Gargi B Niyogi

Spotting During Pregnancy

Spotting During Pregnancy: Now that you have entered into the 6th week of your pregnancy…many of you would have mentally got used to the idea of being pregnant. About 40% of women have their first scan on the 6th week of pregnancy and the results (along with the chances of detecting a heartbeat) are much more definitive than if the scan had been performed in the 5th week. 50% will also start experiencing the first stirrings of the famous “morning sickness”.

Some symptoms you would already be familiar with are exhaustion, lethargy, sore boobs, increased aversion to certain smells and wilder mood swings. Now, these are all relative signs and may not be experienced by each person…in fact some lucky women experience zero symptoms. You can also experience mild abdominal cramps…just a sign of your uterus stretching. If you have started feeling really uncomfortable and have loads of symptoms…know that these are the signs of a healthy lovely baby 🙂

Spotting During Pregnancy

Image Credit: Pinterest

Spotting...the nerve wrecker

One issue that can play Russian roulette with your emotions is spotting during pregnancy. Many women experience extensive spotting all throughout the initial weeks of their pregnancy and some do it through the entire first trimester. This is always a concerning event for the mother to be as she will assume that the pregnancy is terminating itself or a natural abortion/ miscarriage is happening. However, this is not true as 60% of women who experience spotting extensively go on to deliver perfectly healthy full term babies.

One way to be relatively sure is that spotting is not leading to a miscarriage is to have a pregnancy scan earlier. If you have seen your baby’s heartbeat in the first scan (6th week) then the chances of miscarriage reduce drastically. The logic is that a live embryo with a heartbeat has a very low chance of self-destruction….

However spotting is a red alert if the following situations happen
  1. The frequency/ volume of blood/ discharge increases to fill up a sanitary pad in a couple of hours
  2. Sharp contractions in uterus happen along with spotting
  3. The blood is bright red in color and is flows like it would in a normal period
  4. Lumps of tissue come out with the blood
  5. If you do see your spotting leading up to a miscarriage do not lose hope. You are not alone…1/3rd of women suffer a miscarriage in their first pregnancy. You know that you are fertile and will surely conceive again.
Spotting is not a concern under the following situations

Brown, black and light pink discharge happens in moderate quantities

A small amount of red bleeding after sex or a TVS scan (pregnancy makes the cervix super sensitive…any kind of insertion can make you bleed in the first trimester).

Bacterial infection (unfortunately you have to undergo a test to get a definitive answer)

What to Do

The 6th week gets you firmly rolling inside the most uncomfortable phase of your pregnancy…the first trimester. Your hormones…HCG and progesterone are peaking and cause inexplicable changes. Though it’s too early for morning sickness to hit…some of you will start feeling a bit queasy. If you are experiencing spotting or haven’t yet seen a heartbeat….you will probably be stressed about the outcome of the pregnancy.

Keep small pieces of ginger with salt and lemon inside a small box. If you are at work or outside when nausea hits you…chew on the pieces…ginger is a strong nausea beater.

Cold mildly sweet drinks like orange juice, apple juice, cold milk, yogurt smoothies are your best friends…they help settle your stomach

Try finding your personal nausea antidote…mine were lemon leaves and lemon flavored candy…they worked wonders.

If you have seen the heartbeat but are stressed because “you don’t feel pregnant” or “there are no symptoms” then relax!! There is plenty of time for pregnancy symptoms to hit you and you will soon begin feeling wholly and utterly pregnant.

You will find yourself unusually sensitive around this time while your mood fluctuates between “wildly elated” to “I am depressed” in minutes. Call up your besties, shop for new clothes, ask your man for a massage or visit the beauty parlour….stay happy any which ways!!


What Not to Do

As the 5th week, the 6th week is an uncertain one…concentrate on avoiding stress. Stress can trigger things that are not meant to happen in the first place. If you have a concern…call up your gynecologist and schedule your scan earlier. If the scan reports are okay there is nothing to worry about.

Try avoiding food that is too sweet, spicy and oily (these trigger nausea and aggravate the unpleasant digestive problems)

Avoid warm drinks especially tea and coffee. The good news is that even avid caffeine addicts develop an aversion to caffeinated drinks in their pregnancy…thanks to the survival instinct of the baby 🙂

Needless to say by this time you will start doing everything that’s normally expected of a mother to be. This means no alcohol, no cigarettes (best time to quit!!) and a definite step towards a healthier lifestyle. No random unsupervised medication, ointments and pills too.

