On- call grooming essentials.

Looking groomed and well- kept is never a bad thing. Looking great and feeling great may not always be related but I assure you there is a statistically significant relation between them!

Being away from home (and therefore away from YOUR bathroom and YOUR bed) for anything more than 16 hours is bound to make you like Shrek on his bad day. But your poor patient doesn’t know that.

He expects to be seen by a smart and spiffy doctor/ surgeon. One who knows for sure (utterly and absolutely) what she is doing. He wants you to look confident and professional. Someone who is knowledgeable and in charge of the situation. Not someone who has been dragged out of bed and hasn’t seen a comb or toothbrush in days.

He has no idea that you have been at the hospital for over 24 hours and have not had a chance to shower or change. You might argue that he is least interested in your make-up or grooming skills and is more concerned about your dexterity with a blade and needles. Valid point.

Personal experience has taught me otherwise though. Patient care encompasses much more than just medical knowledge and surgical skills. Presentation, the art of communication, portraying a air of empathy and understanding and confidence- these probably matter more than how quickly you can sew them up.

And honestly, irrespective of how “shallow” it may sound, I feel good and am therefore less morose/ moody and more sociable and confident when I know I am well presented.

In short, a small stash of beauty/ grooming items are staples in my everyday work- bag.


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The baby- wipes come in handy mostly when we are out and about as a family but they are are also great to get eyeliner or runny mascara off.

At about the 36 hour mark, almost all mascaras die and then they need to be gotten rid off ASAP- these are great for that (as long as they are not of the waterproof variety).




Hair ties and bobby pins are priceless. The more you have lying around the better.

Couple in your pocket, a few loose in the bag, some in your make-up bag. And it wouldn’t be a bad idea to throw in a few in your car as well!

Trust me, they are THAT important.


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By policy, clinical staff are discouraged from wearing strong scents. But a light whiff of something subtle and nice wouldn’t hurt anybody, right?

Bombshell smells unlike any perfume I own. It’s all sweet and girly- not my usual scene. But every time I wear this, the nurses shower compliments. It must be working for me then.


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This one is utterly unique and is my preferred “on-call scent”.

It smells like fresh, green lemons. Nothing else. A consultant I was once rounding with told me at the end of a three hour round that he has picked up the smell of lemons from some patient’s room and can’t rid himself of it since then. I did not mention then, that the “box of lemons” was walking beside him the whole time!

For those interested, I picked it up at Sephora in Villagio (in the Isle of Doom at the check- out!)


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This smells unisex, and therefore I’m not concerned about smelling too “pretty” or girly. Mostly for theatre days.

I did not think I had all three in my bag, it was not intended and things sometimes tend to accrue over time. I’m not that vain 🙂


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The on-call rooms and theatres are both arcticly cold. And dry. Moisturisers are therefore mandatory.

The Cussons lotion is a travel size one I once got in a baby care kit on a plane and the Boots lip balm is a random, generic one. I usually have a tiny tub of hand cream in my scrub pants. Dry hands and lips make me irritable.

Worse case, one can always find some sort of lubricant/ barrier creams, both in the wards and in the OR.


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Provides a fresh, pink flush to the cheeks.

A nice pick- me- up on long, bleak days. Look at the poor thing though, looks positively abused. I have lost count of the number of times I have repurchased this. I switch it up with Benefit’s  Benetint sometimes, both work similarly but Benetint lasts longer.


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This is MAC’s Twig.  And as you can see, she has been swiped a few hundred times.

Twig is the perfect nude for me. It is matte (my favourite lip products are matte)  and the shade never appears made- up and looks good even if I don’t have anything else on my face. Evens out pigmented lips and wears away evenly. I sometimes carry it around in my pocket, that is how much I like this one.

This is my second tube, and the third one is on my vanity at home.

Note to self- Need to stock up on another as well. God forbid they run out stock or discontinue the shade.

I usually have other lip products lying around loose in my bag, an average of two or three that I tend to accumulate over the week. I usually drop the product that I’m wearing on the day in my bag as I leave in the morning. So by Thursday I might have around 4 or 5 lip products in my bag.


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My brows, my brows.

I have issues with my brows, and I am not a fan of them. Very few products works for them. This genius product is a recent find. I love how travel friendly and easy to use it is. I still prefer my Brow Zings when I am getting ready for the day, but this a godsend during emergencies and for on-the-go days.


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A sample tube. Not the greatest mascara I have ever used, but they aren’t horrible either. Will not repurchase though.

I still have not found a good “high-end” mascara. The search continues.


