Day 9-Cleaning the day away

As a household, we all woke up about two hours later than usual. Besieged by lassitude, we delayed the most basic of tasks. Z did not want to brush, Boss Man refused his morning repast. Me, I wanted to cease to exist for a day. Pause. Freeze.

It was just that kind of day.

We trudged on. I sat down with the little ones with their worksheets and art supplies. The A man usually flays the sheets in about 6 mins. Today, he didn’t bother. He was done with this crap that Mum was enforcing upon him. Z and I engaged in a battle of wills and like always I had to relent. We were done. At 1130 hrs. The day hadn’t even began.

I switched the TV on, and even rescued the iPad from the monster’s lair (where it disappears to most days when I don’t want them to be glued to it!) and passed out on the couch. I have not been sleeping well of late. Must be that, I thought.

The progeny had leftovers for lunch. I felt like sugary cereal and cold milk.

It was just that kind of day.

And then I got to work. Maybe the sugar rush helped. *See, even sugar isn’t truly evil.* I had to rid myself of this weird and inexplicable fuddle.

I cleared the toys. Sorted the overabundant crayons, color pencils, sketch pens and pastels. Chucked a whole lot of them into the bin. Arranged every book rack in the house (trust me there are more than you’d expect).Mopped, vacuumed. Dusted every surface. Shined every mirror and glass. Changed the sheets. Washed every sink. Scrubbed every bathroom wall and scoured the floors.

I cleansed and decluttered. It tidied both my home and mind apparently. I cleared the cobwebs from the ceilings and also my brain it looks like. My hands are pruney and my back is sore. But The Needle has stymied it’s relentless push toward despondence. I successfully cleaned the day away, literally and figuratively.

The children are fed and watered. We are alive. Productivity and routines can take a break. Sometimes, all we have to do is get by.

Sometimes, it’s just that kind of day.

Till next time,

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.

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.

Ladies Lounge Pic Post- Greasepaint for the week !

Hella ladies!

I’m back to skipping foundation again, not because my skin is great; mostly because I can’t be bothered to! Most are ol’ favorites, but I am really liking a more recent purchase- PINCH ME!

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The NC 40 Select Sheer Pressed Powder makes me look a tad muddy, even with a tan. But I shall still use it up! And yes, the blush looks way better on the skin than it does in the pan- another hit for olive/ yellow- undertone skinned lovelies.

Till next time..

Dr J.

P.S. Any blush suggestions? I am bored…

 

 

 

Ladies Lounge Pic Post- Glowy cheeks and peachy lips week!

I am just tired of waiting around for “winter” to arrive. Enough is enough, and I have decided it’s springtime now. Yeah.

Have been wearing the same peachy look for a week now.

For coral- kissed, peachy, glowy cheeks.
For coral- kissed, peachy, glowy cheeks.

 

Of the same genre. yet starkly different.
Of the same genre. yet starkly different.

 

Same as above!
Same as above!

 

They swatch almost alike, but look very different on the lips.
They swatch almost alike, but look very different on the lips.

 

Finally, non- MAC lippies!
Finally, non- MAC lippies!

Till next time..

Dr J.

 

 

The Ladies Lounge Reviews- Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate.

Midnight Recovery Concentrate

(www.kiehls.com)

A replenishing nighttime facial oil with distilled botanicals that visibly restores the appearance of skin by morning.
  • Regenerates, repairs, and replenishes skin for smoother, healthier skin
  • Works with the skin’s natural nocturnal activity – when skin is most receptive to repairing itself from daily aggressors – to dramatically restore skin
  • 99.8% naturally-derived and paraben-free oil for face
  • A customer favorite

How to Apply:
-Apply 2-3 drops of treatment on cleansed skin
-Gently press fingertips to cheeks, forehead, and chin to evenly distribute the application before gently massaging it into the skin
-Can wear alone or under moisturizer

Kiehl’s Insider Tip:
Layer over Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate for optimal anti-aging and healthier skin benefits.

Ingredients.

Evening Primrose Oil is an effective on skin barrier repair and boosting radiance.

