Home Décor on a Budget

Home Décor on a Budget

Economy’s been hit pretty hard and times are crazy and you’ve just moved into a new house. A new, unfurnished house. And you’ve only been married a few months and you’ve got no clue how to decorate this blank canvas of yours. You constantly look at home décor ideas on Pinterest, to the point of obsession. But stuff’s expensive and you want your home to be aesthetically pleasing but by the look of things, that seems impossible. Right?

Fret not, I’ve got you covered.

1. Set a price bracket to work with:

Modular kitchens in India start typically at 2L and can go up to anywhere between 10L and 15L. Wardrobes start at around a Lakh and can go up to 10L. Both the kitchen and the wardrobe are essentials, and sometimes you end up over-paying because you get overwhelmed by what your designer is trying to sell you. The best way to avoid this is to set a budget and tell your interior designer that this is what you are comfortable paying. Be flexible enough to stretch out the budget a little, but at the same time, do NOT go over the top. Get someone who is good at negotiations, someone who can talk prices with your designer without hurting sentiments or messing with the professional relationship.

2. Minimalism:

Less is more, and you do NOT need that expensive teak L-shaped teak couch with the chintzy cushions because – one, that’s going to collect a lot of dust and cleaning said dust is going to give you rhinitis, and two, clutter isn’t cute. Try to keep the space breathable. Plus, minimalism is kind of trending right now. Good for the economy and good for your soul, ha haha.

3. Use good and long-lasting materials:

I just mentioned that you don’t need teakwood furniture, because you can use other hardwood alternatives like acacia instead, for example. Or even shorea or eucalyptus. Acacia has the best price point amongst the three, which makes it the most sensible choice if you’re working on a tight budget. And if you’re getting your furniture custom-built, you can get the wood polished in whatever color you actually like. I don’t recommend mango or rubber wood, because they’re prone to a ton of damage. Don’t be tempted by the sweet prices you see on PepperFry. Nuh uh.

Ensure your kitchen and wardrobe and furniture are really well-made in case you won’t be changing up too frequently.

4. Buy stuff online:

Things like wooden tables for your bedside, accent chairs, garden décor and so on, come at great prices online. Smaller furniture is often cheaper online because it is all produced in bulk, and you can save money just by buying these online rather than having it all custom-built, where you end up paying nearly double in some cases.

5. Consider choosing second-hand furniture, or even thrifting:

Online stores like GoZefo.com sometimes have surprisingly good deals. If you have a thrift store around, you can buy home décor at legit throwaway prices. (I don’t recommend going thrifting given the present situation, but when and if things calm down considerably, this becomes a great option to buy odds and ends like hallway mirrors, throws, cushions, floor rugs and shag carpets.)

6. Go phase-wise:

I cannot begin to tell you about the sheer joy you actually find in doing things one step at a time, with your partner, especially if you’ve both just gotten hitched. Building a home together from scratch – for me, personally – has been such a great exercise because it gave me something to do and I love planning things. Plus, it’s actually helped the SO and me come together as a team.

7. Amazon all the way:

There’s nothing you don’t find on this website. Pick out cute trays, and china and dinner things, plus linens and everything else that you need to put the ALMOST final touches, and all at super good prices. Their contactless delivery system makes life a lot easier too.

8. Fresh scents:

Invest in good home fragrances, burn incense if you must. I recommend the three wick candles that are currently on sale (BOGO) at BathAndBodyWorks.in. Vanilla Bean and Mahogany Coconut are good ones to try.

Do you have any home décor ideas?

Makeup 101 For Beginners – Choosing Blushes

Makeup 101 For Beginners – Choosing Blushes

I’ll be the first person to admit I’ve never liked blushes until lately. And now I kind of have an obsession. There’s something about corals and pinks and peaches that successfully takes your look from “dead zombie” to “in the pink of health”, literally.

It’s important to know your undertones while choosing the right blush. I’ve talked about undertones here.

While you choose foundations and bronzers with the same undertone as your skin, with blushes you do the opposite. If you’re warm toned, you pick a cool toned blush and if you’re cool toned, you pick a warm toned one. If you’re neutral, you can rock most blushes.

If you use a blush that happens to have the same undertone as that of your skin, it would totally make your face look too warm or too cool, and that’s how you look over made up. And you don’t want to look over made up. 

Here are a few examples:

Warm toned – ColourPop Tongue Tied.

Cool toned –  Lorac Pro Rosy Glow.

Neutral toned – NARS Orgasm.

My favorite blush would have to be NARS Orgasm. This blush is so universally flattering. Also, Hourglass makes some amazing blushes. I love Radiant Magenta. What are some of your favorite blushes?

