Life | Snapshots on holiday

So guys, I've been MIA lately but for good reason, mind you! After a hectic past couple of months, frantic festive season and busy start to the year which I'm all extremely thankful for, I headed off for a holiday to refresh and relax back home in Goa.
When most of your job involves being online, it can get overwhelming and distracting which is why I decided to make the most of my vacay. I took a break from social media and the website for a digital cleanse as such. If you follow me on Instagram, you would've seen my stunning escapades there, which I couldn't resist posting! I'm fortunate enough to have my brother, a photographic enthusiast, capture the absolutely mind-blowing travel tales which I'll be sharing with you today!

water, shore, sunset, sunrise, color, orange, purple, blue, landscape, sand, waves, photography, liquid
Watercolour sunrises 

mojito, cocktail, garnish, fresh, green, beverage, alcohol, summer, vacation, holiday, goa
On Monday, we do mojitos
beach, water, shore, waves, horizon, swimwear, swimsuit, red, blue, nike, photography, motion, outfit, lookbook, goa
La Mer on one of my numerous beach days

ladoos, orange, yellow, traditional, feast, sweets, dessert, goa, goan, natural, foodporn
Because holidays are made for guilty pleasures

beach, sand, water, shore, fishing, fishermen, caputure, photography, goa, sunshine, waves, beach days, vacation, relax, holiday
Lone wolves getting the catch of the day

beach, sand, water, shore, feet, nails, pink, goa, sunshine, waves, beach days, vacation, relax, holiday
I could do this all day

girls, hats, dresses, sunset, cliff, scenery, water, sunshine, outfit, lookbook, summer, goa
Sunsets & girl time

landscape, scenery, goa, coconut, trees, palms, sea, water, capture, photography, landscape
Views like nothing I've ever witnessed 

sunglasses, red lips, head scarf, scarf, goa, shopping, errands, homeland, carrie, outfit, lookbook,
Being carrie in my homeland

coconut, tender coconut, clean eats, fresh, produce, goa, food, nature, natural, decor, cutlery
If there's anything fresher than fresh, this is it.

Photography: Raynor Pereira / Style File

I spent most of my days lounging on the beach, devouring the freshest produce I've ever tasted, spotting the most beautiful scenes and playing tourist in my own home. 
I couldn't have asked for a better time out!


DIY | Valentine's Day gift ideas

The season of love is just around the corner which begs the question, "Are you prepared yet? "
Have you come confidently clad in an armor of heart balloons bearing a box of chocolates or do you plan on shaking it up a bit this year and taking a more innovative route?

With me, Valentines day comes down to the thought you put into a gift - whether it be as simple as a handwritten note slipped into a purse or as elaborate as a surprise serenade by a violinist; the thought you put into planning the gift and the effort you put executing it is worth more than all the red velvet cupcakes in the world.

That's why, I've devised 3 gift ideas for 3 types of valentines and ones that you can make at home yourself ! Fun, innit?

For the beauty junkie:

All beauty junkies look for a holiday to add just the appropriate touch to their looks; so why should Valentines day be any different? I've created a nail art tutorial that you can try to pamper your beauty obsessed buddy or even indulge in some self-love with!

Keeping the theme around love motifs, start by picking a pastel hued base shade that you think works best as well as complimentary colours for the nail art. White seemed too dull of a base so I chose lavender while pink, red, silver and a holographic glitter top coat are for the nail art. Once you've got your base shade on, decide your motif for each respective nail. I've used a toothpick and a fine eyeliner brush for the nail art detailing which needs precision. Proceed to detail each nail with the decided design - I've used 'XOXO', polka dots, hearts and a lip imprint. Stick to larger designs for your thumb, middle and ring finger while keep the design to the least on your pointer and pinky since they've got the least surface area.

Once your detailing is complete and dried well for an hour; use a transparent top coat to protect the design and keep it intact. Voila! There you have your Valentines day nail art !