Lavender Essential Oil helps soothe inflamed or irritated skin while helping reduce skin blotchiness for a more even look. Creates a brighter and more radiant look to skin.

A signature Kiehl’s ingredient, Squalane is a botanical lipid that is similar in molecular structure to natural skin lipids. It has an exceptional affinity to skin, and because it’s easily absorbed, Squalane helps restore skin’s natural moisture balance to keep it extra soft and supple.

Read more from the official website


Hella Ladies!

Well, well. Finally, I get to doing some reviews. Reviews take time. Rambling away randomly and then publishing it as a post is so much easier!

Anyhoo, I have been using the Midnight Recovery Concentrate for over two months now. I guess that’s time enough to judge how the serum worked for me. This is a highly rated product that is raved about by women’s magazines, bloggers and beauty gurus. Several models, celebrities and top- rated actresses call this their must- have miracle worker. Another serum that has such a reputation (maybe even more hyped!) is the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (we will get to that another day 😉 ). I kept running into reviews and articles on the serum so often (brilliant marketing?) that I finally had to go out and get it, to see for myself what the ballyhoo was about. This also coincided with my “getting all serious about skincare” phase (Read about it here)

Availability

@Doha- As far as I know, Kiehl’s do not have a store/ counter in Qatar (maybe HIA has a counter?). They do retail in UAE and Kuwait (Harvey Nichols, The Mall of the Emirates and at Bloomingdale’s, The Dubai Mall in the UAE and at the Avenues Mall in Kuwait- do correct me if this information is dated!) though. But I do remember seeing a couple of Kiehl’s products in Boots at Villagio Mall once.

@Bangalore- Bangalore has a stand alone store at Orion Mall, right adjacent to Debenhams and another at Phoenix Mall. They also do home deliveries (as long as your total billed amount is above a certain amount).

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Packaging

Comes in a semi- transparent, blue glass bottle with a nifty, dropper- dispenser. The dropper does close securely, hence it is not entirely travel unfit. But for someone who has occasional butter fingers, the glass bottle is an impending disaster.

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Use

I use it once a day, at night. I dispense about three drops on my fingers, pat them together and then gently rub it over my face and neck. They claim, a few drops is all you need. I agree. I did try using more, but the oil just seemed to “sit” on the surface of my skin and that wasn’t very pleasant.

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My skin is extremely dry and problematic at the moment, so I do slap on a cream over this. On the official website, there are several other uses (mixing it in bath- oils, using on nails, elbows, hands, feet etc) enumerated.

Ingredients

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Thoughts

It is a lightweight, not-too-oily oil. With a very natural (not fragrant) lavender scent to it. The scent is not something I’m particularly fond of, but some people have told me they really like it. Either way, it seems to be a natural (rather than artificially concocted) smell. It is extremely well absorbed (when used in the right amount) and does not feel heavy or oily on the skin. I have acne prone skin, and it has thus far not exacerbated my acne in any way.

It is no miracle worker, but it does seem to make a difference. My skin is still dry, even flaky in certain areas; but it does not seem dead and dull anymore. I wake up to softer more supple skin. I am not naive enough to expect this change to be permanent, it will mostly likely revert once I stop using the serum/ concentrate. But for the moment I’m liking it. I did not expect it to do anything to repair my skin, or work magic on my blemishes, pigmentation, fresh- wrinkles and acne scars- and it has not.

Price

INR 3200 for 30 ml (1 oz)

USD 46 for 30 ml on the US website.

Repurchase?

Most likely, no. I would like to try other serums in the market. Apparently there are some magic potions out there! 🙂

Have any of you ladies (or beauty- wise gentlemen) used the Midnight Recovery Concentrate? What are your thoughts on it? Any other serums you would suggest I try?

Till next time..

Dr J.

 

 

 

The Ladies Lounge- Peek into Workday Warpaint Bag!

Hella hella ladies!

Sorry for the overtly cheery greeting, I am in such a mood today. Don’t ask me why though. I am not really sure to be honest. Right now, I’m in my prissy, feminine, petty, materialistic avatar.

