9 things to know about shaving for girls

I have a confession: I have never shaved my body hair before. I’ve mostly waxed and used a depilatory creams for emergencies. The women in my life (mom, cousins, friends) don’t really shave and I’ve never really considered it an option.

But then I attended an eye-opening session on shaving with actor Kriti Sanon, dermatologist Dr Rashmi Shetty and makeup and hair expert Namrata Soni last week. During their candid discussion, I learnt that Kriti and Namrata have been shaving for years and swear by the technique. Both these women knew a lot about shaving and shared their personal experiences with hair removal, especially shaving.

Shaving for womenGillette Venus (8)

9 things about shaving I learnt from the experts

1) All three experts said that shaving is completely safe.

2) Namrata and Dr Shetty mentioned that dermatologists advise patients to shave instead of wax for patients afflicted with certain skin conditions or undergoing certain treatments.

Shaving for women Gillette Venus

3) Shaving does NOT make hair grow back thicker or darker.

4) Shaving is less painful than waxing, if you’re careful.

5) Shaving is super quick- you can do it in the shower or just before a party.

Shaving for women Gillette Venus

6) As long you calm your skin post-shaving (with calamine, aloe vera or a soothing moisturizer), you don’t need to worry about itches or rashes.

7) Since shaving doesn’t involve chemicals like depilatory/ hair removal creams, it won’t harm your skin.

Kriti Sanon panel Shaving for women Gillette Venus

8) No ingrowths if you shave correctly! (This often happens when I wax.)

9) You can shave your bikini area if you really want to and you’re comfortable with it.

Now that I’m hearing some positive (read non-scary) things about shaving, I’ve decided to give it a shot over the next few weeks. I will be taking up the Subscribe To Smooth Challenge and try shaving! Stay tuned for my experiences with shaving.

Chic guide: Fashionable (and affordable) things to do this week

Category: Fashion

Budget: Up to Rs 10,000

What to do: Shop designers for less

Styles for Less @ Ensemble - 1 - Copy

Designer steals aren’t restricted to online sales sites that deliver dresses by the time they’re out of season. Ensemble’s Styles for Less promotion is a great way to grab top Indian fashion designers like Rajesh Pratap, Wendell Rodricks, Tarun Tahiliani, Cue By Rahul and Rohit Gandhi, Savio Jon, Pankaj & Nidhi, Gaurav Gupta and Prashant Verma for Rs 10,000 or less! The range of designs will be a fashion lover’s delight: from casual tops to dressy numbers. Our cards are ready to be swiped.

Styles for Less is on till June 17, 2011 at Ensemble—Kemps Corner, Mumbai.

Category: Accessories

Budget: Up to Rs 5000

What to do: Go for blue

Oxidised silver jewellery will always be a great option to go with traditional wear, so bring a dash of turquoise to your jewellery box (we like this little set from Amrapali—below left). And while you’re at it, don’t ignore blues for casual wear (necklace from Toniq)!

  Paradise Rs 469 (2000 x 2667)

Category: Beauty/ Makeup

Budget: Up to Rs 1000

What to do: Update your eye makeup for monsoon

The drops of joy every monsoon can be a nightmare for us girls who love our makeup. So stock up on Lakmé’s newest eye makeup products from its popular Nine to Five range. The Forever Silk Eyeliner and Kohl Ultimate are long-lasting, smudge-proof and water-resistant. The Forever Silk Eyeliner comes in seven metallic shades while the Kohl Ultimate is a kohl, smudger and sharpener all in one stick.


Kohl Ultimate

Forever Silk Eyeliner is priced at Rs 395; Kohl Ultimate is for Rs 650.

What chic things are you planning to do this week?

Chic guide: Packing fashionably for your summer holiday

I’m off for a much-needed summer vacation! Woohoo! 🙂

Over the years, I’ve devised a rough guide to packing for holidays. It’s always worked for me. I start with a bottom-up approach (literally). Take a look:

Pre-packing step:

I did some great shopping over the past few months (check out my Mango and Zara sales finds), though I hardly got to wore those clothes. I think it’s the right time to make the best use of my not-so-new clothes and be dressed to the Ts!

So before anything else, figure out what looks you want to try. In some cases, it’s pretty obvious (like if you’re going on a trek), but in most urban settings, you can be anyone you want to be. And remember, holidays are the best time to experiment!

Step 1: Choose the pants/ skirts

It’s always easiest for me to start with the pants, as they give me a good idea of interpreting various holiday looks. I’ve always been a big jeans-and-tee fan, but this time I’ve decided to be different.

In my suitcase:

  • Blue jeans from Levi’s (1 pair): Skinny or straight-cut, I’m yet to decide.
  • Grey knee-length skirt  from Zara: Paired with floral tights (from Vero Moda)
  • Bright blue capris from Mango: Versatile and comfy.

