NATURAL HAIR CARE w/ AEGTE: WHY THIS IS MY GO-TO PRODUCT!

The last few months have been super hectic. From getting used to an alternative lifestyle and double checking every product before consumption – from brands telling us about immunity boosting goods to apps telling us about 10 ways to lead a healthier lifestyle, our lives have been a subject to change.

For me, I am extremely particular about what I consume as I have always been finicky about my skin and hair. The concern probably just comes from that angle. Being a Bengali and having always had long hair since as long as I can remember, my hair products have always been very assorted and suitable for my hair. I not only have long hair, but also curly hair! And that’s never easy to maintain especially when in humid parts of the country, my hair tends to get extremely frizzy.

I remember when i was young, Ma used to apply some curd and a lot of natural remedies to my hair, once a week. With time, of course that was a luxury of the past. Now we are all in this fast-paced environment and natural hair care can be a tricky territory to walk through – especially because, it’s hair! You really don’t want to be out experimenting some product one day and next day end up having like a thousand problems.

While being confined at home so much during this lockdown, I decided to research on some good products and came across Aegte.

Aegte has derived its ingenious products by combining natural ingredients and science. I tried two of their products – Keralution Shampoo & Keralution Hair Mask from the brand. I think my hair has already started feeling so much smoother and softer.

KERALUTION SHAMPOO

These are some of the benefits I felt after using the product Keralution Shampoo for my hair! And just so you know, I have really thick hair!

Benefits of the shampoo that I felt:

  • Voluminous hair
  • Stronger hair, less breakage
  • Definitely more manageable
  • More buster or shine
  • Improved my hair texture & softness

Aegte Keralution sulphate free Keratin Shampoo is infused with keratin, biotin, and argan oil. It helps to build up the hair strength, shine, smoothness and takes away the fizziness. Ginger extract takes care of controlling hair fall and promote new hair growth.

Some other Product Benefits!

  • Hair Nourishment
  • Less prone to drying
  • Deep conditioning
  • Scalp Cleansing
  • Stimulate hair growth
  • Stops premature greying
  • Fights Dandruff and scalp infection

Some of the best USP’s of the Aegte Keralution Shampoo are :

  • 100% Organic
  • Naturally extracted
  • Sulfate free
  • Paraben free
  • Keratin + Biotin shampoo
  • Suitable for every hair type

Buy it here.

KERALUTION HAIR MASK

If you are not using a mask or hair conditioner after your shampoo, that is all kind of blasphemy, from Monday to Sunday! Please don’t be lazy and condition or mask your hair! I used the Keralution Hair Mask post the shampoo – and first of all can I just tell you how exquisitely sweet it smells! Like mmmm, sooooo good! I loved the both the products because of that sweet smell even more – it is so relaxing , takes all your stress away.

Benefits of the mask that I could feel :

  • Conditioning and restoration of damaged hair
  • Has Biotin so it enhances Keratin Restoration
  • Intensive therapy for damaged and coarse hair
  • Gives perfect softness, shine, and glamour. ABSOLUTELY!

The hair benefits it promises :

  • Keratin for long-term protection
  • Conditions and restores damaged hair
  • Gives perfect softness, shine, and glamour
  • Has Biotin to enhance Keratin Restoration
  • Intensive therapy for damaged and coarse hair

Honestly, this may seem complicated to understand, hence without much overthinking – go ahead and buy this pair right here.

Buy it here!- https://www.aegte.in

Written by,

Adhisa Ghosh

HOW I PLAN MY INSTAGRAM FEED: A GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS!

I cannot believe this is going to be a blog post, but I think our increased social media dependency has amplified with the pandemic and lockdown.

Hence, without any further drama, I am going to tell you some simple steps I take to curate my IG feed. Personally, I feel I have grown since the last 2 years, in terms of my personal content and aesthetics. That also could be because I was not very involved or never thought of how Instagram could be so much more than just sharing a photo.

How you treat your Instagram can define the way you grid it.

For example. if you want a pretty aesthetic driven feed, based on your interests, likes and dislikes, you will need to follow up trends and also see what is reflective of your lifestyle.

The way I plan mine these days is completely based on fashion, lifestyle and mood.

I think at the end of the day, you need to know what works for you and what doesn’t. There are so many apps that can help you align your feed but these few steps are the easiest way to nail a good feed, for beginners!

STEP 1: GOOD PHOTO

Take a good photo! Start clicking what best comes close to your page topic. Love fashion? Replicate trends and click. Love makeup? Do some glam looks. Love baking or cooking? Indulge in some food photography.

These days, you do not need a digital camera, a good phone does most of the work, with the help of some quick editing apps!

STEP 2: FEED PLANNER

Once you have the aesthetics nailed, remember your feed needs to speak about the journey you are curating. Post relevant information. Post relevant content. If I am visually balancing by posting fashion/lifestyle themed content – I am not going to suddenly post about technology! Especially, if it is not going visually with my theme.

Your Instagram grid works in 9 image graph. So, your 9 images are 1 complete grid that won’t shift. Once you understand that, you can take help of apps like Preview and other similar feed planner. This is the best when you are serious about curating a good feed!