I was not sure what to post today. I just put Lil Miss Zoe down and got down to cleaning out my closet and vanity. Nothing fancy, just some light re- organisation and decluttering. I realised that of the make- up that I have collected over the past couple of years, I seem to be using the same stuff everyday in terms of what I wear to work. Most days, it’s just sunscreen (La Roche Posay – Anthelios Xl SPF 50+ Fluide Extreme), brows and lip balm. On days that I actually have the time, or want to look presentable I dig into my “Work- Makeup Bag”. The bag usually has all the stuff that I use and like the most, at any given point of time. Of course, the bag and it’s contents are constantly being chopped and changed.

This has been The Workday Warpaint Bag for the past couple of months.

The Workday Warpaint Bag of the season!
The Workday Warpaint Bag of the season!

* From Forever 21

 

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The contents…Oops! Just realised- a very, very important item seems to be missing!

 

Here it is...
Here it is…

*Benefit Brow Zings in Dark (Review here)

 

BAse.
Base. Loving MAC FAce and Body this winter.

 

Eyes.
Eyes. Smoulder from MAC and Falsies mascara are eternal favorites.

 

Face
Face. ( Not the greatest fan of the MAC select sheer pressed powder. I use it almost as a contour powder/ bronzer)

*Blush – Bourjois – Cendre de roses brune #48 and Real Techniques Contour Brush

 

Lips- My usual boring work- lippies!
Lips- My usual, boring work- lippies!

*Lipsticks- Revlon Rose Nude and MAC Twig. Love.

 

Another lip- staple- for days that I want a matte lip.
Another lip- staple- for days that I want a matte lip.

 

I am in my comfort zone at the moment, with all the above products. And they are starting to bore me slightly. I intend to rotate all of the “stuff” that I own. Yes. That seems like a “resolution” I can stick to. Eeks! Resolutions? I seem to be getting decidedly uncool by the day!

Do tell me ladies, what are your favorites for everyday makeup? I am a nosey parker today….

Till next time..

Dr J.

The Ladies Lounge! The quest for the perfect brow…

Hola Ladies!

And gentlemen, you may skip this one.

Unless of course you are a “metrosexual” man who spends as much time in a salon or in front of the mirror as you do sprawled on the couch prodding away at your laptop or TV remote.

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I’m sure there is some brown eye-shadow nestled within those perfectly groomed arches! (Take away my shawarma for the week, if I’m wrong!)

 

And both ladies and gentlemen, you don’t need to read this post if you look like this…

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If this is the look you are going for, then you go boy!

 

Envy is not a sin that Dr J likes to indulge in often. Gluttony and sloth are her vices of choice.

But ever so often, she meets her dear friend. A girl she knows since she was in “bloomers”, back in school. And everytime J meets this beautiful friend of her’s, envy rears it dark, green- eyed, butt- ugly head….

For the sake of convenience, anonymity and amusement, let us refer to this friend as Mademoiselle  Mary Jane aka Green Goddess :-).

Mary Jane has the most beautiful, lush, shapely brows. They have never been threaded, shaped, waxed or plucked. The are truly a work of art. The Maker must have truly been in an uncommonly artsy and generous bearing while working on those arches.

And Dr J hates them…

Or rather, Dr J hates that she cannot/ does not have them!

Damn you green eyed monster of envy…

Dr J’s supercilia are sparse. Like wide-spread bushes on the acrid desert.

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Why lord, why?

She runs from eyebrow pencil to brow powders to shadows.

All in the vain pursuit of decent looking eyebrows.

Does it make her uncommonly vain?

Shallow?

Aah…Man and his/ her desires/ vanity!

Dr J finally decided to go all out.

Buy the “holy grail” (apparently!) product.

What is but A FEW RIALS (cough, cough!) in the face of a life- time quest!

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Will this do the trick? The Benefit BROW ZINGS!

 

So, J agrees to be the proverbial guinea pig. To help fellow ladies in search of a good brow filling/ grooming kit.

Here’s a mini review on the Benefit Brow ZIngs…

It comes in three variations, Light, Medium and Dark. Dr J being a dark- haired girl, bought the “dark” version.

