Friday, March 27, 2015

Golden Summer

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Jewellery- Azva, Jumpsuit- AND, Shoes- River Island, Sunglasses- Facypants

It's been such an incredible experience working with Azva and creating content using stunning piece from their collections! A lot of you seem to relate to the articles and I receive so many emails from several to-be brides, on how this helped them with ideas as well as queries of how they could use these pieces even post the bridal chaos. So, I created this look to give you an idea on how you could use a super simple outfit and amp up the look with your gold jewellery. I chose this trendy yet classic jumpsuit from AND along with a big buckle belt to add more definition. This is such a versatile outfit and you can wear this to a post wedding celebration bash, a brunch party or even to a yacht party scenario! The trendy palazzo bottoms inspired by the 70's fashion are balanced with a basic cami cut and a classic monochrome colour scheme.

For the jewellery, I chose these incredible earrings with intricate details and some stunning pearls. A perfect mix of modern and traditional, these are bound to be your go-to earrings to compliment various ensembles. I also threw on a couple of bangles with kundan placed between delicate carving details. You may have worn these bangles accompanied with many more on your wedding day but don't be afraid to mix and match pieces for a more casual effect. To make things more intriguing, I layered this pendant as a hathphool and wrapped the chain around my wrist. Most of the Azva pieces are designed such that they can used in multiple ways if you're willing to make the best of your creative skills. I kept my makeup very basic but bronzed up the contours of my face and completed it with a classic red pout. 

(Shot by Jaina Kumar)

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Camera Ready with Bobbi Brown

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Shirt- h&m, Skirt- Uniqlo, Watch- Guess

Bobbi Brown kick started her company in 1991 with the launch of 10 brown based lipsticks to fill the void in the market of simple, flattering & wearable makeup. After over two decades of vowing people with her exceptional products, the brand is opening its first store next week, in Mumbai at the Palladium Mall! The store is an expression of her unique philosophy & aesthetics for you to discover a wide range of cosmetics, brushes, skincare & expert services. Celebrating the launch, they very kindly set me up for a meeting with their director of artistry & extremely skilled, Mr. Eliano Bou Assi who is renowned for his ability to accentuate the natural beauty of any woman hence reinstating the brand ideology of enhancing one's look instead of creating a makeover!

I was allowed to pick one of their set makeup lessons to learn from, like Instant Pretty or Make up for beginners or How to perfect your Eyeliner but I wasn't going to let this opportunity pass with just one basic lesson, so I requested for a customized lesson on Camera Ready makeup! I am constantly taking pictures for my blog or for other projects & given my obsession with Instagram this was indeed my chance to relearn a few things from the master himself. I'm sure we've all been through those times when we've looked at a girl's makeup on Instagram and wondered why ours never looks that great in photos! Well, that's because the camera tends to diffuse the makeup and for it to look stunning on camera, it has to be beyond flawless in person! Here are the steps that Eliano followed & so should you, if you're aiming to achieve that perfect, photo ready look.

Step 1- Cleanse
Make sure your skin is clean with absolutely no traces of makeup, specially under the eyes! I wear kohl on a daily basis and no matter how well I cleanse the previous night, there is always some black residue left the next morning. So make sure you get rid of all that residue or else it will mix up with your concealer creating a grey cast under your eyes.

Step 2- Skincare & Lips
Prep your skin with a good moisturizer or serum not only to create a perfect base for your makeup but also to avoid dealing with any dry or dehydrated patches later! Eliano first used the Intensive Skin Supplement on my skin, which he said were like "Vitamins for the skin" and followed it up with a Enriched Face base. Make sure your lips are exfoliated and slather on a good lip balm to take care of the dry patches if any.

Step 3- Corrector & Concealer
Most of us have discoloration under our eyes due to our stressful lives & lack of sleep! To counteract the brown under my eyes, Eliano used the corrector in the shade Peach, blending it in with his finger in a tapping motion. Now, using a corrector may seem like an additional step but it's brilliance will enthrall you! It immediately and effectively evens out any discoloration hence forming the foremost step to achieve that perfect base. He followed it up with the Creamy Concealer in the shade Warm Natural which was slightly lighter than my foundation shade to create that brightening effect. However, if you're using a concealer to cover up spots, go with the exact same shade as your skin tone. 

Step 4- Foundation
For the perfect, photo ready makeup look, make sure to go with a foundation with no or very little SPF as that may cause flashbacks in case of flash photography. Eliano recommends using the reinvented Foundation Stick as it's long wearing and has no SPF! He used a sponge to blend it in and I will probably be using my beauty blender with this foundation for a very natural finish. He also shared an important tip for those of us, who find it difficult to get the perfect match when it comes to buying foundation. He suggests trying swatches on your jawline and forehead but never on your hands. If the colour looks grey on your skin, it's probably just darker. Make sure to match it to the darkest part of your face as that will create the most even tone finish. He also insisted that every woman should have two foundation shades, one for the summer when you're a bit more tanned and one for the winter, which I totally agree with! I am super tanned at the moment due to my holiday in Thailand because of which almost all of the foundations in  my current collection were too light for me. So, I picked up the Foundation Stick in Warm Natural which accurately matched my currently tanned skin.

Step 5- Powder & Bronzer
Sometimes when your foundation is a tad bit lighter this is the step that can mix it! Use a matte bronzer in a golden tone to add definition and colour to your face. The colour he suggested for me was Golden Light. Use a big contour brush and run it through the sides of your face in an motion imitating the number 3. This is to avoid any harsh contour lines so as to keep it looking natural and not made up! Next, dust your face with a translucent pressed powder or with a shade that matches your skin. That healthy glow which the foundation leaves may look good in person but in photos it won't transfer well, that is why this step is so essential! Particularly focus on the areas that you want to mattify or on the oily parts and then lightly dust the powder on the other areas of the face.

Step 6- Blush
This step is totally optional. If you fancy a pop of colour, apply just a little bit of a bright pink blush on the apples of your cheeks to imitate that natural flush. Make sure that you don't drag the blush upwards and focus it just on the apples.

Step 7- Lips
This is where you can start experimenting! Depending on your outfit, your mood and the occasion you can choose from a array of colours. Eliano used an Art Stick in the shade Hot Berry from an upcoming summer collection on me. I absolutely loved the colour and because it is a cool tone pink, it will make your teeth appear whiter in the photos!

Step 8- Eyebrows
In today's Selfie addict world it's essential to up your brow game! Eliano used a dark brown eye shadow in the colour Saddle with an angled brush to first outline my natural shape. He then used a spoolie to brush the colour inwards to fill the inner parts of my brows, creating a defined yet very natural finish.

Step 9- Eyeshadow & Eyeliner
I rarely wear eye shadows because frankly who has the time to beautifully blend them in on a daily basis? However, Eliano introduced me to the Long Wear Shadow sticks that literally have to be swiped on to your lids and you can quickly blend them using your fingers before the colour sets! The shade he used on me was so stunning and I am definitely going to add Golden Pink to my collection very soon. We then decided to try something a little risqué and used a cobalt blue eyeliner instead of the usual black! I won't lie, initially I was skeptical but the final result was so stunning. He also recommends making the liner thick enough so that it is visible even with your eyes open. 

Step 10- Mascara
The last and final step is the inevitable Mascara! If you've been reading my blog for sometime, you know my obsession with mascara. I think it's one of those things that I cannot live without! It instantly opens up your eyes and makes everything look so much better. He used the Smokey Eye Mascara on me which is now on my list of mascaras-I-need-to-buy! It was volumizing, lengthening and so easy to apply.

And that was it! I was so pleased by the final look so of course I had to instantly start taking Selfies. This was probably the best makeup lesson I have ever experienced and once the store is open, anyone can step in to the store to take a quick makeup lesson from the professional artists!I am so thankful to the Bobbi Brown team for this incredible learning experience & I hope you guys have jotted these tips down to look your best in photos from here on!

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bridal Fairytales

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Jewellery- Azva, Lehenga- Anita Dongre

One of my oldest & closest friend recently got married and I went through an array of overwhelming emotions through it all. To know of its probability is one thing but to watch it happen is an entirely different experience; that realization, the beginning of a new phase & the ending of those late night fairy tale wedding debates. When I was about 10 years old, I still remember coming back home from a family wedding and pretending to be the bride with my mum’s saree over my head & while I could barely manage to keep that in place, I even tried to put on her bangles & jewellery trying to recreate the scene I had formerly admired for hours. I personally think that weddings are for the brides, for them to garner those beautiful memories and move forward to create a new world of their own but why not make it the most stunning view for everyone else who is watching?

I’ve been to multiple weddings and gawked at countless images of striking brides on Pinterest for hours but if you were to ask me, what I would like to wear to my own wedding, I wouldn’t have a clue! So when I was working on creating a look with this exquisite 22 karat gold jewellery from Azva, I decided to go the bridal way just to see how it unfolds. I can imagine how, just like everything else the jewellery one wears on their wedding day is probably the most cherished and memorable pieces for a lifetime. Not only does it bring back fond memories but also that feeling which cannot be replicated, I am told. So why not pick pieces that can be used & re-used in the endeavours to come? It’s unfortunate how most of these pieces would merely see the light of day on relevant occasions. With these pieces from Azva, you can create multiple looks by simply mixing and matching these treasures.

The craftsmanship of Azva jewellery is something they pride themselves on and why not? Each piece is carved so intricately with so much detail which is what makes every bit so unique. Instead of going for one big necklace, I decided to layer two that not only complimented each other but it also works ideally for those of us who want to get the most of these pieces by pairing them separately for various foresighted events. Another way of using your necklaces would be by tucking one in place around your waist to work as a kamarband. The versatility & quality of these pieces is what makes them so everlasting. So this post is really to satiate all those hidden & shy Indian brides in our 10 year old selves & also for the new independent, modern counterparts as we discover our own fairy tales.

(Images shot by Jaina Kumar)

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