100 Days of Blogging

#58 : Day Thirty Nine – Quote of the day

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Remembering the Magic inside me, I sat down and completed my target of 1K words today out of the 2K I have to write to finish my short story. More over, NaMoWriMo is kicking off tomorrow and I decided to sketch out characters and chapter outlines, with little success though. Again reeling in self doubt I almost thought of giving up until I decided that winning doesn’t matter. Trying does. I might not write 50K words, but I sure should write enough to publish the novel sometime next year.

PS. From tomorrow, I’m starting a new series in my blog. Hint – If you are an ardent fan of a one very talented music director, you really would love this series.

100 Days of Blogging

#57 : Day Thirty Eight -Quote of the Day

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Yet another attempt to finish the short story I started with little success. I wanted to complete it and post it today. Words failed to flow. Restlessness set in. That feeling of helplessness and pure irritation drove me mad. Reading random things on the internet always helped me apart from listening to music. That’s when I stumbled upon this quote. I’m not there yet. I don’t if I will ever, but that doesn’t mean I cannot get there. While there were few nice people who are near strangers who helped me out and motivated me last time around I wrote about my block, there were others who celebrated it. What was so shocking is that they are supposedly my well wishers. They call themselves that yet, they love to see me stumble, discouraging me with a pessimistic thought that I really cannot write with that commitment. I have a crazy schedule, yet I make it a point to write. It’s the thirty eight day since I started writing one post per day. I’ve not stopped, I may have stumbled, but I’m closer to the goal than I was yesterday. Take that! Live with it!

100 Days of Blogging

#55 : Day Thirty Six – Makeup!

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“Smile is the best make up a girl can have” said Marilyn Monroe. No denying that what Monroe stated is true, but it doesn’t hurt to put on actual makeup to feel better. This blog post would possibly invite the wrath of people who are against the concept of makeup. Truthfully speaking, it’s a matter of choice. It’s my choice to step out without makeup and  it’s my choice to go out fully decked up too! Shaming some one for their choice of attire or hairstyle or beauty in general is vile.

Makeup shaming is for real. It’s pains to see girls as young as 10 years old, dabbing on that shimmery red lipstick to “keep in sync” with the trend and to avoid being left out. The labels given to a woman who doesn’t wear makeup or doesn’t have that perfectly done hair seems puerile. Then again, if you decide to humor the world and flaunt that beautiful Russian Roulette MAC lipstick which probably costed a bomb, you are labelled a slut. There is this ludicrous argument that anything done in moderation is the key to success. How do you define moderate in the context of beauty and make up? Is applying a little lesser quantity of that beautiful lipstick moderate? You are still using some external element to enhance your beauty. Sounds a tad too hypocritical.

Then again, there is this doltish delusion that all women who are beautiful or dress beautifully aren’t the brightest bulb in the box. It is apparent that who soever had coined that adage of not judging a book by its cover has failed miserably.

Wearing makeup or not, at the end of the day is an individual choice. It’s a matter of confidence for some, while matter of lethargy or disinterest for others. Only an imbecile would assume that a woman dresses up for others. Trust me, we women really do like to feel better, if make up or the lack of it gives us that, what qualms do we have decking up or not. In fact, if you find  a woman patiently applying make up, layer by layer, be in awe with her. She has immense patience!

Here is to all beautiful women. Trust me, you are beautiful.

PS. That picture is my makeup loot. I decided to splurge and my bestie from US was kind enough to get me all of it when I shipped all this stuff to her place. Sarika, I owe you 😀

Random Ramblings

#54 : Day Thirty Five – Pure Body Natural Dead Sea Mud Mask – Review

Continuing with the beauty and wellness from my previous posts yesterday, today, I’ve decided to review one product I purchased recently. I’m not a fan of artificial face packs, but I decided this one is worth a try. I stumbled upon an article which elaborated the benefits of using different types of facial clay – Bentonite clay, Fullers Earth, Dead sea mud, French clay and what not! Except fullers earth the other names were as good as Greek to me. Given that natural remedies take their own sweet time and there are times when we hope our skin miraculously cleans itself, such masks can be of good help.