Don’t lie down the whole day or be on bed rest unless expressly advised by your doctor. Bed rest has no effect on spotting and ceasing activity is harmful to both the mother and baby (regardless of whatever old wives’ tales you might have heard!!).

The Scan….what to expect

By week 6 your baby has grown to the size of a little pea. Your sweet pea will measure probably between 4mm to 6 mm (these are universal ranges) and you will probably be able to hear a heartbeat. At this stage, the heart has just formed and heartbeat rate will increase in the following weeks. All you will see is a large dot along with the yolk sac…if you look hard enough maybe you will see a curved line (the following weeks will give you a clearer picture).

Even if you don’t hear the heartbeat in the 6th week…your doctor will ask you to come back in the seventh week for a re-assessment. The 6th-week signals the beginning of exciting times…hold on you are all set up for the exhilarating, nerve-wracking and rewarding  BOB ride J

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Week 7 Nausea Fact Files

Remedies for NAUSEA DURING PREGNANCY: Week 7 signals the onset of Nausea for maximum pregnant women and for many nausea is actually an indicator for signaling that they are pregnant. If your pregnancy is sort of unplanned then maybe week 7 is the time that you catch on to the fact that you are pregnant!!! By week 7 you would be aware of the fact that you haven’t had your period yet (even if you have an irregular cycle) and niggling things like bloating, smell aversions, mood swings and fatigue will make you curious enough to make you take a pregnancy test.

Pregnancy is an amazing journey but it has its rough side and nausea is one of the major challenges you are going to face. Let’s look at the bright side first…research says that 80% of women who experience nausea in their first trimester give birth to healthy happy babies as opposed to 65% of women who do not experience nausea at all. This underlines the fact that if you have nausea…the chances of a healthy uneventful birth are strengthened.

Week 7 Nausea Fact Files

Image Credit : nestandnestability

Clearing up the why’s and when’s and what’s

In pregnancy, nausea is usually referred to as morning sickness or M.S. this is a highly misleading term…. Morning sickness can actually last all day!!! 75% of pregnant women have both nausea and vomiting during their first trimester to varying levels and 50% have only vomiting.

Even gentle attacks of nausea can sap you of your energy and leave you drained while day-long nausea can literally turn your world upside down.  Sometimes morning sickness strikes around the evenings and you might feel okay in the morning while the setting sun brings in the tendency to vomit, an increased aversion to smelling, and a general feeling of sickness. Evening Sickness (e.v.s) is less common than m.s but it happens…

The bright side is that smell aversion, nausea and vomiting reduce after the first trimester and by the 5th month, you will find your energy and appetite return. The not-so-bright side is that once nausea starts it will worsen and will reach a peak around the 9th to 10th week after which it gradually begins to subside.

This can be logically related to the surge of hormones like HCG, Estrogen in your body in the first trimester and a weakened digestive system. Some research says that women who have motion sickness tend to suffer more from nausea but the results are inconclusive.

More conclusive research points to the fact that if your mom had nausea in her pregnancies…you are more likely to suffer from it. You are also more likely to suffer from nausea if you have twins, have been taking birth control pills for a long time or have a history of a migraine.

The Nausea Survival Kit

Nausea can and will hamper your diet. Most women who experience nausea lose a little weight (as opposed to the generally held notion of gaining weight) in the first trimester. Don’t worry if you lose weight…you will gain all of it (and more) back once your appetite returns.

Mild to moderate nausea will not harm you and will have zero effect on your baby. Even if nausea turns you off food…remember that your baby will suck off the nutrient reserve in your body (you have loads of this unless you are suffering from anorexia) and will fulfill its needs.

Nausea is harmful if you cannot stay hydrated, vomit more than twice in a day and the weakness makes you unable to perform daily activities…in all these cases see your doctor who will probably give you medication to reduce the nauseous attacks and vitamins to make up for any deficiency in your diet. Once you have covered the basics it’s time to turn your attention toward beating nausea

Take small and frequent meals…ensure that you eat something every 3 hours even if it’s something as small as peanuts. Keep a ginger cookie jar near your bed… chew on a cookie before you get out of bed (ginger fights nausea and the sugar in the cookie keeps your blood sugar from dipping). Sip on fluids …dododon’t gulp down beverages.