Step 2: Bring in the tops

Once I’ve got the pants sorted out, I move to the tops. I’ll be mixing and matching tshirts and blouses with the pants and jeans. Everyone’s holiday is different, so the number of casual tshirts and semiformal blouses will vary based on where you’re travelling and your personal style statement.

In my suitcase:

  • 2-3 tshirts: Can’t ignore these.
  • Two smart blouses
  • Dress from Zara
  • One basic jacket that’s right for the clime
  • Extra: Beige buttoned cardigan from Marks & Spencer: can be worn by itself or as a jacket over a tshirt.

Step 3: Shoes

I’ve always believed carrying flip-flops is a waste, unless you’re going to a beach.

In my suitcase:

  • Trusted Nike sneakers: Great for all-day walking/ roaming/ wandering and ahem… shopping!
  • Comfortable sandals that can be worn for a few hours.

Step 4: Play with accessories

Whether you want to wear accessories on your holiday is entirely your choice. Accessories can bring an element of sophistication or quirkiness to your look, especially in an urban setting.

I’m very, very tempted to buy a cute hat or cap for my holiday, to create a sporty or urban chic look. What do you think, is it too touristy?

In my suitcase:

  • Small cross-body purse that can hold my camera and knick-knacks.
  • Two tiny pairs of earrings
  • Two necklaces: one statement, one delicate

Step 5: Extras!

If I’m lucky enough to have space in your suitcase for more, then add the following:

  • Swimsuit
  • Light shawl/ jacket
  • Cocktail dress and heels (if you will be partying—I don’t)
  • Some more pants and tops

How do you pack your bags before your vacation? Is it chaotic or do you plan every step?

Chic Weekend: Get a haircut at b:blunt, shop at Ensemble, Grab a Lavie bag

Speaking Chic’s weekend to-dos for fashionable fun!

Get a haircut at b:blunt

One of our favourite salons B:Blunt has just opened at hip and happenin’ Bandra. The salon will be run by Shimsha and Shefali Shetty, the sisters known for great hair styling. So if you’re in Mumbai’s western suburbs, and you’re looking to prep your hair for the hot summer ahead, you know where to go!

Below: Abhishek Bachchan with the Bandra b:blunt team.

b:blunt team: Avan Contractor, Shimsha & Shefali Shetty, Abhishek Bachchan, Adhuna Akhtar and Osh Bhabani

Shop for Rohit Bal and Kotwara at Ensemble

Ace designer Rohit Bal and Kotwara’s collections recently hit the racks at Ensemble, Kala Ghoda (Mumbai). While Rohit Bal’s collection comprises flowy crushed kurtas, Kotwara’s designer duo Meera and Muzzaffar Ali have used chikankari work on whites and soft pastels.

Below: An outfit from Kotwara’s Ensemble collection

Kotwara - summer 2011

Grab a Lavie bag

We like Lavie bags because they’re affordable and chic. 🙂 Would be a good idea to check out their bags—they’ve got a whole range from sensible work bags to trendy clutches. (Available in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.)

Below: Lavie Cloris bag

Lavie CLORIS bag

Winter Layering: Go Indian (part 2)

In our earlier post, we gave some easy tips to help you layer your Indian clothes. Here are some more tips, but be warned: not all these options are easily available or ready-to-wear. These will work well if you have the time, patience and effort (and maybe even a bigger wallet) to hunt for the right fabrics and tailors.

  • Long Indian jackets are a growing trend, but these are usually heavily embroidered and not appropriate for daily wear. So make your own such jacket! We suggest brocade jackets (plenty of options out there, and they go with almost everything), and advise your tailor on the silhouette you want. It would be worth the investment.

Rohit Bal Indian jacket

  • Maxi/midi-length buttoned tops/ shirts and tunics are other practical options. You could wear them as jackets/ coats, layered with your kurta underneath. Works well with straight cuts.
  • Indian waistcoats were the rage for a brief period. If you’re lucky enough, you will find some in local markets/ emporiums foreign tourists like to visit. There are plenty of options in waistcoats, from raw silk to organic cottons to fun colours and embellishments like sequins or thread work.

How are you going to layer your Indian clothes?

Related Posts:

Winter Layering: Go Indian (part 1)

Winter Layering Trends: Go Casual

Winter Layering: Dress smart for office

Winter Layering: More trendy office looks

Winter Layering: Go Indian (part 1)

Winter layering for Indian women is tricky, if not tough. The kurta-churidar/salwar-dupatta, the uniform of millions of women across the country has a very specific silhouette, cut and length. And unfortunately, most “western” wear is not appropriate to layer with them.

All of us have seen women wearing a buttoned sweater over a kurta, and we must admit can look kinda dowdy, and well… funny.

Here are a  couple of easy tips to get you started:

  • The trick is to play with length correctly. Most kurtas are close to knee-length so go for a jumper, sweater or cardigan that stops a few inches short of the kurta’s hemline.
  • Seek and you will find several ‘longer’ knitwear options to go with your kurtas.
  • For kalidar or A-line kurtas, wear a cropped sweater or jacket that ends just where the kurta begins to widen.

