

Bonobos created a line of classic men's suits, and I thought- what better to compliment a classic black suit than with a little black dress. This Friday, my husband and I will be attending a Winter gala, while he will be rocking a classic black suit, I will be busting out my little black dress :-). Oh, BTW this will be the first time getting all fancy again after having my baby! Fingers crossed that it will fit!

Here are some little black dresses than I am loving... These would compliment your date very well if they were wearing a classic Black suit from Bonobos!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Guest post for! 4 Things Desi Women Can Do To Improve Their Health Right NOW!

1. Take a prenatal vitamin

Any woman who has the possibility of becoming pregnant should take a prenatal vitamin daily. Prenatal vitamins differ from regular vitamins in that they contain more folic acid and iron. Folic acid deficiency in pregnant women has been known to cause spinal cord abnormalities in fetuses. The neural tube, which eventually becomes the spinal cord and brain of baby, closes at just 4 weeks after conception, at a time when many women may not know they are even pregnant! Iron supplementation is important to prevent anemia, as pregnancy causes blood volume to increase around 40%. Of course eating a well balanced diet is the best way to get the vitamins and minerals you need, but for many women this is still not enough.

2. Exercise

We all know that exercise plays an important role in maintaining a healthy weight, however there are even more benefits to exercising that you may not know. One of those added benefits includes helping prevent osteoporosis. Being a desi woman, in itself, is a risk factor for osteoporosis. Being petite and thin framed, a characteristic of many desi females is another risk factor. Other added benefits of exercise include helping ward off depression, anxiety, and stress. Being physically active has also been shown t o boost your immune system- making you less likely to get sick or even develop certain cancers.

3. Find out your family history

You would be surprised how many people don’t know what kind of medical problems run in their families. For many, it is just not something talked about. However, I can’t stress how important it is to discuss and clarify this topic with your parents, siblings, and children most importantly, and even so with grandparents and first degree aunts and uncles. Did anyone get diagnosed with cancer at a young age? What about autoimmune diseases such as thyroid problems? Knowing such information is powerful and can be extremely helpful to your doctor to keep you healthy.

4. Recognize the importance of mental health

In many desi households, mental health is a taboo topic. Depression- which has a higher incidence in women, anxiety, and other mental health conditions are often seen as a weakness that can be controlled. They are not acknowledged as being just like any other ailment. As a result, many do not seek the care that they need and instead live with this pain. Many desi women feel pressure to excel in all aspects of life, leading to undue expectations. It is important to recognize that mental health is a key factor in physical health, and we need to work to rid this cultural stigmatization. If you think you or someone you know is suffering from depression or other mental disorders, please talk to your physician.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Step by Step Guide to Perfect Eyebrows: Miss Kerala 2014

Step 1: Evaluate your brows, you want both sets of brows to end up looking symmetrical. I have thin brows that need to be filled and defined with a powder or brow gel.

Step 2: Brush out brows.

Step 3: Pluck stray hairs.

Step 4: Trim any unruly strands.

Step 5: To fill in brows: place brush from the corner of your nose, to the inner tear duct and line straight up. This is where your brows should start.

Step 6: The arch, or highest point, of your brow should be from the corner of your nose to the outer edge of your pupil straight up.

Step 7: The outer corner of your brow should be from the edge of your nose straight up to the outer corner of your eye.

Step 8: Using these landmarks, use a brow gel, or powder to fill in gaps.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Day to Day Haircair! Part 2: Miss Kerala Pageant 2014

Styling my hair is must for me, or else it will  end up drying like a big frizzy mess!  I, like most other women, used straighteners in the past to achieve stick straight hair. ( Why is it we always want the type of hair we don't have!) However, the damage of straighteners- no matter what brand can be detrimental to the health of your hair. Such high temperatures and direct heat destroy the fibers of your hair. So, as a solution I learned how to perfect my blow drying technique, along with using great heat defending products!

Must have products for the prefect  at- home blow dry:

1. Blow dryer: Use one with a quick drying time to prevent extended heat exposure. One with ionic technology is preferable as it helps eliminate frizz. Use an attachment to target heat- this is especially useful when trying to create body at the roots. Try the Conair Infinity Pro for a great but affordable option.
2. Round brush: My recommendation is to use a boar bristle brush. Personally I use a mixed brush- boar and nylon bristle to help distribute hair oil, reduce time to finish blow drying, and style my hair like I want.

3. Protect, Protect, Protect! Always protect your hair before heat styling.
If you want to splurge on a great heat protector: try Kerastase Resistance Ciment Thermique Heat-Activated Reconstructor Milk. 
For a great day to day protector: try It's a 10! Miracle leave in product.
And, for a cheap alternative, try Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Heat defense Leave - In treatment.

