Five must have summer nail colors.

17 May

There is nothing better than your nail color working with your clothes. But if it compliments the weather too? That’s a definite perk. 

Summer calls for different shades in not just your dressing but also in your nail color choices. And while a white tipped mani would always remain my favorite summer pick, here are five nail colors that I love almost just as much (especially for our burning hot Lahori summers). 

 

The perfect peach.

 
1. Peach side babe. It stands at that point between coral, pink and peach, where it is both flirty and feminine. And just perfect for tanner skins (like mine), but works just as well for fairer skin. 

 

Boy next door.

 

2. Boy next door. It might be its sea-blue calmness or beach-sky freshness, but either ways, this blue seems to be made for the hotter months, making one envision exotic beaches and ice cold cocktails. 

 

Mermaid’s kiss.

 

3. Mermaid’s kiss. Not being a shimmer person, this would never have made it into my list if I hadn’t actually tried (and loved) it first hand. Fresh, chic and so perfect for the warm months, it lives up to its draw my name. And then some

 

Pretty Pink Preserves.

 . 

4. Pretty pink preserveres. If pink candy floss was solidified and then added some shine to and liquified to nail polish consistency, you would get this color. And what goes better with summers than candy floss? Candy floss colors, oui? 

  
5. Crème Abricot. This is the color of my dreams. And, it’s an investment worthy color for its perfect for every season, looking as cute in summers as it does in winters. Plus point? It does with almost anything you wear thanks to its neatral hue. 

LWD-The perfect way to rock it. 

15 May IMG_2537

   

The dress.

LWDs have been as much a thing as LBDs, both being (fashion) twins born with the difference a few minutes. But what sets them apart, other than the obvious ying yang? The fact, that the all white LWD look is harder to master, but is more of a day to night look than the LBD can ever be. And definitely more ladylike, at least for me. 

When it comes to LWDs though, three things are very important. 

 

The perfect LWD…

 

1. Invest in one. Don’t just buy one off the racks. Put some thought and work into it. Talk to your stylish friends, get some expert opinion. Save up if you have to, but, get one that sits at the perfect length, makes you feel your prettiest, and is comfortable to move around in. Don’t worry about the price tag, for the right piece will last as a timeless staple in your wardrobe. And an expert hand at designing is what will help you relish it that much more. 

 

The pop.

 

2. Add a pop. Nothing is more boring than a monochrome. Yet nothing more fascinating than a monochrome. It’s all about adding that unexpected pop of color to your look. But just via one piece. Let it be your shoes, earrings or even your nail color. Plus point? Nothing works to set off the all white look than red. It’s my go to for the pop. And a life saver, hence. 

 

The simplicity.

 

3. Don’t over do it. From your makeup to your accessories, keep it controlled. Keep your hair simple, your jewelry barely there-just, remember the rule, remove one thing from your look before finally walking out, to ensure you don’t go over board. 

Finally, remember it’s summers. Time to pull off as many all-white looks as you can. 😆

Happy summers,

Gull. 

Summer essentials. 

9 May

Hey guys,

It is a bright, too-hot-to-be-true morning here in Lahore. And while all I can think about is iced teas and chilled smoothies, I’m trying my best not to. Summer body and all you see. 😂

But summer has got my mind going on another track too. Not the vacations, not yet. But a more imperative one. Taking care of my skin.

I’m the least girly girl around the block, and skin creams and all have never been my thing. Mostly because I looked too much up to my brothers to do anything I knew they wouldn’t like (or that they would make fun of). And also because I never really thought that anything other than washing my face could do much wonders. 

But, my sister has proved me wrong. Not only has she taught me that every part of our body, from the tip of our toe nails to the tips of our hair should be pampered, but with her example she has proven that the said care does nothing but wonders for us and our self esteem (believe me, even if you have tones of it, you will still get more).

So, with all her advice in mind and with some of my own tried and tested experiments, I’ve come up with a daily regime that’s actually been doing quite well for me. 

Here is a snippet of the regime.

