Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Kaajrare Nain

Vixens super cool find… Kaajal/ Kohl pencil that’s stays on and on and on. Like all Indian girls, or at least the ones with dark circles that definitely need kaajal pencil to rescue from racoon eyes, I am constantly looking out for that one Kaajal pencil that stays put.

I have been there and tried it ALL…from Lakme Kaajal to MAC to Clinique. Some just fade away in an hour’s time, others are not good for lenses, while some spread across your face like soot. What is a woman supposed to do?!! I have tried my best to find a decent kohl pencil that stays put on a working day…doesn’t need constant retouch and doesn’t spread across the face.

I have even tried Soorma bought from a lovely quaint little shop in Jaiselmer. My rickshaw driver was wearing soorma. Gorgeous dark colour in his eyes. I persuaded him to take me to ths shop he bought his supply from. Hmmm...that didn't last long once I got back to the city. I loved the minty feshness but my contact lenses just hated the soorma.

If I don’t wear Kaajal even for a day to work then for sure half the office will walk up to me asking me if I have cried my racoon eyes out?! Some will politely inquire I am not well and should ideally rest as swine flu is really not something to share with the office lot!! So for a person like me wearing a Kaajal is NOT an OPTION!!!

Try Color Bar Midnight black 007. Yep, who would have ever though that the best Kaajal pencil would actually be from this brand. I didn’t …for sure!! A dear friend suggested it to me and after much persuasion I actually tried it and LOVED IT. Its smudge proof, dark black in color and EASY ON THE POCKET!! The Recessionista in me LOVES the combination.

So ladies go ahead and try it. Vixen thinks its brilliant!

Happy Period!

This is an actual letter from an Austin woman sent to American company Proctor and Gamble, regarding their feminine products. It's PC Magazine's 2007 editors' choice for best web mail-award-winning letter.

Dear Mr. Thatcher,

I have been a loyal user of your 'Always' maxi pads for over 20 years and I appreciate many of their features. Why, without the Leak Guard Core or Dri-Weave absorbency, I'd probably never go horseback riding or salsa dancing, and I'd certainly steer clear of running up and down the beach in tight, white shorts. But my favourite feature has to be your revolutionary Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can't tell you how safe and secure I feel each month knowing there's a little F-16 in my pants

Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? Ever suffered from the 'curse'? I am guessing you have not. Well, my time of the month is starting right now. As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces violently surging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body will adjust and I'll be transformed into what my husband likes to call 'an inbred hillbilly with knife skills.’ Isn't the human body amazing? As Brand Manager in the Feminine-Hygiene Division, you've no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customers monthly visits from ‘Aunt Flo'. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying, jags, and out-of-control behaviour. You surely realize it is a tough time for most women. In fact, only last week, my friend Jennifer fought the violent urge to shove her boyfriend's testicles into a George Foreman Grill just because he told her he thought Grey's Anatomy was written by drunken chimps. Crazy! The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just crawling with homicidal maniacs in Capri pants... Which brings me to the reason for my letter. Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always alisamaxi-pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words: 'Have a Happy Period.'

Are you f\&*ing kidding me? What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really think happiness - actual smiling, laughing happiness is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything mentioned above sound the least bit pleasurable? Well, did it, James? FYI, unless you're some kind of sick S&M freak girl, there will never be anything 'happy' about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and Kahlua and lock yourself in your house just so you don't march down to the local Walgreen's armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory. For the love of God, pull your head out, man! If you just have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn't it make more sense to say something that's actually pertinent, like 'Put down the Hammer' or 'Vehicular Manslaughter is Wrong', or are you just picking on us?

Sir, please inform your Accounting Department that, effective immediately, there will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for I have chosen to take my maxi-pad business elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your Flexi-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your brand of condescending bull sh*t. And that's a promise I will keep. Always.

