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.

Spotted: Celine Bag Replica!

The real deal....

Aldo Replica for about 60 bucks. Saw this bag in store over the weekend and couldn't believe how similar they looked! Not sure if this is something I would purchase as it seems especially trendy vs being a staple bag.

I also love my Tory Burch bags a little too much!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Good Stress vs Bad Stress

You may think.... well isn't all stress the same??? And that is far from the truth. Over the years I have realized that there is actually good stress and bad stress. The key is to figure out the difference between the two and make changes accordingly. While good stress can motivate you and energize you, bad stress can actually make you ill!!

What is stress? Stress is our body's way of responding to challenge. In the past, this is what kept us alive. The urge to find food, shelter, warmth, love etc. Now days we have different types of stressors- traffic, bills, exams, lack of sleep etc. Stress causes our sympathetic system to rev up. If a tiger walked into your living room, you better believe that your heart is going to start pumping vs. using your parasympathetic system which aids in things like digestion of food. Now while it is good to vary your heart rate throughout the day through things  like exercise, it is NOT good to be primary in the sympathetic system throughout the day. Your body is "tricked" into thinking that you do not have time for things like food digestion and extraction of nutrients from the food you have eaten, and instead is too busy doing things like pumping blood throughout your body. Your body is  tricked into thinking that there is no time for things like your immune system, and instead is pumping out cortisol. The result... you are more likely to get sick, more likely to get things like cancer, more likely to have high blood pressure, more likely to become obese, more likely to become depressed. At what point do you say... is it worth it? Stress can impact your mind, body, and soul. It can affect your nerves, muscles, hormones, and immunity.

When is stress good? We are all motivated by different things... and I believe that a little bit of stress is good. It is what drives many of us to-- study harder for an exam, clean up around the house, complete certain tasks, care for our loved ones, or accomplish a certain goal. It motivates to a certain extent. The problem becomes when we are overwhelmed with stress... when we place ourselves in a work, school , relationship, social situation that becomes so toxic and stressful that it makes us prone to things like early aging, illness, mental illness, causing our minds and bodies to in essence SHUT DOWN. We are likely to get things like chronic pains, depression, irritable bowl syndrome, hair loss, high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes, obesity, poor memory.

The key is to learn your tolerance for stress. Create a balanced life- one that involves time to eat home cooked healthy meals, exercise, relaxation techniques, time with family and friends, and work. That should be the ultimate goal in life... not money, fame, worldly possessions.

In my quest to find relaxation techniques of my own... I have learned about aromatherapy. Learning about about Western Medicine as an allopathic physician (MD), I realized that not all the answers exist. Drugs have side effects and while large pharma companies will gladly pay for research to support their drugs, no one will pay for such research on techniques that are not hugely profitable. It it is the reason why many of those with chronic pain feel like they have no options.

I can't wait to share my aromatherapy experience with you all in the near future!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Who is Angel Merino: Mac_Daddyy?

Flawless... Is all I can say to describe the work of Angel Merino. An LA based makeup artist who has gained popularity through instagram, he is getting more and more celebrity clientele. So what is so unique about his make up technique. I think he just does skin makeup really well- contouring and mastering the J LO glow that makes one's skin look amazing. I am attracted to his looks for this reason. I'm not that big into eye makeup- just some eyeliner, highlight in the corners, and mascara, but I am obsessed with products that make your skin glow, or that aid in sculpting. Contouring is an amazing makeup technique that when done right, creates depth and angles where non exists. Highlighting can create the appearance of perfect bone structure and contouring can create symmetry where symmetry does not exists.

Watch below for a video by @mac_daddyy teaching us how to create that JLO perfect sculpted glow using mostly MAC Cosmetics products. 

A list of products will be featured below. 

1. MAC Fix Plus spray
- for an alternative, try Jojoba Oil on freshly washed skin
- For extra hydration, use Oil of Olay face lotion with SPF15 for skin protection in the sun

2. NYX Angel Veil Primer
- haven't tried any primers yet, but this seems like a fairly affordable one at $16

3. Foundation
- Mac_daddyy uses Smashbox. The new Naked Skin foundations by Urban decay work great but are expensive. My favorite foundation is Revlon Colorstay- cheap and works great for what I need.
- He adds some pigment from MAC in the shade Melon. I love this idea! It would be great for daytime as well as for a night out. I definitely need to get my hands on some of this!

4. Concealer
- Uses Mac Prolongwear.  I have heard GREAT things about this concealer and want to get some. Right now I am using Mac Studio Fix foundation in NW25 which works great.
- I also use Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in SX 06 after seeing it on Irene Mahmud... It's great for highlighting  and concealing, but you have to be careful and not go overboard with this product, or else it can leave you looking chalky.
- Highlight cheekbones, down  bridge of  nose, and forehead
- Use a  sponge-- doesn't have to be the beauty blender, to blend everything out!