Stay off fried, fatty, spicy and overly sweet food for some time (these are all nausea triggers). If you find any particular smell offensive (this is a highly individual response) avoid food and situations that expose you to that smell.

If all else fails…try the BRAT diet….its bananas, rice, apple sauce, and toast. These are bland yet calorie rich foods that have very low chances of bringing on nausea. Crackers, cold milk, nuts, cereals, lemon juice, lemon candy, ginger candy are other generally inoffensive foods.

Do not sleep off right after your meals…walk around a bit…this aids digestion

Engage yourself in nice movies, long walks, and some shopping and pampering sessions. The less you think about nausea the weaker your attacks become. Build a positive aura around yourself…your nausea is just a sign of your little peanut growing up!!!

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Juicy Chemistry Night Cream 2

Hello, my lovelies I am back with a review from one of my favorite brand’s juicy chemistry, in particular, the Juicy Chemistry Night Cream. When it comes to skincare…pritesh and Megha Asher (founders of juicy chemistry that were established in 2014) firmly believe in creating products straight from the lap of Mother Nature and completely free from harsh chemicals. J.C ’s rosehip cell regenerating serum and mango and argan oil hair masque are both my favorites and one fine day I ordered the lavender, myrrh and wild forest honey night cream to see how it works…Let’s check out through my experience.

Juicy Chemistry Night Cream 2

Basic info on Juicy Chemistry Night Cream

Price: Rs 350/- for 35 gms (you can get it for lower prices on Amazon rarely…they don’t usually give discounts)

Brand Claim 

J.C’s lavender, myrrh and wild forest honey night cream has a Shea butter base with lavender (acts as an anti-stress element), myrrh ( acts as anti-aging…line reducing element) along with carrot seed oil and pomegranate extracts that have antioxidant properties.

My Experience with Juicy Chemistry Night Cream

I must say that I was impressed by the pretty packaging that J.C products have. The product came in a mid-sized box with a small wooden spatula and it had a lovely appearance. The container is made of plastic fiber…it’s sturdy and has the product description and ingredient list printed on the sides. I was a little disappointed to see the lack of a proper finishing touch…the description paper was skewed and looked awkward.

The container is travel-friendly…I have carried it with me on trips to far off hill stations and there was no spillage. The product reads for “dry skin only”. I have combination skin and didn’t use it on my T zone…i.e. forehead, nose, and chin. It’s winter now and the air  tends to dry out my skin which is why I chose to use this product

The cream has a somewhat heavy yellow collared texture and smells strongly of lavender balm. Used the word balm as I have a lavender relaxing balm from Fab India that smells exactly the same.

The cream has an oily texture and it takes a rather long time to get absorbed. It took at least an hour to get absorbed completely and I was rather worried that it would leave my skin greasy and unflatteringly oily. However…the next morning I woke up to super soft cheeks with no oily smears. I had a rough patch near my left cheek that had softened out too.

I usually use this cream thrice a week and not every day unless I am traveling to a place with cold and dry climate. Though the fragrance is heavy…it helps me sleep better as promised by the cream. My skin looks softer and radiant now and I can honestly say that the J.C lavender, myrrh, and wild forest honey night cream has made a difference to me in a positive way!!

Juicy Chemistry Night Cream 3

Overall Performance of Juicy Chemistry Night Cream

The cream would work excellently for women with dry skin or those who are exposed to extremely dry climate on a regular basis.  It’s affordably priced though J.C takes a long time to deliver products and that’s a disadvantage. Fortunately, the cream did work well for me and I faced no issues. I will be repurchasing it soon…though as mentioned earlier it’s not suitable for regular use on my combination skin. Oily skinned women will probably find it unsuitable and you should probably do a patch test before you decide to use it on your face.

The lavender, myrrh and wild forest honey night cream did make my skin glow and I am happy with its performance.

Would I recommend?

I would recommend the cream to women with dry and combination skin. It would suit people who are looking for hypoallergenic and natural skincare products. Would also recommend its use for people who have disturbed sleep…the cream did help me sleep better.