Best Regards,

Wendi Aarons

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Summer Rain

Its raining…its raining…its raining in dry, dead (ly) hot Delhi. It’s been a HOT summer…unkind, unrelenting, severely dry summer. The soul of the city has been battered this summer. All of us leaving for work in the morning, when the temperature is already 30 degrees Celsius. By the time one reaches work, its exhaustion and tiredness. People are snappy and angry at the world…. heated arguments instead of morning cuppa tea. So a full day of rain brings in so much of respite.

I woke up with the raindrops on my windowsill…lovely droplets of water just winding their way down on the glass…beautiful. My bamboo chime slowly swaying and making a deep melodic sound…hmmmm…if this is not peaceful and loving then what is?

I sat in my bed for what felt like an eternity, looking out at the beautiful rain. Just the sound of falling rain can have a hypnotic effect. I can listen to it for hours… it just me, my soul and rain. Nothing else and none else matters. I made my self a hot steaming cuppa cardamom tea put off the aircon …with the chants of Gayatri mantra in the background…I experienced of the most beautiful mornings of this summer.

Some how I managed to pull my self out of this trance like feeling and called in a cab. The vixen couldn’t dream of driving today…today I need to feel mellow.

Every girl needs a day like this. When you wake up feeling beautiful from inside. Beautiful and peaceful! A day, when you just want to love your self. Be good to your heart. Once you do that…you will find a big fountain of love to share with the world. It’s a never-ending fountain…

Don’t threaten me with love, baby. Lets just go walking in the rain!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Skin Sin

It’s all about the skin isn’t it? Today my lovelies I am going to talk about my favorite skin cleanser. It’s awesome. It’s Noxzema. This miracle skin cleanser comes in a beautiful blue jar. One of the typical old-fashioned jars full of magic potion. It’s a classic. I discovered this cleanser 10 yrs back in USA. What got my attention was this striking blue colour of the jar. It was available at CVS and at a pretty affordable price.

I am a big sucker for trying out products. Usually if they are affordable…then chances are I have tried it. Especially cleansers and face creams. I love the cleaning ritual in the night, before I turn in. Even if I was pissed drunk…I will go to the loo and splash water on my face and sleep. Yep, that does nothing for the vixen, just a habit.

In the evening I got home and opened the jar and refreshing fragrance hit. It was amazing. I felt cleansed even before the cleaning process had started! The jar had this white liquid cream. I dug in with my fingers and spread it on my face. After slathering it on for a few minutes….splash of water to wash it off. What a refreshing cleansing wash it was. My skin felt tingly and alive.

I loved what it did to my skin. Though like a typical non-loyal customer I went on to try new things, new routines and new products. Many years and many many products later…I saw Noxzema again. This time I found it at the most unexpected of all shops. The shopkeeper (who happens to be a friend) started selling the brand to me. I don’t know why and how but a wave of affection came over me and I bought it in an instant.

After years I took home the blue jar of Noxzema cleanser. I met this brilliant product in my 20’s and it was wonderful for me. Will it be able to weave its magic all over again?! So here I am, many beauty regimes later, back with the familiar jar of goodness.

I am happy to announce, my skin still loves it. I can’t remember why I stopped using it but I do remember the tingly freshness it brings to my face. I love it!!

Isn’t it amazing how sometimes just these small joys can brighten up ones day.A cleanser for heavens sake! ; )

Being happy in your skin that's what it's all about.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sole Desire

What is it about heels and me?! I love a pair of sexy, outrageously high heels. It’s like a “Pick me up”…ahem. A pair of nice heels picks me up from earth and takes me to heaven! The Vixen is not known to be a tall person. Tall in character and personality, though, or so I have been told! I do also have tiny feet so it’s not always easy to find a pair I like in my size.

I love the fact that one has so many choices today from really thin stilettos or kitten heels or wedges or block heels etc. Some times I wake in the morning knowing what pair of heels I will wear, from there the Vixen works an outfit around. A drab black business suit paired with turquoise blue killer heels. Hmm…the options are endless and choices boundless.

I remember wading through water in Bombay with my beige heels tucked away safely in my purse. I walked into a meeting like that and wore the heels only in the safely of the office I had the meeting at. I rather am walking barefoot in the rain then to ruin a pretty pair of shoes! That would be plain insane.