With acne and boils popping up periodically, fullers earth and sandal paste are my best friends, until I discovered this – Dead Sea mud mask. As per the label and product descriptions, it is supposed to be 100% natural. The product label also claims that this mask removes dead cells, draws out oils and toxins, reduces pimples and black heads.

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Instructions for use – Apply a layer of the mask on clean skin with mask brush. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and rinse off with warm water. Use once a week for effective results.

Smell and Feel – The mask is neutral smelling with no infusion of flavoring agent. The texture is that of a smooth paste and is grey in color.

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Feel – Normally, any face mask tends to tingle as soon as it is applied. Surprisingly this mask didn’t really tingle until it  dried off. I left the mask on for about 15 minutes and I kind of fell asleep only to be woken up by my alarm to wash it off. It neither felt cold nor hot. I washed it off with warm water by massaging my face in circular motion.

My skin felt super smooth and moisturized. It didn’t leave my oily face dry like most of the packs do.  I realized that my boils had reduced considerably, especially on the forehead region. Also, roughness around the jaw region had reduced. I wondered if the effect would really stay on. It’s been three days already and my skin is still the same!

The downside of this product however is that it’s cost and availability. I purchased it on Amazon US for $14.99 and a friend got it for me. I had shipped it to her place. If one were to ship it to India, with skyrocketing postage rates and import tax, it simply would be too expensive. It’s also available in India for INR 1971. I know, it’s darn pricey! .

100 Days of Blogging

#53 : Day Thirty Four – The perception of beauty

“Oh come on! Look at her hair, I’m mean how can she really live with it? It’s so curly. She hasn’t even styled it properly!” said a young lady pointing to me. If you’ve been suggested that you spends thousands to straighten your hair and polish your face, read on.

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder truly. While some people call me beautiful there are the others who take to criticizing me harshly for my curly-frizzy hair and no-so-smooth face. Of course, I’m not alone. In fact, there was this picture of a woman of African origin doing rounds as to how dark she is. She was labelled the darkest person alive on earth. It fails to occur to me as to what purpose can such harsh criticism and scrutiny serve. Does appearance matter?

Yes, it does. A healthy appearance does matter. However, the definition of being healthy varies on a case to case basis. Enough as be said and little has been done about those pointless fairness cream ads. One can’t possibly rip of their skin and replace with a ligher colored skin to satiate the wagging tongues of mentally unstable humans can they?  That debate is way older than I am and is worth refraining from.To me, any person criticizing about outward appearance in terms of skin color and ‘fashion; is mentally unstable. What matters truly is well-being. Applying makeup is your choice, commenting on others for not following suit isn’t!

Obviously, beauty is of two types – Internal and external. One cannot exist without the other. No matter how much amount of make up is used, you can’t really camouflage the state of well being or internal beauty.

Using makeup is a personal choice, but staying fit and feeling beautiful is a mandate to lead a healthy life.

As a continuation of yesterday’s post, sharing my personal routine to having a healthy appearance.

Basics – It’s wise to maintain impeccable person hygiene. Wash your garments and  cut your nails. It’s fashionable to flaunt your bear claw nails, but ensure it’s clean.

Facial care – What you eat plays a major role in how you look. Some people are blessed with high metabolism while there are some of us who aren’t so lucky. Gorging on oily foods and junk items would simply result in your face and hair loosing at it’s sheen. Fruits, raw vegetables, nuts and water works wonder to your skin.

If your face is oily enough to start a refinery, you my friend, need to take extra care as you are prone to developing acne. Unfortunately, I’m blessed with oily skin and thus acne and breakouts aren’t alien to me. To tackle that problem by it’s horns, I formulated a routine and it’s helped.

Ensure to keep your skin clean and chemical free as much as possible. Washing your skin with lukewarm water twice a day helps. Use a Turkish towel to pat dry and do not rub in. Finger nails aren’t your best friend if you suffer from acne. Investing in a good oil control soap, preferably organic will help. The best option however is to use the good old gram flour. Miracles won’t happen over night, but after a period of time you will feel the difference!