A shout out for this one :))

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Hello everyone! Today FabIndia Tea Tree Cleansing milk is under scrutiny!

The winter is here in its full glory and one bad side effect of this is the pesky smog and ultra-high levels of dust in the air. I have super sensitive skin which tends to break out when exposed to polluted environments. And I happen to live in a very polluted city too…This time when I noticed too many zits on my face…I happened to try out the Fab India tea tree cleansing milk…

Price: 250/- (in store)

For 100 gm

My Experience with FabIndia Tea Tree Cleansing Milk

The Fab India tea tree cleansing milk has a nice invigorating fragrance…it’s a good break from the cloyingly sweet artificial scents that are usually associated with a cleansing milk. The essence is definitely tea tree and the texture felt creamy and smooth on my skin.

Once I cleaned my skin with the cleanser I noticed only a very small amount of dirt was extracted. Also, the residue left behind was too oily and left a weird shiny finish.

I have used it for the past one month with a steady frequency of twice in a day. I usually took out a small amount by using the dispenser and lightly massaged it on my skin before wiping it off with cotton. Unfortunately, the irritation on my zits was intensified and my skin didn’t feel moisturized afterward…it just felt weird and oily.

One of my major issues is that the Tea Tree Skin cleanser irritates my skin and makes it flare up especially in winter. However, the face cleanser did take out some amount of dirt though I didn’t get the squeaky clean feeling that’s associated with most good quality cleansers. This is basically a product that performs below expectations…there is nothing remarkably good that I can say about it.

FabIndia Tea Tree Skin Cleansing milk 2

Overall Performance 

Honestly, most of the Fab India skin care line is inexpensive including this face cleansing milk. This comes in a pretty travel-friendly sized bottle of 100 ml. I quite like the way the white bottle with its golden lid looks… but my approval ends there. The product doesn’t do justice to my skin at all. The way I see it…I will have to finish it off by cleaning my elbows and ankles.

Would I recommend?

I totally don’t recommend this product…this has made me flare up pretty badly. However, maybe this is meant for extremely dry skin…so if you have dehydrated skin maybe u can give this a shot. This won’t work on oily and combination skin for sure. The product label says “for all skin types” that’s totally not correct.

To sum up it’s a no….noo….NO from my experience!!!!

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Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream Review: A BB cream is always a coveted product…it saves time, delivers a good finish and is my go-to solution for most days. I have experimented with a lot of BB creams with sometimes impressive and sometimes unimpressive results.The Maybelline dream BB pure 8 in 1 beauty balm and skin clearing perfector was a recent buy. Maybelline mostly launches decent products and I was out of BB creams.One fine day I decided to try out Maybelline dream BB pure 8 in 1 beauty balm and skin clearing perfector…let’s see how this one fared…

Maybelline Dream BB Pure 8 In 1 Beauty Balm And Skin Clearing Perfector

Price: 1130/

My Experience with Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream

The packaging is rather cute…this comes in a flattish tube with sky blue lettering and coffee colored tint. Though the product said 30 ml when I first checked it out I was rather shocked by how small it looked when it arrived. I am guessing this will last only for a couple of months…that too when not used regularly. Paying 1300 INR for this small a tube seemed too much.

Its winter and that means more layers on the skin as well as body. Winter does bad things to my t zone which flares up with sporadic acne. This product has 2percent salicylic acid which is great for fighting acne and pimples.

It claims to hide imperfections, reduces the appearance of pores, minimizes redness, blends in with skin tone, hydrates, smoothens and mattifies…all with a 0percent oil and lightweight feel. Phew….that’s one tall claim…I thought.

I have the product in medium sheer tint which is okay for light Indian tone skin. There is a medium-light tint too which will be suitable for paler skin…I had tried it out at a friend’s place…it looked artificial on my skin. A very small amount of the product is needed to cover the face…it evens out nicely with a nice moisturizing effect. However, the finish is not sheer. It’s a bit chalky. The product takes about 3 minutes to set in… and post that the skin looked even, blemish free and pretty. However, moisturization is not one of its functions through the product says so in its packaging literature.

