Thursday, 21 September 2017

Dubai to host Second Edition of Swarovski's Sparkling Couture: Infinity Exhibition in October and Socialites are Excited

Dubai as everyone knows is a hub of brands and many Asians visit every now and then to shop for their favorite brands. Lots of international fashion collections are launched every year in Dubai’s Fashion Weeks and many fashionistas keep it under radar to stay abreast with latest fashion trends. Dubai Malls also offer a great deal in this area.

Swarovski has its feet set in Dubai, with various stores in multiple locations. Swarovski launched its Sparkling Couture: Infinity Exhibition two years ago and now they are bringing it to Dubai.
Sparkling Couture: Infinity exhibition is set to debut its second edition. Due to open on October 25, 2017, at the Madinat Arena in Dubai, the exhibition will present its collection contributed by more than 40 haute couturiers and 56 designers coming from diverse backgrounds. Designers from as many as 17 countries will be showcasing their design excellence in jewelry, interiors, apparel (couture and contemporary wear), shoes and bags, utilizing the intricate crystals from Swarovski’s offerings.

The collections this time around are a tribute to the Middle Eastern and South Asian design, where historical heritage fuses with modern wear.

The line of brands that are displaying their collections in various categories are:

Accessories: Tchi Tchi, Bo Cou, and Dorsa.

Couture: Michael Cinco, Ezra, Dar Sara, Arushi, Lama Askari, Maria B, Zainab Chhotani, Bunto Kazmi, Sania Maskatiya, Georges Hobeika, Elie Awad, Jean Louis Sabaji, No Fux Label, Zahra Pourfad, Reza Zarei, Masih Zad, Mitra Couture, Dar al Hanouf, Tarun Tahiliani, Shantanu & Nikhil, Hian Tjen, Finale Wedding Studio, VESTAL BY JUNG HYEJIN, WANG PEIYI, Rizalman, WECOUTURE, Uno Kanda, Ophelia Crossland and DH Tissus.

Interiors: Sedar. Jewelry: Vinita Michael, Confluence, Inaaya, Rema Taseer, Shad
ras and Valérie Valentine.

Modest Wear: Hanayen (UAE), Rizwan, Zumorrod, Bait Hanayen (KWT), Al Qattan, Bait Abaya Al Sharqiaa, Shafira and NH Prima.

Scarves: JF Scarves, Beige, Diamo Dal, Ezma, Vintage Shades, Zu Uan and Bawal Exclusive.

Shoes: Joy Shoes and Alexandre Birman.

October looks like the festive fashion season. I am certainly looking forward to some fashion innovation, thanks to Sparkling Couture: Infinity exhibition. Are you? Stay tuned to the blog for pictures and further updates.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Products I Swear By for a Perfect Look

I am no makeup artist, but sometimes when I have to fix my very own face, the creative me takes the driving seat, fastens seat belt and embarks on the journey of experimentation (with renowned brands of course, I still love my skin). So after a lot of trial and error and advices from MUA’s in the friend’s circle, I have narrowed down some products anyone can perfect a flawless look with. And the best part is, they’re not even that heavy on the pocket. So go on read this, and you can thank me later.

Vaseline Cocoa Glow Moisturizer

Every look of perfection begins with a deep moisturizing cream or lotion. My pick is Vaseline’s cocoa butter moisturizer which nourishes my skin from within. After deep cleaning my skin with a good face wash, I apply a thin layer of moisturizer (in summers) and a thick layer, usually twice in winters as I have a dry area, particularly the t-zone.

Kryolan Orange Corrector

Can’t emphasize enough on how this product is a lifesaver if you have dark circles and bags under your eyes. For people like me, who are constantly on the go, and seldom get enough sleep resulting in dark circles around the eyes every now and then, this product works like magic. It conceals the greyish areas of the face, and evens out the entire surface area of the facial skin. All I do is apply a thin layer of Kryolan Orange Corrector directly to my upper and lower eye lids, and gently dab foundation over it. I use Kryolan’s TV Paint Stick only, in Ivory to create the matte finish I need.