(Cropped cover-up from United Colors of Benetton).

Cropped knit jacket

Ditch the dupatta and drape a long stole or scarf in a fun way.

(Scarf from S. Oliver)

Speaking Chic Tip: Here’s a video we like that explains the various ways you can tie a scarf:

Coming soon: Part 2

Guide to chic Diwali makeup: Part 2

In our previous post, we gave you some ideas for Diwali makeup and hair styles. Here are some more ideas for a chic Diwali look.

Makeup idea 2: Hot lips

Reds, plums, rich coloured lips are in vogue right now. Try Lancome’s lipsticks for red-hot lips.

Speaking Chic tip: With lips the focus of your face, keeping the rest of the makeup to a bare minimum.

Lancome red lipstick

Makeup idea 3: Rainbow eyes

Lakme gypsy collection eyeshadowConfused what colour eye shadow to use: purple, cream or green? Use all three! I tried this idea last weekend, and the results were striking. It’s a bit tricky to pull off this look, but with the right choice of colour and a steady hand, you can rock it! (FYI: I got this idea from Lakme’s Gypsy collection.)

Speaking Chic tip:  Choose eye shadow colours carefully. Rule of thumb: use one colour to match your outfit, one neutral, and a third that will blend well soften your look.

Hair idea 2: Sleek & chic

Sleek hair at WLIFWMy meeting with TIGI’s Akos Bodi and the recent catwalk shows convinced me that sleek hair is tres chic this season. If you have straight hair like I do, you don’t need to use a straightener. Apply a heat-activated straightening product to wet hair, and blow dry your hair.

Speaking Chic tip:  Tie a tight ponytail to sleek hair, set the style with hair spray, then enjoy the rest of the day with touching your hair again!






How are you doing your makeup and hair this Diwali? Tell us!

Men’s fashion: What goes with a navy blue blazer?

Hi, I’m going to a friend’s wedding this weekend. I want to know what trousers would go with the navy blue blazer I’m planning to wear. And what kind of shirt would look good—solid or striped?

— Saahil

Blue blazer Hi Saahil, most stylists recommend wearing beige or khaki trousers with a navy blue blazer. Avoid pairing blue trousers with a navy blue blazer.

About the shirt: you can wear either solid or striped. If opting for the latter, make sure the stripes are subtle and contrast the blazer. A solid shirt goes with most ties, so you can go a bit crazy with that. 🙂 With the striped shirt, choose a tie with some sort of pattern (stripes, checks or small geometric print). We recommend wearing a tie that has a basic blue tone.

Enjoy the wedding, and do share some pictures of the final look!

Send us your fashion queries to speakingchic [at] gmail [dot] com.

Guide to chic Diwali makeup: Part 1

Makeup idea 1: Flicked liner, glossy lips

If you loved the 50s and 60s, you’ll love the flicked liner look. Give it a contemporary take with glossy lips. Check out Sophie Choudhary’s makeup in the pictures below. (Note the flicked-out liner in the second picture).

Sophie Choudhary makeup liner and glossy lips Sophie Choudhary makeup eyeliner

Speaking Chic tip: Pallavi Symons, Lakme Studio makeup expert, says: “Using the last lash as your guideline, create a fluid upward stroke with a light hand. Then continue the line inward toward the corner of your eye.”

Hair idea 1: Fun with accessories

Tie a loose or low pony, and use hair accessories to dress up your tresses. We recommend cute hair clips and pins, hair bands, or just a ribbon! Vidya Malavade has cleverly used a hair band to push back her bangs and has brought her long hair over the shoulder to resemble a side-pony.

Vidya Malavada hair band

Speaking Chic tip: Experiment with your hair and accessories before you decide on a style. So no last minute mess!

Coming soon: More makeup ideas for Diwali!

Wear the Trend: Say yes to checks

In our previous post on the plaid trend, we promised to show you how to wear checks and plaid. Here are some handy tips.

Checks for girls

  • Check shirt with a boyfriend jacEsprit checkered shirtket: great for a formal event
  • Short checkered dress for the day
  • Plaid skirts or long check shirts with plain or bold leggings
  • Checkered shirts with simple cardigan when it’s cold.

Checks for guys

  • Checkered trousers in basic colours with tee: for the fashion forward
  • Check shirts with khakis to keep it casual
  • Checks with corduroy for colder weather
  • Checkered blazer with plain tshirt

Some thumb rules to wear plaid/ checksEsprit checkered shirt with neutral skirt and leggings

  • Check shirt with jeans and sneakers are just right for college.
  • Pair checks with a neutral garment
  • Plaid + boots = winter sexy! (but don’t overdo it)
  • Wear checkered trousers or jackets in black, white and neutrals to office and meetings.

Where to buy checks

Esprit and edc by Esprit both have checkered collections this season for guys and girls. Girls can also visit Chemistry for plaid shirts and short dresses.

Which plaid or check garment is on your wishlist this winter? Tell us!