Post a few uses…my t zone looked healthier. It’s great to have a makeup product that has some skincare benefits too. So out of all the claims made by bb pure 8 in 1 beauty balm…only the blending in, minimizing pores, reducing acne and evening out the skin tone claims held true. It definitely doesn’t moisturize…people living in dry climes and those who have absolutely dry skin will find it unsuitable.

Maybelline Dream BB Pure 8 In 1 Beauty Balm And Skin Clearing Perfector 2

Overall Performance of Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream

The USP of this Maybelline dream BB pure 8 in 1 beauty balm and skin clearing perfector shade is its decent coverage, skin benefiting properties and pore minimizing features. It’s a good product that’s travel-friendly, cute to look at and has an inoffensive fragrance.

3 minutes is all that it takes to get a clearer, blemish-free complexion…this product is nice as a makeup base however it’s inordinately expensive and doesn’t do all that it claims to.

Would I recommend?

I would recommend dream BB pure 8 in 1 beauty balm and skin clearing perfector to women with combination/ oily skin living in a humid climate… without budget restrictions. This is pretty expensive and the quantity given looks disappointing. I am pretty sure that a less costly bb cream could deliver the same kind of results. I am probably not going to repurchase unless a tempting sale is on 😉

Therefore I am going to carry on in my quest for the perfect bb cream. A ⅗ for this one.

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Maybelline Rich Ruby Crème Matte Lipstick Review 3

Maybelline Rich Ruby Lipstick  : Happy summer girlsNothing perks up the face like Red Lipstick…that’s what I preach (and practice too). Red lipstick, a good quality compact powder and a swipe of some Kohl are all you need to be a summer stunner  :)The Maybelline Rich Ruby Crème Matte Lipstick was a 9-minute buy…meaning I had this sudden urge to buy a lipstick…foraged around the lipstick counters of Shoppers Stop in a distracted manner and picked up the nth shade that the rather confused salesman demonstrated (all done in 9 minutes).Let’s see how this one fared…

Maybelline Rich Ruby Crème Matte Lipstick Review 1

 Price: 575/-

My Experience with Maybelline Rich Ruby Lipstick

For those of you who have tried the creamy matte range before …you would know…the packaging isn’t super attractive, it’s just passable. There is a sturdy purplish fiber cap and the lipstick has a shiny silver body which is decent to look at. I swiped the lipstick across my hand in two single strokes and here’s what I got…the color looked good…highly pigmented and felt creamy too.

Maybelline Rich Ruby Crème Matte Lipstick Review

The lipstick feels super smooth on my lips…I just applied it once and I got a pretty vibrant shade. Maybe for parties…I can try a second application and a liner but for a casual day, a 15-second single application worked great for me.

My lips are dry and I didn’t use a balm but Rich Ruby moisturized my lips. The color stayed for 4 to 5 hours …if you eat oily stuff…it’s going to disappear faster. As for the color…I totally heart it…this is red meets purple and the name Ruby does define the shade. Red with cool undertones…worked great for me…this is going to become one of my handbag staples.

The only drawback I could think of is that the lipstick could have been packaged better.

Maybelline Rich Ruby Crème Matte Lipstick Review 4

Overall Performance 

The USP of the Maybelline is the intense color it produces in a single swipe. The color is very alluring and though you must test it yourself…I can’t think of anybody who wouldn’t look like a stunner in this shade  🙂

This lipstick lasts a decent span of time…carry it in your bag, you would need to reapply if you munch on snacks. For dry lipped girls like me, this one is a winner….you seriously won’t need extra moisturization.

Would I recommend?

I purchased this lipstick a week back and will definitely repurchase it once this gets exhausted. Would rate it 4/5 …it just needs more staying power. Personally, I think the shade looks a lot like MAC’s Russian Red especially after the second application. This is a decent affordable lipstick with a stunning color  🙂


It’s just been over a month since I had my C section and despite being reasonably fit and active during my pregnancy …it has been disheartening to see a bloated and misshapen tummy. While pregnancy itself causes a lot of stress on the pelvic floor and the abdominal muscles…a-c section causes even more damage to these areas. In fact, a c section is like any other lower abdomen surgery except that you get your very own bundle of joy afterward. I researched a lot on the ways to reduce tummy after my c section, especially Exercise After C Section and here is what I found out.