STEP 3: SYMMETRY/ASYMMETRY

Visual balance ! This can be tricky. However, what I do is I create a visual symmetry/asymmetrical balance with photos. Let me simplify.

Below is an example of a 12 grid. (3photos * 4 rows)

If you take the two rows from below- you can see a triangle block in the 6 grids. I have repeated my close ups and far shots alternatively. I have kept a pattern in the repetition and I have kept the colour palette close to similar shades – white, beige, sunset, fall colours, maroon overtones.

I have also balanced heavy images and scenic images alternatively, so it creates a semblance and does not look too crowded. So, to sum it up – you should plan your feed with a balanced rotation.

1close up – 1 far shot – 1 close up : 1 fashion portrait – 1 lifestyle image – 1 fashion portrait. (3:3)

STEP 4: EDITING APPS

Filters! Filters! Filters!

While being natural is great, I really cannot upload a photo on Instagram without basic corrections of light and shadow. I am absolutely against using filters and apps that completely distort your face.

However, there are certain apps that I use to get the base filter corrections similar for the photos I want to post in a grid (9-12 photos).

These are Snapseed , VSCO, Prequel (for their video effects and plenty of blogger and grainy image options, grunge & retro edits) and Polarr. Some of these also have paid features but I am not that advanced. Snapseed is completely free and that pretty much does my work. I also use this app called Unfold for stories – it basically gives me a clean template layout.

Also another example of a 9-grid visual balance, planned via Preview.

And you are set!

Once you get an idea about balancing your visuals and finding a middle ground to harmonise your colour palettes, half your battle is won. Good resolution photos are everything!

Also, I think because i have OCD, I am so particular about wanting to keep it clean, minimal. At the end of the day, your content needs to come from a place of passion, of authenticity. Of speaking about who you are, even if your captions are not. It needs to at least be aspirational in terms of having a reach and engagement. I have never curated my Instagram for want of followers. I think I do it mostly because I enjoy the platform that allows me to express my styles, fashion, other sensibilities and make it like a mood board. More than just post photos for the sake of it! I like the limited curation and reach it has, and I don’t want that to change.

I have a very Bradshaw heart. (I love how only a few would understand this reference)

Featuring my best friend and babies 😀

XOXO,

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

ACCESSORISING ON WOMEN’S DAY!

After a series of moving cities, friends and job, it was taking me a while to start writing – for who I really was. This blog would be my one slice of honesty. I think there could not have been more of a befitting day than today to post a blog!

Created with RNI Films app. Preset ‘Fuji FP 100C v.6 Faded’

The more we talk about this day, it’s significance and its requirement in today’s times, the more its narration morphs these days. Women are such powerhouses huh? From micro-managing to meeting others expectations before hers, be it at home, work or literally anywhere – there is so much that goes by around, already.

During such times, there is also the dilemma of having to always look good – be presentable in the easiest of glamorous ways. And the details – god! I am always about the small minute things – the finer beauty in life is all in the details no? I think when it is my personal style, whether at work or outside, I love a simple earring and some layering in accessorising. After all, we need to be ourselves – you need to be you when you style yourself.

We need to break from the multiple roles we play and I do it best with Accessory Funk. I will let that be open to interpretations – but know that if you decided to curate your own style, use my code : AFXSURBGIRL20 and avail 20% OFF on the entire website.

This is as real, unedited yet beautiful in its rawness that we want to be. As women, we are always strong, we are always beautiful, what better than to add to it ? 🙂

XOXO,

Adhisa Ghosh

*all jewelleries above are from Accessory Funk. Use code AFXSURBGIRL20 for 20% OFF on the website!

HOW TO GET YOUR CURLS TO LISTEN TO YOU – 6 WAYS TO TAME THE FRIZZ DURING INDIAN MONSOONS

Hey there! So just the other day I was wondering how my hair would start having it’s own set of mood, now that the monsoons are on in full swing.

There is absolutely nothing worse for the hair and skin like the Indian monsoons sometimes 😩! The humidity in the air can ruin one’s skin and hair and a few precautions can go a long way in keeping up the natural quality. If you have curly or wavy hair like me, it’s impossible to not get mad at how the weather and the constant pouring rain can make your hair frizzy, dull and lifeless. ☹️

Giving you a list of the essential hair care products I use for my curls!

TRESemmé Climate Control Shampoo Conditioner

I cannot stress what this duo product does to my hair when I am in Indian climate, its the only product my hair abides by! Easy to buy and also over the counter, use it for the best tamed and soft hair during this monsoon and round the season! 🙌🏽

L’Oreal Instant Clear

If you have dandruff problems frequently due to the weather, stress or pollution, this is one product that will cleans your scalp and is completely worth it! Sometimes, when I feel my dandruff gets triggered, I use it first on my scalp and leave it on for 3 minutes, then follow it with my regular shampoo and conditioner. ✌🏽

L’Oreal Hair Spa Smoothing Creambath Hair Mask

Due to heavy demand you may not find this product online always but you could easily find it at a L’Oreal salon. However, you can shop it online by clicking on the link and I have probably lost you at this point if I have to tell you just how important hydrating your hair is ! Get a hair spa at home with this hair mask! It’s once a week mandatory activity, come on! 🙆🏽

B-blunt High Definition Curl Defining Leave-in Cream

Monsoons can turn the best of our curls in frizzy curls and that’s more than a nightmare! This leave-in cream does to some extent help to lock curls and give it texture! Apply it in towel dry damp hair and scrunch your hair while letting it air-dry or style the way you want. For me, this does let my hair be in place when I am on the go and have just washed my hair! I leave it on and let it get air dried naturally and that gives it better effect and definition! 😚

L’Oreal Paris Total Repair 5 Instant Smoothing & Repairing Oil Serum

You know how some products are like a constant and you forget to give them their due credit because they have been fixing it since a while. This serum is definitely a must-have for any kind of hair type, for all seasons and a must application post hair wash! There are two kinds of people in this world – one that doesn’t apply serum after a hair wash and one that do.

