Style Quotient

Posts Tagged ‘cream


When I learnt the word ‘stuffocation’ last month I knew it was my ‘mot du jour’ – word of the day. You know how it is —  as soon as the New Year rolls around, everyone is telling you to toss out this and keep that in your wardrobe, in your home, in your car and in your life. Well, this year, they had a new word to describe the process – they called it ‘Stuffocation’—and I loved it at once.

Suffocated with stuff? Yes, that describes how most of us now live and never have we been more in need of simpler routines and choices. The problem with “stuffocation” is that we tend to forget the stuff we buy because we buy so much. The other day, when I realized that I had applied ‘Neck Cream’ under my eyes and smeared a luxurious marine creation on my feet that was supposed to illuminate my face into a rainbow of light bulbs, I realized that I was in drastic need of stuffocation therapy. There is just so much unnecessary stuff lying around now that the big question really is — why haven’t we got around to doing this earlier?

So, here’s a quick look at the beauty stuff you can get rid of this year. I call them my Suffocation Therapy (ST) Rules. Take a copy and peep into this list the next time you go shopping…

Do you own neck cream?

I never did till I wondered if it was the new and neglected kid on the block. The jars were irresistible too – there were tall and serious ones that meant business and the warm golden ones that promised many minutes of pampering. Could they really preserve the delicate skin around the neck for decades? I had serious doubts about that but I bought one anyway but the way it has been gathering dust for many months now, is an indication of how effective it has been.

ST Rule 1: Ignore the inviting neck creams on the shop counters. Use your face cream on your neck instead!

Do you own a lip exfoliator?

These look just like your lipstick tubes and promise all kinds of things – smooth, buttery lips in minutes. Lips that might get Angelina Jolie a tad jealous. Reality, of course, is something else. Skip now!

ST Rule 2: Step away from lip exfoliators. Good old Vaseline, Pond’s Cold Cream or petroleum jelly will do for the lips. Dermatologists say the lips are too thin and sensitive for the harsh abrasion of a lip exfoliator.

Do you own too many face cleansers?

The problem with face cleansers is that they sound so fabulous and promise so much. According to their makers they can erase age, lift the skin and make you a million shades fairer – all in the 10 seconds that it is in contact with your face.

ST Rule 3: Walk away from that delightful array. Choose a cleanser that does its job – cleanse your skin. Period.

Do you own a lash primer or lip plumper?

If you just decided to complicate your life with an eyelash primer, see if you can return it. A double coat of mascara should do for most social occasions.

ST Rule 4: Beware of anything that promises to prime or enhance any feature of the face, unless you are dying to use it. Lash primers can weigh your lashes down though they might hold on to mascara and lip plumpers work by irritating the skin of the lips that is far too delicate already.

Do you own a tube of Foot mask?

This is one product that sounds better than it is. You imagine a heavenly cocktail of ingredients seeping into your feet and sweeping you into an exclusive, self styled foot spa. Reality of course is something else – you end up with a lot of goop on your feet that takes ages to clean up.

ST Rule 5: Steer clear of all masks. If you need one, head towards your friendly neighbourhood beauty salon.

However—remember this…

Whatever they say about toners, moisturisers and serums – if you are above 30, you might need them. So in your new found enthusiasm for stuffocation therapy don’t throw everything out and then go around buying them again.

Let your mantra be: Keep it simple!


Event of the fortnight:

Love is Forever – Pre Valentine Jewellery Show

The sparkle of pure emerald, the fire of the ruby, the glitter of the diamond and the mystery of sapphire – nothing could quite match the beauty of these timeless gems that took the spotlight on the ramps last week.

Like most shows done by fashion guru, Prasad Bidapa nothing is thoughtlessly put together. Each element of the show, right from the lighting, the acoustics to the voice over was impeccable.

And so let me describe the event for you, in case you missed it…

Who was there? — Make a good guess? And you’re right. The whole town. No place to sit but who cared?

Where: At Fava, the fabulous, must-not miss restaurant in UB city.

What were the guests wearing: Many of the women were in beautiful saris and intricately embroidered salwar suits. Wise move. It proved to be a good backdrop to try the jewels on later if they needed to.

What I loved: The interplay of colour and light and music that was done so well. Like the sky blue backdrop to match the indigo coloured stones, the cool green lights to usher in the verdant gems, the stark black look for the white diamonds and finally the piece de resistance – the bridal collection.

What I learned:

Here is a list of all that you can do with jewellery now…

— You can design your own jewellery, using old stones, new motifs and fine metals.

— The necklace can take the shape of the neckline it is sitting on, so keep this in mind when you buy jewellery next.

— Try the very hot stiletto earrings.

— You can buy necklaces with two different strands and shapes on each side of the neck. So, there’s no need for perfectly shaped chains anymore.

— Certain interesting techniques are now used by jewellers to make random sized diamonds look like huge solitaires.

— Buy a ring that sits on two fingers of your hand for a change.


Till next time then!




They should call winter the silly season, because you end up doing all kinds of things you would think twice about otherwise. Maybe it is something about those crisp blue skies and that cool breeze that never gets too cold in Bangalore that sets you off and soon you are doing crazy stuff which you would never do otherwise. For instance, I found myself buying reams of pretty tinsel, a pair of crochet needles (a pointless buy since I don’t know how to crochet) another box of plum cake complete with plump raisins (not a good idea when you’ve set a target goal weight by December 31) and suchlike. And as if all this was not enough, I went one step further, and enrolled for a makeup class too.

I must say however that I learnt some valuable tips in this class and that’s where my story begins…


The classes held by this particular makeup company gives you total value for money (because you get back in products what you pay as fees) and you can opt for a one-on-one session or a regular class with many other students. Now, since this was an impulse decision, I decided on a solo class and how I enjoyed being a student taught by an efficient young teacher!

First things first and I had to ask my teacher this question. Why do women need to know how to do a bit of makeup? Shouldn’t a smidgen of kohl (or kajal) and a hint of lipstick/lip gloss do? Who needs so much makeup anyway? My teacher shrugged. It really is a matter of choice, she said, but on the other hand — she had noticed that most women use far too much kohol or kajal in their eyes and too much brown or red lipstick on the lips. Any more makeup than that is only reserved for special occasions. But today, life is all about making that great first impression at work or any social occasion. So, learn to do makeup well. Ignorance is not the answer – she concluded.

Well, here are a few tips I picked up that afternoon…

  • Do not apply any makeup without using moisturising cream first. Only well hydrated skin can hold other creams and powders.
  • Do not despise the fabulous effects of primer and sunscreen.
  • For dark blemishes that need to be camouflaged, use an orange corrector before using a concealer. Flaws disappear like magic.
  • Use feather like strokes of a brush or your fingers while applying makeup. Most of us use a very heavy hand and we end up taking off makeup, instead of adding it. Settle pigments by patting them down.
  • Your brushes should be of the best quality possible or you could tear or hurt your skin.
  • Do not use kajal or kohl in the eyes as it smudges under the eye. Use an eye pencil instead.
  • Lip pencil has to be used over the entire lip before applying lipstick.


For more tips, you will have to call me up or go for a class yourself, but let me tell you, it is totally worth it.

I know the big question in your mind is… did it all look good eventually? Or did I look like a walking paint box? My teacher seemed thrilled with the results of her craftsmanship, but I am not used to seeing all my flaws disappearing into thin air. For me, the biggest drawback was — I didn’t look quite like myself at all.

So I went into a dark and pensive mood once the class ended. I wondered– is beauty skin deep or does it emanate from deep within? Seeing the large basket of makeup that went into making the perfect face, I had no answer. When I think about it, some of the most beautiful women I know use no makeup at all. And yet, a little bit of makeup goes a long way for so many of my friends.

Therefore the makeup lesson I really learnt was this… whether you want a big kit or small bag of cosmetic products to do up your face every day is your choice… but remember that it is our small flaws that make us special. Don’t let too much makeup take that away!


ImageIt was one of those evenings when you get to enjoy yourself and also get to remember that life gets its most worth, only when you are working towards a cause. I am at Estee Lauder’s ‘A Pink Moment champagne soiree’ a fund raising initiative held in Bangalore and organised to spread the awareness of breast cancer. The guests who were supporting the cause had also decided to dress up for the occasion and how!

Well, since most of us love to know what everyone was wearing, here’s a quick update of what I noticed. Most of the guests  had either worn pink from head to toe or had decided to sport pink accents, by way of accessories or shoes. I soon realized that “backs” were the new décolletage, because while many of the women wore ensembles that looked modest and demure in the front, the necklines of these outfits plunged quite wildly at the back. Even those who wore sarees, matched them with cholis that ended in pretty bows or tiny buttons, way down their backs.

Though pink was the colour du jour, many opted for orange, and another hot favourite was white. One shoulder gowns were also very popular and I loved the way most of the dresses fell in soft drapes and were spun out of billowy fabrics.  Those who had opted for chic black ensembles wore their pink Breast Cancer support ribbons in style while others let their hair do the talking, by wearing their hair in curls that cascaded down their backs or in updos that brought into focus, their long and slender necks. Many carried glittering clutches that ranged from the smart purses to metallic boxes, all encrusted with diamantes that caught the overhead lights and flashed giddily all night.

As for makeup – here’s the new tip that seems to be the mantra in town. Keep your actual makeup subdued and concentrate on your skin. The clearer you can make your skin appear, the more fresh and gorgeous you look. And if you do want to try the deep back look, make sure you go for a back facial to cleanse, clarify and soften the back, before trying this trend out.

Back to the event. The venue was festooned with lights, in colours of lilac and softest pink. As for the dinner, whether the guests opted for the Moroccan Chermoula crusted spring chicken or the Beef Wellington or the Greek style fish, it was served to them by tuxedoed waiters who kept their plates full and the glasses brimming over. A live band, complete with guitars and drums played in the background and managed to coax some dancers onto the floor while other guests tucked into their dinners and savoured their wines. Conversation sparkled across the tables, music floated in the air and laughter punctuated the night. The hostess Manjusha and the other ladies in the Estee team remained indefatigable as they made every guest supremely comfortable. What a super night of style it was!

As for some more beauty news..

If you love the BB and the CC cream hold your breath, gals …and brace yourself for two more creams! The DD and GG creams are here. The trend of naming creams by the letters of the alphabet just seems to be getting more popular. The DD does more than the BB and CC which could give you flawless skin just by their properties of hydration, colour and built-in SPF, the DD, which is the Daily Defense cream, goes a few steps further by giving you anti-ageing benefits and pore minimisation. The GG (also called Gigi), on the other hand, has some lightening properties too.

How do you know which cream you need? The best way to do this is to go by what you need the most. Check your skin in sunlight with a magnifying mirror. Is dry skin or oil control your concern?  The BB cream will do the trick. Is an uneven skin tone your bête noir? The CC cream which is so named because of its properties of colour correction should help.

After trying out a bunch of CC and BB creams, I’ve realized that Colour Bar’s BB suits me best, mainly because of its brightening properties. If you are travelling abroad, try Smashbox’s CC cream that is available in a broad spectrum of colours and offers maximum coverage of pores and blemishes.

Almost every brand has a BB now, though some brands like Lakme have jumped to CC which is quite good too. The DD may take time to come here, so find one of the other creams to help you. But beware… with the sunlight as powerful as it is in our country, these creams might not offer all the sun protection you might need. So, don’t skimp on your sunscreen, no matter what. Also, foundation might also be necessary if you want to present flawless skin.

The bottom line: bare skin does not work anymore. If you don’t want to load on too many creams onto your face, go for BB or CC, add some more sunscreen too, and voila … beautiful skin!

Till next time then …


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