Luscious Studio Secret Concealer

This has been my concealer ever since I started doing proper makeup. The brush pen of this concealer makes its application super easy and covers blemishes, dark spots, and other flaws within seconds. For my skin tone, I usually get shade 1.5 or 2, and it works wonders.

Revlon Color Stay Translucent Powder

A layer of this and I ensure my makeup stays, although it doesn’t really fade out that easily. But because I use certain products to even out my skin color, I use this to let it all set and get absorbed into my skin. I let it sit on my face for a few minutes and then proceed to final touch ups.

Sweet Touch Twin Cake

For a final layer of coverage, I use Sweet Touch’s Twin Cake, usually for my everyday look. It slides across my skin easily with a sponge or a brush and stays for hours, unless I decide to wash it off. I let it swing across sensitive areas, especially beneath my eyes and it gives a very good radiant coverage to my skin.

After achieving a spotless skin, I focus a little on my eye and lip makeover. I don’t use a lot of makeup, just a simple layer of winged eyeliner and mascara complimented by a bold lip color, usually in the tones of red and bright pinks. And within minutes, I achieve a great flawless look.

Hope this article helped. Also please tell me what are some of the products you swear by (if other than these), and I'll give them a try! :)

How to Choose the Best Bra as per your Mood and Personality

Many women understand lingerie as a piece of adornment but fail to comprehend that each bra shape and design is engineering in its own. The various kinds of bras available in the market speak volumes about how and when each should be used. It depends of on your physique but many bras accentuate or enhance shape and uplift moods. Here’s a little guide to how, when, and what bra kind and shape you should opt for:

Wired and Padded Bras

These bras have an excellent shape that reinforces the idea of full control, gives ideal coverage to the body. The making of these, morph the curves in the right places giving you the desired shape.

Full Control Bras

Made with care for extra heavy busts, the full control bra ensures flawless fitting for regular use. Available in bigger cups, these provide maximum support that heavier busts require. If you smaller breasts, these are something you should never look at.

Unlined Lace Bras

Unlined lace bras are easier to carry and are made to ace the bedroom game. Available in vibrant colors usually, these exotic bras are sure to leave a lasting, irreplaceable impact.

Push-up Bras

Women with small boobs need to realize the magic these bras do. Coming with thick padding in the inner sides, these bras give the uplifting effect to busts, creating the perfect cleavage. Use them when seduction is on your mind.

Strapless Bras

These bras do just the trick to pull of sleeveless tees, sundresses and tank tops. Deep and wide necked dresses also go very well with these bras and any stunning look can be pulled off wearing these. They don’t do a very good job with heavy busts though, so you may want to reconsider your pick when you choose these.

I remember though that most of these options weren’t always readily available here in Pakistan. Luckily, a few new brands and outlets have emerged in the market where you can shop for a wide variety of sexy, premium, sensual lingerie like BLS, Amante and Secret. If you’re fortunate, you may find some decent stuff off the Triumph collections too. Just know what you’re shopping for, before you dig in, so you #FeelGoodWithin.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Here’s a tried and tested organic solution to Hair Fall problems

Post natal side effects and aftermath of surgical processes are marked by severe hair fall for many people. This is characterized by severe depression and stress of losing natural hair.

There are many hair solutions available in the market in the form of oils, creams, serums and masks, but many are synthetic in nature, mass produced by factories. Many hair oils produced by companies don't pay heed to customers' issues. Very few address the concerns.

I’ve recently fallen for a new organic fusion hair oil available in the market by the name of Miracle Oil. It is an amalgamation of six essential oils that perform various functions and keep hair intact, free from fall.

In the last few months I had gained a lot of weight, later tried to rapidly lose all of it (majorly by starving myself). Goes without saying that it took a toll on me and the lack of nutrient intake proved disastrous. I started losing a little hair to it. My hair though dead straight, silky and brown, never had the volume I desired so it was kind of alarming. This is when I decided to give it a try. I’ve been using Miracle Oil since the last few weeks (twice a week) and I have to admit that I’ve seen quite a difference in my hair volume. I feel them stronger and whenever I brush, I hardly lose a bunch of strands. Great, no?

