Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Krystle D'Souza's Ganesh Utsav roundup

The festive Ganesh Utsav season has drawn to a close, but this blogger still has a few looks from the festivities to comment upon. Here we see Krystle D'Souza wearing three very different outfits. Number 1 strikes me as simply too fussy. Number 2 seems to strike the right balance between festive and wearable. And lastly, number 3 appears to be borrowed from the sets of a live-action Aladdin film. Too Jasmine-y.
Original images via @pinkvillafashion

Frxxxtion Stick

Tarte Skincare recently introduced this innovative little cleanser. Designed for all skin types, it's particularly targeted for those with oily skin, pore concerns, and uneven skin tone. The nifty little Frxxxtion Stick is also touted as a three-in-one exfoliator, cleanser, and face mask. Now, I'll be honest, I was only interested in the first two; I have several face masks to which I am deeply committed (but more on that later). After dampening your skin, you simply twist up the product and gently rub it all over your face. The sensation is mildly gritty. After massaging it into your skin with your fingertips, you just rinse and blot your face dry. Quick and easy! 

I would definitely not use it to remove makeup even though it is a suggested use. Rubbing the stick into a face full of makeup would just gunk up the stick. It's good for a quick morning cleanse though, or a post work-out once over. I probably won't be using it as my daily cleanser. But it will free up space in my travel kit; plus no spill worries since it's a solid. The best quality about this product is its portability. I'm keeping it for my travel kit.

Floral elegance

Have a look at more stunning thread work; this time, courtesy of Neeta Lulla. The floral designs were inspired by Vrindavan gardens. In the last shot, it seems like floral petals rained down upon Pooja and landed just so on her pale, gold lehenga. Love it!

Photos via: @houseofneetalulla, @hegdepooja

Thursday, September 8, 2016

A strong sip of merlot: who wore it best?

I'm going to award a boozy desipolitan to Mrs. Kundra. Poor Bhumi is just overwhelmed by all that material; her jumpsuit is not doing anything positive for her petite frame. Meanwhile, not only does Shilpa have the long, lithe figure needed for this look, she also wisely plays with the wine-inspired tones to add balance to her look.

'90s reboot or re-don't?

Ameesha Patel (you know, that chick best known for Kaho Na Pyaar Hain ... I kid but you do have to dig far to remember her films), graced a store launch in an uninspiring, yet unobjectionable outfit. That is, until I got a look at the thick-cuffed jeans and chunky trainers look. If you are hell-bent on resurrecting the '90s with the chunky sneakers (and I do not recommend this), at least pair them with flared or, at the very least, bootcut, denim.
For someone attempting to finally launch a comeback, you'd think she'd make greater effort at these public appearances; at least as long as someone is willing to pay for the appearances. Yes.
Photos via pinkvilla

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Unapologetically bold

Not everyone could look as good as Neha does in so much of a bold print. She manages, with the help of a statement gold chocker and sleek hair, to avoid the appearance of swimming in a shower curtain.

A case of (bad) fashion over function

I'm not going to mince words here. The school girls at this sports day event could teach Pooja Hegde a thing or two about dressing for the occasion. As a general rule, it's advisable to avoid white when one expects to be in close proximity to dirt.
And if one absolutely must be a slave to fashion, make it count. I'm not awestruck by the hightop sneakers or white skinny denim., but mostly, I'm confused by the nursing-top/duster. What is that?
Images via @hegdepooja, pinkvilla

Embroidery as an artform

These uniquely Indian examples of hand-sewn embroidery elevate fashion like no other embellishment can; big names in Indian couture have actively been pushing the handloom movement as well as supporting traditional artisans so let's hope that this art form is here to stay.
The sari by Payal Singhal and the Manish Malhotra kameez showcase gorgeous embroidery. The rich color and intricate threadwork make the blooms come alive!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations

Ganapati bappa is a much loved deity for Hindus, and the annual Ganesh Utsav is celebrated with great joy globally. The spirit of celebrating our beloved Bappa is certainly alive and well in B-town. Bollywood celebrities dressed in their colorful best to welcome Ganapati into their homes. Have a dekho!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Match much?

Somebody sure has a penchant for tone-on-tone dressing! Sidharth has been running ragged promoting "Ae Dil Hain Mushkil". Perhaps this hyper-coordinated dressing is his way of easing the stress of promotions? It's definitely turning into a uniform of sorts for Sid.

Ingenue much?

