The last laps and my survival kit.

There is no way around it folks, the next few weeks, nay months, will be all about baby. I cannot help it. It is such an all consuming life event. I once thought that nothing could be more consuming than taking the post- training exams. Boy! this is waaaay bigger.

Anyhoo, I digress (like always).

So, like the previous instance, this time too I have the feeling that things might progress earlier than expected. My poor babies, just cannot take it anymore at the end. Limited space in the tiny torso, too much movement, limited rest and haphazard nutrition I guess 🙂 So, they decide to take matters in their own hands and decide to “get outta there”!

Or will there be a final twist in the tale?


Everything involves a bit of gymnastics these days. Getting into my car (a car that is even otherwise too big for me and a 4X4 no less) involves holding onto the steering wheel and literally heaving myself into the seat. Making sure my midget legs are close enough to brake effectively while maintaining a safe distance between the tum and the steering wheel (and possibly the airbag in the unfortunate event of even a minor collision) is another conundrum. And waddling through the hospital corridors (albeit in  my apparently ‘small for 34 weeks’ tummy) makes me feel like a very conspicuous hippopotamus.

Pregnancy clumsiness, toddler carry- requests and the nature of my work means that I constantly have to bend toward the floor.

Of course I cannot bend over straight. Thankfully,  I have mastered the Bharatnatyam squat ..

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There are things though, STUFF- that get me through my days. Sometimes very long days. ’28- hour -days’.

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I have these everywhere. Literally.

Bedside, couch- side.

Car, husband’s car.

Work bag, out- bag.

Every clinic table I have sat at in the past few months…

The boys at work have in fact started popping them in their mouths like mints these days because they find them randomly lying around.


knee-high-compression-stockings_78430bge_zoom0These are compression stockings. Never thought I would need them.

A couple of months ago, on a particularly long theatre day, one of the nurses noticed (they “SEE” everything!) that I was contastly flexing my toes and was restlessly hopping from one leg onto another. She kindly cut up some small sized Tubigrip and asked me to put them on. Nurses are brilliant at these sort of hacks, so I asked no further questions. She even helped me put them on.

The gentle compression made a huge difference. Why did I never think of that?

Then off I went – in search of size X- small knee length compression stockings (which are surprisingly hard to find in Doha – even at the hospital)

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Calf soreness, restless leg syndrome and terrible leg cramps at night have been a constant with both my pregnancies. Only  this time, it has gotten worse. On a 24 hour call, by around the 12 hour mark, I can barely take my mind off the pain. The compression stocking/ Tubigrip on call days- really help.


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I have cartons of mini- sized bottled water in my trunk. My acidity/ reflux is worsened by consuming water with meals, and I cannot seem to remember to stay hydrated in between meals. So I try to always keep one of these mini bottles in my lab- coat pocket at all times.


pillows

The weird c- shaped maternity pillows don’t work as well as these generic ones, at least for me. My fancy, pink maternity pillow lay forlornly forsaken at the corner of the bed, while I tuck these humble, generic ones at every crook, crevice and contour of myself.


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Another surprising hit. I am never good with taking supplements. I used to forget to take them about 5 days a week, until I bought a cheap, gimmicky (as per Mr H), uncool looking pill- box. I have no logical explanation, but at the end of the week, I find it therapeutic to fill up the darned, little compartments. My motivation to take the pills is the emptying of the boxes so that I can fill them up at the end of the week. Does that make any sense at all?


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I am not sure why I waited as long as I did before ordering these. I wore XL sized, boxy, ugly, humungous scrubs at the hospital when my own ones stopped fitting me. The arm holes on those are the size of gunny bags and they were very, very unflattering in general.

As, a second time mum, things start “showing” much earlier but I refused to invest in maternity scrubs.

Some time after week 20, I gave in and ordered them over amazon (the US site, hence paying a ridiculous amount for international shipping). But they are worth every penny I say.

I bought the Cherokee ones, the exact top in the picture. The sizes seem to run large, but I don’t mind. The side panels are a soft, stretchy material and the bump- elastic on the corresponding pants (which you have to order seperately) are really soft, and doesn’t dig in (all the folks who have ever worn maternity clothes at some point would know what that means).

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I wish the pants were less flared though. I was never a fan of the boot- cut trend even when it was cool (sometime in the 90’s when I was in school).


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I don’t care if this actually works, they make things less dry and itchy. I slathered it on the last time, and I continue to do so this time as well. For equality’s sake!


Till next time.

J.

The Ladies Lounge- Getting ready on a hot, hot summer day.

I just got out of some grubby, generic theatre scrubs. The kind that is baggy to the point of being dehumanising. In them, I feel like a scarecrow that is dressed worse than usual.

Anyhoo, I  digress.

I am in the mood to play dress up.

