Tuesday, January 19, 2016

To be fair - or not

One of the many, many pieces of drama that made my brother's wedding last month SO MUCH FUN was the fact that the airline I flew home on forgot to put my suitcase on the plane. Which meant my outfit for the sangeet and a large chunk of my makeup was not in the same continent as me for a good 48 hours after I landed.

Which was fine, because I never panic over such things, and I did have a week to scream at the airline before the day of the sangeet. What I needed urgently, however, was makeup. Because even though the sangeet was almost a week away, I had another friend getting married the day after I landed, and a gazillion mini-events that every Indian wedding seems to require.

Now the thing with makeup is that I started using a lot of it only last year.

I tried foundation years ago, when I was much younger. But a, I'm terrible with liquid foundation because I end up spilling it all over, and b, I always felt like a clown whenever I tried putting it, so I stopped very soon. For years, my only make up was eyeliner, mayyybe blush on the rare occasion I was feeling brave, and on even rarer occasions, some lipstick.

Then last year, a friend introduced me to Maybelline's roll on version of foundation, which was relatively easy to apply, and their darkest shade didn't make me feel like such a clown. So I started using this, and felt very proud of myself.

So when I found myself without makeup in India, I headed NewU to see if they had anything similar. And this brings us to why I am writing this post*.

So the roll on type of foundations don't seem to have reached India yet, so I thought, fine, I will be brave and try regular liquid foundation, and hope none of the clothes I do have with me get ruined. But then, when I asked for their darkest shade, I discovered Maybelline has exactly three shades available in India, the darkest of which won't work for me or, to be quite honest, half the women I know in India. And this was true of every brand I asked to see. And when I came close to losing it and asking how they expect me to use these shades because, hello, look at me, a very helpful sales assistant had the bright idea of offering me - wait for it - fairness serum by Garnier. Apparently if you apply fairness serum before a lighter shade of foundation, it works just fine.

To which I said:

Seriously? Seriously? Introduce three ridiculous shades in a market, which won't work for half the women in said market, and then promote "fairness freakin' serum"?!

How have the people outraging over the continuing existence of Fair & Lovely and similar products not started outraging about this yet?!

Screw you, make up companies.

* Oh, like we all didn’t know it takes me ages to get to the point. My thoughts meander, people.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

The year that was: 2015

2015 was an... interesting year. That's the only word I can think of to describe it.

But to start with, y'know the thing(s) I wasn't allowed to talk about last year? Well, it was pretty much the dominating thing this year, and will get referenced several times in this post, so let's get it out of the way - MY BABY BROTHER GOT MARRIED.

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
Among several other things... Get a speeding ticket. Watch India play a World Cup match. Oh, and watch my baby brother get married.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I had some intentions, and listed them out on the sicrit blog that only three people have access to. I did a progress check in July, and was at 50% or so. I think it may have gone up to 55% by the end of the year.
For 2016, there are more intentions, yes. Why intentions, you ask? Because of the very wisdomous Jennifer Crusie, who said on her blog:
Another year’s end, another year beginning, another refusal to make resolutions because I can’t plan for the weekend, let alone a whole year. Instead, I have intentions. I intend to do this stuff. If I don’t do it, hey, I changed my mind.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, but ask me in another month, and that answer will have changed.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
We hadn't stayed as close as I would have liked, but two days before my brother's wedding, I found out someone I went to grad school with had succumbed to her battle with breast cancer.

5. What places did you visit?
SJD. SYD/MEL. RAP. RIC/PHF. SFO. DEL. ABQ/SAF. BNA. MIA. LHR. RDU. LAX. FSD. NYC. DEL again. At least four of those trips were for work, but still, not bad, wot?

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
Gumption. Patience.

7. What date from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 22. December 25.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Paid off my student loan. Lost 20 pounds.

9. What was your biggest failure?
My lack of patience.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Kinda, sorta. More on this later.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Years ago, I promised myself I would buy this one really extravagant thing once I paid off my student loan. That. Also, after years of dithering, I finally gifted myself a tablet for my birthday. That, too.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
I really don't know how to answer this.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and/or depressed?
Oh, where to start...

14. Where did most of your money go?
The aforementioned student loan, the aforementioned extravagant thing, the aforementioned tablet, and a gazillion things I could tell you were bought for the wedding, but probably would have been bought anyway.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The World Cup trip. The brother's wedding.

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?
Galla goodiyan.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
A bit of both.

18. Thinner or fatter?

19. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Read books that are not by Nora Roberts. Watched TV shows that are not The West Wing.

20. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Watched TV, overall.

21. How will you be spending Christmas?
Watched the brother get married :)

22. Did you fall in love in 2015?

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favourite TV programme?
I loved Catastrophe.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Er, hmmm.

26. What was the best book you read?
I really didn't read enough to answer this. It was a bad year of reading, even by my standards.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I rediscovered Indian Ocean. Also, the soundtrack for The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has been on loop in my car for several months now.

28. What did you want and get?
Paying off the student loan.

29. What did you want and not get?
Figuring out where I want to live in the long term.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?
See, this is why I need a site that I can use to track movies I've watched. I use Goodreads for books, and Sidereel for TV shows, but I have no way of keeping track of the movies I watch, and so I just forget.
I think we'll go with Piku for now. It's the one movie I remember loving, at any rate. Ant-Man was a lot more fun than I expected it to be, too.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 30, my friend organized dinner, and I got drunk. And since I planned to get drunk, and I very, very rarely let myself get drunk, I think we can declare it a fairly successful evening.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Still hoping for that ability to apparate or use a portkey, y'all...

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
I got pretty good with make up. And I discovered leggings, which are the best thing ever.

34. What kept you sane?
I'm not sure anything was able to...

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I may or may not have developed a bit of a crush on the new Canadian Prime Minister...

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Oh, you do not want to get me started on this. I still hate the BJP with the very core of my being, and the Republican candidates for the 2016 election is driving me crazy.

37. Who did you miss?
All my loved ones.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
People I met before 2015 became a lot dearer in 2015. Does that count?

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
I really need to work on my facial expressions being... well, less expressive.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I'm tempted to go with the same song as last year, but that's forcing it a bit, so I'm going to say none that comes to mind for now.