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Relationship red flags to watch out for | femina.in

Friday, October 27 2017

Relationship red flags to watch out for | femina.in

Over time, social media has become an important part of our lives. It helps us stay connected with the world and get updates instantly. At the same time, it can also tell us if a relationship is headed for the dumps. Here are some signs to watch out for based on what your partner is posting. There was a time when your partner posted much-in-love pictures and posts, which obviously featured you. Now, suddenly, all the posts and pics on his timeline seem centred around him. This is a clear indication that something is up. Your committed boyfriend, who rarely chatted up girls in the real or virtual world, is suddenly acting flirtatious online. And if these comments are all directed at a particular someone, you’d better watch out. Every couple fights and has issues, but if you find your partner being too critical of every tweet, update and post and airing your dirty linen in public, it may be a sign that he is dissatisfied with the relationship. Have you noticed that your SO has the time to respond and react to posts and tweets from strangers, but your updates, in which you tag him, go ignored? Big red flag for sure. Is your partner suddenly reaching out to his ex? If there is a constant back and forth between them online and images of them begin to make an appearance on your timeline, you are headed into dangerous territory. You suddenly find your partner socialising with people you have never met or even heard of at events or parties you know nothing of. This is definitely not a sign of a healthy relationship. If your recluse of a boyfriend is suddenly overactive on social media and posting every little detail of how much fun he is having without you, it may be time to talk about where things are headed for the two of you. You wake up one morning to find that most of his friends and his favourite cousin have unfollowed you overnight, it is time to brace yourself. A “we need to talk” conversation is in the offing. Femina You find your partner evading questions about his relationship status or you feel he doesn’t want to acknowledge your presence online? It is a sign that he isn’t happy and may be considering ending things soon. Has your SO unfollowed you on social media? Worse, has he blocked you from seeing what he posts online? A breakup is inevitable.

The scientific reason your skin freaks out when the weather changes

Friday, October 27 2017

The scientific reason your skin freaks out when the weather changes

Just like the Mothman or a hole-in-the-wall place that makes the best turmeric-activated-charcoal-oat-milk latte in the city, word-of-mouth can be important for shaping the narrative surrounding an elusive thing—and for the dermatological phenomenon known as the 'weather-induced spot,' or WIS, the anecdotal evidence is strong. Like when the temperature suddenly turns, in a day, from Indian summer to deep-freeze February, and the next morning, you wake with an itchy, irritated new friend on your cheek. Or when you go on vacation and board your flight home with a second personal item: a scabbed-over zit, because a (careful, hygienic) extraction > leaving well enough alone, even if we know better. Most of us have had an encounter with the WIS, but few have taken action beyond sighing and slapping on some Glossier Stretch Concealer (until you can have a steam and a go at the annoying bump). No more speculation, though—here, Mona Gohara, MD, dermatologist and associate clinical professor at Yale, uncovers the WIS. Instagram: Hungvanngo Is the WIS a real, scientifically-recognized thing? Okay, no, Gohara says, as far as studies go, but seasonal changes are definitely real. "As it becomes warmer, the combination of sweat and oil production makes one a bit more prone to acne," Gohara says. "And when it is cold, and the wind hits your skin or the icy temps are abundant, the skin barrier becomes compromised and more likely to be inflamed." So if you take these proven effects but introduce a turbulent meteorological situation—including self-caused ones like travel to a drastically different climate—the logical conclusion is...these proven effects but possibly worse. . If I have been personally victimized by the WIS, what can I do to improve my quality of life? As the sports people say, "The best defence is a good offence." Same goes for WIS prevention. Gohara says she recommends adding on a moisturising serum with hyaluronic acid and swapping out your summertime lightweight lotion for a cream. (The reverse for when cold turns to warm, plus a double cleanse when it gets super muggy.) Elsewhere, Gohara also says to watch how many king-size Reese's/slices of pie/those candy-cane butter mints you eat, as sugar can increase blood cortisol levels, thus triggering breakouts. And get some rest, you filthy animal—beauty sleep might just be the best WIS-slayer of all.

This young Indian feminist hopes to bring healthcare to 10 million women

Friday, October 27 2017

This young Indian feminist hopes to bring healthcare to 10 million women

Founder of Myna Mahila Foundation, Suhani Jalota is a young reformist and feminist who is changing the conversation about women’s healthcare and hygiene in India. “I want women to respect their bodies and take control of their health,” says the Duke-educated economics and global health major who set-up Myna Mahila Foundation in 2015—a network of women from Mumbai’s slums who make and sell sanitary products. “In India, pads are a means for women to tangibly speak about a taboo topic. The Myna movement (named after the Indian bird myna, which talks a lot) is one where women are speaking up about themselves and about the difficult topics,” says the 2016 Glamour College Woman of the Year. She’s on a mission to “bring equal access to healthcare services for all” Jalota’s goal is for women to “become more confident and aware so that they educate their communities and, together, demand better healthcare services while earning a living for themselves respectfully.” She hopes to reach more than 10 million women in the next five years Within a year of the start-up, an 18-member staff sold 20,000 pads to 1,200 customers. “Our success is determined in terms of the number of women we can employ and reach through our movement,” says Jalota, whose door-to-door network has now reached over 2,500 women. She’s all for the ‘first day of period’ leave but as a flexible policy “Why not take sick leave? We are trying to normalise periods…” This is a typical example of ‘leaning out’ of the workforce, she clarifies. “Don’t create a separate policy for taking a day off for managing periods—many women can deal with them. For those who can’t, be flexible with their sick leaves.”’ In this story: Foundation, India Now Playing: Athiya Shetty picks the perfect gifts for this festive season

