Wednesday, October 7, 2009


The world is shrinking (and the earth is going bald! Cruel joke...) but through the process has evolved a neo-nomad who lives his life on the jet as much as on the ground. Professionals like engineers, artists, businessmen have begun to live about half a year in a continent and the other half in some other continent. As thrilling as it sounds "living in suitcases" can be a daunting experience, at least the packing part of it. Not everyone can live like Rahul Bose in just two jeans. A girl needs to flaunt her blings and also carry them everywhere.
What seems to be the toughest part for the wife is that the days of romantic caravans have passed and the jet-age requires you to do some jet-speed packing, there's also the "excess luggage" worry to deal with. Here are some tips for the harried partners.
Recession Wisdom: One thing that recession has taught us and our forefathers knew (and even our father)and one which we shouldn't forget is to live economically and to live within our means. This is especially true for someone who travels often, they just cannot afford "whim buying"; that antique furniture or the outrageously priced painting by that famous painter is clearly off the list.
Think long-term, That might seem ironical because you never know where you will be six months from now. But there will be clearly some stuff that you will need over and over, and some stuff that you can do without.
Categorise: Place documents like your passports, certificates and other such necessary documents under "high importance" category. Literally place them on the pedestal, it will be a tough job if you lose them or spoil them in any way. Keep them neatly filed, laminated and under inspection wherever you go. Medication, if any, falls in this category also and so does money. Clothes and food could be in least important category.
Travel Like A Bird: Indians typically behave like snails, they carry all of their homes on their backs. There will always be some Indians stopped at the airports due to excess weights in their bags. Embarrassed, yet they will take their own sweet time to decide on items to do away, most often then not they will fight. It might sound romantic to collect memorabilia everywhere you travel. But you just cannot carry it everywhere you go. Keep it in your hometown to show off in old age but it can't travel the world with you.
Babushka Logic: Babushka dolls are Russians dolls, one placed inside the other bigger doll, in progressive sizes. When packing stuff use the same logic. You cannot buy vessels and storage jars every year or two. But carrying them might seem outrageous. But if you buy them in progressive sizes they will fit in a duffle bag or a haversack. Crockery will not be your best bet, and if you can't think about stainless steel, copperware could be a very good option, it has a old world charm and you do not have to worry about breaking them.
On the other hand investing in portable irons, kettles and other such smart gadgets would be a good idea, but don't forget the adaptors.
Stack your socks inside your sneakers. Use every milimetre of your vanity case. Basically don't leave any hollow space. Planning to carry your whole wardrobe won't be a good idea but having a good planned wardrobe will ensure that you always have a dress for any occasion until you are little set at the new place. Having fabrics that do not crease, or mix-and-match costumes is a good idea.
Around two destinations will give you an idea about how you can move about as lightly as possible, and the gypsy in you will learn to fit his caravan within luggage weight limits pretty soon.

Make a Splash

The rains have set in and so has the gloom. But then why spread the blues by wearing all those greys, have fun in the rains, spread some colour, make a splash! Here's how!

Show off the skin! Even if India's tropical heat makes you sweat all through the year, you cannot risk exposing your skin to that heat. But rains are a good excuse to bring out those halter necks and short skirts.

Most freshers in the college face that daunting task of choosing a dress for the day. Fret not that question will chase you right through the college and also at work. That's when you give up cursing that boring school uniform. TIP: Most malls definitely hold a great sale during the rains, good time to spruce up your wardrobe.There's a great range available for every shape, size and budget!

Work wardrobe is limited. Most people will keep it conservative with mostly trousers-shirts combo. But rains can be a good reason to add a little colour. Give others a reason to gossip during the coffee break. Flirty knee length skirt with open-toed sandals with just the right shade of nail colour and an anklet can do just that!

Or if you are the non-fussy types, capris are good, and the good news for you is, now they come with a touch of glamour too.

Cover up: No we are not contradicting ourselves, by all means wear the halter necks, but just don't forget to hold a cute umbrella to cover your head. If you haven't noticed, umbrellas have become a great fashion accessory. They come in different shapes and colours.

And if you think umbrellas are quite a handful there are just as many raincoats to keep you in the trendy league.

Wear some chunky-funky jewellary. Bracelets, chandelier earrings or just a neat neck piece ithat complements a great outfit is all you need.

Give some fresh air to your skin dump the make-up. Make-up will definitely be ruined in this weather. Even with a little make-up, the humidity will make your skin feel cakey. Go for the kohl if you must. Follow at least the cleanser-moisturiser routine, dab loads of vaseline on the lips and smell great with a good perfume and you should be set.

But for all these things to work, do not forget that one great accessory, your smile. Smile when it rains!