5. Bronzer
- NARS Laguna or Casino work great. I have both, and  although I like the overall finish of Laguna  better, sometimes it is not dark enough for my skin.
- Use to contour and cut out under checks, sides of nose, and tip of nose to shorten

6. Highlight
- He uses a cream color in the shade Diamond
- I love using NARS albatross, and apply with a brush

7. For that extra gold glow...
- Add MAC mineralized skin finish in the shade Gold  Deposit

Monday, July 21, 2014

No More Harvard Debt. No More Medical School Debt.

 image via

I recently visited Joe Mihalic's famous website: and loved the message in his most recent post. It was a lecture he gave to highschool students. I think all too often this message is lost in traditional schooling. We sit in  math, science, history class memorizing facts and taking tests- but little is given in the way of REAL life. How do I save money, how much is OK to spend, how do I find the right career for me, WHAT should I consider when picking a career. It's hard to imagine what our adult lives will be like or what we will end up valuing. Joe Milaic bought a fancy place and car at the young age of 26. In the scheme of life- 26 is a baby! Just starting your career, with no real commitments or obligations. His  message is true- people will EASILY lend you money- no problem. Student loans are easy to get and hard to pay off. Credit card companies LOVE to give you that card and increase your spending limits as if you had won some award, but the truth is there is nothing in high end fashion that lasts long enough to warrant going into debt. That Chanel bag will not make you healthier, more fit, more GOD GIVEN naturally beautiful. It may give you the admiration of other fashion shallow women... but that is it. 

Now don't get me wrong.... but money is meant to be enjoyed wisely, but the problem comes when you are spending money to buy transient goods to impress people you don't even really like! I love beauty and health products but strive to find products that will stand the test of time, are worth the money, and do what they say they will do. I don't expect a cream to get rid of wrinkles, I don't need  every lipstick brand in a shade I love, I don't need 10 products that do the same thing, I don't need to buy into every trend of the week/month/ year. I don't do my nails regularly because I think it is a waste of time, effort etc. I would not go to a salon to get this done either. I value thinks like learning how to cut my own hair, DYI skincare, hollistic/ alternative medicine that helps me feel at peace  from the inside out.

Being Med School debt free and now being able to focus on what makes me happy in life, and what is right for my family is the best sense of freedom that no amount of money can buy. 
      ......     And they don't teach you that in school!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Red Orange Lipstick for Indian, Tan, Olive, Brown Skin!

I am usually one to shy away from bold lip colors. I tend to stick with safe neutrals, but also love corals and flattering pinks. I absolutely HATE red lipstick, but thought I would try out the red orange trend.

First I tried out a Sephora brand color: Rouge Cream Lipstick in the shade It Girl 06 described as a muted coral tangerine. It came off more red than orange on my lips and for $12, I wanted to see if MAC had anything better to offer.

Next I tried out a shade by KatVonD: Painted Love Lipstick in the shade A-Go-Go. Described as a reddish coral, it definitely comes off as in your face Orange. Too bold for my taste.

These were the options presented to me at my local Sephora, and I was starting to think the color I had imagined did not exist.

Now off to MAC cosmetics. I tried So Chaud: which I Absolutely LOVE and would recommend for those with a skin color similar to mine. I think Lady Danger would work great also but I didn't get a chance to try it.

The reason whyyy I didn't end up buying So Chaud, is that although I loved the color and consistency, I knew a shade this color would not end up getting that much love from me. I didn't think the money was worth it.

So off to Ulta I went. I had heard great things about NYX Matte Lipsticks and Soft Matte Lip Creams. I ended up finding a great shade- NYX Morocco Soft Matte Lip Cream. It is fun, cheap, bright, and just the color I was looking for- as seen pictured above. A negative would be that your lips have to be in perfect condition before application, and a lip liner must be used as well. Check out my instagram for more pictures of me wearing this shade!

Friday, July 18, 2014

GiGi Brazilian Hard Wax Kit Review

I recently purchased the GiGi Brazilian Hard Wax kit, and not for the bikini area. I have been suffering from dark underarms and wanted to switch to waxing to prevent any further damage from shaving.
I bought my kit off of for a great price. The kit came with an instructional DVD on how to Brazilian wax, Wax sticks,  jar of hard wax, and a warmer with lid. It also came with a gel to place on the area before waxing, as well as a lotion for post waxing.

So far I have been loving it. I have been using it for the past 3 months. The waxing technique has taken some time to master but I am slowly starting to get it down. I also am becoming better at not wasting any precious hard wax. The pre epilation oil works great and I can honestly say that waxing your underarms with this kit DOES NOT HURT ONE BIT. I have never waxed this area before, so I don't have much to compare it to. I haven't needed to use the post wax cooling gel, but I am sure it would come in handy for the more sensitive bikini area.
The only negative about waxing that I have found is that you have to let the hairs grow to a decent length in order to wax again. It can be very tempting to do a quick shave when you have a special event, but I know this will be counter productive with the lightening process.
Other things I am trying to help lighten my underarms include exfoliation, baking soda scrubs, and lemon juice. Being prego doesn't help with the hyper-pigmentation... but we will see my progress in the months to come!