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Not my favourite. Generally I’m not a powder girl. And the colour isn’t a match, but I intend to finish it up one way or the other.


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Handy little mirror, to rule out bleeding mascara and flaky lips.


I guess that is about it for MY grooming essentials. I know ladies who carry their concealers with them at all times- to each their own. DO whatever makes you be the best you can be.

What are YOUR favourite handbag/ work beauty essentials? Come on ladies, spill it..

Till next time.

Dr J.


Of life, love and laughter.

It is all about the little things. Things that shouldn’t matter but do.

A handsome, older gentleman smiles at the rearview and thanks you profusely for letting him pass in maddening traffic when everyone else just pushed through.

It doesn’t matter, but you suddenly believe that the embers of decency and chivalry are yet to completely die out in this seemingly rude and impolite world.

You finally are able to let your little one participate in the costume party at nursery because for once you find a costume that fits. On a whim, you make a chance trip to a toy store in the post-call, hazy afternoon trip back home. She will be a tinker bell with a skirt that is a tad too long, but it will do and you feel like a less crappy mum. All the guilty thoughts of a mom that works too many nights and is absent on too many holidays abate for a moment.

It shouldn’t matter, but it does. An inane costume party at nursery matters!

It’s 3 AM and it’s been a long night in the trauma room. But when a barely conscious, construction worker with a split open face thanks you for sewing it back up, and tries to smile for you- you are secretly elated.

A simple thank you shouldn’t matter, but it does. And there is a spring in your step. At 3 AM.

Your mum is visiting for a couple of weeks, and suddenly there is hot food on the table and a bathed and content baby running around every time you are back from work.

You never knew hot food and a fed and cleaned baby mattered this much.

The husband fills up your car with fuel while making a grocery trip, just like that.

The next morning you notice the needle point at ‘F’ and not ‘E’; you are thrilled that you don’t have to battle it out at the nearest (i.e. about 20 mins away) WOQOD/ fuel station for the next four days.

It matters.

All the small, little things add up and voila, you have a great day.

A little bit of love, a little bit of laughter and some unexpected charities- that is all we seek ultimately.

I’m sorry folks, for being a laggard with posts on the blog recently. Being busy is one excuse, but honestly it’s been the will that is lacking more than the time. As time wore on, the habit of writing here wore away, and like a friend to whom you haven’t spoken for a while, it started getting awkward. I would have the blank page open, would have half a dozen thought threads running simutaneously in my head, but my fingers would be still. Finally, sleep would take over. And that was that.

Anyhoo, things have been as usual and we are still here in this tiny, desert town (as I like to call it). The little one turns two tomorrow (whoa! when did that happen) and we have absolutely no plans for the day. Now the question is, does it matter?

Till next time.


Dr J.

The ladies lounge- Summer scent recommendations.

For the longest time, I was an utter bore when it came to scents. I had a signature scent, which I wore all year- day and night. I wore it till it made me nauseous; at which point I would seek out another “signature scent”. I then wore THAT ad nauseam.

I like fresh, aqua scents. And deep musky/ amber ones. I could not stand the overly sweet, floral scents that my peers swore by. I also liked (and still do like) men’s cologne, and wear it without regard for propriety.

Recently though, I sense some subtle changes in my scent selection and tolerance. I am more open to wearing and appreciating things that are out of my comfort zone. Beyond my “safe choices”. I also have stopped the “signature scent” habit and reach out for different bottles on different days. I sometimes like ’em light and fresh and at others I prefer the dark and mysterious.

Anyhow, to cut things short here are my top picks for this summer. They might not all be new or fancy, but I assure you they are as diverse as you can possibly get.


eau de lacoste sensuelle


white musk libertine


black opium





Till next time.

Dr J.


It’s been so long.

I have lost most of my friends here, I’m sure of that. People who dropped in day after day, for news, posts, updates… and left.

I could have made the time. I could have posted something. Anything. But honestly, most days I am spent. Beyond spent. Spent to the point of delirium and irritation.

Spent; therefore I have no motivation or desire to log in online and share deep, dark, inner thoughts to nameless, faceless people.

And just like that, I thought I was done.

Done blogging, that is.

Apparently not.

Here I am. On rare, free Friday afternoon; with boxes to unpack (we moved), laundry to fold, vessels in the sink and a ‘just commenced” presentation open on the second slide- writing inane matters to unknown people.

A few major events have unfolded in the past couple of weeks, and maybe I will fill you folks in on another day when my head is less cluttered.

See you soon, folks!

Till then.

Dr J.