  

1. Wash your face before bed, with your favorite face wash ( I use Neutrogena, deep cleanse face wash). It not only washes off all the dirt from the day, but also, as your skin undergoes turnover through the night and manages its pH, bringing it all back to the homeostatic conditions (perfect for a clean, glowing skin), it helps to have a clean slate for that. And for the same reasons, don’t wash your face with anything strong the next morning if you want to seal in the goodness your body worked all night to bring to you.

  

2. Moisturize after the wash. Again, don’t go for something too strong. I use tea tree skin clearing lotion (shown above). And it’s amazing. Not too strong, plus very relaxing and soothing. Just two drops and I’m good.

  
3. Use a nail strengthener. My nails had been chipping off more than ever, and their condition took a turn for the worst with the summer heat. Cue Essence nail oil (shown above), for making them stronger and smoother. I apply it after moisturizing, right before I go to bed for the oil doesn’t dry quickly and I can hardly do anything after. 

4, Wake up fresh. How? Do a bit of yoga before anything else, for ten to fifteen minutes. And if you spot any dark circles? Put a cold spoon and press downwards and outwards on them. As you follow that with a bath or a wash, try to avoid anything too strong for your face. I opt for Dove in the mornings and usually avoid any facewash or toner. 

5. Slow down for a drink of water. I have heard it so much, but I’ve only realized the worth of this tip after trying it out. And in summers, it becomes that much more important. The difference is that of a fresh flower in front of a wilted one. (💐>🌵)

6. Sun block. I recently started using Loreal’s sunblock, mixed a bit with my bb- from Garnier- and the result has been better than ever before. It doesn’t come off easy, it doesn’t become patchy nor does it clump with the heat on my skin. Plus, it looks as if I have nothing on my face. Best. Thing. Ever. 

7. Chapstick. Summer means dried up, well, everything due to the decreased water in you (thanks sweat). Specifically dried up lips. Avoid that flakey look and keep them healthy with a good Chapstick. I use body shop’s Lip care SPF 15 which have vitamin E too. Win win. 👄

8. Mascara. For a bright, woken up, lasts-all-day look, add a swipe of mascara. (I can’t take any other make-up, but if you want, add more as you want.) And, for the sake of it, add some perfume. (I’m in love with Marks and Spencer Florentyna pictured above. )

There. That’s my daily skin regime, and it sits well with my college routine. For an overly special day, I add a swipe of my favorite amber rose lipstick, pictured above.

What’s yours for summers? Do tell me.

Till next time, love,

Gull

Five things.

6 May

 It is May, which for a Lahori means that we are half way into the hottest pits of hell. And the other half of it is running towards us too. 

In an attempt to distract myself from the dreadful, sweaty, makes-me-want-to-shower-all day heat, I have been making lists of things that I’m loving right now. 

Here is one of them, listing five things I’m looooving right now. 

  
1. Macaroons from Mocca. (I can eat ten a day, honest.)
  

2. White tops. And blue jeans. (Hi, Lana.)

  

3. Printed bags (especially this floral one.)

  

4. Laura Geller’s liquid radiance foundation. (My sister, the makeup artist of the family, swears by it.)

    

5. Top knots. Because. Summer.

Why I gave up coffee.

20 Apr

  

I have gone seven days without coffee. And I couldn’t be more proud.

A week doesn’t sound much to you, right?

Well, figure into that this; I don’t remember any time in the past three years where I went even a day without a cup of it.

In fact. Twice a day had become my minimum in the past two years.

So seven days without it? Something that once seemed impossible to me? I’ve done it. And I feel better than I would have expected mysef to feel. I wouldn’t put “energized” and “more productive” yet on the list, for to be honest the fourth day of the experiment, all my insomnia disappeared and I slept. For six hours straight. With only a tiny break. (Huge for me.) But. There have been so many other pros, that for the next fourteen days at least, I’m willing to overlook this con.

But why, after three years, the sudden change? And why the hope that I might be able to extend this 2-week challenge into something more long term?