Alia's youthfulness is going to serve her well for years to come. However, all together, this look takes her beyond ingenue, straight to schoolgirl. Let's review. Schoolgirl hair, pale pink eyeshadow, bubblegum pink lip gloss. Yes, I'd say that was girly girl makeup. On its own, NBD. However, when you get a look at the outfit that went with the makeup...
I think Gucci or not, this look makes me think of a 13-year-old, not a poised, rising star. Flouncy pink bow AND major lace detail at the neckline AND sheer sleeves with lace cuffs? Too cutesy.

Long and lean

In this era of selfies and social media, most of us turn into super critics when examining photos of ourselves. To present your best self, let's start with clothing choices. As you can see from Katrina, a midi-length, flowy dress creates a lean look. When paired with pointy-toed heels in the same color tone, the viewer's eye is drawn down without cutting her off at the ankle with straps. The net effect is a lovely, lengthened appearance. Aliaa, on the other hand, wears a dress that doesn't really do petite people any favors.
Now, let's talk about posing for the camera. Katrina has nailed the standard "make me look as slender as possible" pose. She places her weight on her back foot and let's her left foot jut out slightly. Hands on hips (because obvs) to cinch the waist visually. Poor, sweet, Aliaa looks all kinds of awkward, which is weird because she evidently chose to stand that way for a photo clicked by her stylist with the intention of posting it to social media. Curiouser and curiouser.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

A case of trying too hard

Sonakshi has lately demonstrated that she is more than just a lucky star kid, catching a big break in Bollywood. By all accounts, the girl is a hard worker who chases down roles and then promotes her little heart out. I just think maybe, she's trying a little too hard sartorially-speaking.
I'm not a big fan of the duster trend that seems to be everywhere at the moment. However, in this side-by-side comparison, I think Aliaa manages it well by playing with proportions. She opted for a white tee and shorts for maximum contrast with her tan duster. Her metallic sneakers were probably my favorite part of her look. Sonakshi, on the other hand, went head-to-toe camel. That is a lot of camel. To worsen things, her pants are as voluminous as her duster. The result is that she is swimming in a sea of camel-colored fabric, and it's all so overly matched, that one gets a mental picture of Sonakshi tearing her closet apart searching for the exact match.
Now, I understand that Sonakshi is in the throes of "Akira" promotions, and thus, I totally get her nod to the "tough girl" with the boxer braids. But even here, in the realm of edgy daywear, I feel she's missed the mark. Shraddha knotted a casual tee, threw on a leather jacket, and suede booties almost as an afterthought. The look works. Sonakshi has the ripped skinnies, the seemingly too-small lace-up heels (notice the toe overhang = bad fit), and the too-long embellished jacket. The shape of that jacket is anything but chic. It reminds me of the colorist's cape from Lakme Fashion Week. A refresher:

Hairy Story

I will start this post by stating outright that I think Sonali Bendre is a naturally beautiful actress. Therefore, it was with a sense of disappointment that I noted that Ms. Bendre appears to have copied a page out of the Kardashian unnatural beauty handbook. Kim is also beautiful, only she's made some choices that she herself regrets. Case in point, lasering her hairline. Kim has come out publicly stating that she actually regrets this beauty maneuver, and some even speculate that her strangely high hairline of late may be a sign that she's attempting to reverse some of the lasering.
As an Indian woman, I can attest that the infernal baby hairs at ones hairline can be irritating to deal with; particularly postpartum, when they tend to stand straight up...but I digress. The issue with Sonali is that it is easy for an overzealous technician to over utilize the laser, and the result may appear highly artificial. To the point, where in my opinion, her hair looks rather wig-like.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The MineStamp Textile Marker: a parental must-have!

We here at the desipolitan household recently completed the gauntlet of parental endurance - aka back-to-school week. With all the labelling of my kids' clothes, lunch boxes, backpacks, hell - every movable part semi-connected to their school lives, my right hand was rapidly forming itself into a cramped claw. Let's face it, other than their actual bodies, we have to label literally everything, in preparation for when they will (inevitably) lose or misplace every. single. item. To date, I'd been relying on adhesive labels and textile markers. Enter the MineStamp Textile Marker. Not to overstate things, but the it has been a game changer.
I have one dedicated for each of my children's names. After the minor hiccup of the initial set up of the stamps, for which I had to google instructions (the product packaging is not at all helpful), these stamps are fantastic! Once I watched this helpful video, I was able to quickly set up each stamp for each child. Individual letters and a set of tweezers are included with each stamp. They do work best on white or light-colored clothing, ideally applied where there is double fabric (i.e. a cuff or a collar). But I have run several loads of laundry and the stamps are holding up well. Supposedly the stamps should last fifty washes. When they do fade off (I wash my kids' clothes in hot water, because, well, boys...) I can easily just re-stamp. Each stamp costs $17 and can be purchased from They are presently sold out on Amazon.