To get out and do some errands that definitely doesn’t require one to be dressed up.

I just went with the flow. Toyed with some daring, bright stuff and to balance things out kept the eyes minimal. The outfit and accessories just happened to follow a cream/white, brown and gold theme.

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Getting ready- summer edit.
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The base- Estee Lauder Double Wear in Cashew. 
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To hide the post- night bags and darkness
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Invaluable. Indispensable.
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Bright lip and cheek
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The eye edit. Skipped the usual kohl deal. (Reason- dark circles and kohl are uncool)
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This beauty needs a very light hand ladies.
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Simple, elegant.
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I swear, I ain’t so matchy- matchy usually!

Till next time,

Dr J.

Stuff that changed my ‘getting ready’ game!

There are times when you meet someone or use something for the first time, and you are blown away. You hear bells ringing in the far background and you hear a choir hitting a high note. You think to yourself “where the hell was this all my life?!!”

Here are a few products that I have been religiously using for the past few months and now I cannot imagine how I managed without them all these years.


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This is my third bottle of this truly “extraordinary” magical potion. The Loreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil  claims to be a beautifying oil for coloured hair. With UV filters too apparently.

My hair is coloured, and I’m not too sure about the efficacy of the UV filters but this light, non- greasy oil (which isn’t the least bit oily), makes my hair soft and less frizz prone. It imparts a subtle shine without it ever appearing or feeling greasy. I use it prior to and post drying/ styling my hair.

At over 50 QAR, it’s isn’t cheap but the bottle does last a while. And honestly, I have used far more expensive hair products with far less impressive results.

*I have often caught sight of Mr H snicking a couple of squirts of this in the morning to set his “this- isn’t- styled- I- was- born- this-way” hair.


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This innocuous appearing, humble little tool has completely revolutionised my hair game (along with he Elvive EO). I am now a blow dry/ dry styler convert.


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These ridiculously priced, glorified make-up sponges have been a rage for a while now (The world has in fact moved on to even more ridiculously priced, weird oval- shaped toothbrush like  make-up applicators.) Never thought I needed them. I also did not want the extra hassle of washing and drying them. Finger-tips will do thank you very much!

I was wrong. Some foundations of mine have been languishing on my dresser, unused, for a while now. They just never look good on me. The shade matches, but the finish just doesn’t cut it. But these Beauty Blenders (the less pricey Real Techniques ones aren’t bad either) have literally made every single unuseable foundation useable. And the foundations that I already liked, I like them even more now!

The finish (best when used damp) is unparalleled in my opinion. And it definitely makes heavy- duty, full -coverage foundation look less cakey, especially when you use them damp.


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Fix + , the name connotes that this is a fixing or setting spray of some sort. Maybe it helps the make- up stay longer?

I use it for a different purpose though.

I hate appearing powdery and dull- matte. It usually happens to me with my ill- cared for skin and full- on foundations. Three spritzes of this, and everything sinks in, coalesces and the whole look appears more polished.

Seriously, no exaggerations. And thankfully, even if I go overboard with it, I don’t appear shiny or oily (which would defeat the purpose entirely).


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Use this as a color corrector, prior to applying concealer. No more dark circles, thank you.

No wonder my concealers always  appeared ashy on before *facepalm*.

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Insanely expensive, but the best eye- liner thinggy I have ever used. Period.

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Has two ends- thin and thinner. For that extra- precise flick.


P.S. These are not just my favourites, these are stuff that I would repurchase till they go out of stock/ production.

 

Till next time,

Dr J.

The one that stayed on.

This is going to be a lazy post. I am post- call and should ideally be sleeping. But the nursery run is in about an hour, and trying to get some shut eye now would be an utterly worthless exercise. I therefore decided to log on to the virtual world and say hello to the part of humanity that I have not had contact with for a while now.

How are you folks doing? The heat killed anyone yet?

Personally, I am not a fan of the dull, muggy weather that is doing business outside right now. I saw daylight today after a more than 24 hours, and this is not the weather I wished for. The natural light is inconsistent and therefore I shall use that as an excuse to not get my bottom off the couch and get some decent pictures of the stuff that I’m going to talk about today.

Here’s the deal people, I just got off a 30 hour shift and honestly cannot be bothered about impressing you folks with my virtually non- existent photography skills. So I shall be a lazy bum and use stock images. Deal.

Yesterday morning, on a whim, I decided to test something.