Makeup 101 For Beginners – Brow Talk

Makeup 101 For Beginners – Brow Talk

First off, thank YOU Cara Delevingne for bringing the full brows back. But by then the damage had already been done. I was 17 when I started tweezing my brows and this salon lady once plucked them to oblivion and my brows never grew back since.

..also, woman crush everyday.

That being said, let’s start with the basics.

Once you’ve got your brows tweezed and plucked and all the other torture methods we women put our brows through are done and over with, you might wanna fill them in.

Here’s what I like to use:

1. The Anastasia Beverly Hills brow wiz. I use dark brown. Which is a couple shades lighter than my actual brow color. If you were to use the same shade as your brows, they’d end up looking flat and dimensionless. If you’re blonde, pick a color a couple shades darker than your actual brow hair color. If you’re someone with dark brows, pick one a couple shades LIGHTER.

2. Dark Brown eyeshadow. I use the shade Colombia by Cargo cosmetics. It is a perfect matte dark brown and it doesn’t have a ton of fall out. You may use a Dipbrow pomade – I stopped using mine because it dries out and makes my brows look too drawn on for my taste.

3. Angled liner brush. Any flat angled liner brush would do, as long as the bristles aren’t too soft. 

4. Clear brow gel. This will set your brows in place and keep them from budging. I like to use the Anastasia Beverly Hills clear brow gel. If you don’t like this one, you could use any other alternative, as long as your brows don’t feel like chips. The Body Shop makes a great one.

5. Concealer. I like sharp bitch brows so I always use concealer to clean up the brow bone area. It also highlights slightly and makes the brows stand out. 

While filling the brows in, make sure you start with your left brow first if you’re right handed. And vice versa. You don’t want this:

Pinterest got THAT right.

Here’s how you fill in brows:

1. Use the spoolie to brush through the brows and tame the stray hairs.

2. Using your brown eyeshadow on an angled brush, start working your way from the head of the brow to the tail. Don’t go over the brow margins or you’re going to end up with sharpie brows.

3. Fill in the head of the brow using the brow wiz. Make little vertical strokes to give the impression of brow hairs.

4. Clean up the brow bone area with concealer. Blend.

5. Use the brow gel to set your brows. Voila!

See the difference?

Do y’all think I should start a YouTube channel? It’s difficult to explain brow routines in a blog post but I tried my best. 

Makeup 101 For Beginners – Undertones

Makeup 101 For Beginners – Undertones

A very sweet girl recently asked me to do a post that was more beginner-friendly. I’ll probably  do a series of posts if this one works out.

First things first, everyone is naturally beautiful  and you gotta realize that you’re not wearing makeup because you “need” it. It’s mostly because you love it and you want to. That being said, let’s get straight to the point.

While trying out makeup for the first time, you need to determine your undertone.

There are three types of undertones – warm, cool and neutral. You determine this by looking at the inside of your wrists where the veins show up distinctly. If they appear purple or blue, you’ve got cool undertones. If they appear green, you’ve got warm undertones. If you can’t really tell, you’ve got neutral undertones.

The reason why I’m stressing on this point is that most often people pick the wrong shade of foundation without checking their undertones which totally makes the skin look, well, grey and weird.

The other common problem, specially with Indian women, is that they often pick a foundation shade that happens to be five times lighter than the actual skin tone. You might want to avoid this, unless you’re partial to the patchy look where your head doesn’t match the rest of your body. 

What should a beginner’s makeup bag have?

1. When I started out, I never really wore primer. I used a good moisturizer instead. You could use a tinted moisturiser for some coverage.

2. Concealer is your best friend. What with color correcting majorly trending now, you’ll find a lot of good concealers on the market. My personal  favorite is the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer.

3. Brows. Your whole look changes with the shape of your brows. Invest in a brow kit or even a pencil. I started out with Too Faced’s Brow Envy.

4. Mascara. This will up your lash game and make you go from Sleepy to Sultry in ten seconds. There are a million mascaras out there but you need to choose one with a good wand that has a lot of bristles. Benefit’s Roller Lash is great because it holds the curl and the wand is curvy so it really gets to the bottom of the lashes.

5. Blush. A pop of color to the cheeks instantly  gives you that healthy glow. Choose one with a subtle glow so it catches the light. 

6. Neutral eyeshadow. Get hold of a palette that’s easy to work with and comes with a good color selection and several finishes. The Tartelette in bloom palette by Tarte has twelve pretty colors and these shadows are beginner friendly and easy to work with.