20 stylish designer kurtas that are perfect for any occasion

Friday, October 27 2017

20 stylish designer kurtas that are perfect for any occasion

The kurta is an indispensable piece of clothing in your ethnic wear wardrobe. Throw it on for an unplanned event at your friend’s wedding, wear it to a visit to your grandparents’, or take it out for a puja at home—the designer kurta has long been the backbone of every girl’s Indian wear collection. Easy to dress up and comfortable enough to survive long hours of revelry, the kurta set scores high on versatility and ease of wear. The key features of a kurta may vary from basic floral prints, heavy patchwork to intricate embroidery, but when mixed together, they serve up a perfect outfit for any occasion. Pick from subtle pastels or technicolour brights or for an interesting twist, go with a tie-and-dyed kurta set like Anamika Khanna’s that comes with an embroidered, fringed dupatta, instead of a basic one. The more daring could opt for Payal Singhal’s off-shoulder mint number, or step inside Masaba’s bright yellow kurta. For a daytime wedding, go with muted colours like Zoraya’s nude kurta set, or all out in Manish Malhotra’s baby pink embroidered number. Save the pastel kurtas by Good Earth and Neh for more casual celebratory occasions. If you’re attending a festive do, add a little drama to your kurtas with palazzo pants or flared shararas. Add oversized chandbalis or multi-layered earrings to complete the look. Bollywood celebrities Draw sartorial cues from the best-dressed A-listers in the industry. Alia Bhatt makes a case for a printed number: perfect for a relaxed outing with your family. Kareena Kapoor Khan’s pastel embroidered outfit is perfect for a wedding, and for a mehandi function, take cues from Raveena Tandon’s brocade kurta and palazzo combination.

9 young designers who you should consider for your wedding wardrobe

Thursday, October 26 2017

9 young designers who you should consider for your wedding wardrobe

Anushree Reddy is known for her trademark floral lehengas in bright hues and subtle embroidery. The Hyderabad-based designer has become a popular choice with young brides. Anushree’s love for intricate hand-work and scalloped embroidered dupattas make her garments distinct from the rest. Bipasha Basu chose a floral lehenga by the designer for her mehendi function last year and looked spectacular in it. You can now shop the look here . Arpita Mehta is a leading fashion designer who has reinvented Kutchi mirrorwork in her vibrantly-hued bridal lehengas. Arpita’s clientele includes Mumbai's top socialites as well as Bollywood beauties like Madhuri Dixit Nene and Shraddha Kapoor. You can now shop her collection from her website. A former designer under Tarun Tahiliani, Dilnaz Kharbhary is known to incorporate her Parsi heritage into her designs. Her garments have an old-school, vintage charm and she continues to maintain her originality with a mix of progressive ideas. Her ombre lehengas with intricate embroidery in sorbet hues look resplendent. Karan Berry and Leon Vaz are the creative minds behind the couture label Karleo. The Mumbai-based designers specialize in cocktail dresses and ballgowns and they are known to create a perfect blend between western silhouettes and dainty Indian embroideries. Kresha Bajaj’s label Koëcsh is a tailor-made option for brides who believe in fairy tale weddings. The designer quite literally incorporates your love story onto your lehenga in the form of embroidery, making it timeless. When the southern actress Samantha Prabhu got engaged to actor Naga Chaitanya , she turned to her designer best friend Kresha, who etched her romantic tale in gold on an ivory saree. You can check it out here . Natasha Dalal is often in the news for her relationship with Varun Dhawan. But the actual reason people should know her is definitely her couture label. Natasha’s take on bridal wear is fresh and inspired by dark romance. With her unorthodox colour choices and in-depth detailing, the designer creates garments with high voltage glamour. Take a look at her latest line here . Ridhi Mehra started her label four years ago and gradually became a successful name in the design circuit. Ridhi’s ideology of all things minimal is evident in her designs. The designer likes to keep it simple with stylized cuts and interesting embroideries on unusual palettes. Mehra has dressed celebrities like Esha Gupta, Ileana D'cruz and Malaika Arora who are known for their fashion sensibilities. You can now shop for her collection online. Shehla Khan has Sonam Kapoor as her BFF, so there's no surprise her stylish label already has a huge fan following. If you’re a lover of dreamy layered lehengas with lots of pearls and lace, Shehla should be your ideal choice. The label is a personal favourite amongst best friends and fashion icons Jacqueline Fernandez and Sonam Kapoor. Sherina Dalamal is a London-born designer who manages to bring her modern-day contemporary aesthetics to her India couture label Cherie D. With bridal clients from across the globe, Sherina likes to experiment with textures and embroidery to create something exceptional for their big day.