It really transforms your life and hair for the better and a bit of self-care goes a long way! Must buy. 🤘🏼

Vitamin E hair Oil

At least once in two weeks, over night or a an hour before hair wash. Vitamin E helps in hair growth, dandruff clearance and is basically food for your hair. It is a good product to integrate in your hair care regimen.

On an ending note : the key lies to being healthy from inside out as well! Stay hydrated, eat fruits and vegetables good for your hair and skin too!

These photos uploaded here have been clicked right after I have used some of the above products!

Products used –

1- TRESemmé Climate Control Shampoo and Conditioner

2- L’Oreal Instant Clear (use it as a monsoon precaution)

3- L’Oreal Hair Spa Smoothing Creambath Hair Mask

4- Blunt High Definition Curl Defining Leave-in Cream

XOXO,

Adhisa Ghosh

UNFILTERED : HOW TO DEAL WITH ANXIETY&SKINCARE IN YOUR 20’S

“The sooner you accept you are imperfect, I promise you half the battle is won.”

I, for one, cannot stress on how important it is to sometimes take that photo without a filter or a special cam and accept however you see yourself. If your perception about yourself isn’t a positive one, no amount of filter or camera can change that for you. So you have to accept all the blemishes, pigmentations, dark circles and puffiness and find beauty in your character and strength. I hope you get that conviction.

When I was 17, I was going through so many medications because of my acne and it used to hamper my self-esteem. At the cusp of being a teenager and an adult, there are dynamic changes we go through. We tend to be so warped up in this transition that we often forget to address our internalisations and don’t let ourselves ease into it.

How can we? We are in such a frenzy to grow up! 🙆🏽

I blindly did what my skin doctor would suggest : chemical peels ✅, steroid medicines ✅, anything and everything, ✅. The chemical peels were the worst, they not only had an adverse reaction to my skin but also damaged my complexion. Yet, pumping up on vanity and feeling like I own my skin, I kept feeding it every kind of junk possible. ❌

Until one day and many products promising various benefits later, it dawned to me : what we consume reflects greatly on our skin too. The amount of sleep we get, our lifestyle, our eating habits and a whole lot of things collectively contributes to our external reflection.

I start my day with a glass of water soaked in fenugreek seeds overnight. Fenugreek has multiple health benefits, even in terms of detox, weight loss, skin and hair. During the summer days especially, drinking water soaked in basil seeds also helps with your detox, cools your core body temperature and keeps your skin healthy. 🍒

Our mental health plays a huge factor as well. I had undiagnosed anxiety for the longest time, I didn’t even know that is what anxiety looked like. I had it all through my college years and I dealt with it just like every young adult out there deals with stress : you shut up and don’t talk about it. And these repressed feelings and sentiments often manifest externally on our skin. During such times, my solace was a very basic skin clearing face wash – The Himalaya Herbals Purifying Face Wash. I used to alter between the Neutrogena Acne Clearing Face Wash too. These two were my biggest skin saviours.

Believe me when I say, your mental health manifests as clear signs on your skin sometimes. Your eating habits too! Gorge on fruits rich in antioxidants that help your skin, hair and boosts mental health! Load up on ripe papayas, kiwi, musk melon, pears and apples, these fruits help to keep your skin clean. Have watermelon and any kind of fruit that is loaded with water for hydration. 🍎🍑🥝🍉

Over the years I have been able to put down some of my personal remedies while dealing with anxiety. Any attack of anxiety or panic requires your 5 senses to be grounded – giving you the reality of time and the moment and breaking you away from illusion. Below are the 5 senses step for anxiety relief that I employ:

Step 1- Hear something – find that music on your phone or the laptop which helps you calm your nerve. The idea is to activate your hearing sense. This song has proven to reduce anxiety. 🎼

Step 2- Smell. Take small controlled breath of air or a deodorant. Repeat inhalation and exhalation. Keep a source of a smell like a deodorant or perfume constant. DON’T switch too much while you are activating this sense. Try my favourite perfume! 🍭

Step 3- Touch. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and the calming stimulus registers quickly. Pick up a guitar if you have at home and play it. Or use a makeup product to apply to your skin. Don’t pinch or hurt yourself. You have gotta be calm about the process. Or play it online here! 🎻

Step 4- Sight. Watch something. Anything. Favourite actor, favourite band, conspiracy theories, unicorn farting rainbows, the cover of a book. Activating your sense of sight is the key. Watching the series Friends has proven to reduce anxiety and depression. 🦄

Step 5- Taste. This is actually one of the strongest methods for relieving anxiety and few people integrate this. Chew a gum. Pop a mint. Eventually when you are more in control brew some Chamomile tea or Green tea. It REALLY helps in calming your nerves, I kid you not. My favourite tea is from Fortnum & Mason! ☕️

I have developed a very minimal skin care routine that works wonders for many reasons. The milder your face wash, more better the results. A Tea tree oil or any anti-bacterial face wash works well too – keeping in mind the Indian climate and skin, it shouldn’t dry out your skin too much. I almost never forget to tone using an aloe vera and rose water toner.

Moisturisation is the skin food and if you have sensitive skin and want to keep it healthy, use a cream that is filled with goodness of Vitamin E and Aloe Vera. Remember the Holy Grail for skin – CTM (Cleanse, Tone, Moisturise). 🍯

Recently, I have started to use an ice pack for 2-3 minutes daily on my skin. Ice packs do really help in tackling pimples, regulates blood circulation, cools your skin and tightens your pores, hence all the toner and moisture is absorbed right into your skin. ❄️ ❄️ A Korean and essentially cheap beauty regime that’s gaining popularity these days!

At night, it is so essential to repeat the CTM. I use the Body Shop Vitamin E night cream and the Vitamin E under eye cream at night.

These days, I love that I have picked up my reading habit again. So while the rest of the people may be partying it up in a club, I enjoy a good book or a documentary series at home on a Friday night. Topping it with some music, going off the grid and masking! I use the L’Oreal Pure Clay Mask Detoxify that is EVERYTHING.

It’s charcoal clay formula helps soak up the negative ions from the depths of my skin and leaves it soft and glowing. Sometimes on Friday nights, I love pulling up a sheet mask from TonyMoly, like the Tea tree or the Avocado one! Have you tried them? They are like mini parties for your skin! It is literally the kind of parties I enjoy off late, masking away in peace, no human conversations please.

I stopped with any kind of skin treatments over the years, and learnt to be more in control and recognise the importance of mental health. I have seen how it has reflected on my skin too! Simultaneously, every four months I do drop in for a skin consultation with my Dermatologist and my Therapist just to keep things in track, even if nothing is wrong.

On an ending note after that rather long blog post this time : I just want to say that its so important to recognise that we need to balance our health overall! Our mental state of mind can make a huge difference in our appearance but by being educated about it and in participating in conversations, we can try to make it easy! Looking and feeling good are so co-related and should be an inside out process!

I hope this helps you guys and if you know someone who are troubled by anxiety and need help from time to time, or have low self-esteem tied up to their skin, do share this post! And get them some help here.

XOXO,

Adhisa Ghosh

Photography – Mejuljeet Singh

Assistant Styling – Vaishali Pandey

BEST OF MET : DECODING GALA 2019

Come May every year and I have tremendous build up to see the red carpet looks and the execution of the themes every year at the Met Gala. From following the release of the concept from the moment its announced, to the journey of seeing it through, till the memes and the mockery. It seems that one day of the year, people seem to become judges of haute couture for a day to feel inclusive by destructing an event like the MET while personally having a wardrobe that consists of bare fashion minimals (aka jeans and shirt), is all very amusing.

Before I proceed to tell you my favourite picks, let’s talk about what is MET GALA? It seems a lot of people actually don’t know “why people dress the way they do at the MET”.

Cara Delevingne wearing Dior at the Met 2019

Started first in 1948 by publicist Eleanor Lambert, it was a fashion fundraiser that involved the high society of New York and encouraged donations. In modern times, the Costume Institute’s Gala of the Metropolitan Museum of Arts’, is the biggest fashion fundraiser on the planet. It calls upon well known faces from the music, film, fashion and arts realms. And because its for the love of costume, there is a theme every year that leads to a build up amongst brands and invitees, conceptualisation, story boarding, mood, style boarding and beauty boarding and then finally execution of a concept and story telling into a garment and a complete look – from the hair to the shoes. Since 1995, the event has been presided over by Anna Wintour, US Vogue Editor-in-Chief.

Last year the theme was Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. What was the theme this year? This year the exhibition was arranged by Andrew Bolton, curator of the costume institute, around Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay Notes on “Camp”. The beauty of this concept was that it could be construed in various ways. Susan’s writing is reflective and timely of the ongoing political and cultural trend that it would be a resonance of the current times. Susan Sontag’s definition of camp is the “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration , style at the expense of content ,the triumph of the epicene style”.

In Busby Berkeley movies and in the he-man actor Victor Mature, in Mae West and General de Gaulle, in Swan Lake, Flash Gordon comics, Caravaggio, chinoiserie, and the entirety of the Art Nouveau movement, Susan Sontag found Camp.

“Camp taste has an affinity for certain arts rather than others,” she noted. “Clothes, furniture, all the elements of visual decor, for instance, make up a large part of Camp.” Camp, as Andrew Bolton notes, “has become increasingly more mainstream in its pluralities—political camp, queer camp, Pop camp, the conflation of high and low, the idea that there is no such thing as originality.” Camp, he continues, has been described as style without content.

But I think you’ve got to be incredibly sophisticated to understand camp—look at Yves Saint Laurent and Marc Jacobs,” says Andrew in his interview to Hamish Bolton from Vogue. A 1909 book of Victorian slang explicitly describes camp as “actions and gestures of exaggerated emphasis used chiefly by persons of exceptional want of character.”