When to start weight reduction

No kind of weight reduction or tummy reduction activity should be undertaken till 6 weeks after the operation. This is the standard time frame for a c section incision to heal….exercising before this time frame will cause irreparable damage. Wearing a tight belt before the wound has healed completely can also cause serious infections.

Dieting as a means of reducing tummy should only be undertaken if you are not breastfeeding. In case you are breastfeeding your baby then you would need 2000 extra calories per day. However, you can make intelligent choices in the kinds of food you consume and reduce bloating that’s an immediate side effect of a c section. However breastfeeding naturally helps you lose weight, tightens up the uterus and sometimes it even helps loose fat from the hips and lower abdomen. If you do have the choice…opt for breastfeeding as a natural way of giving your baby optimum nutrition and losing unwanted weight in the process.

Low Impact Exercises

Invest your time in low impact exercises like stretches, walking and low-speed spot jogging. If you are taking long walks then take your baby along….you get mother and baby bonding time too in the process. Most areas now have stroller walking clubs…join one if you need to have company during your walks.

Another great way to start off is to learn breathing exercises….these can be done a week after your c section. You need to place your hands on a pillow that covers your incision site and breathe in deeply. Your diaphragm should fill up with lots of air…exhale really slowly and then repeat the process till the muscles feel tired. You can do this breathing exercise many times in a day.

One important point to remember while starting off on any exercise regimen is that there should be a warm-up program preceding the actual exercise routine. Warming up before exercising and cooling down after the exercise regimen will avoid any chance of muscle strain. Another important point to remember is to stop if any kind of dizzy feeling, nausea or a burning sensation around the incision occurs. Exercise regimens after a c section should always be phased…they should build up gradually before you reach the pre-pregnancy fitness levels and the pre-pregnancy tummy!!

Eating Right

Choose the right kind of nutrients if you want to get rid of your tummy fast. Your diet should have high amounts of lean protein, moderate carbohydrates (slow releasing carbs) and low saturated fat content. You should choose whole grains, low-fat dairy produce, fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein. You should have lots of colors on your plate…colored fruits and vegetables have micronutrients that are responsible for increasing the metabolic rate and burning fat faster. Eat smaller more frequent meals and avoid sleeping immediately after a meal…this will reduce bloating and discourage the accumulation of abdominal fat. Avoid consuming food that promotes the formation of gas (women who have c sections are more likely to suffer from gas) like cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, kidney beans etc. drink 2 to 3 liters of water daily…this is an effective way of reducing belly fat.

Tummy Binder and Belts

Many women opt to use a tummy binder to get a flat tummy after their c section. This binder should ideally be made of soft elastic cloth or muslin cloth which acts like a firm bandage. The use of the tummy binder belt pushes the belly down and encourages it to become flattered after it has been used continually. The use of a tummy binder should only be done after 2 months of the surgery when the tissues have completely healed.

Post-Partum Support belts can help the abdominal muscles tighten and reduce stomach fat while minimizing back pain. The belt should only be bought from a reputed manufacturer and should be used after 2 months of delivery.

Here’s hoping that you achieve a flatter tummy and tighter muscles real soon!!

Exercise After C Section Video

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MAC Captive Satin Lipstick 1

MAC Captive Lipstick Review: Hello, my lovelies :)Hope you had a wonderful festival of lights. Rains played spoilsport here in the city of joy on both Kali puja and Diwali so that meant most of my diyas went out and it was difficult for us to light up the night. Nevertheless gorgeous outfits, yummy food and luscious shades of lipstick offered compensation… anyway dressing up is always the highlight of any festival as far as I am concerned. This time I experimented with a brand new Mac lipstick …Mac Satin captive A 66.Let’s see how MAC Captive Satin Lipstick stood up to the test.

MAC Captive Satin Lipstick 1

Price: 1500/- (In store)

My Experience with MAC Captive Lipstick

The Mac lipsticks are packaged in a standard way and this one is no exception. The bullet MAC case with silver lettering and the all over the black body is distinctive of the unfailing quality and dependability of any Mac lipstick. The lipstick is small enough to slip into the tiniest of purses and you can carry it anywhere with you.