Apart from that fact that heels give a woman a gait in her walk. For women like me, who are challenged in the height department, it’s also a tool to help you look into your man’s eyes. I would be constantly suffering from a neck ache when I started dating. Every time my man hugged me, I had to crane my neck back in order to breathe. Otherwise I would get suffocated in between his chest and arms. A nice pair of heels took care of this issue once and for all. Also it gives me a chance to look into his eyes and really look in them eyes!

My favourite pair of heels is from London. They are beautiful leopard print shoes from Oxford Street. A little birdie tells me that they might just be featured in the next issue of Harpers Bazaar, India. Sigh…finally they will get the adulation they so deserve from the world out there.

Shoes are just the soul food that a woman needs. You can never have enough. The search for one more perfect pair goes on and on…Buy shoes of all colours. Don’t just stick to the boring brown and black colours. Get some funky colours like yellow, blue, green and RED! OMG…Red high heels are my best friend ( pls don’t tell D that)!

I saw a beautiful red pair at Aldo. Vixen is going shopping today!

You want to fall in love with a shoe, go ahead. A shoe can't love you back, but, on the other hand, a shoe can't hurt you too deeply either. Allen Sherman

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Vanity Insanity

Them zits. I hate them. To give a brief back ground, I have always had super clear skin. No zits, no marks, just clear skin. The only thing that I have is a massive birth mark on the right hand side of my face. It goes over my right ear, spreads a bit on my right cheek and then all over my neck. Very few people who know me have even noticed it. But yes, let it get Hot, Sweaty or if I am pissed off...the birth mark goes stark raving mad and gets a life of its own. I can feel it burn up and turn bright Red. Though its has been bang on my face I have never been conscious of it. Maybe that's why people don't notice it much, as I don't notice it much my self.

So life was cruising along just fine with me and my birthmark, then suddenly one day 2 years back I saw a bunch of zits/pimples sprout up right on my cheek bones. So every time I laughed or smiled, they would hurt. Not only were they nasty hurtful, they also were full of gunk that you and I don't need to talk about. I ignored them for a few weeks. Thinking I am going through a rough personal time so maybe its just stress. Then a few months when the pimples had pretty much taken over my face, I had no choice but to contact a dermatologist.

One fine evening I found my self sitting in a seedy basement of a well known skin specialist. While I was waiting at his reception I was asked by his assistant if I would be interested in either Botox or Restylene. So I got a bit nervous. Here I am talking about something as basic as pimples and there she is talking about Botox!! It annoyed me a bit, is this a ploy to totally destroy any self esteem I might have left?!! So while the Dr is busy attending some one else, the assistant is pushing me to have more luscious lips with Restylene. Or I could remove the "Age" lines on my face with Botox. Lines...I have lines on my face?!! I hadn't even noticed!!! Ok agreed I might not have the worlds most perfect full lips or flawless "ageless" skin but getting some thing injected in them was just up my ally. Then she pounced on my birth mark. Did I know that I could get it lasered off??! Why in God's name would I want that, I asked her?? Its been my identity for my entire adult life. I love my birth mark!!

I was so psyched by the time I met the Dr that I just couldn't wait to get out of there. I went home and inspected my face for at least an hour. Are these lines so ugly?? Hmmm...my lips are thin but they seemed to have served me fine. No one had ever commented on their thinness up till now. Or did I have very polite friends who over the years omitted to mention my thin lips?!! Awwww.....where did these lines come from?!! Why did I not notice them before?!! It felt like just yesterday when I had line less and zit free face. Why is GOD doing this to me??! Does he hate me in particular that I am rolling down the lane of total "Uglydom" after years of "Divadom"

So the next few days were spent in total concern of me looking old and needing things to save it from total destruction. I had just stepped into my 30's and it seemed that life was over. I might as well retire to the hills and live with all the old women with hundreds of age line on their faces. Who would notice them there??!!