Let’s take a look at my top ten favourite looks in the line of the theme of “Camp:Notes on Fashion”.

LADY GAGA

One of the nights host, Lady Gaga had three changes on the red carpet. Couldn’t get more campier than that!

BILLY PORTER

Nailing it and how! Off late I have a new found respect for this man for so beautifully executing gender fluidity on the red carpet and making a statement with fashion. His inspiration was from the movie Cleopatra.

HAILEE STEINFELD

Remember the Viktor & Rolf gowns with memes and quotes? Well – illuminates the concept of camp in its exaggeration!

JANELLE MONÁE

Dress by Christian Siriano and inspired by Picasso!

KARDASHIANS & JENNERS

Kim wearing the “wet look” designed by the man Thierry Muggler himself! One of my personal favourites – exaggerated emphasis on the “wet” element!

GIGI HADID & MICHAEL KORS

Gigi Hadid went for a Cher and Liberace inspired look, wearing Michael Kors’ design!

EZRA MILLER, JARED LETO, DARREN CRISS, HAMISH BOWLES

I am sure you have started understanding the concept and the above looks now!

PRIYANKA CHOPRA JONAS & NICK JONAS

Moving aside the extreme memes and trolls that happened at the expense of Priyanka’s costume at the MET and every second person posting their views and opinions, like Vogue called – you would be disappointed to know that this couple was at their CAMPIEST BEST! What a duet! Priyanka’s team not only interprets camp in its absurdity but translates it with phenomenal prowess on the red carpet, syncing with Nick’s looks at the same time. They were the ultimate CAMP ROYALTY! FYI, Dior dressed them both!

There is a lot of intricate work that is involved at every step of the way, and if you thought passing a critic judgement on a look or calling it “nice” and “not nice”, is why they invested six months of hard work and craftsmanship into it, then you would be probably sad to know that your certification is not what they care about.

Fashion, above all, is not about looking pretty that the media or magazines sell you at large. Fashion is and has always been a form of art- an expression of identity and a liberation of self. Why else do you think it matters to us so much although we would vehemently deny it?

And when it comes to couture fashion – it calls for a different blog post. 😉

Ending on Oscar Wilde’s work of witticism “One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art”—are the essence of camp. 

So what did you take away from this year’s theme?

Probably not to be a MET gala couture comment expert next year is one of them 🙂

Claws come off,

XOXO,

Adhisa Ghosh

SHADES OF COOL

We live in a country where obsession with fairness products and skin care that promise to lighten your skin shades by ten times are everywhere in the market. It not only dampens a person’s confidence but also somewhere creates an internal conflict of what you want to wear, what will suit your dusky or wheatish skin.

A lot of people give unsolicited advice and tell you not to wear dark shades on your lips or nails if you are not of a fairer skin tone and many such redundant suggestions.

May i interrupt – and tell you that there are shades that are so cool that you would totally wear them on dusky to wheatish skin? I could even show you a few!

NOTE – For all my lip shades, I generally mix more than one colour for the perfect degree of shade I want !

LIP SHADES THAT SCREAM

Worn in the above photo, buy the red lip shade here and the maroon here

Buy the above shade of Nicka K True Matte lip shade in Aubergine here.

I am wearing Stila All Day Liquid Lipstick in creamy matte finish. Since I checked and this is not in stock anymore, you can buy an alternative in Maybelline . It has the same texture, colour and finish. Buy it here.

For the above lip shade, I have mixed two shades of colour!

One is the Sephora #Lipstories in 45 City Beat (matte finish) which you can buy here.
The second shade is a hot pink liquid matte lip shade from Sugar which you can buy it here.

MY FAVOURITE NAIL SHADES

For the shade I am wearing in the above photo, its from Faces Canada in shade Hocus that you can buy here.

I love variant of colours for my nails, my personal choices range from pastel shades to ombre and dark tones in matte. For matte shades in a range of light to dark tones, you can buy it here.

For matte shades from Nykaa which are my actual favourites and what i use, along with the cookie crumble shades – you can buy them here.

Holographic nail shades are the latest trend now and although I am yet to get them for myself, you can find various brands offering them online. You can buy the above shade and its various ranges here.

Now that I have given you a list down of the various shades you should indulge in a bit of retail therapy and get splurging! These are easy on your budget and totally worth it.

The ideologies that bind us to such stereotypes are always based on theories propagated by mindsets that evidently were backward! Even today I hear a lot of people from your and my generation – the so-called millennials who still sign up to such nonsense theories of dark colours on lips and nails and why the need for it.

Well the need is simple – we want to look good in wearing whatever we feel we can pull off without your unsolicited advice, thank you!

We are all struggling, trying to get comfortable inn beauty standards we are setting for ourselves everyday. So if you have a darker skin tone and you want to wear a darker shade – nothing stops you other than you!

Yes, you can flush all those well wishers and their advice and wear every shade of cool.

XOXO,

Adhisa Ghosh

Nº1-DE PARIS AVEC AMOUR

” Paris is always a good idea.”

– Audrey Hepburn

Ask anyone  who has lived in Paris as a student or otherwise and they will tell you that Paris is a dream. I remember as a child I was so enamoured and obsessed with the idea of Paris, of visiting the city one day, absorbing the street styles and roaming around the tiny cobbled lanes, taking in the fresh baked aroma of croissants, just your basic Parisian morning with a cup of espresso.

I landed in Paris on the 18th of April from Istanbul. Within 5 days of my arrival I got attacked and robbed at the metro subway in the 18th arrondissement (district) in Paris, at the Porte de la Villette stop.

Needless to say, the dream that Paris was in my head completely shattered. I was alone, stranded in a new country, with no friends, no familiarity, no money, no passport and I was caught up in the middle of a language I had a hard time to comprehend while sitting in the police station complying with the FIR.

I hated Paris.

But, like most love stories that start on a negative note and ends up being an affair to remember, Paris ended up being the city that completed my transformation and transition into adulthood. That, I can say without a doubt.

I haven’t written much in the last few months because there were just too many things that was going on – apart from prioritising my MBA and finishing what I came here for and a constant evolution of personal space, there was a lot of thinking and observations that kept me occupied. And all in all, I can’t complain. 

But, what I can assure now is that the journey to and fro has been made and I for one am more than thrilled that Paris happened. That it taught me lessons for life that would have been impossible to absorb if I hadn’t had the courage to stick out there, for better or worse.

I think at the end of the day, even relationships in our life weigh down to whether we choose to stay or leave. Whether we accept the opposite with the baggages and negativity or choose to stay in an arrangement only for the good times.

I remember having had such low times personally at the beginning, going through heaps of anxiety and stress, wanting to remain secluded and hating to socialise. I also recall how despite those nerve wrecking negativity and absolute bereavement over the loss of so much more than just money and passport but also self-confidence and enthusiasm, I tried to remember all the love and magic I had in my heart for Paris. 

It took time, constant effort and a lot of energy to fight the demons, but at the end of it all – isn’t  it what life comes down to? Isn’t the crux of every human relationship the ability to fight the good fight? 

The way I saw it, I have shifted and settled in multiple cities and countries for as long as I can remember now.  Maybe because of this, I personally form a bond with the spirit of a city that is more indispensable to me than anything else. And if the only relationship I am going to have in my life with the city doesn’t work out i will never be happy.

Three months after the robbery, I was standing at Pont Neuf, the bridge that is the heart of Paris on the river Seine. Watching as the sun set and the lights lit up, I asked myself for the last time – “Adhisa, do you love Paris, have you ever loved her?”

Stat came the answer – “Yes i do.”

You would want to remember that during the bad times the most.

That’s what every moment in our life is all about, really.

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

 

THE PERFECT ANGLE?

Spilling the hot cup of coffee on my hand in the morning whilst being unmindful, thinking again how I would begin this blog post, as Sufjan Stevens- Casimir Pulaski Day played on my laptop piercing the morning gloominess of a cloudy day —

“In the morning, in the winter shade, On the first of March on the holiday, I thought I saw you breathing,”

I muttered a curse while I let some cold water take care of my hand and started the burner for another cup of coffee.

This fifteen minutes in the day, in the morning when everything is quiet and my room is also echoing a certain silence yet waking up with me, with the rhythm of the spoons scraping coffee or the sound of the milk boiling over, these few minutes are when I completely zone out.

I love how living alone has had so many perks of late, especially when it comes to reflecting life choices and relations, and of course taking time to think about the work that one has been doing. I had decided quite some time back to do a post on my skin care routine and the kind of insecurities I have faced over the years, since my teen years and into adulthood.

The morning routine that i do is very essential to my skin care as well because I literally begin my day with a tall glass of water. No lime or honey or any such additives. A simple glass of water even before freshening up. Its something my Mom taught me while I was a kid and I find water to be a very indispensable part of my mornings. For almost three years I had also taken to drinking the water soaked in Methi seeds overnight in empty stomach, works wonders!

SKIN HISTORY

Now before I jump to what my daily skin care is I would like to point out that I have always had a combination skin prone to sensitivity. I had a very clear skin till about 14 years after which obviously I started getting breakouts on my forehead. Since then, for ten years I have had a dermatologist who has treated me every time I had breakouts. Some years were good and some years were really bad. Thankfully I never had any scarring or too many blemishes as I have always taken medication before the acne got worse and my breakouts were not rapid or concentrated.

My biggest mistake would be to have done chemical peels in a desperate attempt to get a clear skin. I would not suggest anyone who wants to do that because it comes with side effects more than often, leaving your skin scarred and dry. 

When I changed my dermatologist while pursuing graduation, I went for chemical peels and the doctor used to pierce my pimples and then use the peel. I was young and thinking that recovery doesn’t happen without some pain, I was gullible enough to continue this when I realised that its actually a convenient method to have the patient come in repetitively. 

There is no guarantee that your breakouts will stop, they may reduce but you will always keep getting recurring pimples, also your skin would dry out way too much and now you would have to deal with dryness as well as scarring. Trust me when I say this that its a horrible experience when you are 20/21 and you want to dress up and put makeup etc. Now, again not all days were bad, but especially during menstruation cycle, stress and anxiety, I used to always inevitably have breakouts and the pattern would continue. It made me very very sad. 

It was only when I was around 22, I was also battling depression and needless to say I was too tired to pay attention to my skin. I had given up. That’s when my parents took me to a family skin doctor who gave me much assurance and condemned picking or touching pimples ever. 

Along with oral medications and some topical creams, gentle face wash that doesn’t dry the skin and lifestyle changes, it took me almost a year to see good results and some consistency. Incorporating lots of fruits and vegetables, along with proper meal timings, exercise, lots of water (almost 3 litres a day) to drain toxins, and regular sleep patterns also contributed to good skin.

 I stopped any kind of commercial skin care products and completely stopped any parlour facials etc. You just have to let your skin recover, adapt and heal while you are going through all this change, especially when you are in a disturbed state of mind and this is very very important. More often than not, the key to good skin is mental happiness. We keep undermining our mental health so much that we don’t realise how what we eat and how we feel can start dramatically reflecting off your face. 

When I moved to Istanbul I stopped the medications but after three months, I had a rash because of some food item and I had to consult a skin doctor again and I was on oral treatment for the rash as well as acne once again. The doctor explained how after 24 years i would automatically stop getting acne, but at that time, because of the rash I had developed some acne and was put on treatment immediately, a course that would go on for six months. 

Needless to say, the combination of my family skin doctor and the Istanbul doctor literally fixed my skin. However, I still of course have many insecurities.

MY DAILY SKIN CARE ROUTINE

Those who skim through my insta stories off late will always find me without make up on my face. Before however, i wouldn’t even think of posting a selfie without at least some amount of concealer. 

Since the time my skin has been healing and there used to be a bit of dryness due to my oral medicines and winter season in Istanbul, my doctor had told me to use only olive oil. Olive oil is high in naturally occurring Vitamin E, extremely healthy for lips, skin and hair too!

In the mornings when I wake up, I wash my face with lukewarm water. This is important to note that NEVER wash your face with soap the first thing in the morning. It causes your pores to produce more oil and if you already have breakouts, they can get worse. Simply wash your face with water and drink a glass of water. Avoid any product and let your skin be bare for the first one hour minimum! 

After that I generally do my basic workouts at home and work up a sweat. This helps to clear your pores, the more you sweat, the more your face gets rid of toxins. After that jump into the shower and use a gentle face wash, followed with a mineral or rose toner and a soft hydrating cream. On some days if I feel my skin is too dry, like during winters, I replace the moisturiser with olive oil, just three drops for my skin and lips. 

I have been avoiding heavy make up since a year now and completely prefer to let my skin breathe. If I have to put make up I do it by getting a good compact base that is loose and a bit of concealer, thus letting my skin breathe. I may use foundation once or twice a month but it is that rare. When you have a clear skin at some point, you stop caring about covering up so much and I like it to be natural. Even the make up below does not involve foundation base but a loose compact base!

My bedtime skin routine is a bit different. I use a Sulphur soap to wash my face, exfoliate with the same soap and a massager once a week to improve circulation and erase fine lines, and I never forget to use a charcoal detox mask by L’Oreal skin once in two weeks. The charcoal mask literally dries your skin of all the impurities and I wouldn’t recommend using it too much as it might get your skin dried out. 

After that, toner and a Vitamin E Body Shop night cream for my face – literally the holy grail for skin care.

THINGS TO NOTE 

This is my skin care routine completely based on my skin type and skin history. For me to share is to make you understand what may suit my skin may not absolutely suit you! I think its very very important to never ignore teenage breakouts or even adult acne. Acne is not always red or in high concentration, they can also be like small rashes. It is extremely important to have a dermatologist look into it for you. Never ever blindly follow beauty products or over the counter drugs without getting a skin analysis. The only way to clear skin – trust me- is by first making an appointment with a dermatologist ! Also, if the dermat suggests a chemical peel, find another dermat now that you know!

Olive oil and water is everything as skin food, so are some fruits and leafy veggies. 

Please do not use too much make up products on breakouts or scarring  tissues. They aggravate your skin more. 

SKIN INSECURITIES

I still have so many skin insecurities though! Yes, my acne stopped and I got rid of previous dark circles, even my hair scalp stopped being oily but still there are these small things that make me feel so imperfect or used to for a long time while i was growing up.

 I have these small spots (people call it beauty spots these days) but for me they will always be small black spots. There is one on my nose between my eyes, one near my forehead, two on my left upper cheek and one on my left upper lip. I used to be very conscious of these and could never cover the spots with makeup, but off late I have started embracing these small details and imperfections. 

I remember when I was a kid and kids are mean back in school, girls would sometimes make fun of my fat lips or the spots and I used to cringe sometimes, they would even make fun of my cheeks! It was 12 or 13 years later at the age of 25 that I feel perfection in my flaws and marks. 

I realise now how even the small spots on my face, or the red patches on my cheek, my fat lips that now people ask me if I have used fillers for (like come on!) and when I wash my face and slap on moisturiser and my skin turns red because it is that sensitive, are only proofs and testament to all the years and generations of history that rests on my face, of ancestors and culture that journeyed through billions of years to one day have me in existence, feeling nothing but perfect in my flawed imperfection.