Miracle Oil is a mix of Lavender Oil, Almond Oil, and Coconut Oil with a bunch of secret ingredients (of course). Through my research I learnt that Lavender Oil helps soothe hair scalp through its moisturizing properties and works well with dandruff. It relieves headaches and pains and adds a natural fragrance to the oil. Almond oil has quite a few therapeutic properties too. It is optimal for hair loss and damage repairs. Coconut oil is best known for penetrating hair follicles, fostering growth and strength. After reading up all that, I was like ‘no wonder this oil works’.

Look below for yourself.

This would be me flaunting my gorgeous hair ;) I plan to continue using the oil, decreasing the frequency though to once a week (over the weekends) so to keep the luster and volume. You might want to give it a try.

Here’s the link of the Facebook page from where you can order Miracle Oil, just in case. Happy massaging! :)

Literature and Fiction have no Creative, Moral, or National Boundaries, proves #KhiLF, its panelists and authors

Every year, the Karachi Literature Festival is organized and celebrated with great zest. Many of us experience a literary extravaganza over the weekend it is spread over. Over the years, the concepts and themes picked have become redundant, yet some bits of the festival never fail to surprise.

Each successive year, Karachi Literature brings together literary figures, authors, publishers, journalists, artists, columnists, poets etc. under one roof, looking beyond national and cultural boundaries. Last year, Nandita Das, the Indian film actor and director marked presence at the Karachi Literature Festival and Laxmi Tripathi, Transgender Rights Activist’s attendance at the premises made waves. But people have been complaining about the dearth of international authors time and again.

This year, on the 8th edition of KLF, some inspiration that I got was from Piyush Jha, a Crime Fiction writer who has quite a few books published under his name. Well known for his critically acclaimed best sellers Raakshas and Mumbaistan, I got all pumped up knowing he was going to bless Karachi with his presence. A panelist for the discussion ‘Murder, They Wrote’, he said some things, making me consider crime writing myself.

I’ve always been into crime fiction. Sherlock Holmes has been an all-time favorite and Sherlock, the TV series featuring Benedict Cumberbatch has caught my attention. Recently I’ve fallen in love with Shameless (US version), and all this fascination is for the classic amalgamation of crime fiction and drama. After this session at Karachi Literature Festival, I’m exploring crime fiction as my goodreads.

A few pointers that Piyush and other panelists Omar Shahid and SS Mousoof touched about Crime Fiction, answering important questions are critical for any emerging writer in the genre. They said female have largely been ignored as protagonists in crime scenes when they can play pivotal roles in setting up the stage. Part of the reason why these writers didn’t have female leads was because they themselves wouldn’t have been able to do justice to the character as men. As offensive as it sounded at the moment, I believe females have a penchant for drama and scheming and I might want to revolve my first criminal story around a strong female character.

While answering whether crime writers have any social responsibility, the authors said portraying the complexities of mental illness is challenging. Trying to keep a balance is the key in crime fiction, so the reader empathizes with the character but does not necessarily like him/her. So, Social Responsibility is something that a journalist might want to keep into consideration but authors have no such responsibility. Fiction is fiction after all, and has no creative or moral boundaries.

I have developed a huge fascination for this genre, as evident. You might see a book or two by me in Crime Fiction in the near future. Amen to that! :D

Monday, 20 February 2017

#Sparkistan showed that anything is possible if you have the conviction and the SPARK

Some of us are born knowing what we want to do, some of us learn later what we are meant to do. But to achieve what we really want to, we have to put in such struggles. Ask the person who’s about to sit in an exam, or the one who’s an inch away from securing that promotion. Even though most of us try to work our ass off to get what we want, we sometimes go astray. It is in those times when we need stories. Stories of people with conviction, the will to finish what they started. I found my latest dose of inspiration from the heroes around us highlighted by Atlas Battery in their latest campaign Sparkistan.

Sparkistan is a movement featuring stories of doctors, activists and record breakers who made impossible, possible. The name comes from the idea that people who have what it takes give this nation and its people the ‘spark’ needed to survive challenges of life.

