Tag Archives: fashion blogger

3 DIY masks for healthy hair

22 Apr

My mother (and hers, and hers before her) have always had gorgeous hair and always get compliments for how healthy and lush they look!

I believe almost all of the credit goes to how they take care of their hair! I don’t remember a single weekend, growing up, when my mother wasn’t putting on one home-made hair mask or another on her hair. And she always tells me that it is their use that has allowed her hair to remain soft and shiny till now! That, and eating healthy!

Here are three DIY masks that I have seen her using a lot, and that I love the results of when I make the effort of using them too!

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For dry hair!

  1. For when your hair feels dry:-

    This one is a favorite, because after this mask my hair feel so good to touch and are so silky and smooth that I don’t even have to style them. They look perfect as they are!
    What you need:
    -7 strawberries
    -1 egg yolk
    _1.5 tbsp Olive oil
    How to:
    Blend all the ingredients and leave the mask on for 20-30 minutes before washing your hair. Not only will you be able to skip your conditioner but your hair will smell delicious!

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    Turmeric hair mask

  2. For when your hair needs that extra nourishment:-

    I use this when I feel very guilty of how (badly) I have been treating my hair! I feel like this gives my hair the perfect pick-me-up, and says a little “I am sorry” from me!
    What you need:
    -1 tbsp turmeric powder
    -3 tbsp yogurt
    -1 tbsp oil (olive or coconut)
    How to:
    Mix the ingredients together well, leave on for 30-40 minutes and wash off. You might need to shampoo twice to get all of the turmeric out!

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    Avocado mask

  3. For when your hair feels too dull:

    This mask will give your hair both a nice shine and the right amount of softness. Plus it uses one of my favorite ingredients-avocado!
    What you need:
    -1 ripe avocado
    -1 tbsp oil (coconut or olive)
    -1 tsp honey
    How to:
    Smash the avocado, and mix in the other ingredients.
    Leave the mask in your hair for 15-20 minutes and then wash it out. You can add more oil if you feel the need, but remember that might mean shampooing your hair twice to get all the oil out!

I hope you try these masks out and they are as helpful to you as they have been to the women in my family.
Lots of love,
Gull!

5 ways to enjoy the NYFW without having to be there

12 Sep

It is that time of the year again, isn’t it? When people like you and me are stuck underneath such a huge pile of work and commitments that the mere idea of going away for a break is an impossible one. Yet, we can’t suppress the craving to be in New York during this particular week, to enjoy the festivities of one of the most anticipated fashion weeks of the year, the NYFW. But, the yearning can only remain so and all we can do is hope that one day we can be there too, enjoying the week like Chriselle or partaking in all its fun aspects like Aimee Song (a girl can dream).
But till that fateful day comes around for us, we aren’t going to just sit around and mop are we? Not when all hope isn’t lost. Not when you can still enjoy it, if not completely, at least partially.
Here is my two bit on how you can enjoy the NYFW from anywhere around the world.

1. Snapchat:
I swear this device is a godsend for fashion crazed people. Where Instagram and blog posts by people actively enjoying the NYFW can let you see only so much of it, Snapchat allows you to glimpse the real spirit of it, to partly experience the aura of it. So, if you haven’t already, follow all your favorite fashion personalities on this wonder-app and partake in the fashion shenanigans as if you were right there. Plus, you get to see the collections before they even hit the blogs. Or the print media. (Woot woot!!)

Gather your fashion loving friends.

Gather your fashion loving friends.


2. Get your girlfriends on board:
I feel no shame in accepting that I am part of a new group chat on Whatsapp called “We heart NYFW” made by friends as crazy about fashion as me. There, we dissect and “critically review” the collections shown and rave about the upcoming shows, our favorite fashion bloggers and the hot models (that is every bit as important as the dresses themselves.) It not only is letting me feel more in the spirit of the week, but having people on the same page as me makes me feel less crazy.

Chiara supporting Ralph.

Chiara supporting Ralph.


3. Dress up and pose:
One of my friends, lets call her Zara, came up with this idea on the above mentioned group. And I LOVED it. As she put so eloquently, “So what if we cant go to Kate Spade’s show? We can for sure dress for it!” I later saw Chiara Ferragni doing something similar. Being in LA might have meant that she couldn’t go to the Polo Ralph Lauran show, but she supported the label by dressing in a dress by them and posting the click on Instagram. So, dress up, pose and take some snaps. You will feel like you are right in the middle of it all (and maybe just got to the show a bit too late to be a part of it).

Kristina ready for Givenchy after party.

Kristina ready for Givenchy after party.


4. Bring the party home:
No, I am not suggesting you host something huge, like the Givenchy after party. But just gather some fashion-loving pals, dress up and have a blast over fancy food. If you want to have more fun, ask your friends to dress the part of their style icons or just pick one brand and dress up in it. That way you can incorporate idea number three into the party too.

5. Give your take:
You are following all the right people, watching every step of the fashion week, seeing some amazing trends emerge and probably know more about what shoes and hair styles would be ‘in vogue’ soon than most people online, and yet you are doing nothing about it? That is a shame. Use your knowledge, form an opinion and post it online. Give your guide to the upcoming dos and don’ts of fashion, or simply highlight your favorite trends. But don’t sit there doing nothing. Share with us what you know!

I will end this post now, because my Whatsapp is buzzing insistently, but before I leave, I will just say this; these five tips are just the tip(no pun intended) of the iceberg. The possibilities to feel involved in something this far away from you are endless. And can and should be tailored to your own preferences. For example, amongst other things, I like sketching the best of dresses that I come across in these shows. Another friend likes adding fashion week street-style pictures to the mood board in his office. Use your imagination, and most importantly, have fun.
Love,
Gull.

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Five Things

23 Jun

Coffee from our favorite cafe.

Going out for coffee with my sister at least once a week has turned into such a pleasant ritual, that I find myself praying that we never have to give it up. Which is an unrealistic wish, seeing that the probability of oceans separating us in the future is quiet high. So, instead I find myself making the most out of these hang outs, where we unwind, sharing our notes over how the week went, discussing everything from fashion to politics to (yes I will admit) people! We can enjoy these sittings anywhere, I suppose, but cute coffee shops somehow always add to their charm. 

 

 
 But we also make sure to dress up for the little meet ups. Make an effort, so that they don’t lose their importance. Maybe because both of us realise how precious these memories would be in our future. Maybe we both realise how temporary this set up is. Sow we both make the most of it. 

This wallet from Michael Kors is 😍!

  

LWD-The perfect way to rock it. 

15 May

   

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

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. 

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