The color is a rich plum with cool-neutral undertones. Its medium pigmented, slightly shiny with a creamy smooth finish that feels delicious on the lips. One application is enough for day wear…you will get a nice rich color. If you have heavily pigmented lips…maybe two applications would be required. There is no need to apply lip balm the lipstick is fairly moisturized and really smooth….satiny smooth in fact.

I mostly stick to pinks, reds, and peaches so plum is a slight deviation for me. I really liked how the color was so versatile…it rarely clashes with anything.


MAC Captive Satin Lipstick 4

MAC Captive Satin Lipstick 5

Overall Performance of MAC Captive Satin Lipstick

The USP of this lipstick is its versatility…it will work as daywear as well as evening wear. You can pair it with almost all kinds of outfits and you can wear it to the boardroom as well as the ballroom. When you buy a really pricey lipstick like Mac you would want maximum utilization and this one scores high on that parameter.

I have been using this lipstick for just a week now but I can sense that this will become a wardrobe staple. Generally, when I try out a new lipstick I do it on a bare face to map the exact effect…I was quite satisfied with its look.

The lipstick stays close to 5 hours….it didn’t fade away even after a mini meal. Overall, this is one of the most decent lipsticks I have come across.

Would I recommend?

Yes and I think I will repurchase this shade once this one is over. I would also recommend this lipstick to women who like to play it safe and do not like very aggressive or unusual colors. Will suit a variety of skin tones too… Heartily loved and recommended.

Dupes and more MAC Lipstick Swatches?
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Pregnancy Week 8

Pregnancy Fatigue Symptoms  :By Week 8…you are likely to be wholly and utterly sure of the fact that you are pregnant. While not many visible physical changes are there…you can rejoice in the fact that you are now almost two months pregnant. You are likely to be set on a permanent roller coaster of emotions this week…and you can switch between uncontrolled laughter and teary eyed despair in seconds (don’t worry these are the pregnancy hormones talking). Your baby meanwhile has joyfully grown up to the size of a raspberry. The great news is that 90% of pregnant women who have made it this far go on to have healthy uneventful pregnancies….in the coming week i.e. the 9th week the risk of miscarriage will drop to 4%. You are likely to be super careful about your movements and will be busy bringing in lifestyle changes that will allow you to have a healthy comfortable pregnancy.

The downside is that it’s around this week that some women begin to experience extreme tiredness and fatigue. On some days you might feel totally unable to get out of bed and go to work. This lethargy combined with the fluttering excited state of your mind may make your professional life difficult.

Pregnancy Week 8

Image Credit : Etsy

Pregnancy Fatigue….Why Do I always feel so tired!!!

For those of you who have been perpetually asking yourself this question…it’s time to understand the real answer. Your baby is growing in spurts now…at the average rate of 1 mm per day. Your little raspberry’s heart is now pumping blood at the phenomenal rate of 150 to 170 bps and that’s almost double your heart beat. Tiny fingers, toes and limbs are forming along with cute button noses and smiley lips. The energy for all this is obviously supplied by your body which is perpetually working overtime to support this incredible miracle of life. Obviously, much of your energy stores are used up by the baby’s growth leaving you with an energy deficit for your other routine functions.

The second major reason behind fatigue is insufficient and improper diet. You need to be on energy rich food during this time and unfortunately for most working women sticking to a proper diet becomes a bit difficult. Remember that this is the time when vital organs of your baby, your placenta, and the amniotic fluid will form….whatever you eat will determine the quality of your baby’s life support devices. Therefore a diet comprising of cookies, spicy snacks, colas, and chips is not recommended….unless you are suffering from M.S or E.V.S where your focus changes to eating anything that you can keep down!!

How to Boost Up Your Energy Levels

The great news is that it’s entirely possible to supercharge your energy levels at least to acceptable standards where you can do all your work unhindered. The not-so great news is that this won’t happen automatically…you have to plan for it.

Break up your 3 large meals into 6 or even 8 small meals. Larger meals take longer to digest and tax your body more. Smaller meals are like energy shots which will boost you up.

Binge on fruits…they are your best friends when you are expecting. Go all out on bananas, apples, prunes, strawberries, melons, guavas, grapes etc. most fruits release instant energy and adding a little salt to them will balance the acidity well.