Miraculously my pimples were forgotten. I had bigger problems now of Age lines, thin lips and my birthmark.It such a sucky situation. No one wants to age willingly, but we do. That's just the way nature planned it so. I have got to learn to wear my Age lines with pride. I love my birth mark. Its been my identity for always. What am I getting stressed about? Hair will grey, skin will wrinkle and birthmark will remain on my face. I realised how Vanity is total Insanity. People can feed you junk and you can actually get sucked into the madness of Vanity.

Luckily good sense prevailed and I went back to stressing about my pimples ONLY. 2 years later I still get pimples, I have massive acne marks on my face. I moan about them now and then and sulk about them. Luckily I made peace with my Age lines and thin lips. I am back in love with my birthmark. Its special. No one else has it but me!! : )

Why is the Society so concerned with looking a certain way only?!! Do we put undue pressure on insecure people and get them to do things that they might not need at all??  

Every one ages, then why do people feel alone in the journey of aging?! Why is aging such a bad word?!

A thought for us humans who start aging from the moment we are born!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hair There

I woke up today morning in total despair. My life is not the same anymore. How will I survive my 40's if I shed ALL my hair in my 30's?! Oh Lord, why me...why now??!! The last thing I need right now is the stress of hair loss by bunches. The stress of losing so much of hair is making me lose more hair, I think!

For many years I would be one of those girls who would grow my hair bra strap length and one fine day just chop it all up. Once the hair would be chopped short then the whole regime of oiling and putting henna or eggs (yuck!) in my hair would begin. I would then toil away for a few years just trying to get it back to the bra strap length. Bra strap length…well, once my hair reached the strap of my bra on my back, I would KNOW that its time to get a nice short and funky haircut. That’s always been the measurement.

My desire though was to have enough will power to grow it waist length…it never did grow that long. I jsut didn't have the patience. I went through millions of different haircut phases…every time it was a new short look, a new cut.

Then in 1997 hair colour got introduced in a big way. I had to have it in my hair. For months I dreamt of golden streaks. Saved all the money in the world as I heard that streaks were very expensive. On the D-day, I arrived very nervous at the swankiest salon in Pune. It was just nerve wracking to sit at the fancy salon. All I could think of was to run outta there. Just as I was about to lose my nerve, walked in the head colourist. He sat me down and started quizzing me about my clothes, favourite colour, make up likes etc. For an hour my hair was put up in foils and very strange smell was emitting outta my head. All this while I am nervously thinking, what the hell have I got my self into.

Needless to say I walked out of the salon feeling like a million bucks. A decade later I am still to meet a hair colourist who has spent more than 2 minutes discussing the colour. This guy knew what he was doing and he did it awesomely well.

Since then I have every possible shade of colour in my hair. From Red hair to Super light blonde. Been there and experimented with that! The blonde look took the mikey out of my hair. It was so battered with the colour and bleach for nearly 2 years, that finally I had to cut it and colour it dark black. That got me into my Goth phase. In this phase I looked Goth and scary as hell. Lucky me black nail paint was really in too so that kind of rounded off the look.

Once day good sense prevailed and I stopped colouring my hair at all. It’s been 3 years since I have coloured my hair. Yes, there are days when I just want to colour it in a wild colour…but just can’t seem to muster up the courage to do so.

The hair has grown waist length; as for a year in 2005 I just didn’t have the time due to the launch of our flight out of Mumbai. I was working like a dog and clearly grooming was out of the window. I could barely get in the mandatory threading (painful as hell) and waxing (God, why do we women have body hair?) I was this street mutt who had no time to think of funky haircuts.

We girls spend so much of time and energy on our hair. Not to mention the money in various hair products, shampoos, hair accessories, hair oil. Our pre occupation with hair is one of the great joys of being a woman. Though looking at Ryan Seacrest, men are not far behind!

Over the years our hair will change colour, thickness, shape and size…we ladies will still wear it with pride. See the attached pic, one of my favourites. Thanks to hair colour and innovation in hair care, our hair doesn’t have to age as yet...

Life is an endless struggle full of frustrations and challenges, but eventually you find a hair stylist you like. ~Author Unknown