Category Archives: Trends

#BreakTheNorm – Stay at Home Moms Vs Working Moms

Women’s day is all about celebrating women around the world and raising awareness about their rights in man’s world. This year it was quite a stir about stay at home moms vs working moms after Filmstar Shahid Kapoor’s wife Mira Rajpoot spoke about her being a proud stay at home mom while choosing to judge working moms. This international women’s day on Pakistani Twitter (apart from this Saas bahu type discussion of working Vs homemakers) was all about courageous women who have proved their matel in every walk of life. 

Gosh Pakistan, a Copenhagen based cosmetic company decided to honor such brave women from every walk of life this women’s day and got noticed. It is not easy to be a women in man’s world and definitely an achievement to be at the top of your field. No matter how many times she has to break the norm of being a girl, she is there to achieve whatever she dreams about. Good to see such encouragement and celebration from brands. #BreakTheNorm hashtag made me share my story too which a lot of people got inspired by. It was my honest tale about marriage, work and having kids. I kinda find myself relating to Mira Rajpoot as well as the other mommies around. 

Mira Rajpoot, being completely an outsider to bollywood might not know how to be politically correct like her husband but her choice of words at public forums has sparked outrage often. Being a stay at home mom myself I can relate to her sentiments but then I work (freelance) too. That makes me understand the perspective of both working as well as homemaker women.

I would like to give Mira some linenacy as her intentions might not be derogatory towards working moms but her statement reflects otherwise. Being a star wife and choosing to be a mom at such young age is her choice and she’s happy with her role. I hope in future she realizes that her statements has a mass reach and she should be respectful to other women.

In response to her sentiments there was an open letter written by three working moms explaining their struggles to raise kids as well earn for themselves. The points were extremely valid but was it an effort to demean the stature of stay at home moms? I felt like it was written in a way to portray that working moms are superior to stay at home moms because they have to battle it out more. Then again it is a matter of choice.

Moms are brave, bold and powerful. If they chose to stay at home or work, let them be. Being a women we should support and encourage moms in every possible way. 

I choose to stay at home but I am earning through my freelance work projects too, which allows me to be with the kids most of the time. They’re so young to take care of themselves and I chose to be with them. Whenever I have to go out for any event or any assignment I make sure that the kids stay with their father. It is a constant juggling between the roles but I am trying to manage it. I don’t compare my choices with any other women rather I try to break the norm for myself and excel in doing what I love to do. Between kids and job it is like a demotional experience for mommies. (Shahrukh Khan coined the term demotional which means to be detached and yet emotional about someone). 

Embrace every role in your life with dignity. Be the women who support other women rather than being the one who pull others down. It needs a lot of courage to pursue your dreams, don’t let your gender be a reason not to do so. 

About first ever #OriflameBloggersMeetup and Product Review

The invite of first ever Oriflame Pakistan’s Bloggers meetup came in as a sweet surprise to me because I haven’t seen them very active on social media platforms before. In fact their direct selling method is the one which keeps you wondering about them. Few of my relatives & friends  are already working with Oriflame as their consultants and keep informing me about the new offers & products. So, it is a kind of household name to us. 

The products need no fake praises because everyone knows that they’re worth every penny. Also, the ingredients are cruelty free & natural, making their skin care range one of the best out there. But that wasn’t the goal of this unique bloggers meetup. I was excited about going there to actually know what makes them go active on social media. Glad that I went and met Oriflame Pakistan’s enthusiastic team with some amazing fellow bloggers. It was one of the best meetups that I have been to. 

We were greeted by Fahad, Sufyan & Gul afshan at the meetup as we’re like their family. It was all about the vision behind Oriflame Sweden’s birth & then how it spreads globally. Oriflame Sweden aims to fulfill dreams of their employees(basically the resellers, whom they call consultants and managers). 

Oriflame Sweden is almost 50 years old & one of world’s few certified direct selling companies,  providing employment opportunities to people from the comfort of their homes while having no compromise on the quality of their products. In fact they are proud of the way they operate. 

In past 8 years Oriflame Pakistan has managed to become a family of 12000 consultants Countrywide. As per standard procedure Oriflame products came in catalog offers to their respective consultants for buyers. You’ll get them sometimes with a discount too when there is a promotion going on. The key is to keep an eye on offers. 

Product review- Oriflame Products that I’ve tried so far:

I’ve used Oriflame’s 5in1 facial foam, Tea tree based blemish corrector, The ONE spa care lip balm, Giordani Gold bronzing pearls(In Natural peach shade this bronzer is a bomb) and eye liner way before this meetup happened. This was the first time that I’ve tried their complete makeup range and skin creams. The goody bag (even the invite) was surprisingly a generous one with lots of winter essentials. 