Pack little boxes with healthy snack options like dates, sprouts, nuts and raisins and granola bars to munch while you are at the office. This healthy stuff will prevent you from reaching out for that bag of chips or cola bottle.

Exercise even if you don’t feel like it….this will boost up your blood circulation and make you less tired in the long run. Exercise is also great for your baby as it speeds up growth.

If you have the option….take cat naps. Short 15 minute naps recharge your body and leave you feeling energetic as opposed to hour long siestas which make you lethargic.

Stay away from negativity, stress, tight clothes and high heels. The latter two will impede your blood circulation and body balance…two things that you need to take care of during pregnancy. For the first two, bond with your besties and learn the art of not sweating the small stuff. For every streak of negativity that brushes through your mind….tell yourself “I am enjoying the best gift that life can ever give me and it’s an awesome time!!!!”

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Tarakashi 1

Chandi Medha Cuttack: On the day of Mahasashthi (the sixth day of Navaratri)) the goddess Durga arrives in Cuttack (the trade center of Odisha) wearing a Mukutah (crown) of nearly 450 kilos of gleaming pure silver. If one looks closely then the intricate jaali work of Silver Filigree which makes up the crown. The intricacy and fine craftsmanship of this work are unparalleled in India…. Cuttack is very proud of its legacy and calls its art of silver filigree as Chandi Medha. I was in love with silver filigree jewelry since the time I had first set my eyes on a particular pair of earrings brought by a relative…the pair was light enough to flutter in the wind while the silver wires gleamed each time light caught them….it was my quest to understand this art that had brought me to Cuttack.

Tarakashi 1

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A couple of hours of interaction with the silver Jewelers in Cuttack brought to light an Interesting story. Silver filigree first entered Cuttack via Indonesian traders 500 years ago through strong trade links. The very first shops of Chandi Medha (now known as Tarakashi) started in 1956 in Chaudhary Bazaar at Cuttack. Very soon the art spread all around Cuttack and then to Bhubaneshwar before spreading its branches over other places in eastern India. However, the back breaking labor that’s involved in Tarakashi and the lack of exposure (which failed to get the craftsmen a fair price) soon began to force the artisans into other alternative modes of livelihood. Today Tarakashi is a dying art and very few jewelry lovers in India are aware of its rare exquisitely delicate beauty. Right now there are 400 odd craftsman families who still carry on this tradition.

The process sounds painful…first pure silver is melted and then fashioned into thin silver wires (the thinner the better). An artist holds a long tube into his mouth all the while directing a small flame through it which softens the wire for molding. The artisans spend many excruciating days in fashioning those wires in designs inspired by the immediate environment….flowers, birds, Konark Chakra and religious motifs.

Processes like snow glazing, granulation and casting are used to beautify the jewelry further. Sometimes platinum polishing is done and brass is fused with silver to create a golden sheen. I spoke to a silver jewelry store owner in Chaudhary Bazaar who claimed: “customers keep approaching me with modern design requests and the infusion of these elements are taking away the essence of traditional Tarakashi”.  Few jewelry items that are very popular are the Odisha Kaan (a large earring that covers the entire ear), Kamar bandh (waist chain) necklaces, large rings and toe rings. Traditionally an Odiya marriage was considered incomplete without Tarakashi toe rings, anklets, and an intricately designed silver vermillion box.

The best place for getting Tarakashi jewelry in Cuttack are the shops in Chaudhary Bazar (this is the source so rates are more affordable)…Hemraj jewelers is a good one. You can also visit Bajrakbati Road that has nice stores like Radha Jewellers and Silver Linings. Bhubaneshwar and Puri shops are grander and stock this kind of filigree jewelry at much higher prices.

Large floral rings …can be used as statement pieces



Traditional floral filigree necklace and earrings. A silver chain and clasp will be used to complete the neck piece.A large Ganapati framed filigree necklace with green semi-precious stones

Tarakashi 2

The traditional Odissi Kaan. These earrings are used in dance performances too.

Tarakashi 3

Kamarbandhs…it takes nearly 15 days to make one!! Exquisitely beautiful jaali work that can brighten up a bridal outfit

I came back with a small box of jewelry and a heart full of memories. Wish the 400 odd artisan families around Cuttack…the resilience, and spirit needed to preserve this beautiful art!!

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