Anushree Reddy

Anushree Reddy is known for her trademark floral lehengas in bright hues and subtle embroidery. The Hyderabad-based designer has become a popular choice with young brides. Anushree’s love for intricate hand-work and scalloped embroidered dupattas make her garments distinct from the rest. Bipasha Basu chose a floral lehenga by the designer for her mehendi function last year and looked spectacular in it. You can now shop the look here . Anushree Reddy Bipasha Basu in Anushree Reddy Nargis Fakhri in Anushree Reddy Anushree Reddy

Arpita Mehta

Arpita Mehta is a leading fashion designer who has reinvented Kutchi mirrorwork in her vibrantly-hued bridal lehengas. Arpita’s clientele includes Mumbai's top socialites as well as Bollywood beauties like Madhuri Dixit Nene and Shraddha Kapoor. You can now shop her collection from her website. Arpita Mehta Mira Kapoor in an Arpita Mehta design An Arpita Mehta bride Arpita Mehta Dilnaz Kharbhary A former designer under Tarun Tahiliani, Dilnaz Kharbhary is known to incorporate her Parsi heritage into her designs. Her garments have an old-school, vintage charm and she continues to maintain her originality with a mix of progressive ideas. Her ombre lehengas with intricate embroidery in sorbet hues look resplendent.

7 celebrity couples who remained good friends despite breaking up

Wednesday, October 25 2017

7 celebrity couples who remained good friends despite breaking up

7 celebrity couples who remained good friends despite breaking up. Ranbir and Deepika are, by far, the friendliest of exes. The duo even had a commercially successful film, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, after they broke up. After making their debuts in 2007, they began dating while they shooting for their next film Bachna Ae Haseeno. Allegations of cheating haunted their break-up a few years later, but Ranbir has put the rumours to rest saying, ''I have worked with almost every actress in the film industry, but when I work with Deepika, there is a certain sense of respect I have where her work is concerned or her as a person or her journey. There is a sense of admiration and respect but no awkwardness."

How to hire a celebrity make-up artist for your wedding

Thursday, October 26 2017

How to hire a celebrity make-up artist for your wedding

You're getting married and you have your dream man, your dream lehenga and your dream destination all sorted out. All that's left is for your wedding day to play out just like you imagined. So when you look back on your wedding photos, you want to be confident that the highlight on your blushing cheek was just right and the curls tumbling down your face didn't budge all through the marriage ceremony. The make-up and hair professionals behind the perfect shot are the team you need to help nail your wedding look. Like Priyanka Borkar, who is one of the few people Jacqueline Fernandez and Priyanka Chopra trust to take their hair from messy to made-up. Or Elton Fernandez, the make-up genius who can give you the clear, sun-kissed skin of your dreams, even if you were drinking until 2 am at your sangeet the previous night. These professionals know what you want and know how to give it to you. Whether it's Alia Bhatt's fresh-faced beauty from her ELLE cover or Priyanka Chopra's look from Bajirao Mastani , your wish is their command.