I’ve used their The ONE illuskin foundation in Ivory shade. It has a very light, non greasy formula that spreads evenly on your face giving medium coverage. Somewhat similar to a BB cream or fit me foundation. With a pressed powder  you can get a perfect base for a formal look or you can easily carry it without powder for everyday look. The foundation has SPF 20 protection & the pump dispenser comes with a twist n lock head. That’s a plus. 

The oh so heavy jar of Milk & Honey gold nourishing hand & body cream is my favorite product these days. The cream is quite pasty n thick, easily manageable, not an oily one & gives a softer hydrated feel. O Gosh it makes your skin smell like just out of a dessert bar. Perfect winter companion. 

Pure color Lipsticks didn’t impress me with their pigmentation & packaging. They are pretty glossy & have low staying power. 

The ONE lipsticks both matte & glossy are decent. I got Cranberry blush shade of The ONE lipstick & coral shade in matte. Both packaging & pigmentation is good for these two shades(the stain of matte lipstick stays way longer than you actually want). The Giordano range of lipsticks felt like royalty. They were so moisturizing & luxurious. 

Feet-up foot cream is on trial these days & I’ll review it after using for atleast 2 weeks but so far so good. There are lots of other items in the goody bag that I’ll be trying soon to let you all know what’s worth buying from Oriflame Pakistan. 

PS: Go through Oriflame’s love Natural skin care range as it is my favorite one so far. You’ll love it because of the tea tree benefits. 

It is good to see Oriflame Pakistan growing at a pace in Pakistan. I hope they continue to strive for the best in future too. You can check Oriflame Pakistan’s website to explore their products or ask from any of their consultants near you. 

Nivea cream – A tin for beautiful skin & makeup hack you need

Fortnight ago, I was rummaging through my skincare drawer looking for a bottle of witch hazel that I know I had bought and forgotten about. While pushing stuff away, I saw a blue tin laying at the back, almost hidden under a pack of cotton swabs. I had struck gold. It was the classic tin of Nivea cream that women have used all over the world for more than a century. Good news! The formula is still the same.

Nivea cream makeup hack skincare beauty

I recall my aunts and cousins using this forever. Their skin looks flawless to this date with minimal wrinkles -plump and healthy. So did Marilyn Monroe’s. She used the classic blue tin too. Kate Winslet and Princess Kate Middleton prefer Nivea skincare products over high end dodgy brands with questionable ingredients.
Let me just tell you how Nivea cream in the blue tin can change how your skin looks for the better.

Nivea cream, originally a German product by the company Beiersdorf  is what you want. It has the typical nostalgic fragrance, sealed in foil. Creamy, thick and rich in its consistency.  The famous patented ingredient is Eucerit that is added only in the safer German version of the cream. Germany is known to have the most ethical consumers policy in the world. Harmful chemicals and crude ingredients such as Mineral Oil (the acne king) is banned in the country. The American/Mexican version of the same cream packaged in plastic blue tub has a different formula devoid of Eucerit and replete with pore clogging mineral oil. Most cases have also reported excessive hair growth on body parts exposed to mineral oil over long periods of time. Johnson’s baby oil anyone? So basically what I am saying is ‘STAY AWAY FROM THE MEXICAN VERSION’. 

HOW TO USE THE PRODUCT:

  • Best time to use it is at night. Slather it on before bed. It will look oily but will sink into the skin overnight and you will wake up with plump skin. The product will not mix in water. Make sure whatever part of the body you use it on is completely dry.
  • Nivea helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles over a period of time.
  • It acts as a filler for lips and plumps them up when used as a lip balm.
  • It heals dry cracked heals.
  • Nivea will reduce stretch marks with regular use.
  • Nivea is a rich eye cream.
  • It is a brilliant aftershave balm.
  • It reduces scars and pigmentation over time.
  • It is economical and effective.
  • Can be used as a primer (OMG, THIS IS THE BEST THING) for makeup because it has glycerin.
  • Nivea is a body cream. Use after shower for softer skin.
  • Can be used as a makeup remover in the old school way.
  • Remove marks/lines from patent leather products with this cream.
  • Set baby hairs on the forehead with Nivea.
  • Moisturize dry cuticles.
  • Immediately fixes itchiness on skin after shave or wax or due to dryness.

You will use no other moisturizing skincare product when you get the hang of this one. Both men and women should have this affordable product on their grooming shelves. People who have used the high end La Mer cream, call it a steeper version of the German Nivea cream with the difference of seaweed and mineral oil.

This product has benefitted me that is why I am sharing it with everyone else. Try using it in manners mentioned above. I have also seen this in vanity bags of a few supermodels and female actors.  They for a fact would never share this skincare secret with others.

