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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lip Shades And Their Actual Look On Lips

Lip Shades And Their Actual Look On Lips

So yesterday, I shared with you the pictures of all these lip shades - lipsticks as well as lip glosses. If you want to check that out, please click here

Though many of them look super pigmented and dark, once you apply them on the lips they pretty much take on the colour of your lips and enhance them. Most of them are of the 'nude' variety or the natural look. I am sharing the pics below, as the lip colour in its packaging and how it looks on the lips. I am not doing a swatch here as I find that most colours look different on a swatch than what they look on the lips. So no point going there. Will try n do a swatch when Im doing a review.

Also, please note that I am NOT USING a lip liner here as many times the 'actual' colour of a lip shade gets affected by the colour of the lip liner. So I am using the colours just as they are. Note that these shades can of course be made to look darker or lighter depending on how much you are applying and with what colour lip liner you are using.I am also NOT USING a gloss on top, nor a lip balm. Its only the said lip colour on bare lips.

All pictures have been clicked in natural light. No flash used.

LAKME Sheer Satin Gloss in No. 61
This is how it looks on the lips. I have pinkish lips, so this gloss, which is a clear gloss, has no colour of its own at all, adds a sheer to my lips, nothing more.

 LAKME Sheer Satin Gloss in No. 21

This one is also a very natural kind of gloss with just the tiniest hint of a light goldenish brown.

STREETWEAR Lip Gloss #15 Shade is Chocolate
This one is a bit darker shade of a brown, as the name suggests. But this is the lightest it will be, as I have applied only a very little bit, not even a full one coat, I just put a bit on the center of my lips and then spread them out. So you can understand how pigmented these are.

THE BODY SHOP HI-SHINE Lip Treatment in # 02 Shade is Mauve Dream
In the tube it looks way way way dark and a chocolate shade. But on the lips, its a light sheery colour with a tinge of pink (the name mauve suggests the same), rather brown!

If you would like to read the entire article, please click here

And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Debolina Raja Gupta

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Satyamev Jayate and Aamir Khan: Deserving Applause, Not Criticism

Sunday mornings were a relaxed affair, really. There was the usual stuff most of us living in a cosmo city are used to doing - waking up late, nursing a hangover, heading out for a brunch, laying sprawled on bed leafing through the Sunday paper and sipping the morning cuppa. Things were going pretty 'regular.' Till a revolution happened on Indian Television that suddenly shook us all up.

Satyamev Jayate, the much-hyped and much-publicised TV show made its grand debut in our homes on the lazy Sunday morning of 06th May, 11am sharp. Hubby and I were all super-charged to catch the first show, as were millions of Indian viewers, all glued in front of their television sets. And then - it happened.

The first episode of Satyamev Jayate, in a total of 13 episodes that will be aired, talked on the inhuman, yet real, issue of female foeticide.

At the end of the show, the song 'O Ri Chiraiya' by Swanand Kirkire and Ram Sampath conveyed what we all know in our hearts - that daughters are precious, that it is NOT BLOODY justified to kill an unborn baby just because she happens to be a girl. I have a little daughter myself, and to me, she is the best thing that could ever have happened to me. Without being preachy or flashy, the song manages to hit just the right spot, conveying just the right message.

As cameras panned towards Aamir's face and showed the flowing tears, along with the tears in the audience, most of us wiped at the tears at home too. I cannot simply understand how anyone in the world can even think of hurting a child, let alone kill one. And the reality is that it still happens today, not only in villages, but amongst well-to-do, educated, so-called 'high' class people as well. Of course we cannot expect the Indian government to do much about this, now that these issues are being brought out in the open and reactions of the common man and woman are out there for everyone to see. But this is a beginning still!

As happens with anything that suddenly makes you sit up and take note, it was expected that a lot of things would be said and written-about Aamir's initiative. Especially when so many brushed-under-the-carpet issues were being brought out in the open and the reality of corruption and hypocrisy being played out in our living rooms each Sunday morning, it was obvious there would be a lot of hue and cry too. But it really makes me happy to see that youngsters have taken to the show in a positive way and are coming out in the open in support of Aamir and the issues he is raising.

There is so much that is being said about Aamir and his show, some good some bad. Here is what I feel about the entire Satyamev Jayate debate:

1. The first point where I really want to applaud Aamir and his team is the topics they have decided to talk about and dissect. All the issues raised here are issues we know happen for real, some we may have personally faced, some we know happened to those we know, some we read in the newspapers. But we all know for a fact that these are issues that are keeping us from growing as a country, keeping us from growing as humans, and it's a shame that we, as citizens, as mature individuals, and the government, are still allowing these practices.

2. The second point where I feel Aamir and his team deserve applause is the thorough research that has gone behind each and every episode.

3. The sheer courage that Aamir has shown in coming out with a bold and I-don't-fear attitude is commendable. While most Bollywood stars and those in positions of power talk about 'doing good' and 'bringing about change', how many have actually shown an initiative in this direction? How many have actually taken it upon themselves to proactively go out there and do something, rather than sit back and comment?

4. I personally feel that some of the reactions that Aamir shares on screen are a bit over-the-top. Of course I understand the tears and the look of surprise, but to be honest, many of those reactions look fake at times. Maybe 'fake' is not the right word. But it just does not look sudden or genuine. I wish the cameras wouldn't be in Aamir's face trying to map his reactions. Rather, it would be good if we could see some genuine reactions, be it tears or surprise or anger.

5. I really appreciate the idea that finally, Indian television audience is glued on to something else other than the mindless saas-bahu serials, or television serials in general, that are such a shitload of crap. Finally, the shit that is out there in our society, is being thrown back at us in our living rooms, making us take note of the stink and moving our asses to do something about it. And kudos that, in a first-of-its kind initiative, the show is simultaneously telecast on the DD channels too, taking it to the villages and interiors. Star is doing simultaneous telecast including Star Utsav, Star World, as well as Star's Bangla, Marathi and southern-language entertainment channels. Maa TV, which is not owned by Star, airs the show dubbed in Telugu.

6. There's a big debate going on about the financials involved in this show. *Aamir Khan gets Rs.3 crore per episode. Each episode costs more than Rs.4 crore to produce (a 30-mn. episode of prime-time Hindi soaps cost an average Rs.8-9 lakh. Reality shows cost between Rs.35lakh to Rs.2crore an episode depending upon the anchor.) There is a lot being said about the amount of money being put for a TV reality show. But what happens when so much money is being laundered everywhere in the country without any valid reason? For a change, give the man a break and instead of talking about the financials involved, focus on the issues raised and how we can best work on them.

7. Many people have said that they feel the show is a bit preachy. To be honest, I too felt it at certain times. But this is a new show, a new concept in Indian television, and there is a trial-and-test period for anything. So I will give Aamir the benefit of doubt here.

8. The songs used in the show are absolute gems. *And these are the exact words that Aamir himself used while describing the original compositions. Of course my most favourite is 'O Ri Chidaiya' by Swanand Kirkire and Ram Sampath. But the other tracks are amazing too, in their sheer ability to say so much and emote so much with those few lines. Rupaiya composed by Ram Sampath, Swanand Kirkire and performed by Sona Mohapatra, Dheere Dheere Haule Haule composed by Svati Chakravarty and performed by Ram Sampath, Maasoom si Naav by Ram Sampath, Chanda Pe Dance composed by Ram Sampath lyrics Munna Dhiman and performed by Sona Mohapatra, Ghar Yaad Aata Hai Mujhey composed by Ram Sampath and performed by Sona Mohapatra.  

9. I am happy with the timing of the show. It's interesting to note that the 'prime-time' being the 8-11pm slot on TV, the channels and Aamir decided to air this at 11 in the morning. I remember the first reaction I had when I heard about the timing was 'Oh, the Mahabharat-type timing.' Remember how when we had only the DD channels, all streets would be empty on a Sunday sharp by 9am? That is exactly what happens now, well, not the emptying of the streets literally, but people check on their watches and generally, the audience is in front of the TV sets by 11. I particularly like this time as its perfect in its casual timezone. There is no rush, the day has just begun, and there is still ample time for the next day to arrive, so no problems about hitting the bed early for the next morning. Also, I feel that for those children who are grown up and mature enough to understand the concerns raised here, this is a comfortable time, not too early, not too late. *It is interesting to note that Aamir did not want viewers to be 'in a rush to run to the mall or the pub' while watching the show, and hence was keen to occupy the time slot during which Ramayan and Mahabharata used to be shown in the late 80's, resulting in the emptying of the streets in parts of India (even New Delhi!), but according to critics, TV viewing habits have changed drastically since then. Well, I go with Aamir on this one.
10. Being a regular on FaceBook and having visited the official website for Satyamev Jayate, I feel there is much that can be done there. For once, the official website does not provide much information for someone who would be willing to work with any of the NGOs featured on the show. Also, the FB page looks more like an advertisement campaign right now. I'm sure the team is working to make these options more realistic.

A List of The Topics Featured Till Date:
1. Episode 1 - Female Foeticide
2. Episode 2 - Child Sexual Abuse
3. Episode 3 - Dowry
4. Episode 4 - Corruption In The Indian HealthCare System
5. Episode 5 - Honour Killing
6. Episode 6 - Problems Faced By The Disabled In Our Country

Of course there will be both positive and negative reactions to the show. But one can't expect that Aamir alone will take on the burden of all our vices and cleanse us of the dirt that has seeped into our society. A 01-hour show (I watch it on HD TV so it's a one-hour show instead of one-and-half) cannot take all aspects of a topic and discuss about the problems, solutions, loopholes, everything. It is logistically not possible. It is upto us to take it from where Aamir started it, to proactively work on the evils around us, to take note and protest whenever we see something wrong being done. Aamir has managed to create a stir and shake us all up, but how much that really affects us and how much we actually do about it remains to be seen.

Here's what a few of our readers had to say on the topic:


Gunjan Singh (New Delhi): Genuine effort. Dare to raise serious real issues. Kudos.

 Ashraf Peer (Kashmir): Appreciate.

 Dr. Namita Lolge (Mumbai): I criticise it. Lots of doubt regarding his research teams. Well, cannot talk about other episodes but yes, lot of false allegations and data aired on TV when he spoke about the health care system. He really needs to get the things right before speaking it out.

Kunwar Ajeet Singh (UK):  It's good. Creating awareness and showing us the mirror.

Vikram Gupta (Mumbai): A big applause to Aamir and the entire team.

Naved Shaikh (Mumbai): Its worth appreciating.

Till then, Satyamev Jayate - Truth Alone Truimphs........

And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Debolina Raja Gupta

Friday, June 8, 2012

Anupam Roy: Breaking The Norm With A Song And A Strum

(* Above pic courtesy Anupam Roy official website)

(* Above pic courtesy Google Images. I took the liberty of editing the pic a bit, please don't mind Anupam)

It was just another regular day when one of my cousins happened to share a link on the public daily diary of so many of us - yes, I guess you got it already, Im talking about FaceBook - I clicked it and was mesmerised by what I heard.

You see, it had been many years that I had watched a Bangla movie, or heard a song from a bengali film or music album or band. So I had definitely missed the sudden taking-by-storm of Bengal by this amazing bomb of a talent. As I clicked on that link and saw a sepia-tinted story-line unfold in front of my eyes, what haunted me most was the soundtrack. Here, have a look:

The moment I heard the background score and that voice, I knew I was going to watch this movie. The credits said the singer was one 'Anupam Roy.' Soon after that I watched the movie, and got the songs on my phone, which stores all my favourite music. For many days after that, the songs played on loop mode and I was almost a 'paaka baangali', humming to the tunes and singing the lyrics along with Anupam. 'Amake Amar Moto Thakte Dao' had almost become an anthem for me by then.

I began sharing these songs on FaceBook, wanting to share these amazing melodies and lyrics with other friends, and suddenly, I realised I was not the only one who was kept out of this sudden coming-of-age of Bangla music. There were many like me, living outside Bengal, who had not had as many opportunities to keep an update on the latest Bengali movies and songs. On the other hand, I realised that Anupam Roy was a very big name, not only in Bengal, but among those bengalis who live outside and were connected to Kolkata in some way or the other. Whatever the case, I soon realised that this voice, which was soon becoming a legend, had already invaded my home, my senses, and the somewhat singable chords that I possessed.

Of course once I had a taste of 'Amake Amar Moto Thakte Dao' there was no going back. I began tracking Bengali movies and started keeping a track of the many albums and separate tracks that were being released. It also helps that my nephew happens to be a part of the Anupam Roy Band, so I do get the benefit of doubt. Whenever I lag behind in my homework, I get to know what these guys are up to. And hence get to experience many more wonderful tracks and melodies.

(*Above pic courtesy The Anupam Roy Band Official Page)
The Anupam Roy Band: 
Vocals: Anupam Roy
Guitar: Subhodip Banerjee
Bass: Roheet Mukherjee
Keyboards: Nabarun Bose
Drums: Sandipan Parial

(*Above pic courtesy Google Images, I took the liberty of editing it a bit, hope no one minds)

There are the regular favourites that I am already humming these days. The best part about Anupam's music is that you don't need to know the language, even if you don't understand the lyrics, the melody will take you to a different plane altogether. And if you happen to be a bengali and understand what he is talking about, you must consider yourself lucky that you got a chance to experience this yourself. For me, I'll be honest I don't understand each and every lyric, as my bengali is still a little imperfect. But I can sing along to almost all his songs, and I do first try and get a translation of his songs to understand them better or ask my bengali friends about it. And the best part is that my 05-year-old daughter, who is half-Bengali and half-North-Indian, also knows almost all of Anupam Roy's songs and loves to sing along. They are already on her 'fravrt' list! And as for my husband who is a North-Indian and understands a little of the normal Bangla and none of the Bengali lyrics, he is a die-hard fan and listens to these tracks even while driving!

(*Above pic courtesy Google Images, I took the liberty of editing it a bit, hope no one minds)

So here are a few links to some of Anupam Roy's most amazing songs that we really really love and just cant stop singing along:

Amake Amar Moto Thakte Dao (Movie Autograph)
Aami Aami Jaani Jaani (Live rendition by Anupam Roy)
Jaani Dekha Hobe Reprise
Ekbar Bol Nei Tor Keu Nei (Movie Baishe Shrabon)
Baariye Daao Tomar Haath (Movie Chalo Paltai)
Tomaar Shohore (Music Video)

Tistaan (from Anupam Roy's Album Durbine Chokh Rakhbo Na)
Gobheere Jaao (performed live by Anupam Roy)
Tomaar Bhetor Theke (album)

(*Above pic I shared from Google Images. Copyright to whoever is the rightful owner, I have no claims on this. I took the liberty of making some edits on this one)
So what is so special about this voice that I suddenly became such a huge fan? I, of all people, who never ever listened to any Bangla music or watched any Bangla movies? The first thing that knocked the wind out of me when I heard Anupam Roy's voice was the level of yearning in it. And to imagine that this young man was actually working as an engineer in Bangalore for 07 years! Phew! He gave all that up and shifted base to Kolkata, India, where he was born and brought up, and has written and composed more than 150 Bengali songs. What a relief to the music industry indeed that he chose to do what his heart wanted. Thanks Anupam ;-)

Anupam Roy's voice immediately takes you to that faraway place, it touches you like a whiff of memories that lie hidden somewhere in the depth of your heart, it stirs up pictures and makes you nostalgic, reminiscing of the times that are gone, of places where you have been, of stories you once created and that now remain etched within the frame of your heart. Anupam Roy's voice has the magic to transport you to a different era, a different life altogether. It is that yearning in his voice that I find so amazing. Its not a sad voice, no, never will you feel sad when you listen to an Anupam Roy song. You may feel a longing, a yearning, a pull, but never that typical sadness. You may even be moved to tears on some occasions, but it's not that depressing sadness, it's a longing, something your heart feels but you just can't explain. Its the feeling of being alone, on your own, but not lonely.  

I can't talk enough about Anupam Roy's songs. I am biased, really, and so will you be once you hear his voice and his compositions. I have been badgering my nephew to check if there are performances scheduled when I am visiting Kolkata. But looks like it isn't on the cards yet, as each time I visit Kolkata, either Anupam Roy has just performed, or is scheduled to perform right after I leave. I think I'm going to plan my trip around his performance now.

But in any case Anupam, Mumbai is really really really waiting for you now. We are really looking forward to see you perform here. And don't think you have no followers here. There are many many fans in Mumbai who are waiting for you to come to this city and perform once. You'll get plenty of love from your fans here, I can assure you that.

Thanks for making such amazing music, and for singing the way you do. We love you Anupam!

And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Debolina Raja Gupta

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pond's White Beauty Day Cream With Revolutionary GenWhite Formula: Review

I just got a hamper from the Pond's PR team, with the new Pond's White Beauty Cream with revolutionary GenWhite Formula (pic below). First lets go through what the company has to say about the product:

Everyone's skin is different and there are many factors that affect one's skin, like genetics, health, hormones, the sun, environment etc. But according to Pond's, the most important factor affecting skin colour is one's genes. And it is here that the GenWhite formula created by POND'S comes in.

So what is GenWhite? According to the company, the GenWhite Formula consists of components like Vitamin B3, 12-HSA, Vitamin E, Allantoin, Optics and SPF.
Certain benefits of GenWhite (as per the company):
Works deeply to lighten, brighten, fade dark spots.
Prevents discoloration before it begins.
Decreases transfer of dark pigment to the skin surface.
Prevents darkening at source.

To read the review click here

And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Debolina Raja Gupta