The campaign has so far featured and brought to limelight, the stories of the following:

Dr Naeem Taj, a Guinness World Record holder of removing the largest gall bladder from a human body. Dr. Naeem Taj wanted to be a vocalist but his father pushed him to become a surgeon and made him believe in himself. It is due to that faith that he became a sensation.

Mohammad Ali who got motivated by a bunch of alarming societal issues like cases of missing children and abuse etc. created Roshni Helpline which caters to the problem. Through his initiative hundreds of missing children have found way back to their homes. He has also managed to pull transgenders to support the cause too.

Samar Khan, a young Pakistani daring lady who is the first woman to cycle her way up Biafco Glacier wanted to do the unconventional. Despite being a Pakistani girl, Samar was unstoppable. She wanted to be unconventional and prove that women can do things as great as men, maybe even better. With conviction, she proved herself. Oh and she has it all sorted.

What is great is that these are common people, people like us. Whenever I look at such achievements of people, I tell myself ‘when they can do it, why can’t I?’ and that basically keeps me going.

I am glad to be a part of this country where people are literally crazy, crazy to follow their dreams and keep their spark alive, making Pakistan, ‘Sparkistan’. It is true: a home is known by the people that dwell there.

International Comedians making an entry to the Pakistani Comedy Scene with Comedy Masala

Comedy Masala, as it debuted in Singapore is a movement of numerous International Standup comedians coming together for the common purpose of entertaining audiences. Over the years, it has emerged as a brand in itself.

Comedy Masala is about to make its entry in Pakistan. As a part of the launch (first event being held on 23rd February 2017), Comedy Masala will create 6 shows, and will include 3 entertainers from the USA: Paul Ogata, Dwayne Perkins and Matt Davis. Comedy Masala organizer and Pakistani artist, Umar Rana, is the force behind this initiative. Advance month to month shows have been planned for April, June, July, August, September, October, November and December 2017, with each show highlighting an alternate line up of international humorists.

This is the first time ever Pakistan will experience thrilling performances by international comedians and many are looking forward to it. The news has already caught attention of many and the organizers are hoping to make it the talk of the town.

Meanwhile us, the regular peeps hungry for quality entertainment, await the wittiest and the most f’awesome thrilling experience. Hope the organizers and the performers live up to the expectations.

For more details and schedules, you may check out their website or the event page. Want to get in touch with them? The Facebook page is the answer.

P.S. Stay with my Twitter for updates on the event.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Give your metabolism a boost by kickstarting your day with Coffee

“I need a man who’d serve me chai in bed every morning I wake up” – the biggest wish I’ve had so far.

While tea makes a good start to my day every morning, coffee makes a great companion for my evenings and weekends when I’m in bed reading ‘Little Women’ or ‘Forty Rules of Love’ for the 100th time.

The chai vs. coffee debate has been so old now. Everybody has their opinions and preferences, and reasons for their choices and I will not dig into the debate but I feel it is my duty to educate my audience. Read the next few sentences, and you'll be surprised. :)

Contrary to the popular belief, I’ve recently discovered, that coffee provides a lot of health benefits especially black coffee (or Americano, if you’re fancy). What took me by surprise was the one thing that matters the most, the fact that coffee provides a good metabolism throughout the day. Through my research, I found out that coffee and black coffee in particular helps burn a lot of fat. Although according to some people, once your body becomes caffeine tolerant it stops providing this benefit, but studies show empirical evidence that coffee helps consume less, hence contributing to the overall fitness of a person.

Now that I believe works as a catalyst to fuel many other benefits that coffee provides. Moderate consumption of coffee helps control diabetes, works as a shield against stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, protects against growth of cancer cells, and contributes as an agent in anti-ageing characteristics.