Comes in classy, secure, reasonably sturdy packaging. Dr J is a sucker for packaging.

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Black plastic case with snap closure and a mirror inside…
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An instruction leaflet is provided as well…
Instructions on how to use the product
Instructions on how to use the product,,

 

A wax (darker shade on the left), powder (right), an angled brush, a shader brush and a pair of miniature tweezers.

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They though of almost everything. A spoolie would also be great, Benefit… pun intended!

 

The brushes are nifty and small. But can be tricky to use. Maybe be handy in emergencies and while travelling. Otherwise, better to use a another, full- sized brush. The tweezers are tiny but they do a surprisingly good job.

The whole packaging is brilliantly suited for travel.

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The brushes are passable and the tweezers’ handy.

 

The wax is a tad too “waxy” and can look unnatural if piled on. So ladies, beware. But it does leave the brows looking spiffy and groomed. And in place. Even washing one’s face gently does not lead to the brows being rubbed off!

The wax on the left and the powder on the right.
The wax on the left and the powder on the right. Single swipe…



The powder is well- suited for people with dark hair.

The mirror is handy as well.

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Old versus new…

 

 

In short, has the Brow Zing’s rocked J’s world?

Hmmm… Not yet. Still figuring out the best way to use it. And make it work it’s best.

Does she regret the purchase?

Absolutely not. It is like glasses for the vision impaired (Mr H, you hear?)

Top grouse?

The price 😦

Who would she recommend this to?

There are several more inexpensive options to great looking eye brows. They might work just as well for you. But Dr J has tried them all. She has learned to make them work for her. But it was time to move on. To upgrade…

If you ladies are looking for a brow upgrade, try this.

 The Toyota is great Mr H, but ain’t the Audi greater??? 😉

So ladies, how are your brows doing? All well?

Till next time…

Dr J.

 

PS. This a common sight here in Doha… Some even seem to shave off their real brows and then draw them in (could not find a suitable picture)! What do you ladies/ men think of it? Just curious…

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Product info:

Benefit Brow Zings –

Bought at- Sephora, Villagio (Doha, Qatar).

Price- Looking for the bill/ receipt. Not sure of the exact price.

Will update when I do find it. Oops!

Around 150 QAR  I think (translates to over 40 USD, but is 32 USD on the Benefit website)- around 2500 INR.

 

Of my pride and her prejudice.

I would not consider myself to be arrogant or unjustifiably vain.

I try to be non- judgmental of people based on their color, caste, creed, nationality etc. I try.

I really do.

I also try to avoid stereotypes.I hate stereotypes, but I guess everything becomes a “stereotype” for a reason.

It is no secret here that the locals and expats live in two alternate universes. I do not envy or bemoan their privileges. It is their country after all. We are but guests. Temporary residents.

What irks me though is the attitude shown by some sales assistants, guards and the like. How their demeanour transforms based on the presumed nationality of the customer. I am well aware that it is brought on mostly due to the higher purchasing power of the locals’ and the possibility of increased tipping. But I’m also sure they are missing out on other potential customers, in their relentless pursuit of impressing/ serving the “possible/ probable- local” (and in some cases the “Western Expat”).

Part 1

This rant of mine has its origins in an incident that occurred last evening. We were at a mall, and I somehow (I swear I don’t know how ;-)) ended up at the MAC store. I was there to randomly look at stuff and maybe buy something if I really fancied it.

I ended up fancying a couple of lipsticks…

There were two sales- attendants at the store then. They were both free since there was no other customer at the store. Neither of them bothered or cared enough to come over, or offer any help or assistance. Of course, they would not have reacted the same way if a local had entered the store (we’l soon come to that).

I wasn’t too perturbed though. I like to be left alone while shopping. There’s nothing more irritating than a sales- person following you when aren’t even sure you are going to buy something.

Aah wait, I guess there is something worse than that. A salesperson following you everywhere and talking to you.

Please my friend, if I need assistance, I will ask for it.

Funnily whenever I actually need help, they are never in sight!

Back to our MAC store now….