Aloe Vera, the highly marketed plant actually does work wonder. Investing in a tiny pot of this plant is certainly the best decision you can make. I apply the the sap of Aloe Vera for about 20 minutes daily and wash it off with lukewarm water. My skin has become smoother and all the painful heat boils and acne have shrunk off considerably. Again, Aloe Vera is comparatively faster but do not expect for a miracle.

Sandal, turmeric and rice powder paste – This paste totally works and shrunk off a painful boil over night. Ensure to use Sandal stick and organic turmeric for best results. Some people are allergic to sandal, it is advisable to do a patch test before you try it regularly.

Wash off make up properly – We love our makeup, but we fail to remove it off properly. Again, investing in a good cleansing milk or the good old gram flour is a must.

If you are always on the move, there a couple of face-scrubs and packs which really help! Stay tuned to know more about them!

100 Days of Blogging

#52 : Day Thirty Three – A Healthy Routine

A recent conversation with a friend made me realize that there are certain things I am actually doing right . I’m neither a fashonista nor fitness freak, but I ensure to stay active. This routine of mine is not a recent one, but was developed over a period of time and required internal motivation. A bout of hormonal imbalance caused by stress resulted in a lot of harmful changes. I’m sure I’m not alone in this struggle. Every woman goes through this I suppose. I simply hope to do my bit to help all the beautiful ladies who are struggling with such issues to our gender.

Time management – All of us juggle multiple roles and more often than not, we don’t spend time for ourselves. Spending time in taking care of your self is the first solution to all problem. That pending presentation, the half complete spreadsheet, that bucket of unwashed clothes, the big pile of unfolded clothes, can really afford to wait for the 30 minutes you decide to spend yourself. I consciously spend about 45 minutes for myself. It’s a habit hard to inculcate, but think of result, I’m sure you would be motivated.

Physical activity – The age of strenuous and back breaking household work is long gone for the urban women. Our food and our lifestyle impacts us in every possible way. Do that dance routine you’ve wanted to do always or play that sport you wished you did! Or if you are painfully shy to go out and work out, Yoga and aerobic exercise are the best. It’s the YouTube era. Search for workout videos and do them. Or even better, there are apps to help you learn and do basic workouts to ensure you have some physical activity.If you can’t really afford to do all that, mop and sweep like there is no tomorrow. Wash that big pile of clothes all by yourself without using the machine, take your dog for a walk, water plants and la, your physical activity is done.  I spend about 30 minutes working out intensely apart from helping out with household chores. Knee Push ups, Squats, Inchworms, Hip openers, Halasana, Butterfly posture, walking and jogging at times – That’s my workout routine. I either hit the local park with my dad or use the Runtastic App to workout at home. My stamina and immunity levels have increased. It didn’t happen overnight, but over a period of 3 months. Added bonus – I shed off a bit of flab and I’m working on shedding off the rest.

Food – Watch what you eat and how much you eat. Portion control and sticking on to a time is the key. We ladies tend to skip breakfast and that’s a big no. Most of us are also very conscious about confectionery and junk food. The more you consciously abstain from indulging the more likely you are to gorge on all of it one fine day. It’s okay to have that one bar of chocolate or that plate of pani puri once in a while. Inculcate the habit of munching on fruits and raw vegetables. Trust me, they are your good friend. I’ve noticed visible changes in my skin texture since I started including fruits in my diet. Don’t cut carbs all together. If your body doesn’t co-operate you might end up with side effects like hair-loss or fatigue or worse, you might put on weight. I’ve been down that road. The trick is to balance carbs that you don’t over eat or under-eat. Green juices and soups are very effective. A lot of us have white patches in our face due to vitamin deficiency. I had that ugly patch too. I made it an habit to consume green juices including drumstick leaves and spinach juice and la, it all disappeared in two months and till date it’s not returned.

Stay tuned for a series of posts on wellness and beauty! Hope to have been of some help!