Although my mother would like to believe it was her continuous pushing that got me off of it, that’s not the answer. It was the late in coming , and yet the all too sudden, realization that this much amount of caffeine was doing me more harm than good. What harm? Nothing too big, and yet too much. But to keep it concise,  here are the five main reasons why I ended up taking a little time off from my elixir. Five reasons which might inspire you to cut a little back on your coffee too.

1. I had become too jittery. Not just the “I can’t sleep” or ” I can’t stop moving kind” but my attention span had grown shorter and shorter. So much so, that I couldn’t even keep my mind focused on a conversation at hand. Or in the here and now. My anxiety levels were shooting up, which was probably the worst of all my problems. I could see this leading to a nervous breakdown-if not in a year then in three, and when a family doctor advised that this all could be sprouting from my caffeine, I finally decided to take his advice and cut back on it. Has it helped? The insomnia, a little. The jitteriness, again slightly. The rest? Let’s see.

2. My skin had gone to the dogs. Literally. Pimples-a new one every day. Dull skin. And I don’t know what not. And although my mother always told me it was because of my coffee it’s only now that I realise the truth in her words. Sounds insane? It isn’t. In seven days my skin looks better than it has in ever. And for just that I am willing to stick to this cleanse for longer than 14 days.

3. It actually does dry you up, even the parts you don’t want to. I first came across a readearch my friend forwarded to me. It said how it can shrink up parts of you, dries them up, parts you wouldn’t want that dried up. And then a friend of my mother, a doctor, told me the same. They might be wrong, but for the sake of it, I want to see if a decrease in my caffeine will go to prove them right or not. 

4. It causes tachycardia. Yes. It fastens up your heart rate. Not just right after the strong (fourth) cup of your joe when you feel your heart will beat right up and out of your mouth. But it alters your normal rythm. I came across this fact in a physiology practical in my university. We had to take the pulse of each other and when my friend took mine she was astonished by how irregular mine was. It would go on from a normal rythm to a faster one to an extremely slow one, in the space of a minute. But that was three years back. It has worsened now. All coffee drinkers have it, but the more you drink it, the worse it gets-till the point where it can morph into ventricular tachycardia. Which can, yes, lead to death. It didn’t scare me till a couple of weeks back, when I was lying in my bed and the (4) coffees I had had decided to let my heart know about their presence. The way it’s rate went wild, I think part of me promised myself right then that I would never like to be back at that point again. Has my pulse rythm improved? Not much. But I’m willing to be patient about the results in this area.

5. It had become a source of too many fats for me.  You can’t always have it black, and all the lattes and ‘ccinos and frappes that I was picking up at my favorite cafes were definitely adding to my weight. It’s not a sudden thing, it builds up on you slowly, without you realizing it. Till one day you realize that though you have been cutting on all other sources of fat, you have still put on weight. (Damn you coffee, I trusted you.)

Maybe these reasons won’t be enough to keep me off coffee forever. Maybe, next week I’ll be back to two cups a day. But I’m trying. And till now-succeeding. And till I can be sure I am back in the safe zone with this little addiction? I’m going to take it a day at a time.

Let’s see how it goes though.

Love,

Gull.

The Giver.

17 Apr

The first time I read the Godfather, I loved it.

The idea of a whole underground mafia running through the loopholes of the most stringent law forces, was amazing. And the way Mario Puzo presents the criminal families to you, the power, the understated fame, the fear. It all leaves you…star struck. 

And then their is the Don himself.

He, his three sons. I could probably right essays on them. Full of both their praise and criticism.

But even more, they inspired an awe in me. An urge to know more about them, an understanding that the wish was as childish as wishing for Hogwarts to be real (meh, we have all wanted that now).

However, it’s when I was reading the book the second time around that I came across the most important message in the book. The secret to Don’s success. Something the glam of it all let me miss the first time around.

And his secret weopan was just one attribute that he was intelligent enough to take it up very early in his life.

He was a giver.