I chose a couple of shades. I called out to one of the attendants and told her the names. All she had to do was pick out the boxed lipsticks from a drawer. She did so. We went to billing counter and I paid for my purchase. As I was leaving, I saw a new product and wanted to try it. I did.

It was a foundation. And women reading this would know, how tricky foundations can be. Shades are always difficult to match. Then you have to make sure the formula matches your skin- type. It should also last the day. It should not melt- off your face in the sweltering heat….

In short, buying a foundation is dodgy business. And at 250 QAR a tiny bottle, I did not want it to be a random buy. I asked the nice, overly made-up sales lady if I could have a sample to test-out.

Everywhere in the world, cosmetic companies are encouraged to give out samples to potential customers. I was definitely a “potential” customer. I had just billed an amount more than the cost of the foundation. I was also courteous and polite to the sales attendant.  So, I did not give it another thought when the lady told me that she did not have the “sample-pots”.

I have made the same request at several MAC stores in several cities. And have never been declined.

As I walked out of the store, a  niqab wearing, heavily fragrant lady clunked into the store with her Prada Saffiano tote- possible LOCAL ALERT! The sales lady who showed no interest when I had entered and barely acknowledged my existence thereafter, rushed toward the new entrant to greet her. The other sitting at a high stool near the billing counter, nearly stumbled out of her chair in her haste to reach the customer.

I let out a low chuckle and moved on.

I thought of what Oprah went through at a luxury Swiss store a couple of years ago. And if Oprah can feel that way, I am but a nobody!

Part 2

We went up to the food court and ordered some really unhealthy fast food. I whipped out my shopping bags to kill time whilst our food arrived. I wanted to admire my new possessions. I picked out one of the lipsticks, and was puzzled. It was not what I had asked for! And silly me did not bother to check at the counter. But, I also really didn’t think there was any need to. I mean how hard is it to read and get a couple of boxes out, that too when you are the only customer at the store!

I ditched my food and headed back to the MAC store. Both the Ms. Uninteresteds were in conversation with Ms Fragrant Prada. I patiently waited for one of them to extricate herself from what seemed to be a incoherent discussion (Ms Fragrant Prada spoke heavily accented English) and come to me. I politely asked her to exchange my lipstick. She then went on to perform a series of actions that almost drove me to the edge…The edge of just throwing the bag there and leaving.

Action no. 1- She offered no apologies (was I expecting too much?)

Action no. 2- Inaction. She collects the box I hand to her, and goes back to Uninterested no.2 and Ms. Fragrant Prada

Action no. 3- Takes forever to find the lipstick. Texts relentlessly as she whipped open each drawer.

Action no. 4- Billing would have taken less than a minute- if only she chose to not answer her phone.

Action no. 5- Hurriedly hands me the bag and goes back to ….you know where! (Apparently, the new customer needed two attendants!)

Action no. 6- Hands out a foundation sample to Ms. Fragrant Prada, in a SAMPLE POT!

I usually am not flustered by such acts of prejudice. It is commonplace here. I am least bothered if the trolley- guys do not come out to help at Doha Airport (if only they knew I’m a handsome tipper!), while they seem to trip over themselves to reach the nearest Landcruiser or thobe or when I have to wait longer to be be attended to at high- end stores. The days, I wear my clunky heels and heavy make-up and floaty abaya; I too am tended to with care! So, I usually do not take such things to heart. But last night, I was livid.

This prejudice is rife here in the Gulf. And it has slowly started to gnaw at me. I guess it is because there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.

Or maybe I don’t have to. The universe will. As I walked out of the store the second time that evening, Ms. Fragrant Prada also clickety-clacked out. She had tried on at least a few dozen lipsticks and glosses, going by the number of wipes she threw into the bin. And then, she didn’t like any I assume since she left without buying anything. Not one. Nada.

I am not vengeful by nature, and yet I could not help but think ‘serves you right my prejudiced, uninterested friend’.

Isn’t pride a small but integral part of self- respect? And wouldn’t any self- respecting human being want to be treated fairly?

Alas life, like people is never fair!

Till the next rant…

Dr J.