The longevity and performance of my current favourite foundation.*

* under extreme conditions


 

I would not use a heavy- duty foundation on a call day usually, but this was an experiment. So, I went ahead and piled on the stuff with a damp Beauty Blender at 0525 hours yesterday. This is the war- paint am referring to-

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I hate that it doesn’t come with a pump and I have to bother with the extra step of washing the back of my hand everyday. But apart from that grouse, I love this foundation for all the lovely things it brings to the table. The coverage, the finish, the sheer ability to not budge from where it was applied to…

I went about my call- day as usual. Running around, rounds, seeing new cases, admitting some, discharging many, going to the OR, post- op rounds, taking power naps whenever I could. I wore a mask for several hours too. But there was negligible transfer, almost zero shine (till about 0200 hours this morning) after almost 18 hours and the darned thing stayed put till the end. Dare I say, I’m mighty impressed.

It might sound gross when I say I wore this for over 24 hours (even slept!), but kindly give me some credit for the research spirit please.

I finally could not take the icky feeling anymore and washed it all off and went barefaced at around 0630 hrs this morning. 25 hours after I put it on, it was still almost 90% effective. It truly is “stay-in-place” make-up. Bravo!

The shade range that this comes in is worthy of praise, and compared to some other “high-end” foundations that I own, this isn’t that heavy on the pockets. The finish (in my opinion) is best when the foundation is applied with a barely damp Beauty Blender (versus fingers, brushes and dry sponges). It kind of sets/ sticks onto your face in a couple of minutes after you put it on and then does not budge. The downside to this, is the slightly “clogged” feeling that I cannot quite describe in words. The foundation looks great in person, but you definitely “feel” it on your skin. If piled on, or not blended properly, it can definitely look cakey.

In short, despite it’s shortcomings, I now understand why this one is a bestseller. Someday soon I shall do a post on all the fancy foundations I own/ use but for now I can tell you that this one ranks right up there. For sure.

What are your war- paints of choice ladies?

Till next time,

Dr J.

 

P.S. I should ideally be putting up before and after pictures of my visage for such a post- but let’s just say I’m camera shy shall we 🙂

Ambre Imperial.

Sultry.

Warm.

Intriguing.

Androgynous.

Quietly confident, subtly sexy.

There, but not quite.

Like the softest, most fluffy cashmere sweater.

Like an autumn evening in the smoky woods.

A woman who is supremely herself, and makes no excuses for it.

A man who doesn’t fit into pre- requisite boxes, yet knows his way around the world and daresay revels in it.

Starts off peppery and spicy, almost oriental. Settles down into a warm, powdery borderline edible character. As the hours roll on, turns into it’s true dark, woody self.

Here’s presenting my current fragrance obsession, and probably signature scent-Van Cleef & Arpels’ Collection Extraordinaire, ‘Ambre Impérial’


 

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This is a master creation by talented perfumer Quentin Bisch. His version of the Amber Scent.


 

 

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Amber perfumes, mostly smell the same to me. Or they may all start off differently but end up with the same classic “amber” scent. Not this one. As an amber connoisseur, I can truly say that THIS one is different. Softer, yet edgier. Unique. And I love smelling dark and unique.

If one is generally a fan of sickly sweet, feminine, floral scents; this wouldn’t be up their alley. This is more unisex, and may even smell entirely masculine to some. I love  this on me, and I love this on my man- it is very, very rare for a fragrance to be able to achieve that!

At the pricier end of even the most expensive “high-end” designer perfumes, everything about the perfume- it’s bottle, packaging symbolises understated luxury.


 

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My only grouse with it- I was sure it would last longer. Don’t get me wrong folks, it will and does last a normal work-day aka 8 hours but it sure doesn’t stand up to my 30 hour on call day test. Now, now don’t shake your head in disbelief folks, there really are fragrances that stay that long on me (case in point- Elizabeth Arden 5th Avenue).

It smells best on bare skin and even better in hair. It is definitely a warm, winter fragrance but I’m going to unapologetically wear it al through the year. It’s rich and indulgent but not sickly overpowering. It’s a thin line between the two, and Ambre Imperial does not cross it, but resides confidently on the line.

Do give this one a whiff the next time you are around a Van Clef & Arpels boutique, you too may turn into an amber convert!

Also, me thinks it makes for a fancy gift, for any cool couples that you may know- weddings or anniversaries perhaps?

But then, it’s also a fragrance that is not for the conventional hearted…

Till next time.

Dr J.

The ladies lounge- New love.

I love mascaras. The good ones of course. And though some of the Maybelline ones are good and I’d been repurchasing them for years, I felt it was time to move on.

For a couple of years now, I have been on the hunt for a new “go-to” mascara. I tried several top rated, blogger favourites and magazine recommendations, none really stood out.

Then one day, a lady at an Estee Lauder counter somehow randomly caught hold of me and sold me a tube of this

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This is the Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara, and it truly does stand up to it’s name. A single coat makes a difference and one does not need more than two coats (in my opinion) of this during the day.

I love the big, slightly chubby wand. I am not of the fan of the weird- shaped, gimmicky wands.

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I like the simplistic gold tube and the normal looking wand.The formula isn’t too runny or clumpy, nor is it too dry.