I know quite a few millennials who don’t drink tea. So if you are not too habitual of consuming tea every morning and look at something else that could help you kickstart your day, you might want to make coffee a part of your morning routine. All the above facts, good enough reasons, no? :D

Here's to another cup! Cheers! :D

Information source:

Friday, 27 January 2017

Meaty Treats for the Meat Lovers at Karachi Eat Festival

The weekend that just passed was a foodie affair. Almost everyone I knew flocked to Frere Hall for a flavor of something desi, something tangy, something sweet, some innovative food concepts etc. But as Pakistanis we tend to be a nation that hogs on meat wherever we see it, thus it came as no surprise when I saw many people performing literal tawaaf around the Meat One stall (don’t mind the religious jokes, have a good sense of humor please? :p). Also saw many people around the Chapli Kabab and the Jucy Lucy corners.

So I decided to give some of the meaty delights from the Meat One stall a try. These were some of their offerings:

Chicken Samosas – 3 for Rs. 100
Chapli Kabab – 2 for Rs. 100
Chicken Cordon Bleu – For Rs. 300
Medallion Steak – 2 small pieces – For Rs. 300

I tried the Chicken Cordon Bleu and it truly was a hit in the right places. Filled with a cheesy sauce topping and a crispy texture with mild spices it was a really good treat form me. I am not a big chicken fan, but the Cordon Bleu surely had a distinctive taste to my liking. Also complimenting on the side, mashed potatoes, made it a good combo.

The Petite Beef Medallion Steak was medium to well done and didn’t have a hard chewy feel to it. I was able to easily cut through it even with my plastic cutlery. Flavors were also balanced.

When inquired, I found out that recipes were the owner’s mom’s, which gave the items the desired taste. The price for each (Rs. 300) was also fair as per the serving size. They got a pretty decent response. Perhaps Meat One should open up a little restaurant of its own. Something to think about, no? :)

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Highlights of my Experience at #KarachiEat2017

This is Karachi Food Diary and if I don't put one update on #KarachiEat2017 that would be unfair, so here it goes.

These are a must have at the festival and the highlights of my food experience here:

1. Pav Bhaji and the Bun Kababs at the National Stall. Priced at PKR 100 each, the dishes were a good value for money and tasted pretty good. The bun kababs had a moderate qeema filling, served with green chutney it tantalized my taste buds. Pav Bhaji was just too good. For a hardcore wanna-be vegetarian, this was an ultimate delight. #NationalAtKEF

2. The Butter Puff crackers made with different meat combinations were so light on the pocket (for Rs. 30 each). But the other offerings at the #PeekFreansCafe are getting more and might I say the rightly deserved attention. The Chocolate S'more (for Rs. 50) with layers of chocolate chips and dark chocolate and the ice cream sandwich made with Chocolicious cookies were badass,not to forget the Panna Cotta (PKR 50) made with Marie.

3. The Batair and Prawn Tempura at GR Premium Catering were a cherry on top. For an above average serving size and the taste of the dishes, a PKR 300 seemed justified. Being a crazy seafood lover, the prawn tempura made my tummy yearn for more. #GRcateringAtKEF


4. The Churros at the Wall's Cafe were such a good fresher. Even though it was freezing but ice cream is a must have so ordered the ones with chocolate. The Churros were sweet enough but slightly less chewy. Really liked the addition of Oreo and chocolate chip as toppings.

5. Jaan Leva Dahi Papri was a big hit. I liked the taste a lot, but the dish had more yogurt than tamarind according to me and thus lacked the desired level of tangy flavor as per my liking. It was slightly on the higher side too, Rs. 150 for literally 5 bites. They should perhaps consider increasing the quantity.

6. The burger at Jucy Lucy was pretty decent. A friend told me that they had a layer of cheese within the patty and I knew I had to give it a try. It was a little raw on the inside, perhaps because of the cheese, but the fusion of flavors was pretty good.

7. Last but not least, the Cordon Bleu at the Meat One stall was to die for. Such a balanced taste and the meat was cooked to perfection. The after taste was great too. Other items that are worth trying from this stall: Chapli Kababs, Medallion Steak. #MeatOneatKEF

All in all, it was a fooding spree that I went on and it was totally worth it. A great experience it was. Me, Seema Tejani and Amber Zulfiqar also made a #SimplyYum video and revived our little food show. Here: