Thursday, 26 September 2013

A Shopaholic's Journal

Hi buddies!
With the undercurrent of festivities in every respect in the winds of Kolkata and the hearts of every bengali allover the world,it is hard not to be overwhelmed by the enormity of the upcoming festivals.Closely follwing the durga pujas,it is the laxmi puja,then diwali(kali puja for bengalis),then "bhai-fota" and what not!
The whole annual calendar seems to be burdened by more festivals and celebration than the number of days!Being a bengali,this is more of a confession that we need just a occasion to celebrate and have fun.Be it the durga puja or Eid or Christmas we are always ready to celebrate the day.And of course,celebrations are almost always accompanied by new clothes,accesories,jeweleries,cosmetics,and the list is just endless.By the time one realize,the purse becomes empty.Everytime we think that "its enough",something or the other item required crops up in our mind and becomes a absolute necessity in no time..
I have never been much of a shopaholic.In fact a couple of years back I hardly ever shopped.I would randomly pick up any apparel of my size and any jewellery in the nearest shop which has become a acquainted destination.Going beyond that limits,combing through the city for finding the best of things in the least of price seemed a huge headache.I was first introduced to the streets and "happening" destinations of Kolkata by my boyfriend on our dates.He is just my opposite when it comes to dressing sense.While I would randomly pick up anything that fits my size averagely usually from shops like Max,BIg bajaar where every piece has at least 20 more duplicates in various size he would search for days even for the perfect fitting shirt,in the most unique and flattering checks that would suit him the best.Really some pateince he has got! :P
Going out with him slowly transformed my ideas about fashion as well which was limited within the air conditioned mall.It is because I soon discovered that some of the streets of Kolkta in particular provides us much more options and variations compared to the malls.
My today's update is,as u can guess,about all these infamous streets and alleys of Kolkata.I won't claim myself an expert on this matter.In fact compared to many calcuttan beauties,I am really a novice specially since I am not really in love with the experience of roaming the streets and window shopping in the humidity of Kolkata and pushing through the crowds. But I do hope this might be helpful to those who are even more novice about the streets of Kolkata.
North Kolkata:
One of the most busy crossing of north Kolkata is Syambajar.It is the crossing of  five roads marked by the dominating statue of Netaji.It derived its name from a big market in the area called Charles Bajaar by Howell.The present name was coined by Shobharam Basak in honour of Shyam Rai,the attendant of Goddess Kali.
Syambajar crossing of the five roads-dominated by a statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose
Image coutsey-Google Images