7. Lipstick. I’d recommend using a satin finish  lipstick because it’s a perfect medium between matte and gloss. The drugstore has bunch of formulas of lipstick  which are really budget friendly too. It is always better to start out  with a regular lipstick that comes in retractable tube before graduating to the trendy liquid lipsticks.

All About the BeautyBlender

All About the BeautyBlender

Guys that I’ve dated never understood why a “Makeup-y Pink Egg” happens to be so vital to every makeup look. And why it is so loved and hyped up.

Thing is: Is it worth the hype?

Yes. Most certainly, yes.

It is actually egg shaped, well, if eggs had pointy ends. And were squeezable. And were adorable as ever.

How much does it retail for?

USD 20, and it does come in set of two and with a cleanser, for USD 40 at Sephora.

How do you use it?

You’re supposed to wet it and squeeze out the water and then use it in dabbling motions to blend away the makeup. It works great with everything, both cream and powder products, and you can even use it for that technique drag queens call baking, which is so very “in” these days.

How do you store it?

You’re supposed to wash it as soon as you’re done with it, and let it sit on top of the container it comes in – soon as it dries, it’s gonna pop right back in.

Make sure you handle it carefully, because THESE GUYS GROW MOLD if you just leave them in Ziploc pouches without having let them dry properly.

With all the other BeautyBlenders out there, how do you know which is good?

A good BeautyBlender is easily squeezable. The more squeezable it is, it will perform better.

Once you realize you haven’t been careful and the sponge is going moldy, you need to throw it away. You don’t want a bacteria convocation on your face!

Getting Followers on Instagram

Getting Followers on Instagram

I’m probably the last person to dole out advice, but hey, I’m only trying to HELP, all right? Now, let’s get straight to the point.

1. Getting followers on Instagram is easy. Very. It’s getting followers on WordPress and Twitter that’s tough. Instagram doesn’t require grey cells. Only merely, a knack for photography.

2. Which brings us to point two. Everyone can take pictures. All you’ve to keep in mind? The three C’s – Composition, Contrast, Confidence. You can turn a makeup palette into a work of art. You don’t need a good camera. For the record, I use my phone camera, which is a 13 MP one. My phone is HTC. Light/shadow is THE KEY. Make sure there is a good contrast between the foreground and the background. Play on the colors. And keep a steady hand. Or not. Blurry photos are often works of art too. Just be confident about what you post.

3. Be consistent. Follow a rhythm when you run a social media. Try to post twice a day. There’s nothing called “posting too much.” If you don’t follow a pattern, people lose interest. They think you’ve got nothing to offer. Let that never happen.

4. Use your resources wisely. Now, I don’t have a white board. I don’t have ring lights, or a professional camera, and like I said earlier, it doesn’t matter. I’m gonna share my secret. The flatlay photos I take of my everyday makeup against the white background, for example. The background is just a white, matte cardstock. I place it on a shoebox, next to the window, where the light is best. Try taking photos in the morning – diffused light is the best lighting, and the best filter, as opposed to the burning midday sun or the nighttime. Watermark your photos like I’ve done so nobody steals them and reposts them without permission.

5. Pick a theme. Lifestyle is your safest bet. Post food photos. Shoe photos. Sunsets. Sunrises. Selfies. Your outfit of the day. Cars. Pets. Books. Hell, even your feet in cute socks. Just make sure it’s nothing TOO personal, because nobody needs to know who frequented the loo how many times. Let’s all be clean and realistic.

6. Randomly like and comment on the posts that show up when you tap the 🔍 button. The more you like and comment, the more people notice you.

7. Use hashtags. Click here for the hashtags you need.

8. Find a good, clean, shout out page that stays away from nudity. Here’s a heads up, most admins will ask girls for naked photos, so make sure the page you’re going to get featured on isn’t run by perverts.

9. Engage with your “audience”. Try to reply to as many comments as you can. If someone is blowing up your notifications, head over to their page and do the same. Who knows, you’re gonna make new friends!

10. Here are a few don’ts – Don’t check DMs. Don’t post naked selfies. Don’t engage in group conversation. Don’t promote anti-anything (Nazi, Politics etc.)

Bonus tip: Make sure you show the right amount of skin, if you can’t help it. Nobody likes the full Monty. Or tacky booties that are barely clothed – basically don’t run a page people can’t check out when with family. Know what I’m saying? Sexiness is perfect, just don’t make it whore-y. And try to keep a variety. You get more followers if you post a good amount of content.

Did this help? Got more questions? Hit me up on Twitter and Instagram! I’d be happy to talk.

And to all my American friends that got caught in the blizzard, I hope you’re all okay.