You could hire these celebrity make-up artists for your wedding day

Elton J Fernandez, hair + make-up Hair by Priyanka Borkar Clint Fernandes, hair and make-up Deepa Verma, Make-Up Punnet B Saini, make-up Celebrity favourite Elton Fernandez has worked wonder on every celebrity face, from Sonam Kapoor to Alia Bhatt. Elton's magic make-up wand will transform your face and hair for your wedding day. Don't believe us? Actresses and models alike swear by the genius of Elton, just ask Aditi Rao Hydari. Cost: Rs 1.5 lakh onwards. Perfection, it's going to cost you Priyanka works exclusively with hair. Ever looked at a magazine cover and marvelled at the star's Photoshop-proof blowout. That's probably Priyanka at work. She's worked with Alia Bhatt, Jacqueline Fernandez, Malaika Arora Khan, Priyanka Chopra to name a few. Priyanka knows it's your special day so she's here to give you what you want whether it's super simple or over-the-top volume. She likes to meet her client first to get a feel of what they want and understand their hair, before suggesting what would work with their face and wardrobe choices for the big day. Did we mention she did Priyanka's hair for Bajirao ? Cost: Rs 35,000- Rs 45,000 for two-and-a-half hours While browsing through the pages of ELLE, we're sure you've come across a fair share of Clint's work. His consult comes free of charge, but a trial at his home will set you back 50% of his fees which start at Rs 75,000. If you want a consult in the comfort of your own home, expect to pay full rate. If you've already settled on a hairstylist you love, you can book Clint for make-up which costs about 10 percent less. Cost: Rs 75,000 - Rs 1.2 lakh Deepa Verma isn't just one of ELLE's favourite make-up artists, she's also a favourite to the stars. Deepa also insists upon getting a prior appointment before the big day to brainstorm with the bride on the perfect look. Cost: Starting at Rs 1 lakh If you manage to convince her to do your bridal make-up — if she's not working on Anushka Sharma or Alia Bhatt, that is — Puneet will give you the red carpet treatment. She usually brings someone in for hair to finish off the look you desire. Puneet likes to meet with her brides to see the quality of their skin and their bridal outfit to decide on a look. If it's a pre-wedding trial you're looking for, that's going to cost you the same as the main event. Cost: Rs 75,000 — Rs 1 lakh Elton J Fernandez, hair + make-up Celebrity favourite Elton Fernandez has worked wonder on every celebrity face, from Sonam Kapoor to Alia Bhatt. Elton's magic make-up wand will transform your face and hair for your wedding day. Don't believe us? Actresses and models alike swear by the genius of Elton, just ask Aditi Rao Hydari. Cost: Rs 1.5 lakh onwards. Perfection, it's going to cost you Hair by Priyanka Borkar Priyanka works exclusively with hair. Ever looked at a magazine cover and marvelled at the star's Photoshop-proof blowout. That's probably Priyanka at work. She's worked with Alia Bhatt, Jacqueline Fernandez, Malaika Arora Khan, Priyanka Chopra to name a few. Priyanka knows it's your special day so she's here to give you what you want whether it's super simple or over-the-top volume. She likes to meet her client first to get a feel of what they want and understand their hair, before suggesting what would work with their face and wardrobe choices for the big day. Did we mention she did Priyanka's hair for Bajirao ? Cost: Rs 35,000- Rs 45,000 for two-and-a-half hours Clint Fernandes, hair and make-up While browsing through the pages of ELLE, we're sure you've come across a fair share of Clint's work. His consult comes free of charge, but a trial at his home will set you back 50% of his fees which start at Rs 75,000. If you want a consult in the comfort of your own home, expect to pay full rate. If you've already settled on a hairstylist you love, you can book Clint for make-up which costs about 10 percent less. Cost: Rs 75,000 - Rs 1.2 lakh Deepa Verma, Make-Up Deepa Verma isn't just one of ELLE's favourite make-up artists, she's also a favourite to the stars. Deepa also insists upon getting a prior appointment before the big day to brainstorm with the bride on the perfect look. Cost: Starting at Rs 1 lakh Punnet B Saini, make-up If you manage to convince her to do your bridal make-up — if she's not working on Anushka Sharma or Alia Bhatt, that is — Puneet will give you the red carpet treatment. She usually brings someone in for hair to finish off the look you desire. Puneet likes to meet with her brides to see the quality of their skin and their bridal outfit to decide on a look. If it's a pre-wedding trial you're looking for, that's going to cost you the same as the main event. Cost: Rs 75,000 — Rs 1 lakh

Esha Gupta and Pernia Qureshi gave us two ways to dress for a date

Thursday, October 26 2017

Esha Gupta and Pernia Qureshi gave us two ways to dress for a date

Esha Gupta and Pernia Qureshi gave us two ways to dress for a date Boudoir all the way By Elle Team October 26, 2017 SHARE At the Erdem X H&M launch last night, Pernia Qureshi and Esha Gupta showed their love for the brand's newest designer collaboration by picking two styles from the new line before they even hit the stores. Did we mention both looks are 100 percent adorable for date night? Pernia took the sweetly feminine route, styling a floral blouse with lace detailing over a pair of ruffled micro shorts. This is the kind of look which does justice to all those 'legs' days you've struggled through at the gym, without being overtly sexy. A soft blowout — minimal fuss but maximum impact — completed her look. Esha, on the other hand, was in full bombshell mode. The actress chose a sequinned slip dress from the Erdem X H&M collection, paired with pencil-heeled pumps. Her hair was pulled back in a stylishly undone ponytail to show off those killer collarbones and permanent Goa tan.

Sofia Ashraf: ''We’re taught to 'accessorise' women and 'equip' men'

Thursday, October 26 2017

Sofia Ashraf: ''We’re taught to 'accessorise' women and 'equip' men'

Pint-sized rapper Sofia Ashraf first burst onto the scene with a hard-hitting song that she describes as " an undisguised jab at Unilever for its failure to clean up mercury contamination or compensate workers affected by its thermometer factory in Kodaikanal." So if you're looking for someone who bats her eye lashes and defers to authority, you've probably got the wrong girl. In a recent round table discussion with other boss ladies from the indie music scene, Ashraf told an anecdote from her childhood that could easily be the story of any Indian girl. Ashraf describes how her parents' priorities in terms of providing for their daughter differed sharply from her own plans for her future. "From a very young age, we’re taught to “accessorise” women and “equip” men", she said, adding, "If my parents had a son, they would have saved up for his education. They saved up for jewellery for me. When I was 15, they were trying to drag me to a jewellery store." Having that rare self-awareness as a teenager to realise that a gold necklace wouldn't help her chase her dreams, Ashraf told her parents, “Save up, but don’t buy me a gold chain, buy me a laptop”. As she now recalls, "That laptop is what equipped me." Have a similar story to tell? Share in the comments below.

