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Personal Style | Epilogue

If I could describe the past year in one word, I'd probably call it 'momentous'; even if it hasn't always been for the right reasons. I mean, why would it! From most Indians spending hours in snaking queues to a real estate mogul turning into a president elect, 2016 dropped the bar like it was hot. Even the genius of George Micheal and Carrie Fisher weren't spared in its wake. With a year like that, going out with a bang seems inapplicable, right? Wrong. No matter how terrible it may seem, there's nothing that fashion can't fix.

Even on the most trying days (or years, in this case) dig deep inside to fix yourself up, slip on your killer heels and walk into a room like you own the damn place. So it's been a dismal 365 days to say the least; but it deserves a fitting send-off nonetheless - if not for the year that was but at least for the year that will be. Regardless of how 2016 fared for you, it's time to bring out the calligraphy pen and write a fitting epilogue to it. My instruments of choice are a heap of sequins and a classic red lip.

Image of woman wearing winter fashion clothing with a Zara beige trench coat, H&M black sequin dress and white Adidas Originals Stan Smith sneakers with red lipstick, burgundy nail polish and wavy bob hairstyle

Image of woman wearing winter fashion clothing with a Zara beige trench coat, H&M black sequin dress and white Adidas Originals Stan Smith sneakers with red lipstick, burgundy nail polish and wavy bob hairstyle

Image of woman wearing winter fashion clothing with a Zara beige trench coat, H&M black sequin dress and white Adidas Originals Stan Smith sneakers with red lipstick, burgundy nail polish and wavy bob hairstyle

Image of woman wearing winter fashion clothing with a Zara beige trench coat, H&M black sequin dress and white Adidas Originals Stan Smith sneakers with red lipstick, burgundy nail polish and wavy bob hairstyle


H&M matte sequin slip dress | Zara trench coat | Adidas Originals Stan Smith Sneakers [Previously seen here] | Kazo Sling Bag | Revlon 'Knotty Berry' nail polish | L'Oreal Paris Collection Star Pure Reds 'Pure Scarleto' lipstick [Previously seen here]

  Photography: Raynor Pereira / Style File

Image of woman wearing winter fashion clothing with a Zara beige trench coat, H&M black sequin dress and white Adidas Originals Stan Smith sneakers with red lipstick, burgundy nail polish and wavy bob hairstyle

Image of woman wearing winter fashion clothing with a Zara beige trench coat, H&M black sequin dress and white Adidas Originals Stan Smith sneakers with red lipstick, burgundy nail polish and wavy bob hairstyle

Image of woman wearing winter fashion clothing with a Zara beige trench coat, H&M black sequin dress and white Adidas Originals Stan Smith sneakers with red lipstick, burgundy nail polish and wavy bob hairstyle

Image of woman wearing winter fashion clothing with a Zara beige trench coat, H&M black sequin dress and white Adidas Originals Stan Smith sneakers with red lipstick, burgundy nail polish and wavy bob hairstyle

Image of woman wearing winter fashion clothing with a Zara beige trench coat, H&M black sequin dress and white Adidas Originals Stan Smith sneakers with red lipstick, burgundy nail polish and wavy bob hairstyle


2016 has been a year of learning for me. Tip-toeing into a career, carving out time for hobbies, lending Style File more of my touch and pushing my personal style boundaries were just a few of the paths taken. From discovering new fashion icons to trying a vampy lip, this year was also one of experimentation; one of which led to this trench coat. While I bought it on a whim with no foreseeable place to wear it; (thanks for that, Mumbai humidity!) it was the first thing I could think of when a light chill hit the city. Of course, I was apprehensive about the merger of sequins and sneakers but then again, it is the party season and everything is allowed ! For an added flair, I went with metallic accessories, a messy bob and dark nails. Together, it's a look that's doesn't discriminate between a night of dancing or a morning workout, whatever be your interest.