Theory says, that in this world there are three kinds of people. The matchers, the takers and the givers.

The matchers probably live the hardest of the lives, because they spend their’s keeping a tab on who owes what to whom and by how much. Who never forget a favor they did for someone and keep waiting for them to respond with one of their own. For a chance to take it back. It’s not just disgusting. It’s a life time handicap, for in the struggle to keep the score equal, they fail to actually live, to keep up with those around them. They exist. Their only worry being the score board, never even playing the game to its full.

The takers seem to have the best of it, for they are getting what they want, how they want-no matter their means to get it. They don’t mind what they owe to whom, but soon the people around them do begin to mind how much they have been “taking”. And inevitable as their reluctance is, so is the fall of these takers from their faux greatness. For it came from a web of deceit and wishes, not hardwork. These are those who forgot to wander in the right direction, and now they are lost.

And then there are those whom people would like to believe are stupid. Whom some would like to con, but only true genius would see their worth. They are the Dons. They are the givers. They are ready to bestow any favor on you as they strive on their own path to success, hoping for nothing in return, but a friendship which with such kindness would be inevitable. The Don’s price for the hardest of favors was the promise of a friendship, and isn’t it how it practically is, but without the question of it? You do a man a kindness, how then would he not love knowing you when you ask for no tat to this tit? Why wouldn’t ten men come to your help when you helped thirty in their need. Maybe the scoreboards would never be equal, but it’s more than about just that.

It’s about getting something money can’t buy you. 

The joy of putting a smile on someone’s face, the warmth of someone’s hearty hug, a simple thank you note, that silent acknowledgment of your support. Sometimes the biggest gifts lie in the tiniest of gestures. Hence, unseeingly, and then more apparently too, the givers begin to leave all the others behind on the scoreboard. And as they continue to rush towards a victory, they never lose their chance at living. 

In short, the Godfather has taught me, just as life has too, that the best amongst us aren’t the ones keeping score nor the ones leaning around in the background, rather it’s the ones on the battlefield, who can spar without regret, without worry and without getting lost as they wander.

So take a step forward, and be gentle. Give without wanting. Take only when you can’t avoid it, but never keep score. Help, smile, do, share. Be everyone’s support, solution, hero. Hope. And let no one be let down by you. 

Then watch how speedy your own victory is. 

Feminine Fridays

6 Feb
-'Aimee'

-‘Aimee’

It’s not easy I tell you.
The curling, the blow-drying.
The skin care, the make-up.
The dressing, the walk, the talk.

Being a girly girl, it is infinitely more than this all, and hence so so hard.
I mean, it’s adopting a lifestyle, but it feels more like a 24/7 job.
Progress? There has been some, just some. The walking might not be at it’s best, but my slouching habits are much a story of the past. Which brings me to my next aim, my hair.

I love my hair, I really do. But I have gotten into the habit of doing nothing to them-NOTHING. I just brush them, and I am out the door. Part of it might be the fact that I love the snooze button of my alarm, and am usually left with five minutes to do it all, from brushing my teeth to making it to the car on time (in the right shoes…;-) ) almost every morning.

It was only this past weekend that I got my hair blow dried into the most delish of waves when I realized what a rut I had gotten myself into where my hair are concerned (or maybe it was my friends’ shock on the change in my hairstyle that finally jarred me out of the laziness), but either ways, it has made me realize that it is time to up my game.

New Objective:- Try new hairstyles.

But tell me, are you having trouble with styling you hair too? How are you dealing with it? If you have any tips for vegetables like me when it comes to hair, I would love to hear them.

Until next time, here is some rad pretty stuff to inspire your femininity.

1. This pink coat is like the chicest girly-go to!

Nothing more feminine|than pink.

Nothing more feminine|than pink.

2. This DIY is the cutest!!! #girlyapproved

3. This Nasty gal top is EVERYTHING!

I just.

I just.

4. Dainty jewelry is good, but dainty hand chains? The girl-bomb. Get similar here.

I love this.

I love this.

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