Thursday, August 20, 2009

You know there's a recession when..

.. the sales people at Bloomingdales are actually nice to their customers! Stopped by today to treat myself to a lipstick. Got a Slimshine lipstick in Think Tan from their MAC counter - a pretty decent shade for brown women who don't like loud makeup.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

my grandmother

Of late, I've been missing my family a lot. While, every once in a while I go through the 'what-am-i-doing-here-miles-away-from-my-family' blues, it tends to get exacerbated by the strangest of things. The other day I dreamt about my parents. I cant remember the dream as such but the feeling has lingered on. This obviously resulted in calls being made at random hours and some crankiness on my part. While I was feeling annoyed, yet surprised, about reacting in such a strange manner about a dream, I remembered an even more inexplicable reaction when I read the story A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote (Yes, welcome to Random Musings!).

My paternal grandmother had lived with us for most of my life. We were the best of friends, esp. when I was a young kid. I would spend most of my time just talking and playing with her. I would fall asleep at night listening to her stories, at her side. The most touching memory that I have of her is this one time when I decided to sleep in my parents room instead of in hers (I was only 6 then). I couldn't sleep and was restless. I'd like to think that it was because I was worried about her, but it could've been because I missed her gently patting me to sleep. So really late into the night, I tiptoed out of my parents' room and when i got back to her room, I found her quietly sitting on the edge of her bed, facing the door with the light on, waiting for me to come back. This was more than 21 years ago, and yet I can clearly see it.

As time went by, obviously, her affection for me didn't change, but I had other distractions. Studies, exams, friends, adolescence, television and later college. Over time, I sort of lost touch with her. Khushwant Singh describes this change in relationship between him and his grandmother in a most touching, yet matter-of-factly manner in his story, The portrait of a lady. I remember reading it in 8th grade and thinking that it would never be like that between us.

My moving to the US diminished our contact even further. Then around 4 years ago, she passed away. When I heard the news, I cried for a couple of days but I never really had the closure I needed. Being hundreds of miles away dulled the pain and I think I conned myself into thinking that she was still there at home, so I moved on and I blocked the thought from my mind. Then about 1.5 years or so ago I read the short story A christmas memory by Truman Capote. It is a beautiful story about a little boy and an "old friend" (the author never tells us how they're related but one can infer that the woman is either his grandmother or a grandaunt). Reading that story brought back a rush of memories. I remember crying uncontrollably, inexplicably after reading that story. I think I was finally able to let my emotions flow and mourn the death of my grandmother. What old pictures and a visit back home did not do, a beautiful little story did. Strange how the most unexpected things can evoke such strong memories and feelings?

I thought of her again today and decided to dedicate a post to the woman who was always, truly and unconditionally my best friend.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Blues

If having a great weekend, getting up late and still taking the time to put on your favorite facemask , and sporting a brand new outfit to work doesnt help, what does?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Skincare tips

Of late my life has become like a pressure cooker. There's a big deadline looming and a lot depends on it ... well maybe a lot less than I imagine, but then I have a hard time differentiating between the concept of a deadline and a national emergency.  Anyway, consequently I've been reading articles about how to cope with stress at work, and one thing led to another and I ended up reading about how stress was my skin's biggest enemy!

So I wasted no time in doing something about it. I set out googling furiously about what I could do about it and tried to glean a few more skincare tips from Youtube as well. Here are some of my latest finds. Keeping in tune with all the fuss about the global economic meltdown and consumer confidence/retrenchment, I have some inexpensive tips as well:

1. Bliss triple oxygen instant energizing mask (Sephora, around $60) - Ladies and gentlemen, this is the ultimate 5 minute fix for your skin with the most visible results ever! In just 5 minutes, your skin will be smooth, fresh and glowing. I read tons of reviews online about this product to the same effect, but having used several facemasks in the past that never give me the same glow as a salon facial, I had my doubts. However, the effects of this mask are highly visible and last at least two days. Whether the mask really does anything for your skin in the long run, I don't know and it's too early to tell as I only just started using it around 2 weeks ago, but it does wipe off the tiredness off your skin in an instant. Great for use before a party or after a long night of partying, or just on regular weekdays. Also, the mask is based on the concept of supplying a high volume of oxygen to your skin or some such, so its like any other face-mask and is not a chemical peel or anything I'd stay away from. Only downside is that it's a bit expensive, costing around $60, however you do get a fairly big bottle for the money. It is available at Sephora and I'd guess other stores that have the Bliss line of products, such as Macy's and Bloomingdales.

2. Sugar and lemon scrub - This was something I found on Youtube. Just take a few spoons of (granulated, not superfine) sugar and mix it with lime juice, until it is moist but not liquid. It makes the ultimate face scrub. Your skin will be super smooth and ready for some smooth makeup application. You'll wonder why you've been spending so much money on face scrubs all these years when the perfect scrub was sitting in your pantry all along. Seriously, try this. Only downside is that if you have super sensitive skin, the lime juice may sting a bit.

3. Warm honey - This is the ultimate moisturising, rejuvenating face mask for the lazies. Just pop some honey into your microwave, for not more than 5 seconds (honey heats up real fast). And then apply on your face, keep it on for 10 minutes and rinse. Great for winters.

4. Vitamin E oil - is great for applying around your eyes. I usually leave some on at night, around once or twice a week. It is supposed to have strong anti-oxidant abilities (all the rage these days) and does reduce lines/dark circles around your eyes, making them look less tired. This should be available at any pharmacy store for about $7 a bottle.

Hope you find this useful. Leave a comment if you have any suggestions yourselves!