So whether your year was a complete drag or a cake walk  dotted with cherries, this is your chance to give it a fitting farewell. As I write my epilogue to a year full of new experiences, thank you for lending your digital presence to Style File, for your endless double taps and comments which is worth every single word I pen down. Here's to a spectacular end to 2016 and an even better 2017!

xo
Dayle

DIY | Homemade vanilla extract

If I could bottle the scent of the holidays, it would be my most treasured fragrance. That cosy smell of cinnamon sprinkles and gingerbread men is enough to make me carol my heart out even in the midst of the summer! Especially during December, it's no surprise to be welcomed home by the smell of vanilla, wafting from the kitchen. So when I do get down to baking (as rare as that maybe!), I always prefer using natural vanilla, which has that deliciously warm scent to boot.

What hampers that however, is the fact that most organic and natural products; both Indian and international, are either inaccessible or exorbitantly priced. Realising that I wanted to neither compromise on quality nor have to pay a ridiculous sum of money, I arrived at the idea of making my own vanilla extract. Versus the readily available vanilla essence, the extract of vanilla contains the actual bean extracts and not just its synthetic flavour. It is an obvious first choice when baking or cooking with the only setback being how unavailable and expensive it is. So after discussing it with my friend Roanna and sifting through various methods to make it, I got down to business and hand made my very own bottle of pure vanilla extract.


Step 1 - Gather your supplies

An image of vodka, a knife and vanilla beans isolated on a wooden table to make a do it yourself project of how to make vanilla extract at home

With a tutorial as simple as this one, the right supplies are crucial. Vanilla beans; which are most important, are available in most international food stories. While some of them arrive all the way from Tahiti and Madagascar, mine have been sourced from the local Goan markets. When it comes to the vodka, quality won't affect it so getting out the Grey Goose won't be necessary. Instead, a mid-range bottle of unflavoured vodka is all your need. Finally, your sharp knife is handy, keep that patience ready too because this is going to be a waiting game, my friends.

Step 2 - Slice 'em

An image of a woman's hands holding a knife and slicing open a vanilla bean placed in a decorative plate on a wooden table to make a do it yourself project of how to make vanilla extract at home

Start by placing a vanilla pod on a flat surface steadily and using just the tip of your knife, slice it vertically right down the middle. This opens the bean and makes its flavour more accessible so repeat the slicing for each one of them. The ends of the pods are tough to chop open so I've either sliced it completely or separated them. Finding the right ratio of vanilla pods to vodka is crucial so I've used 3 full pods for 60 ml of vodka to give a pleasant extract without overpowering it.

Step 3 - Dunk it  

An image of vanilla beans immersed in a bottle of vodka to make a do it yourself project of how to make vanilla extract at home

Now simply immerse your vanilla pods in the vodka while making sure they are completely submerged with no ends sticking out. Since I'm creating a small batch, I've made the extract in the vodka bottle itself. If you are creating yours in a different bottle by adding the vanilla pods and vodka to it, pick your bottle carefully which didn't contain anything with a strong scent or anything inedible. Once you do, wash the bottle, sanitise it in hot water and dry it in direct sunlight before carrying out this tutorial.

Step 4 - Seal and store away

An image of a woman labelling a bottle of vanilla extract to make a do it yourself project of how to make vanilla extract at home

Finally, slap a label on the bottle (so that no one mistakes it for an creepy crawly growing!) and name it. Now here's where the patience part comes in. The vanilla extract will take a minimum of 6 weeks for an abundant flavour to set in. During this time, it needs to be stored in dark cupboard, away from direct sunlight. During the first week itself, the bottle will turn a pale ochre shade and will get darker as time goes by. Post 6 weeks, taste test a few drops to judge if the flavour is robust enough. If not, store it back away and wait for a few more weeks.

An image of pure vanilla extract on a wooden table to make a do it yourself project of how to make vanilla extract at home

 Photography: Raynor Pereira / Style File

If this isn't December in a bottle, I don't know what is. Now if only I could turn it into a perfume! I hope you enjoyed creating your vanilla extract and I'm sure, even in the middle of May, one whiff of this baby will remind you of a cold December night.
xo
Dayle

Beauty | Trend report from Lakmé Fashion Week W/F 2016

There's an icy chill in the air, my friends and that means winter is close at hand. During this, my favourite time of the year; there are many irreplaceable things that cement their place in the snuggle worthy season. A mug of hot chocolate, for one. Next, fuzzy socks. And of course, a pair of dark lips cannot be missed! Don't act like you haven't dreamt of sporting a mocha pout with your cable knit on a cosy day, because I know I have.