Twinkle Khanna talks about spending her childhood in a haunted house

Thursday, October 26 2017

Twinkle Khanna talks about spending her childhood in a haunted house

Her off-kilter sense of humour, whip-smart wit and irreverence in the face of convention make Twinkle Khanna the thinking woman’s girl crush. She’s the poster child for rediscovering yourself in your forties and achieving a successful second act. Filmmaker and scuba-diving instructor Homi Adajania dives into the mind of Mrs Funnybones 1 /2 Printed shirt; matching trousers; both Gucci. Camisole, Zara. Shoes, Rupert Sanderson The last time I had been to Twinkle Khanna’s house was to narrate a script to her mum, Dimple Kapadia. I’m not sure how it happened, but before I could even begin I found myself flirting with a full-blown hernia as the mother-daughter duo started re-decorating and promptly delegated to me some heavy manual labour. They made me move a newly procured sculpture—a multi-coloured bulbous baby’s head the size of a continent—not once but six times. So when Vogue asks me to “have a chat at Twinkle’s place,” I am a touch apprehensive. I’m very fond of Twinkle, but I remember walking out of the last encounter slightly bent over on jelly legs. Hey, I tell stories for a living, so I figure I’ll just Google stuff about her, create a narrative and ask her to play along. Twinkle doesn’t mind the suggestion. Instead, she jabs my Achilles’ heel with an offering of a delicious home-cooked lunch, which makes me question my lackadaisical journalistic tendencies. Besides, Google hasn’t thrown up much fodder anyway. It says that Khanna had a kidney stone removed in February 2014, she weighs 57 kilos (yup, her weight never fluctuates if the internet is your gospel) and she never graduated. So, despite these brilliant nuggets, I can’t help but wonder why she behaves like she is passing one (a kidney stone) whenever I bring up Dimple’s madness, how she consistently maintains this adolescent weight, and how she writes so effortlessly without an education? With this in mind, I saunter into the “always open house” and the beautiful mind of Mrs Funnybones. Fact Is Stranger Than Fiction “You want facts stranger than these internet tidbits? My name on my passport is Twinkle and my nickname is Tina. I’ve done various jobs, including delivering seafood in a truck for my uncle. I never studied interior design or architecture formally but instead spent a summer going to Charni Road to assist architect Harish Shah. At one point, I was even a site manager for Hafeez Contractor,” she says matter- of-factly. “I was a good student, always an A+ in mathematics, hence I wanted to become a chartered accountant but I jumped into the movies because mum was keen that I join the ‘family business’ and I was also looking to alleviate mum’s responsibilities as she had been working non-stop to support us.” She sits up straighter, “Hey, so the internet was right on one account; I didn’t graduate and had to leave in my last year to do my first film instead.” And this is pretty much how the rest of the day goes, between wandering eyes, lucid insights, acerbic wit and me avoiding looking at that damn sculpture in case it gave her some home-improvement ideas. To the manor born…not Twinkle laughs hysterically at the suggestion that spending her childhood in Samundra Mahal, a Juhu sea-facing bungalow, might make her a privileged brat. “I grew up in an ‘always open door’ house and that’s passed on to this one as well … though that house was slightly different. Our ceiling in the monsoon was a blue tarp over the living room, which would swell under the weight of collected rainwater that would seep through the roof and we’d poke these bulges to guide the overflow into buckets lined up at the edges of the rooms.” And as she effortlessly lures me into her past, I’m privy to a madhouse of an extremely erudite and artistic extended family who squeezed themselves into two rooms and left the third empty because it was ‘haunted.’ If you wonder why she finds all this amusing, she’ll tell you with characteristic deadpan, “One day I decided to move into the haunted room. That night, I bolted up in bed with a rat sitting on my chest. When I tried to switch on the air-conditioner, I was flung across the bed by an electric jolt. Unable to sleep I decided to have a shower to cool off and, because of our constantly leaking house, got merrily electrocuted when I tried to switch on the geyser.” That’s when she decided to move into her mother’s newly acquired apartment, although “mum stayed back in the bhoot bangla for sentimental reasons. And then you wonder why I’m like this?” It’s this casual telling of outlandish anecdotes that makes Twinkle Khanna so real in a bizarre way. After several years of yoga, she is well aware that life is better when you’re laughing and knows how to perfectly tread on the cusp of political incorrectness. “I wasn’t always like this; I censor my thoughts now around people, and I’ll tell you why. I used to say exactly what I felt and wouldn’t conform to anyone’s expectations of me. I used to consider not being forthright a weakness, but now I consider it to be a kindness.” She has realised that the world doesn’t need her to be constantly badgering them with her idea of the truth. “I do that enough in my columns. Besides, who am I to tell people what’s true? They can figure it out for themselves when they need to.” Now that she’s created this beast, she must feel obliged to be witty and amiable all the time, maintaining her public avatar? “More than a beast, I have become a beast of burden, where I am carrying Mrs Funnybones on my back,” she laughs. “Luckily, within the confines of this public persona, I’m not meant to be amiable, merely witty, which is a bit of a relief as cracking lame jokes comes more naturally to me than minding my p’s and q’s.” Anticipated serendipity We walk across to her dining table, and as one of her staff doles out ladles of delicious kichda, she recalls how the same guy had once interrupted a writing session by thrusting sneakers in her face, enquiring if she was planning to go for a jog. The young man smiles nervously and there is an involuntary shudder in his kichda-splotching hand; perhaps he has been gripped by the memory of why it isn’t the smartest thing to disturb madam when she is writing. Twinkle smiles, ‘Yaad hain nah? Why would I want to go for a jog when I’m writing. I don’t even jog!” The state of the household is reflective of the chaos in her prolific mind, a cauldron of warmth, humour, quirk and surprise. From her five-year old daughter bounding around in her father’s athletic steps, 11 goldfish dodging crow attacks in the garden, a turtle who moseyed in and never left, four elusive cats who poop in the flowerpots and disappear, an old Alsatian who seems oblivious to everything, to her 14-year-old son who ambles in and says softly out of his mother’s earshot, “She gets very snappy if you disturb her when she’s writing!” Thankfully, for me, her pen is resting today. As lunch meanders into dessert, our conversation drifts towards her Bollywood superstar husband, Akshay Kumar. I can’t help but ask about the obvious overhaul in terms of his public persona and choice of films. “More than an overhaul, his growth and grasp on the changing reality around him has been remarkable. And perhaps all the years whispering into his ears, ‘Thou shalt do meaningful cinema,’ as he slept did work on numerous subliminal levels, or so I hope as I try to usurp part of the credit of his own personal evolution.” And whenever Twinkle tries to make a valid point in these joyously tolerant times, naysayers dredge up some of his earlier films, which were peppered with misogyny, sexism and cerebral vacancy. “As his highly underpaid defence lawyer, I would like to add that it was probably an era where Indian movies themselves were largely misogynistic or plain brain-numbing in general.” She cringes with a smile. “I was part of some equally cringeworthy bits!” Photographed by Greg Swales. Styled by Anaita Shroff Adajania Hair: Yianni Tsapatori. Make-up: Elton Fernandez/Inega. Production: Divya Jagwani; Temple Road Productions. Photographer’s assistant: Ryan Martis. Assistant stylist: Priyanka Kapadia. Make-up assistant: Krishna Kami. Set design: Bindiya and Narii. Editorial assistant: Janine Dubash

8 cool new beauty products to add to your shopping cart ASAP

Thursday, October 26 2017

8 cool new beauty products to add to your shopping cart ASAP

Looking for new beauty finds to add to your makeup, skincare and hair care kits? We’ve scoured the racks to pick out our favourites from the latest launches. 1 /8 Apa Beauty Blue Lip Shine What’s not to love about a lip gloss that makes your teeth look whiter. Nothing! Celebrity cosmetic dentist Dr Michael Apa’s genius invention, this transparent blue gloss contains reflective blue crystals that gives an illusion of brighter, whiter smile. Wear it alone or layer it over a lip colour for a gorgeous shine. Oh, and it’s also laced with peppermint oil to freshen breath. Two birds! Balmain Golden Combs Who needs 24 carat gold combs right? Wrong. Just look at them! These gold-plated babies come in three variants—a large styled styling one to detangle, a tail comb to section and tease and a third one for professional use. Still not convinced? Just look at them! Roots Hair Club Hydrobrush We all love a good old oil head massage. But unless you’re lucky enough to get it from your mama/grandma’s or a spa therapist, let’s admit it, it’s a bit of a messy nuisance. That’s about to change with the Hydrobrush. The brush dispenses oil, serum or any other hair treatment liquid straight to your roots. Just fill it with your oil of choice, run the brush through your hair and done. RMS Beauty Luminizer X Quad What’s better than one highlighter? Four. And each one promising to impart a different kind of radiance. The coconut-based, creamy formulas come in four different shimmers—a subtle copper, an opalescent with a hint of lilac, champagne-y pink hue and an intensified version of their cult living luminiser. Every single one ridiculously beautiful on every single skin tone. Foreo Espada When all else fails to zap that annoying zit, the only route to take is high tech. This spot treatment gadget works by emitting a blue LED light on your zits that kills pimple causing bacteria and shrinks them without drying out the skin, a common side effect of the OTC zit creams. Shine the light for 30 seconds twice a day to see those pesky pimples disappear. KNC Beauty All Natural Collagen Infused Lip Mask We love our sheet masks, but what we don’t love is that every single one conveniently ignores the skin on the lips and leaves them out in the cold. The folks at KNC beauty feel the same so they created this cool lip mask infused with collage, rose oil, Vitamin E to plump up and nourish the lips. Kim K and Emma Stone are fans. Illuminage Silk Rejuvenating Eye Mask and Pillowcase Trust us, the fight against time is an ongoing one. To assist your army of lotions and potions, Illuminage brings in the big guns—copper-infused silk eye mask and pillowcase that coddle your precious face and eyes while you sleep. Omorovicza Rose Quartz Facial Roller Harness the healing powers of crystals in your home with this multitasking skin tool. Run this hand-carved rose quartz roller over your face and décolletage to stimulate collagen production and blood circulation, reduce pores, puffiness and fine lines and aid in lymphatic drainage of your facial muscles.

Meet Simone Tata, the woman behind India’s first ever makeup brand

Thursday, October 26 2017

Meet Simone Tata, the woman behind India’s first ever makeup brand

With an eye for beauty and a nose for business, she built an empire based on her conviction and vision that Indian women deserve cosmetics truly meant for them. Vogue spends an afternoon catching up with the first lady of the Indian beauty industry. It’s 4pm on a Friday afternoon and I’m sitting and nervously waiting for what will be one of the most interesting interviews of my career. As a beauty editor of Vogue India, the prospect of meeting the woman who changed—single-handedly—the beauty landscape for millions of women in this country is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity. Five minutes later (thankfully, breaking the incessant nervous chatter in my head), she emerges with a powdery floral trail that precedes her—immaculately dressed in a soft, white blouse and tailored black trousers, a string of pearls around her neck and a timeless Cartier on her wrist. And, those red nails. With her silver hair neatly coiffed into her signature short bob, her lips painted a rosy mauve, her skin flawless, marked by lines that speak of life’s many lessons, she cuts a striking figure and proves that she was—and remains—the perfect ambassador for beauty. Simone welcomes me with a radiant, affectionate smile and arms outstretched, as if we’ve known each other for years. With her all-enveloping warmth, over coffee and cake, we begin our interview. A BEAUTIFUL ACCIDENT Growing up in Geneva, in a household dominated by women—her sister, aunts and mother—a young Simone was homeschooled on the importance of keeping up appearances. “My mother was a perfectionist; she was very particular about us maintaining and investing in our skin. It wasn’t so much about makeup but hair and skin that she was very particular about.” Her first brush with beauty had her captivated by the transformative powers of makeup, as her mother initiated her into the beautiful world of cosmetics. “I was a tomboy growing up, and I remember one evening at a piano recital in my school, where we all had to play a piece. It was the first time my mom prettied me up; she put some cream, some rouge and some powder on me. I was transformed. I can’t remember what I really looked like.” Little did she know that this early exposure to the world of creams and powders would prepare her for the next chapter of her life. Simone married Naval Tata of the Tata group and moved to India in the ’50s. She recalls, “One very cold winter evening in Delhi, after I got married, I was at a Tata dinner, where I mourned the fact that despite having a cosmetics company, we don’t have anything, not even a cold cream. And somebody said at the table, why don’t you join the board? I laughed and brushed it off. Three days later, I had a proposal in front of me, and I said to myself, why not, not realising where it would take me.” STATE OF AFFAIRS If you were a woman living in India in the ’60s who wanted to swipe on a lipstick or simply add a little colour to your face, chances are you would have nowhere to go, or worse, societal pressure to fight. From kohl-rimmed eyes to glossy red mouths, everything we take for granted today in our kits and on our faces came into existence thanks to this lady in front of me. Simone saw beauty simply as a birthright. “Back in the ’60s, beauty in the country certainly didn’t mean any cosmetics. It was old-school—there were natural, herbal products on one side and talcum powder on the other. That was all. Makeup was an absolute taboo. You couldn’t appear in public wearing the tiniest amount of makeup, not even a touch of lipstick. Not unless you wanted to be framed as a bad girl.” Simone arrived in India in the mid-1950s, when the beauty industry in the country was non-existent, save for a cold cream, talc and nail colour. For her, growing up in Switzerland and knowing makeup as simply being a part of a woman’s life, this came as a rude shock. “In Europe, by the age of 18, at least 80 to 90 per cent of the girls were wearing makeup. It didn’t matter if they were married or single; everybody was wearing some form of it. It wasn’t something extraordinary, it was just a part of being a woman. When I came to India only to find out that it was a huge taboo, I got a bit of a shock—I found it quite odd.” In 1962, when Simone joined the board of Lakmé, she set out to build a brand based upon the conviction that beauty shouldn’t have to be a luxury but a necessity that every Indian woman should have access to. “I liked women to put their best face forward and I wanted to give them the tools for that. I wanted them to take charge of their appearance,” she says. THE BUSINESS OF BEAUTY With Lakmé, Simone’s purpose was not to defy but educate, not to shock but provide. She respected the socio-cultural norms of the time and worked within them to make quality skincare and cosmetics affordable and accessible. For one of her important projects, she turned her attention to nails. “It was a very strange situation with nail enamel. Even a little girl of four or five could wear nail polish and nobody would object. But if a girl of 14 or 18 painted her nails, it was looked down upon. I found that both frustrating and challenging. At the same time, it was an easier nut to crack, because if it was accepted on small children, I tried to push my luck and ask, ‘Why not the nails of women?’” With no prominent social taboos shrouding nail lacquers, Simone went after the colour cosmetics market. With Cutex, a brand from Ponds, as their biggest competitor, Lakmé rolled out collection after collection of nail varnishes in different finishes and colours based on seasonality and in line with international trends. It was also the first time that makeup went mainstream and embraced its close relationship with fashion. She didn’t dictate trends but was able to anticipate them with uncanny accuracy. “It was a delicate balance we had to maintain—colours that were trending in the Western markets were adjusted and made appropriate for Indian skin tones. And we tried to set makeup trends based on local fashion.” Within five years Cutex shut shop and exited; they couldn’t keep up with Simone. LANDSLIDE VICTORY In the early ’80s, the brand launched an iconic campaign to break beauty stereotypes with a catchy tagline (‘If colour be to beauty what music is to mood, play on’) and model Shyamoli Verma as the face. The commercial, with music composed by legendary Indian flautist Pundit Hariprasad Chaurasia, showcased Verma playing Indian musical instruments, like the sitar and flute, wearing elegant makeup, and had a clear message—good Indian girls can wear makeup. Under Simone’s watchful eye, Lakmé continued to fight the good beauty battle with campaigns that made the country think and question their beauty beliefs. Provocative statements like “Is it bad to look good?” and “Do men look down on women who use makeup?” made India sit up and take notice. On one hand, there were the taboos and the conservative mindsets to fight, and on the other, hostile government policies. In the ’80s, the Indian government declared cosmetics as undesirable commodities and levied 100 per cent excise duty even on products that were made in the country. “Every year, the day of the budget was a day of horror, because every year the excise duty doubled, till we got to a shocking 110 per cent. We were miserable. It was unworkable. Year on year, for 10 years, we went to the government and fought for the duties to be brought down. One year I got really frustrated and decided to meet the then finance minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and he just said, ‘Get as many women as possible to write to me and complain.’ We took his words to heart and mobilised an awareness plan. We contacted women all over the country and talked to every association, every school, every college about the benefits of makeup. Social, as well as personal. We told women that it was their right to look beautiful. And then suddenly, the next budget it came down. For the first time we couldn’t believe it!” GOOD GIRLS WEAR MAKEUP As much as the Indian women loved the choice and variety that Lakmé afforded them, it was the personalised colour palette that won them over. “Choosing the right colours for the Indian skin tone was a matter of common sense. Women who had just discovered makeup had no clue about what would look good on them—they were all wearing too much pink and looking like strawberries. We really had to bang on the table and say, ‘No! Don’t use this, don’t use that. This is your shade!’ They all thought that pink makeup would make them look fairer. The whole focus was, and sadly still is, on looking fair. My job was not only to handhold them and steer them towards the right products but also to give them the right colours, the ones meant for them. I remember meeting an American at the beginning of my life at Lakmé who said, ‘How can you make cosmetics in India? You only have talcum powder and water.’ There’s nothing more I wanted than to prove him wrong.” And prove she did—with an arsenal of skincare products and cosmetics that she introduced over the years and creating categories that never existed in the country, she laid the foundation for the Indian beauty industry. From Rekha to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, some of the country’s most beautiful women joined the brand as ambassadors and helped champion the cause of beauty. But it was Simone’s underlying belief that makeup is for everybody, good girls or not, that really struck a chord, and the next 40 years sealed her legacy. “I joined the brand thinking it was an interesting opportunity and not really giving it serious thought. My husband was a bit upset and he said, ‘What do you know about business? And of course, I knew nothing. I knew nothing about business—I didn’t know how to read a balance sheet, I didn’t know anything at all. I thought the company secretary was my private secretary… It was ridiculous.” She may not have known much about business then, but beauty she knew; she personally revelled in it. She understood the power and confidence it gave women and knew how to deliver it in a subtle, non-threatening way. Her belief in her products isn’t only unequivocal, it’s also enthralling, inspiring in so many ways. Whether it’s the cleansing milk she uses till date to tend to her sensitive, dry skin or the only shade of mauve lipstick she’s worn all her life, she’s a loyalist above all else. She still practises what she preached all her life. “I always loved makeup, especially liquid makeup, powder and lipstick. You’d never find me without some blush on my cheeks. They add life to your face.” The beauty industry today has changed beyond her recognition—she’s amazed by women using makeup to express their personalities and even more at how cosmetics have become commonplace. By now I’m struggling to remember which cup of coffee I’m on, and she pours in another cup of tea for herself. It’s dark outside; a quick glance at my watch reveals it’s almost eight. She asks me, “My dear, don’t you have to go home?” I tell her, not before I ask you my last question. How did you do it? She puts her hand on mine, smiles and reminisces, “Those were tough years, my darling. Nothing was easy. But we did it. We did it simply because we had a belief, a belief that every Indian woman had the right to look beautiful.”