P.S. Please do not EAT Nivea. 😀

Credits: This post has been written by the very charming Sommayia Malik. Remember Is dais k desi khanay on masala TV? Now you remember her 😊 I thank her for sharing this beauty wonder.

She tweets at @somiyyahmalik.

Mercury poisoning linked with cosmetics

Whenever you go to a beauty salon or spa what’s that one word that you keep on hearing? Its whitening or lightening. We have a craze of whitening and lightening facials, whitening cleansers, whitening masks and what not. It seems that every girl out there needs to look whiter and brighter with every passing day. This is a dangerous trend and made way for the popularity of formula creams few years back. Instant results of such lightening creams are due to the presence of some harmful ingredients like mercury.

As a matter of fact you should be reading the ingredient list of any product that you’re going to use on your skin. There are hazardous ingredients like carcinogens and heavy metals including mercury, widely being used in production of various creams and cosmetics. In 1976, the use of mercury in cosmetic products was banned in the EU. The US banned the use of mercury in skin bleaching creams much later in 1990. In Pakistan, PSQCA recently approved a (voluntary) standard on fairness creams which limits the use of mercury in cosmetics to safe limits.

Earlier in January 2016, a study conducted by Centre of Science and Environment, India’s leading NGO shows that mercury is present in 44% of popular Fairness cream brands in India which is alarming. We still don’t have such study in Pakistan to check and monitor that how many cosmetics, soaps and creams out there are using harmful ingredients.

Mercury, when even used in small quantities can lighten skin coloration by suppressing melanin production. Hence the quick effects of whitening are seen without knowing the damage that’s going to come with time. Out of so many carcinogens and harmful ingredients being used in skin lightening creams, mercury is the most toxic.

It is the only liquid metal that can turn into vapors and highly absorbent on skin. You must’ve heard that a broken thermometer needs to be disposed of carefully. Simply because it has neurotoxin mercury which can be absorbed in the body through skin or vapor inhalation.

Historic Fact: The first emperor of China, Qín Shǐ Huáng Dì was killed by drinking a mercury and powdered jade mixture formulated by Qin alchemists (causing liver failure, mercury poisoning, and brain death) who intended to give him eternal life. It is a known neurotoxic.

Inorganic mercury present in formula creams can damage kidneys and may cause rashes, skin discoloration and scarring. It can also cause anxiety, depression, psychosis and peripheral neuropathy. Also, if you’ve applied any such creams and comes in contact with an infant, he or she can also get mercury inhaled thorugh vapors or licking your finger/skin.

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Image credit: Gulfnews

The standard of safe mercury levels as approved by FDA and WHO in fairness creams is 1ppm (i.e. 1mg of cream has 1 million particles and only 1 particle can be of mercury) and even a slight increase than this value is banned in US and EU.

Always use a trusted brand when it comes to your skin. Use the products which are ISO or SHA certified and well known for their quality standards. Don’t waste your money on a pack of poisonous cocktail of steroids and carcinogens. Spend wisely and beware of the ingredients that you’re going to use on your precious skin. Wear your skin with pride and confidence of being beautiful.

What makes Lawn such a craze?

Lawn season officially begins in Pakistan from February 2016. Spring summer collection volume 1 by every designer and brand is releasing almost weekly. With all those extravagant catalogues, fancy TVC’s and extensive marketing campaigns what actually makes lawn popular in Pakistani market? Is it the face of the brand that makes you go crazy for a certain lawn brand or is it the fabric quality, design aesthetics or pricing? Seems pretty hard to find out.

There are lawn brands like Sapphire who likes to have exclusivity agreement with their model in an effort to stand out from the crowd while there are lawn brands like Jay dot and Almirah who are using mannequins to market their product. Few brands use the same model every year like Crescent lawn has Kareena Kapoor’s face for their collections and then there are two different brands (Alkaram and Zara Shahjahan lawn) signing Syra shahroz this year and both the lawn collections were launched with a gap of a week or two. It is a complex thing to understand these marketing gimmicks. Celebrities make things stand out and people get attracted easily.

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Lawn is a fabric that’s produced in Pakistan and famous for its wearability in summer season. With the inception of designers in lawn market there has been a huge boost in sales and stature of the fabric. Fashion Designers collaborate with textile mills to launch Summer Lawn Collections from February to August every year with Eid collections as an extension.

As a customer I do get attracted towards the high end lawn designs but I couldn’t gather courage to buy a lawn jorra worth PKR 6000 & more till date. As a matter of fact, I’ve made a restriction not to buy more than 3K worth of a jorra in summers. After all Sana Safinaz pehno ya Sitara sapna, garmi main to aap ne Karachi ki kharab hona hy.

What do you think makes lawn a craze? Do share.