To me, the turn of the season signifies many wonderful things, part of them being the latest trends. To shed some light on what's in this season, the most sizzling looks from the Lakmé Fashion Week runway are all we need. Get ready to be awestruck and inspired by these statement-making beauty looks to try for yourself this season.


#1 - Slicked back low updo

Image of female model wearing a slicked back bun hairstyle as a beauty trend for the Gaurang show at Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2016 at St Regis in Mumbai
Gaurang


Imagine if you will, preening for a sensational New Year's Eve party or formal Christmas dinner. Your make-up is marvellous, obviously but you need a hairstyle which will complement your look without taking the attention away from it. Cue, the slicked back low 'do. Favoured by the likes of Zendaya and Kendall Jenner, this hair trend made one appearance after the next on the runway, giving each look a minimalistic, sexy touch.

Image of female models wearing slicked back bun hairstyle as a beauty trend for the Gaurang, Runway Bicycle and Payal Khandwala show at Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2016
(L) Gen Next // (R) Payal Khandwala


#2 -  Bold brows 

Image of female model wearing full filled in eye brows as a beauty trend for Tulsi Silks on the runway at Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2016
Tulsi Silks

I cannot even recall the days when narrow, fine eyebrows were in vogue because since the past few years, all we've seen are full brows which make their presence felt on the forehead. We've got many to thank for the brow supremacy (I'm looking at you, Cara!) and this latest edition of Lakmé Fashion Week made sure to throw a spotlight on them. Groomed, full brows made for a defining touch to the runway looks and is one trend I'm definitely trying myself.

Image of female models wearing full filled in eye brows as a beauty trend for Tulsi Silks on the runway at Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2016


#3 - Daring eye make-up

Image of female model wearing bold graphic eye makeup as a beauty trend on the runway at Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2016
Gen Next

They say that one look into a women's eyes can reveal her inner self. If that's true, one look at these ladies and their statement eye make-up on the runway, would definitely showcase their fierce side. From foil accented eyes to pink rimmed eyeliner, no bar was set too high for the folks at Lakmé Fashion Week. Take this as a lesson to up the drama on your eyes and let them do the talking for you this season.

Image of female model wearing pink eyeliner makeup as a beauty trend for Gaurang on the runway at Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2016
Tulsi Silks


#4 - Statement making pouts

Image of female models wearing bold lips as a beauty trend for Kallol Datta and Payal Khandwala on the runway at Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2016
(L) Kallol Datta // (R) Payal Khandwala

This season at Lakmé Fashion Week , the pout acted as a bare canvas for the skilled artists (read: make-up mavens) This definitely facial feature took on a variety of forms from grungy lip art to a bold foil masterpiece, making sure it was an impactful walk down the runway. Regardless of colour or pattern, the statement lip had ever single eye in the room on it, with only a little attention left for the rest of the outfit.

Image of female model wearing bold lip makeup as a beauty trend for Payal Khandwala on the runway at Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2016
Payal Khandwala


#5 - Clean, defined faces

Image of female models with highlighted and contoured skin as a beauty trend for Atsu, Pella and Tulsi Silks on the runway at Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2016
(L) Atsu // (R) Tulsi Silks

With the robust line-up of bold and somewhat eccentric make-up looks on the runway, it came as no surprise to see subtle yet defined skin take on the catwalk. Providing the most accessible trend to the masses, the chiselled model's faces saw a touch of contoured cheeks which were strobed to perfection. Ideal to flaunt a wine lip or bright eye liner with, what's not to love with this trend!

Image of Bollywood actress Dia Mirza with highlighted and contoured skin as a beauty trend for Tulsi Silks on the runway at Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2016
Tulsi Silks

Photography: Leo Alemao / Style File
xo
Dayle

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