For the foodie:

The way to any good foodies heart, is through their stomach so when it comes to gifting a foodie, you know that an edible item is always the right choice. For prior Valentines, I've always revolved around the theme of pinks and reds. Thanks to my mum's delicious line of work, I decided to take a step away but still stay in the vicinity with an absolutely stunning carrot cake, topped with cream cheese frosting.

Carrot cake is a dense, nutty dessert cake and along with the tang of the cream cheese frosting, makes for a match made in dessert heaven! The process is simple and you can find the easy to follow recipe here. I've added a heart shaped cake topper cut from cardboard and decorated with glitter, to add a sweet little touch for your food lover!

For the bibliophile and crafts crazy:

I cannot even begin to recall the number of times I've paused in the midst of a chapter and hunted for something, anything to mark the pages; even resorting to bus tickets. With this easy tutorial that takes merely 5 minutes to make, you can avoid such problems for your bibliophile friend and even soothe the crafts crazy ones as well.

Start with crafts paper and cut out two hearts from it, one fairly larger than the other. Then using any sort of coloring equipment you desire; colour both the hearts. I'd suggest using contrasting patterns or shades for both since they will be placed on top of the other. Apply a dot of glue on the centre of the larger heart and place the centre of the smaller heart in line with it, on the glue. Once dried, your pages can be marked by placing it in between the hearts and pausing all those exciting stories.

I hope you've enjoyed these DIY projects that I've created this Valentine's Day & I'd love to see you try them out. So make sure you make your loved one feel special this Valentines day; to love and be loved is a wonderful thing!



Style File + L'Oreal Pure Red | My week in rouge

I've always staunchly believed that some things are eternal like, polka dots and a string of pearls. Well, add red lips to that list as well. Ever since I discovered a shiny red tube on my mothers dresser at age 8; it has made numerous appearances on Style File and there has been no looking back.

So you can imagine my obvious excitement when L'Oreal released the Color Riche collection star lipsticks in 7 shades from the family of reds selected by their Indian and international ambassadors. I've always found red to be a shade that, not only gives me a Rihanna worthy pout but also instills sexiness and confidence within me like nothing else can.

With the L'Oreal Pure Red collection, I've put together a lookbook with a shade of red for every day of the week. The wonderful benefit of it all is the way it allowed me to experiment with various hues of red for a week. While swatches are great; eating, drink and living in a lipstick is whole different ball game and a very enjoyable one I must say!
Take a look at how I work my week in rouge

Monday: Gearing up with Pure Scarleto

L'Oreal, lipstick, red, pure reds,L'Oreal Paris, India, red lips, outfit, lookbook, beauty, looks, blake lively

While it maybe a day disdained by Garfield and most of the population, Monday and the week ahead is best begun on a bright note which obviously means, a rich red pout. My weapon of choice on Monday is Blake Lively's Pure Scarleto, a bright red with blue undertones that looks dashing. Even while adjusting to the chaos of the week ahead, the pairing of dark rimmed eyes and a blowout with my lipstick makes me ready to take you on, Monday!

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Tuesday: Sophistication extraordinaire with Pure Garnet

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Complete look here

The week is in motion and it's time to experiment on Tuesday with Sonam Kapoor's Pure Garnet, a deep red with an undercurrent of burgundy.With it's creamy finish, it goes on like a dream and hours later even after a snack, there it is, intact like I just applied it. My highlighted eyes, gold accents and messy side bun paired with the lipstick make for a winter ready look on Tuesday.

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Wednesday: Fired up with Pure Fire
L'Oreal, lipstick, red, pure reds,L'Oreal Paris, India, red lips, outfit, lookbook, beauty, looks, Li Bingbing

By the middle of the week, things are starting to get a little dull so I decide to ignite a spark with Li Bingbing's Pure Fire, a tangerine orange shade which is bright and feisty. I've styled a L'Oreal orange shade prior as well so this time around, it was only a tad intimidating. Keeping all the focus on the stunning shade, I went for a gold glitter eyeliner and head scarf in complimentary tones!

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Thursday: Getting down to business with Pure Vermeil

L'Oreal, lipstick, red, pure reds,L'Oreal Paris, India, red lips, outfit, lookbook, beauty, looks, Fan Bingbing

It's pre-Friday which means its time to hanker down to complete pending work and obviously, get set for the weekend. I've chosen Fan Bingbing's Pure Vermeil for the task, which is a reddish coral shade with a peach tinge - any day look would be easily complimented with such a delicate, fresh shade! So while I'm getting down to business with my cat eye spectacles, a turquoise eyeliner and loose curls are my ideal fun pairing with the shade.

L'Oreal, lipstick, red, pure reds, celebrity, L'Oreal PariL'Oreal, lipstick, red, pure reds, celebrity, L'Oreal Paris, India, ambassadors, red lips, Fan bingbing

Friday: Easy breezy with Pure Brick

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While you may be physically present on a Friday, often enough, your mind has already wandered away. I chose Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's Pure Brick which is a muted brown toned red for that nonchalance that says,"'Oh, it's Friday? I barely even noticed!" For a cozy evening, I paired my lipstick with bronze eyes and a fishtail braid. Although being from the red family, it's a wonderful shade that is work appropriate and adds a formal touch.

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Saturday: Paint the town red with Pure Rouge

It's time to party it up and my only fitting accomplice is Freida Pinto's Pure Rouge which is a deep red with blue undertones and my favorite shade from the collection. It's glamorous and striking, perfect for those chic looks. My curly bob and winged eyeliner pair well with this delightful shade for an effortlessly stylish look on Saturday!

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Sunday: Pretty pleasant with Pure Amaranthe

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I enjoy my Sundays with good conversation, late brunch and merry making so Gong Li's Pure Amaranthe, a bright pink with fuchsia undertones is a fantastic pick! It's a pleasant, feminine shade for those delightful day looks. I've paired the pretty shade with a complimentary purple eyeliner, florals and a straight long bob - Sunday well done!

L'Oreal, lipstick, red, pure reds, celebrity, L'Oreal Paris, India, ambassadors, red lips, Gong Li

The launch of the wonderful collection was a delightful event where a bunch of exclusive bloggers were fussed over and pampered to the hilt; with makeup and hair by the wonderful Namrata Soni, delectable eats and topped off with a L'Oreal digital campaign shoot by Rema Chaudhary!

After a week of living in the L'Oreal Pure Red collection, assessing them is easy peasy. The glossy black packaging consists of gold signatures of the ambasadors and a bullet of the respective shades, which is extremely helpful. While they go on creamy at application, they set as a moist matte which doesn't dry up the lips. I could write sonnets about the staying power alone - even after eating, drinking, sweating and other daily tasks, they stay put like a tough teacher on a naughty student and just do not budge. At Rs.995 for 4.2 gms, it is expensive but a premium star collection with fantastic quality justifies it in my books. With 7 different shades made to compliment every skin tone, whether you are wheatish or dusky, the L'Oreal Pure Red collection is one I'd advise you not  to miss!


Disclaimer: Sponsored story with honest, genuine opinions

Style File + Maandna | Midas Touch

I've always admired Indian ethnic wear, but it's been more of an admiration from afar, like you would have for a majestic tiger. The root of this boils down to a certain brand of tomfoolery involving the first saree ever draped on me. I soon resigned myself to the fact that I possibly had the Midas touch when it came to Indian wear and ever since then, I've stood at arms length, watching the tiger wander, rather warily. I've taken a plunge now and then, playing dressup in an Indian fusion saree but I've always been on the lookout for Indian wear that is comfortable and efficient and doesn't skimp on the style quotient.

Kurta, Jewellery, Earrings, Bindi, Salwar, Indian, Traditional, Ethnic, Clutch, Side bun

That's why I was thrilled to discover Maandna, a new kid on the block ethnic wear brand that checks all these boxes. Their silhouettes are flowing and allow ease in movement; while the pure cotton fabric, which is a luxury in today's time, make the garments extremely comfortable to wear. The collection is sprinkled with bright hues and neutral ones as well, making it apt for just about any occasion. 

Kurta, Jewellery, Earrings, Bindi, Salwar, Indian, Traditional, Ethnic, Clutch, Side bun

Kurta, Jewellery, Earrings, Bindi, Salwar, Indian, Traditional, Ethnic, Clutch, Side bun

Kurta, Jewellery, Earrings, Bindi, Salwar, Indian, Traditional, Ethnic, Clutch, Side bun

Maandna Kurta | Topshop denims | Dobhai kolhapuris via Myntra | Forever 21 earrings | Marks & Spencer clutch c/o | Daniel Wellington 'Classy York' watch | Street stall bought bangles via Colaba Causeway | L'Oreal Color Riche Pure Garnet on my lips | Faces 'Bronze' + Maybelline 'The winner takes it all' on my nails 

Photography: Leo Alemao / Style File  

Kurta, Jewellery, Earrings, Bindi, Salwar, Indian, Traditional, Ethnic, Clutch, Side bun, Iced tea

Kurta, Jewellery, Earrings, Bindi, Salwar, Indian, Traditional, Ethnic, Clutch, Side bun

The embroidery work on the garments is all handcrafted by the desert artisans in Bikaner which makes it so extraordinary for your clothing to have a personal touch. Even with their easy vibe, you can dress the kurtas up or down for the right fit for you. I chose this pure white kurta with gold accents to play around with, especially since I adore how the mirror work and kashida embroidery add a touch of red. With a metallic french manicure, a messy side bun and a burgundy pout to boot, I kept the look simple and elegant.

You know how I've always been fond of Flipkart so as the Maandna collection is available exclusively on Flipkart all at such attractive, affordable rates; I'd suggest you drop in there at breakneck speed and grab it in ever possible style. And don't stop at just one piece!

Indian wear is such a rarity on Style File and while I'm usually apprehensive to indulge in it, Maandna makes it a smooth, pleasant experience. I doubt I'll be watching the tigers from afar again.


Disclaimer: Sponsored story with honest, genuine opinions

Style File + Gillette Venus | Use Your And

I'd like to think that I'm a multidimensional individual. Beyond being a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger here; I enjoy crafts as the DIY section on Style File proves, I love a good TV show binge and speaking of binges, I like baking a batch of cookies and eating them too. I am also an enthusiast of pop culture, a follower of entertainment and stalker of home decor. There's a lot more to me than what meets the eye of the beholder and I'm glad for that. Isn't that the very reason we are three dimensional beings after all? Because there is so much more than just one dimension to know, to learn and to appreciate.

Image via hereherehere
That's why I'm elated to be part of the latest Gillette Venus campaign 'Use Your And' that stands for just this and fights hard to cast away singular labels, dimensions and describers. Today, almost 70% of the women in the world find themselves bogged down by labels which unfortunately, affects our self-worth and perspective. The folk at Gillette Venus run a brand for the very care and health of women and knew that, as women themselves; they had take charge and unleash what is deep down inside. With 'Use Your And', they aim to show women that singular roles and one-dimensional labels do make you; you and what you are inside really does. We juggle professions, careers, romances, hobbies, families, children and pets. We are sisters, girlfriends, mothers, best friends, aunties, cousins and grand mothers. We're smart, funny, quirky and sexy. How can a single label possibly encapsulate all that?

As a young adult interested in fashion, I often find myself myself slotted into categories that are deemed the right fit, while various other categories are neglected in the process. While I enjoy discussing the upcoming trends for spring or how mason jars are overtaking Pinterest boards, I also enjoy a lot more than that, like what spoilers were in the latest episode of the Mindy Project or the best place to get my junk food fix in Bombay.