4. Add shine! This is especially important in humid weather or on rainy days to protect all your hard work.
My favorite products to use include Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Moroccan Oil Treatment or L'Oreal Smooth Intense Frizz Taming Serum.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Day to Day Haircair! Part 1: Miss Kerala Pageant 2014

For those not blessed with thick, silky, hassle free hair... hair care and styling takes a good deal of time and effort. These product recommendations are things I have been using religiously for the past 3-5 years. They consistently get great reviews all over the Internet and are a great value for what they do. Remember, the cost of a product does not necessarily mean that it works better. Here are my tips for healthy yet well styled hair!

1. Try to go as many days as possible between washings. I used to wash my hair everyday- horrible idea! I noticed that when switching to every other day or every 2 days, my hair has become less dry, color jobs last longer, and it looks healthier overall.

2. Use a gentle, high quality shampoo. For my course but fairly thin hair, I recommend Redkin All Soft Shampoo. I have tried almost every drugstore shampoo- Pantene, Garnier, Loreal and this Shampoo is the only one that consistently gives me results. It provides moisture without weighing down strands, does not  strip my hair color, and leaves my hair more manageable.
3. Only apply Shampoo to the roots.  There is no need to directly apply shampoo to the ends of hair. Only the scalp needs to be cleaned. 

4. Use a clarifying Shampoo around once a month. Any shampoo you use, along with styling products will cause build up in your hair. Build up will make your tresses dull and weight them down. A good clarifying shampoo will remove buildup so that any product you use will work like new again. My favorite one is Neutrogena Anti- Residue Shampoo. 

5. Condition and rinse hair in cold water. There are some great conditioners that don't cost a fortune. For the past 5 years I have been using Aussie Moist Conditioner.

Just like shampoo only needs to be applied to the root, conditioner should be applied everywhere but at the roots. 

6. Use a deep conditioning treatment about once a month. Especially with heat styling, deep conditioning is a must. 
Click here for my post on Aussie 3 Minute Miracle. 

7. Never brush your hair in the shower!  Hair should be treated like fine silk. When it is wet, it is most vulnerable to breakage, so brushing hair could lead to it snapping and breaking.

Part II to come soon...

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Teaming up with Miss Kerala India Pageant 2014!

Images via Miss Kerala Facebook page and page of Miss Kerala 2012 Deepti Sati

Some exciting news to share with you all...this year I will be teaming up with the Miss Kerala 2014 pageant as a beauty adviser! The Miss Kerala pageant started in 1999 with it's first winner being Swapna Menon. It is hosted by Impresario Event Management India. The most recent winner is Deepti Sati, pictured above. Being 100% Malayalee, and obsessed with all things beauty- It is SO exciting to see how far the pageant has come especially with the most recent winner. Deepti Sati has a modern and edgy beauty that translates well throughout all of India. Her style seems to be on point- pulling off both modern and traditional clothing, hair with shine and body, and great skin. She has gone on to be a finalist in the fbb Femina Miss India 2014. Other winners have gone on to fashion, modeling, business, entrepreneurship etc. I think it's a great platform for women of Keralite decent. The perception that most Americans of Indian decent have is that the beauty and fashion hub of India is centered in the north and within Bollywood, but it is nice to see south India gaining a hold on this as well. 

The pageant has started plans for this year, so make sure to apply if you think you have what it takes!
I can't wait to share my beauty secrets and tips, catering to women with hair and skin like mine!

Please visit Miss Kerala's facebook page or website. 

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram as well!! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

How to fix dried out Mac Fluidline Gel Eyeliner!

OK.... I love my Mac Fluidline Gel Eyeliner to pieces. I have had it for probably 2 years now and I still have plenty of product left. I don't want to throw it out! I refuse to! So when the time had come that I had to come to terms with it being dried out, I was determined to make it usable again.

I called the MAC hotline to see if they had any suggestions. 1-800-866-6464 
They gave me no hope. They suggested I use the product from the corners and work my way in. Well.... too late for that. 

I tried to microwave the product... which helps temporarily, but then dries out again back  to it's original state. 

So then I thought... the best way to remove my backtrack liner at the end of the day is my beloved Jojoba oil...

Why not add a few drops and see if this works? I added 2 small drops, mixed the remaining product, and just like magic-- it looks like it's original state 2 years ago--- gel like, moist, and ready to be used again!
So thank you Trader Joe's for making such a versatile, amazing product.