And most importantly, it stays on for over 12 hours with no transfer; but at the same time is easy to get off without needing heavy, oil based removers.

Only con in my book- transfer prone in the first few minutes after application. But then every mascara does that.

On here, I really only mention things that I really like (or really detest!) so go on ladies, if you are looking for a decent (albeit slightly pricey) day-time mascara, this is one to try.

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I obviously purchased 01 Extreme Black.

Till next time.

Dr J.

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).


 

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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.

 

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

 

bombshell

 

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Till next time.

Dr J.

The Ladies Lounge- Splurge recommendations!

Well, it has been a while, has it not? Since we spoke fun, girly (womanly?) things?

This is a sort of “bonus post” for the day. I was organising (fiddling/ messing around would be more apt 🙂 ) my vanity and spotted these beauties which I have been using almost everyday the past couple of weeks or so.

So here goes.

If any of you ladies are on the look- out for some kick-arse make-up products/ cosmetics and are in the mood to splurge, then I have just the thing(s) for you.

I am not prone to raving about things, unless they are truly life- altering.

Na, I stand corrected. Mr H slips in a snide remark folks, I’m apparently prone to occasional bouts of exaggeration; especially when cornered into admitting a “non- essential” (read luxury) purchase.

Possibly, yes. But the products I’m going to mention next, are truly outstanding and I have been using them at every possible opportunity since I bought them.

For now I shall share the pictures alone. I will hopefully do a mini- review (short and crisp) of each in the coming days. Hopefully, this will be motivation enough for me to post on the blog more often, irrespective of how busy I am (which let’s be honest will be an everyday occurrence!)


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Trust me, they ARE as good as they seem 🙂

Hope that is enough temptation for the day. Will furnish further details soon.

Till then.

Dr J.

The Ladies Lounge- The Ultimate “Everyday- Lip” guide for olive/tan/ NC 30+ skin!

I have been slacking ladies, apologies.

I have so many posts in the pipeline, but have near- zero energy left at the end of the day to actually check up on the blog, reply to comments, or even put up the occasional “hello- post”.

I have had this post- idea for a while now, but have been putting it off because I will have to click and edit over a dozen pictures. But I’m in a ladies- lounge post sort of mood right now 🙂

I’m away from home, and therefore have no access to my lipstick stash. I shall therefore post pictures from the respective websites (lazy shortcut I know!). But trust me ladies, these are all fail- proof everyday lippies that you can slap-on on any given, busy day without a care or bother of how they might turn out.

They are all intensely researched, tried and tested under varied (read “extreme”) conditions and temperatures, and will never appear “made- up” or “doll-ey”

Here’s presenting my top selection for the everyday- chic, work apropriate lip products.

And yes, almost all belong to the same (or similar) color family of “pinky- browns” (with a hint of peach possibly). It is a personal preference and one that me thinks (humbly of course) looks great on us yellow/ olive toned ladies. It is also very muted, and hence appropriate even in the most conservative (read “male- dominated”) of work settings.

To the brights- loving, adventurous ladies or those working in more colorful, creative environs, the following list might appear a tad boring. You ladies may find my “party-lippie-list” (in the works) more appealing!

I promise I shall do swatches and reviews someday 🙂



  1. Yves Saint Laurent ROUGE VOLUPTÉ – Silky Sensual Radiant Lipstick SPF 15 – ULTIMATE BEIGE (3)s1148436-main-hero-300



  2. TOM FORD Lip Color, Indian RoseNMC0Z06_mk


  3. Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Intense Nudeel_sku_YJRR18_558x768_0



  4. MAC Satin Lipstick TWIGmac_sku_M3EW33_640x600_0


  5. MAC Amplified Crème Lipstick COSMOmac_sku_M3LN02_640x600_0


  6. YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick Rose Stiletto 9ff4773f1cb5e9308d94fbf85d219f6e0


  7. BURBERRY LIP DEFINER – DUSTY ROSE NO.02900ef67dff459b1c5a22ea10dc09fbc68811b993


  8. MAC Lip Pencil SOARmac_sku_M38059_640x600_0


  9. MAC Lip Pencil Spicemac_sku_M38022_640x600_0


The last two are discontinued I think, as I can’t find them on the Revlon website. But if you can get hold of the Revlon ColorBurst lipcolors in Soft Rose and Rosy Nude do pick them up, they surely are a bang for your buck!

Barely there



There you go ladies, the next time you are at a lipstick counter, and are looking for an everyday lipstick, or if your are a lippie- newbie and are not too adventurous, these would be great, safe- choices for work- wear.

And yes, they can be rocked by anyone, but are particularly suited to the lovely, tan folks here.

Till next time.

Dr J.

*All pictures are from the respective product/ brand websites except the last.