What is perfect anyway? The perfect angle to a photo? To a selfie or to using the app to smooth my skin before? Or the lines that run on my forehead or a spot or two? Or is it when I wanted some boy to find me pretty and I decided that my left profile is better than my right? How do we embrace these silly notions of perfection when the absolute reality is that generations and generations have died and lived to merge and form history on your face, on my face.

Its time we embrace every marks and spots, because somewhere our roots live in them, so shall we?

All pictures in this series are unedited, not touched up and raw.

If you wish to speak to me more on this or share your own story of insecurities – any for that matter – feel free to mail me at thewildberrychild@gmail.com or contact me on my Instagram.

XOXO,

Written by,

Adhisa Ghosh 

OF RELATIONSHIPS AND DOPAMINE

Science says relationships are mostly like drug induced reactions of the brain that is in love. For centuries and evolution, the universal problem and equation that human beings have tried to solve is the mystery of romance and relationships. There have been crimes of passion, wars fought for love, glorified love, undying love. This intense physiological and biochemical reactions are all scientifically linked to various hormones and neurotransmitters that our brain releases when triggered, the main one being the reward centre of the brain.

We all are aware of dopamine which is released by the brain during positive experiences like unforgettable dates, flattery, amazing sex and grand romantic gestures. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that controls the pleasure centre of our brains which creates reward circuits, which then generates automatic associations in our brain that link our romantic partners with pleasure and even our survival.

Dr. Helen Fisher discovered that this “frustration-attraction” experience of obstacles in a romantic relationship actually heightens our feelings of love, rather than hindering them. She discusses how the brains of those in adversity-ridden relationships become activated in an eerily similar way to the brains of cocaine addicts.

In other words? Our brains can become masochists, seeking the very people that hurt them.Then there is also oxytocin, named the ‘love’ or ‘cuddle’ hormone.This is the same hormone that bonds mother and child at birth, and it also bonds you with the men that are undeserving of you.

The oxytocin effect may also be stronger for women than for men; according to Susan Kuchinskas, author of the book, The Chemistry of Connection: How the Oxytocin Response Can Help You Find Trust, Intimacy and Love. According to Christopher Bergland, oxytocin, adrenaline and cortisol work together to consolidate and reconsolidate fear-based memories.

We can become addicted to this effect. Fear also releases dopamine, which again feeds those reward circuits in our brain, leaving us longing for that adrenaline rush. Fear and pleasure inevitably become intertwined despite our best efforts to expose and dismantle the seeming irrationality of our behaviour.

When we fall in love, we become obsessive like people with OCD, literally. Since serotonin regulates and stabilises mood, curbing obsessive thinking, you can imagine how low levels of serotonin we have, when we’re romantically involved with someone that can cause our decision-making abilities and judgment to go haywire. Low levels of serotonin also encourage sexual behaviour, so serotonin only makes it more likely that we’ll also be swept away by bonds created by oxytocin and dopamine as well.

Okay why am I talking science about relationships? You must be wondering so if you are in a relationship or going through a bad one, like you already haven’t heard enough.

The bottom line and fact of the matter is that if you dig deeper there is always always a rationality that lies beyond the irrational behaviour and impulses of the brain in love.

Last weekend, I was out at some three pubs with the Erasmus student group here in Istanbul. Everyone was enjoying, there was a good level of intoxication spreading like a wave through out the party, and literally everywhere my eyes went, I saw a pair of lips glued together. Now, of course I had my share of fun too, dancing with boys and engaging in random light banters, but when I sat back and thought about it, I realised how even after countless years of evolution humans across various continents and cultures will always act on their basic instincts. It’s like you are hungry or thirsty, the need to find that thrill and your brain wiring you to seek pleasure that comes with pumping in so much of “feel-good” factors in your system is really something.

Also, from a single girl’s point of view, even in a crowded night club with so many men and women at disposal, and the freedom to have any kind of night you want it to be, how scientific and practical are we when it comes to the concept of love and lust? Do we always act on our basic instincts to serve our purpose of a one night stand or is it simply the design of nature that amidst all this chaos, we might just be searching for the perfect mate. They say, love and lust are two factors that transcends every society in this world, how far have we come in accepting our wilderness within? How long would we deceptively play the hand of fate, on a night of attraction, orgasm and science? Think back, its all really scientific, there is no right or wrong, even at that pub, with total strangers or couples acting out their feelings and hormones, like it or not, no matter how emotionally cold turkey you might credit yourself for, every one is looking to let off steam sometime, in the most desirable manner that evolution has made us.

Ending on a poem by an anonymous Red Indian of Southern Alaska to a missionary in 1896,

“ Fire runs through my body with the pain of loving you,Pain runs through my body with the fires of my love for you,Pain like a boil about to burst with my love for you,Consumed by fire with my love for you,I remember what you said to me,I am thinking of your love for me,I am torn by our love for me,Pain and more pain,Where are you going with my love?I am told you will go from here,I am told you will leave me here,My body is numb with grief,Remember what I said my love,Goodbye my love, Goodbye.”

Dopamine your night away.

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

Shot on Iphone7plus

Wardrobe : Dress – Forever 21

Denim Jacket – Latin Quarters

Accessories from Accessorize India

Makeup – NYX Amethyst and L’Oreal Gold Palette