The five roads lead from the focal point to different significant regions of the city.The growth and developement around this region chiefly worked as inspiration behind the construction of this main roads that are intricately linked by many "shortcut" lanes.Today these roads are called R.G.Kar Road,Central Avenue(or Bhupen Bose Avenue),Bidhan Sarani,Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road(Upper Circular Road),and the last one leading towards Dunlop.
Some of the buses leading to Shyambajar from various regions are 219,3C/2,3C/1,91.227,93,30D,
30E(from R.G.Kar road), 211A,215,215A(from VIP Road via Lake town along Jessore Road),240,3,93,39A/2(From central Avenue),227,3C/1,some private buses,30D,30E(from APC road).
Bidhan Sarani: According to me and I am sure most calcuttans will agree,this is the most happening stretch among the five roads.This stretch begins with one of the most thriving,popular and cheapest market region of Kolkata and leads to some of the heritage destinations like College street,Indian Coffee house,College Square,and many more.Also many colleges are situated along this stretch like Scottish Church,Bethun College,Vidyasagar College,Presidency University,Chittaranjan College,South city college,St.Paul's etc.Some of the most frequent buses in this routh are 219,3C/2,240,47B etc.Since this street is such a popular destination specially before the pujas,transport facilities are hardly ever a problem.
This is chiefly the street in north Calcutta that will dominate my post today.The portion of the stretch nearer to Shyambajaar is called Hatibagaan-it is quite a long stretch that consists of huge variety of shops for daily necessities to junk jewelleries,bags,shoes,clothes,home decors from local industries to brands like Khadims,City Mart,Leather World and many more.Starting from Shyambajaar the left footpath is dominated by mainly textiles(clothes,tops,dress material shops),bed sheets etc.This region is the house of many good shops for dress materials.A recommended shop would be Sampad along this stretch.The prices are reasonable.The shops on the footpath stock huge collections at really cheap price but it is not at all a good idea to buy from these places i you are looking for quality products.Most of the kurtis,tops sold here are too small for even an average built beauty.
A girl's dreamland can be the footpaths and markets on the right hand side from Shyambajaar.the shops before the tram depot mainly consist of utensils,fancy home decors,cutleries,bags for almost every purpose but it is advisable to ingore the first few shops from Shymbajaar side if you are looking for bags,clutches.These are the shops which are solitary and away from the crowd of similar shops and hence are always quoting a unreasonably high price compared to the quality.Beside being the City of Joy Kolkata is also perhaps the abode of best bargainers in the world and these shopkeepers seem to understand that sentiment.You can never manage something at a fair and reasonable price from them without a good argumentative capacity but then,it is useless denying the satisfaction one experiences when you something even minimum from a bargaining bout.A landmark point t this region is the "chaat" stall outside the tram depot from where the trams move out.It is a famous stop for all shoppers here.The shops beyond this are a mix of junk jewelleries,shoes and bags.However the best shops are after crossing the Star Theatre.These shops have some of the most beautiful and unique jewelleries if you have the patience to comb through all of them.And as tradition of all shopkeepers of the city they will tell you a abnormal price to begin with.You have to bargain and bring it down.Approximately the fair price is always 1/3rd of the amount they quote for heavy jewelleries and 1/2 in case of medium ones.As for those below INR50 you can still bargain and reduce it to as low as 25INR which is fun!I used to hate bargaining  but it is sort of addictive though I can't still brag about being a pro in this art.Some shops are solely for earrings.A really good one with variety of collections is the one in front of Senco gold showroom.However this guy hardly ever surrender to a bargain but then you just won't be able to resist the collections here.In fact the further you go within the markets the better thing you can get.Here is a specimen of something that I got from here:
A sea shell neckpiece.This was a singular piece(i was sure because I had already roamed the stretch of approx 5km to and fro twice scutinising every jewellery shop for a nice and heavy statement piece)The shopkeeper that asked for Rs. 350 but ulmately gave it for a bargain of 180 rupees :D
This is all for today,coming up next day is a details on central Kolkata-the busiest shopping destination with regards to availability,brands,varieties and the up to date attitude towards trends.till then.good night and take care..

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Garnier Skin Perfector BB cream

What is a BB cream?
 “BB cream stands for blemish balm, blemish base, beblesh balm (apparently because of a trademark in Korea on the word "blemish"), and in Western markets, beauty balm. It is a cosmetic item sold mainly in East and Southeast Asia, although larger beauty brands are increasingly introducing BB creams to Western markets.
BB cream is promoted as an all-in-one facial cosmetic product to replace serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation and sun block. It can be worn alone as a tinted moisturizer, over serum and moisturizer as a regular foundation, and under powder, depending on the desired amount of coverage. “- Information courtesy- Wikipedia
The new trend of BB creams in the west has happened o spread in the east as well. Different brands like maybelline,garnier,lakme etc. are coming up with their versions of this so hyped miracle creams. While so long I personally have always avoided using base make-up product mainly because I hate that purposely made-up look and did not have the patience to browse through cosmetic shops in search of the right shade, this particular creams had a appeal in their own terms. I had the impression that they are not as heavy as actual foundations, compacts and the similar products, suitable for daily wear and comes with sun protection usually. I was quite apprehensive about trying a Garnier cream because the last time I used one(A couple of years ago. I was also my first ever experience with garnier products. It was a fairness cream by them.Sorry,that I don’t remember the exact name)I had a very bad pimple breakout along with itchy red marks! But who wouldn’t be charmed watching Deepika’s flawless look on the ads and her claim that all credit goes to garnier BB creams?So,I finally made up my mind and gave it a try, casting aside all my fears.And I must say, I am totally satisfied this time. Garnier does have some tall claims about their so-called “miracle” cream.
The following link will tell us exactly what Garnier claims about their newly launched BB cream.

The packaging:
The product comes in a deep shimmery beige broad tube with a white cap, inside a black and beige carton that is doubly packed. I find the packaging quite classic. The typical garnier logo printed at the top,itselt on the tube there is the claim that it ‘instantly perfects skin’. It has SPF 24.However,I did not find any claim about UVB protection which is sad. The nozzle is long and has a very tiny opening. This is very helpful in regulating the amount of cream to be used.
The Texture,smell,direction of use:
The texture of the cream is neither very runny nor too thick.It has a warm flesh tint.The smell is the typical garnier smell but pleasant enough for me.A small blob is enough as the product spreads pretty easily. The application is also very simple. All you have to do is, dot about 6 dots all over your face and with light circular strokes spread the cream from the bridges of your nose to the outer sides of your cheeks.
Staying power and suitability according to skin types:
I have oily skin type. While my t-zone produce enough oil to cook four square meals daily, rest of my face is comparatively similar to normal skin. On applying the cream(just the cream and no powder or anything to set it) I have seen it stay put for maximum of 4hrs which I feel is quite good given that nothing survives on my skin. It also controls sweating and does not bleed. However I suppose those who have dry and normal skin will require a moisturizer underneath. It imparts a natural glow minus the cakey made up look so common with foundation and compacts and powder-the list is endless. So it is very suitable for daily wear, I particularly find it helpful in college and emergency outings. Maybe because I have oily skin, it makes my face look shiny specially at the T-zone after couple of hours. Then slight blotting with a cotton napkin is enough. It is waterproof too, to some extent as I had got moderately wet in the rain on my way to college one day but still the glow resided.However,it did irritate my skin for a few minutes after application for the first few times after I had bought the cream. The smell doesn’t linger too long. It dramatically evens out the skin a lot and covers up minute blemishes but for deeper marks, it is insufficient. It is travel friendly as the packaging is quite sturdy and compact. The only negative that I have found is the slight irritation I experienced and a single shade that limits it to few people. This is how it appears on me after application:

before application
after application
·         Suitable as daily wear.
·         Average coverage without any cakey look
·         Budget-friendly
·         Travel friendly
·         Imparts radiant glow
·         Contains SPF
·         Easily Available
·         Blends well
·         Cute and easy-to-use packaging
·         Experienced slight irritation
·         The smell might be revolting to some people.
·         Becomes slightly shiny after couple of hours on oily skin.
·         Only one shade launced in India

Yes,I would recommend it to anyone who is in search of a sheer base make-up.
This is all for today. I hope you found the article useful. Do leave your comments that are invaluable as opinions to me.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Your daily best friends(2)

Hi friends!
Today I am back with the second list of quality products that you might daily need but within a budget.The following list is going to contain short reviews of 5 items that I personally found to be very useful  yet they did not burn a hole in my pockets.detailed reviews are going to follow soon.The budget limitation is approx of 150 INR.

  • Hair and Care-Silk n Shine

This tiny bottle contain 18ml and cost INR40.A leave-in conditioner,it possess a quality that can give many high end brands a run for their money.It sives best result after shampooing on damp hair but i have seen many use it like a serum on dry hair but this does not particularly work for me.Perhaps because I have oily scalp and using on dry hair make them appear greasy and limp.It also comes in 3ml sachets costing INR 3,and 40ml bottle whose cost I have forgotten unfortunately.Enriched though in fruit vitamins,it contains silicone which is harmful for hair on the long run.I had been using this from 2007 and after about continous usage of 8months I felt it did not work as well for me anymore.So I had switched to other brands occasionally coming back to this one.Now,again I am using it regularly and it is working really well again.Though I rarely use other conditioners as well(when I am out of sachets or the bottle is empty).

  • Garnier fructis Silky Straight 24/7 Strnghtening serum

This is a 40ml bottle of INR89.I got it for INR80.I was quite apprehensive while buying it since Garnier products are known for their high chemical content and I had a history of break outs using one of their fairness creams couple of years ago.But I found this surprisingly pleasant.But I don't use it too often.It is very helpful on a bad hair day as it imparts a shine to my hair.Though it do not claim any frizz controlling quality but it does tame my frizzes to some extent.But I found that if I use more than 10drops my hair appear too limp.But then it is a plus point as my bottle is going to last ages. :DFor detailed review click here.

  • Himalaya Clarifying Face Wash

image courtsey:google images
Himalayas has newly launched a 15ml pocket pack of Rs.15 just like the neem fash wash pack.This is yet another miracle product from Himalayas.Though it is not specifically mentioned whether it is suitable for everybody,but from regular usage I found it ideal for oily and good for combination to normal skin(my sister's skin type).However it tends to dry out normal or dry skin.Cleasing capacity is too good and after every wash it imparts a beautiful glow to the skin along with a cool feeling.The new pocket pack made carrying it around further easy.
  • Elle 18  Color Bomb lipsticks

image courtsey:google images
At INR100,this are truly a girl's best friend.Trendy attractive packaging,a large variety of "in fashion" colors and good quality for price make them a hit among girls and women from 15 to 50.Their low price and easy availability has enabled us to haord them. :P I mean,who wouldn't love to acquire 5 different shades in the price of one expensive lipstick??
  • Garnier fructis Skin Perfector BB Cream

Not exactly a cheap product,given that only 18g of it costs 99INR,but it is worth buying.My success with the garnier hair serum further encouraged me to try some more of garnier products while ardently praying that it won't break my skin out.I never ever before had used any base make-up or even tinted moisturizer before this one.And I loved the experience of trying this one.It did sting very little on the First couple of application but then I didn't experience that.I suppose my skin got acquainted with it.It evens out any minor discoloration of the skin temporarily.Staying power is average perhaps that is due to my oily skin.But it stays quite well and is sweat proof.I also observed minimising of sweating on application.It also acts as a sunscreen with spf 24.I have heard that it is not so moisturizing for people with dry skin but I did not experience any such problems.

This is all for today.Coming up are more complete reviews of these above mentioned products.Till then,Good Night and Take Care.And keep reading Black beauty!  

Saturday, 21 September 2013

My paintings(2)

Oil painting -"Sakuntala"
(This is only a part of the original picture and not the whole)

Watercolour on 1/4th handmade paper
an imitation from an acrylic painting

Colour pencil sketch on cartridge paper

Oil painting-Tomatoes
Still lif dimensions-20"x16"
(An imitation from a similar painting I came across through google images)

Friday, 20 September 2013

DIY ideas and durga puja

Hi friends!
Good morning to all!
Being a bengali,I can't simply wait for our most awaited celebration of the year-Durga Puja. It's a day more than three weeks to go and the celebrations will begin.
I find the divine ideas related to the puja very simple-triumph of good over evil and worship of woman power.These four days are actually the only time when Goddess Durga comes to stay with her parents in the year.While worship of durga was actually meant to be done during winter season(pardon me for I cannot remember the exact name of that ritual),the more popular ritual is the one during springtime called "akalbodhan".According to Hinduism,this ritual was first done by Rama.The main four days of the puja are saptami,asthami,nabami,dashami though the countdown begins from mahalaya ans ends with dadashi.

The fun and anticipations related to the four days of the pujas actually begin from the last day of the previous year celebration. Specially in Kolkata,the hype is enormous.Everything begins with the obvious shopping spree,then extensive planning of the route for pandal hopping on each day,scheduling the plan with different groups like a day for family,another for friends,one (or maybe more :P)for boy/girlfriend(or 'friends' ;)),whole-night pandal hopping day,and last but the most important-consistently looking your best through each day and night of the puja. Thanks to the moderately new trend of theme-based pujas,the actual four days of the puja has been extended to eight.The extension is obviously welcome but at the same time it has made grooming much more difficult.Come on!Can you think of any magic even to maintain a fresh look despite running in and outdoors the whole week and even staying up for quite a few nights??

To be truthful,there is simply no way in which you can consistently look fresh through these days except taking a break for couple of days in between and minimising your night programmes perhaps to just one night.I know what I am suggesting might be an outrageous prospect to many of us(even to myself),so we seek for alternatives that might help us to some extent to hide those hideous dark circles,frizzy or limp hair and what not!
 As some wise person had once suggested,prevention is better than cure.We can apply the same theoury here.If you manage to consistently take care from sometime earlier,it will be easier to maintain the look through these days.Today I am going to suggest some of the things that I know and use.Many of us might know all these already and maybe some more.Do feel free to share them trough your valuable comments.
Lets begin with the skin.A glowing skin can drastically change the whole appearance.The first and foremost necessity for the skin is proper hydration.if you are not in the habit then begin drinking a minimum of 12glass of water per day.Then dedicatedly follow a regular program of cleansing,toning and moisturizing and exfoliating for 3-4 times a week.
Here are some DIY ideas that you can use:

  • Home-made toner-(every skin type)
Juice of one cucumber and one lemon and rose water.Grind the cucumber and squeeze out the juice in a cup,add the lemon juice and 3tbsp of rose water.Next refrigerate and freeze this solution.Use this ice cubes as toner.After cleansing,just wrap the ice cube in a clean cotton cloth and lightly rub it on the face.You can put it back in the freeze and use it again.this cubes can be used for as long as 2 months.

  • Home-made toner (oily skin)
Rose water and vinegar.mix equal amount of both and keep in a bottle.Shake well before every use and use as you use your regular toner.It also cleanses any residue dirt left after cleasing.The only drawback is the smell.The smell of vinegar overpowqer the smell of rose water.

More DIYs coming up.This is all for today.Keep reading for more and stay well and stay pretty!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Colgate Visible White

A smile can work wonders as we all know and beautiful and white teeth are a essential part of a beautiful smile.A dazzling smile not only attract other to you but can even alter the complete demeanor of a person.Have you any guess of what I am really talking about?Well,today's update is quite different compared to my previous ones-nothing about contemporary fashion and yet an inevitable part of maintaining a glamorous look.It is a review on a toothpaste!
Yes friends,today I am going to review on the newly launched Colgate Visible White toothpaste.Tell me guys,which of us don't really feel jealous of Sonam Kapoor as we watch her confidently grinning at the camera and wish we could look equally dazzling?And yet we can't really stop those "yellow yellow dirty fellows" from coating our teeth despite our every maniacal attempt to thwart them!
Well,here is the super toothpaste to be your friend and guide through your battle against plaque.According to colgate's claim,this is the one stop toothpaste for instantly whiter teeth and with regular usage one can see visible betterment within a week.You can follow this following link to know the exact claim made by colgate:

the carton showing the ingredients
The toothpaste comes in a very classic shimmering scarlet carton and the tube is quite thick and the same shade with a wide white cap.Both the box and the tube contain the ingredients list.
The carton

the side of the carton showing the claim of giving visible whitening results in just 1 week

INR 80
Quantity-100 grams
The toothpaste is thick and white with minute blue particles and has a minty taste.
Brush twice daily for 2-3 minutes for visible results in one week.Do not swallow.

It claims to instantly whiten the teeth.I have found this claim to be partly true.My teeth does seem whiter after every time I brush but that is nothing extraordinary nor long-lasting.I have been using it for nearly a month(it is almost 23days) but I found the result to be frankly disappointing.It did seem to whiten my teeth initially but now I don't feel any difference.Moreover I experienced increasingly bleeding of gums which I am not entirely sure whether induced by this toothpaste.The bleeding only further stained my teeth.If I force myself to find something good in the toothpaste all I can say is that it cleans my teeth well enough to make it look white after every brushing.
RATE- 2/5
NOO!I can't wait to get rid of my first and last tube and it seems to take ages to finish despite the fact that my whole family is using the same tube.I won't recommend it to anyone.If you are that eager to whiten your teeth,better visit a dentist and get some medical whitening treatment done and try and maintain that with your regular toothpaste.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Your daily best friends

HI friends!
I am back after pretty long time.The new college session prove to be more trying than I had expected.Speaking of college,beside studies,bunking classes and fun it is also the best years of our life in terms of grooming,looks and fashion.No wonder,the large range of cosmetics launched by all brands targeting college girls!
But beside looking pretty,don't we all want to be pretty within a budget?Specially when the limited pocket money is concerned?So today I thought of listing some of the must-haves in all teenagers bag within the limit of INR 150.