Highly recommend!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Children, Devices, and Privacy

I'm writing this post as a PSA for parents of young children. My children enjoy using their hand-me-down iPads from Mommy and Daddy. These days, I suspect that my kids are not in the minority. As technology changes and more things become available, I find myself constantly trying to stay a step or two ahead in terms of monitoring what my kids can access. I've set up parental accounts for Netflix, streaming applications are restricted to G-rated content or PBS Kids, and my husband and I are the only ones with access to the Apple ID on the kids' devices. Despite limiting what the kids could stream, I've been uncomfortable with the fact that Safari (and the Internet) seem to be relatively unfettered. For small children, it's not enough to simply ban explicit content; parents need to be able to control access to content that is simply too mature for young children, though it might not fall into the category of "explicit".

Apple has provided for stricter parental controls via the "Restrictions" tab which can be found under the "General Settings" for your Apple devices. Specifically, I was able to restrict internet sites to a few tried and true sites (PBS Kids, Discovery Kids, etc). Apple has drilled down privacy and content settings so that you can allow movies and TV programs of specific ratings. Another bonus, the kids can no longer accidentally delete apps! It gets really frustrating flying at ten thousand feet and your child just deleted his favorite movie or app, and you have no way of downloading it again (no. I'm not shelling out $20 for thirty minutes of internet access ... for a child).

Perhaps many of you were already aware of these settings, but when I set up the kids' hand-me-down devices two years ago, the closest to restricting content to age-appropriate levels was to assign an Apple ID without sharing the password with the kids (obviously), trying to put all the potentially problematic apps such as Safari with its unfettered web access) into a folder hidden away on the fifteenth screen, and creating a kiddo channel for Netflix. Thankfully, Apple has come far in this department!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Seen and Heard: Maldives edition

London, Paris, Prague, Berlin, Budapest... Bollywood starlets have not been idle this hot summer. Malaika for one, seems to be inspired by screen sirens Bo Derek and Ursula Andress while vacationing in the Maldives.

Priyanka Chopra featured in August "InStyle"

I found her thoughts (read: dislike) about the term "Bollywood" quite interesting. Anyone think she makes a fair point? I did feel that she gave the standard Bollywood starlet form answer for the big "are you dating?" question. Come on, PC. We don't need specifics and you are welcome to maintain your privacy and refuse to comment on your personal relationship/s, but this was a little stale and disingenuous IMHO.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Begum Style

After that last lackluster outing, Kareena turned things around quickly with two rather smashing appearances. Traditional lehenga with mega-watt embroidery, or a sharp, head-to-toe neutrals look, Bebo shows us she can gracefully handle it all, and that a bold red lip can anchor any look.
Photos: @elleindiasabya

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Meet Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan

The young, beautiful, and fashionable Queen of Bhutan, a country secluded from the world's limelight due to its remoteness, has already been generating a stir ever since her marriage to the King and her rise to the position of Queen Consort. She is a powerhouse in her own right, and much loved by the Bhutanese people. However, on a fun and superficial level, she has also drawn favorable comparisons to the Duchess of Cambridge, so much so, that she is sometimes referred to as the "Kate Middleton of the Himalayas".
So who is this Himalayan Queen? At 25-years-old, she is the youngest Queen Consort in the world. Like Kate, she was a commoner (though with an aristocratic lineage) and the daughter of a pilot. She is fashionable, athletic, and holds a university arts background. Additionally, she herself is a brand new mum, having recently given birth to a baby boy.
As with Wills and Kate, the King and Queen of Bhutan have always shown great respect for their country's culture and traditions, all while clearly carving a path for themselves. While the Cambridges gave the strict royal custom of Royals-only Christmases at Sandringham a tweak, by either inviting Kate's family to Anmer Hall, or even spending the day with the Middletons, TRM of Bhutan have also made small changes such as their love marriage (rather than an arranged marriage), or their occasional very chaste PDA in a nation that traditionally avoids it in public. Additionally, the Queen share interests in causes such as conservation, children's issues, and fulfilling the potential of children with disabilities.

From a fashion perspective, HRM wears traditional Bhutanese attire while at home. I am so very partial to the vibrancy of traditional Bhutanese attire - that's the color-loving desi in me. But she does wear western clothes while traveling abroad.
The Queen of Bhutan is pictured at Delhi Couture Week alongside Farah Ali Khan.
With the impending arrival of the Cambridges and the media circus that follows them, the spotlight is going to shine brightly on Bhutan for the next couple of days. I'm excited to learn more about the country, its people, its customs, and of course TRM, the King and Queen of Bhutan. It's said to be the happiest place in the world!
Photos: jetsun pema facebook page/india today - getty/hm king jigme khesar namgyel wangchuck