Raising the eyebrow

There's an interesting line in a short story called "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" (by Scott Fitzgerald) where a small-town, plain-Jane, teenager Bernice goes visiting her city-bred cousin. Bernice receives a lot of advice from her cousin on how to be popular, especially among boys. At one point she says, "You never take care of your eyebrows. They are black and lustrous, but by leaving them straggly they're a blemish." and so on, to which Bernice replies, "Do you mean men notice eyebrows?" "Yes, subconsciously."

Thanks to media's appearance-fixation, the plain-Jane species is near extinction.
Karisma Kapoor's famous transition is every makeover article's necessary ingredient. From the bushy Prem Qaidi days to the uberchic of later movies, Karisma took her career to the zenith just by getting the eyebrows right.
It is amazing how the wonderful line defines our face and gives it a certain attitude. In some cases the eyebrows become the USP of the person, think Brooke Shields, or back home, Kajol. And if you leave out the "mysterious smile" of Mona Lisa probably the second thing you remember is those inconspicuous eyebrows.
Eyebrows are something you cannot afford to mess around with. You can worry what your hairdo will look like once it is coloured, straightened, or curled, but you will still go ahead with it. But with eyebrows you will do nothing wild. That probably explains such limited trends when it comes to eyebrows. There is the "rockstar" pierced look and if you are blonde you will colour them in darker shades, that's about it.
Play Safe: If you aren't sure how you want your eyebrows to be, it will be best to stick with its natural shape and just give it a trim.
Talk To The Beautician: Do not just give off your head to the beautician and let her work on the blank canvas. Talk to her and tell her how you would like your eyebrows to look. If you have an arch that you want to retain, tell her so.
The Ideal Length: The ideal length for eyebrows is believed to be 2 mm longer than both the corners.But to get it done ideally is one matter and getting it right is another.
Reflect Your Attitude: Think of Eva Longoria (in Desperate Housewives,) and it's very unlikely that you have missed the arched eyebrows, while men are focused on the "curves", women only notice the two curves behind which the scheming mind works. Think of Kareena Kapoor's eyebrows, and they have a look as if they have never been carved and that lends her face a childish, girl-woman look.
Break The Rules: The RULES tell you that if you have a petite frame and a delicate skull, thin eyebrows will probably look best on you, (illustrating Wenona Ryder). And if you are a large skulled person you should keep the volume.
But think Audrey Hepburn or Angelina Jolie and you realise that the opposite could not just work but become a style statement as well. So if you think you actually look good in the contrary, by all means go ahead with it.
Do away with the guidelines and discover for yourself what looks good on you.
TIPS: Massaging Castor Oil or Olive Oil on your eyebrows and eyelashes will help increase their volume and length.

Shoe Sense

When does a gorgeous outfit not look good with a perfect pair of accessory? Simple. When it is not paired right. There is no better way to murder an outfit than by pairing it with wrong shoes.
Shoes are rarely looked at as an accessory especially in India. People experiment a lot with their dresses but when it comes to shoes they tend to play safe and stick to the black sandals. But even women who claim to have hundreds of pairs of shoes can still be found complaining that they just don’t have the right pair for that dress.
To give you a little more insight, the ballerina shoes were a rage a few days ago, but to pair them with an empire line dress, or worst still sarees, that is sin!
It is easy to impulse buy shoes, because there are so many pretty ones in the shop. But the trick is to buy the shoes after you have bought the dress, that way you have a complete unit. You can’t ignore that the shoes complement the dress and cannot be star players themselves. Unless they are Cinderella’s glass slippers!
Here’s a list of things to keep in mind before you buy your pair of shoes:
The Black Sandals: Of course you have to stack those staples of black sandals but be a sport and try on other colours, by which we don’t mean beige.
Favourite Colour: Most of us seem to have favourite colours when it comes to buying dresses, that one colour that dominates the wardrobe. Be on the lookout for accessories in that colour. And if you find something in that colour that instantly stole your heart even when window shopping, by all means, buy it.
The logic is, if you dread to imagine yourself wearing a yellow dress, avoid buying shoes and accessories in that colour, especially if you are emptying your bank account on it. They will lie in the farthest end of the closet, until your cousin or best friend finds them awesome and picks them up. Rest assured, they will look awesome in it and you will be left sulking and brooding.
The Ethnic wear: You will be surprised how well this Indo-Western concept looks if done in a right way. Try wearing the kolhapuri chappals over your regular denims. Be a bit of a hippie and exploit the leggings trend, pair them with mojris and a neat piece of anklet. And if you are not the brand-conscious kinds, raid the Linking Road, Fashion Street, they still have quite decent collection of shoes (and belts).
Knee-length shoes: Tread extremely carefully in these, you can mostly get it wrong than right. But if you are investing in them, they better be the best you can buy quality-wise. Fakes look hideous to say the least. The same goes about stilettos.
The bottom line is, do not buy what you will never wear and keep comfort a few notches above style and you will go long way…