  • Himalayan Neem Face Wash-15ml for Rs.15
This is a life saver for me.Suitable for all skin types,this mild face wash fights pimples and impart a very freash look instantly.A small blob is enough to give a dense foam.I don't exactly believe that a face wash is enough for fighting pimples but it does cleases my face very well.And since my skin is oily and easily gets greasy I require to wash my face often.It comes handy for emergency parties or dates directly from college. :D

  • Vaseline Lip Care Rosy Glow
I came across,or rather my sister came across this tinted lip gloss come liquid lip balm in our local drug store.This gel formulation provides a pinkish glow to the lips and smells like strawberries.I don't like the smell but its moisturizing power is really good.A good choice for daily use.I am not particularly fond of lip glosses or anything that appears to shiny on the lips so prefer to use it on special occasions.
  • Himalayas herbal eye-definer kajal
INR 150
I got this quite sometimes back,maybe a couple of years earlier.It does not suit my oily skin type and tends to bleed a lot giving me panda eyes if I try to wear it on my lower eyelid or waterline.However it works quite well for someone with normal to dry skin.I personally love its intense black colour and smooth creamy texture.It tends to bleed less if wore in combination with a eyeliner before applying this kajal.I prefer it for my upper eye lid and to create smokey eyes.
Well,this is all for today,I will be coming up with some more budget buys that I have in stock the next sunday.Till then, goodbye and good night friends!Do let me know some of your own recommendations.Just leave a comment about how did you find this article along with a link to your website (if any).Take care!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

My paintings

Ink and water colour on cartridge paper

Ink and water colour on cartridge paper

the busy city road-ink and watercolour on cartridge paper

kitchen-still life in watercolour on handmade

watercolour on handmade

watercolour on handmade

portrait of rabindranath tagore in handmade paper with water colour

oil painting on self made oil sketch paper

Friday, 6 September 2013

Maybelline baby lips Rose Addict

HI friends!
I am back after quite some time.Sorry about my irregularity with the updates.College exams are over and classes have started for the new session.The past few day had been too hectic for me to manage any time for writing.Ok,now let get straight into today's topic-A review on Maybelline Baby Lips-Shade Rose Addict.

This is obviously a must have for every girl.The baby lip range are actually tinted lip balms with amazing moisturizing power and at the same time imparts a very natural make-up look suitable for everyday wear.

What Maybelline demands about the baby lips range?
"No more basic lip balm.
Our exclusive formula moisturizes lips for full 8 hours.
Lips renewed in 1 week *(based on panelist's self-evaluation)"

Product name- Maybelline Baby Lips colour Rose Addict
Price-150 INR
Shelf life-2years
Baby Lips Rose Addict
The product comes in a medium pink shade twist up cylinder with Baby lips colour printed in bold white letters on it.The shade name is written in much smaller letters.The packaging is overall sturdy. The lip balm is the same shade as the cylinder but has a shimmery look.However the shimmers hardly transfer on the lips on application yet gives a shiny look to the lips.The balm smells like bubble gum-while the smell is quite overpowering in the container it gradually becomes mild and almost negligible within 10-15mins of application.However I cannot agree with maybelline's claim about its moisturizing power.Undoubtedly it is very moisturizing and smooth on the lips but the longevity is not 8hrs.It is hardly 4-5hr without any eating and drinking.The texture is creamy and it is very little pigmented.I did not find the balms imparting any additional color to my lips but it did impart a shine and healthy glow that is more preferable to me than any artificial coloring.As for the repairing part,it is too true.My lips are not really too dry but I have a habit of biting my lip hence there are small wound on my lower lips,Using this balm did help healing them and make my lips way more softer than they ever were.Overall I am quite happy with it's performance.And it is a budget buy.

RECOMMENDATION: Yes,I would recommend it to anyone who prefers a natural look for their lips.
RATE:4.5/5(I deducted 0.5 for the moisturizing longevity)

As the name claims it is sure an addictive product.Not in the literary sense for the word but you are bound to fall in love with the quality of the balm.Following are pictures of the balm and swatches.

without flash in daylight(cloudy day)

With flash on cloudy day
A short summary-
  • texture very smooth and creamy and light on the lips
  • though not upto the claim made but still the moisturization is more than average
  • very easily available particularly this shade is the most available one.
  • the price is reasonable for the quantity specially since the balm seems to last ages for me.
  • impart a shine to the lips that is not unnatural.
  • can be substituted for a nude lipstick and looks very nice when wore as a part of natural make-up look.
  • sturdy packaging:travel friendly.
  • I don't like the smell much but on the brighter side the smell don't last too long.
So have you used this one yet?If so how did you find it??Do leave your comments below as they are very valuable to me.This is all for now,see you tomorrow.Take care.. :)