The Gillette Venus razor has been a constant companion since my teens and even though I have a tendency to leave hair removal to the very last minute, my Venus smoothly gets the job done without a fuss. The rubberized handle allows for a steady grip so that even when I'm in a hurry, I'm assured there aren't any nicks or cuts. It's true! Smooth shaving is made by skillful shavers! There aren't any sharp edges or unsafe parts to it as well and it retails at an affordable price of Rs. 200. Not only does it do a fantastic job at getting rid of unwanted hair, its pivoting head helps me reach into those hard to reach nooks and crannies.

It's nothing short of empowering to break stereotypes because there is much more than one side to both, me and you. I'm as sporty as my sneakers, as smart as my loafers, as fun as my sandals and as sexy as my stilettos. It's time to take a stand with Gillette Venus - Don't use your full stops anymore, use your and.


Disclaimer: Sponsored story with honest, genuine opinions

Beauty Queen on a Budget | Winter

When I published the very first edition of the BQOAB series last year, it brought to my attention the dedication that can go into something as simple as beauty routine. In my mind, it was as simple as showcasing the prettiest products for the season but in reality; it was about agreeable formulas for the skin and appropriate shades for the season all while fitting into a finite budget.
This time around, I've handpicked products which are my current winter favorites all while falling under the budget of Rs.200!

Maybelline Color Show Nail Varnish - Velvet Wine

Price: Approx Rs. 125
Availability: Easy - At all Maybelline kiosks, beauty and department stores

Maybelline has been one of my favorite beauty brands right from my college days since they keep their products affordable along with great quality while launching a variety of new ranges ever so often, which the Color Show nail varnish is part of.
The shade 'Velvet Wine' was discovered by me in the midst of a pedicure wherein I was so besotted by the shade with its deep pink hue and sparkles, that I had to make it mine!

Ikonic Gel Eyeliner Pencil - Violet Gem

Price: Approx Rs. 200
Availability Rare - At select Kryolan kiosks and stores

The perks of wandering aimlessly around beauty stores is chancing upon gems *pun intended* like this pencil eyeliner. At a great price, the gel eyeliner in pencil form is easy to use, extremely creamy and is a wonderful purple shade with flecks of purple shimmer. Although I've found its staying power on my waterline poor, I've found that lining my lid with the shade brings out the shade even better!

Marks & Spencer Hand & Nail Cream - Lavender

Price: Approx Rs.200 
Availability: Rare - At Marks & Spencer beauty stores

A name associated mainly with high street clothing, one of Marks & Spencer's secrets are their beauty range, which I discovered at their launch which had an entire floor dedicated to beauty. With a lavender fragrance that could soothe a savage beast, this fairly thick cream does a fantastic job of moisturizing your hands!

Tresemme Hair Spa Rejuvenation Conditioner

Price: Approx Rs.85
Availability: Easy - At all chemists and department stores

Tresemme products always have a positive effect on my hair and so is the case with this conditioner. What came as a pleasant surprise is the application process which needs the creamy conditioner to be massaged into your roots and applied all the way to your ends, which I find is the defining feature that makes this product stand out. The floral fragrance was still present in my hair hours later while there there was a noticeable smoothness to my hair texture

Miss Claire Soft Matte Lip Cream - Shade 15

Price: Approx Rs. 130
Availability: Rare - At select beauty stores

The Soft Matte Lip Cream from Miss Claire is one of those rare products that ticks all boxes. Not only are they an exact dupe of the NYX lip creams in packaging but even after using both brands, they are as close to duplicates in terms of texture, colour payoff and fragrance as it comes. The shade 15 is similar to my lip tone and achieves an opaque payoff in just a swipe or two, while staying put on my lips for hours at a stretch.

Photography: Raynor Pereira / Style File

Hope you liked my BQOAB picks for the winter & I'd love to hear what you think of them!




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