Monthly Archives: June 2014

Orange sherbet

This dress  from BAJA  in pure chiffon,   instantly lengthening your figure with its vertical stripes, and draping flatteringly, is perfect for a romantic night out. Designed to be versatile and perfect, the yoke at the back causes the dress to fall and drape beautifully.

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It is lined with a stretchy, light weight fabric and its divided sleeves allow for much freedom of movement, and at the same time giving you exactly enough skin coverage to feel comfortable. The dress, called after its stunning hues, is named Orange Sherbet and effortlessly infuses functional glamor into your wardrobe. Sweet on its own, and stunning when accessorized, this dress will satisfy every one of your stylish whims and fancies.

Love

Babita Jaishankar

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Make your own rules

My BAJA dress has something vaguely sailor-ish about that makes the air around me taste saltier than it should. Odd as it seems, it’s true. With tiny boats dancing across the dark blue background and a silver cummerbund around my waist, I’d like to emphasize the fact that traditional touches can be added to any dress, western as it is. Let those traditional pieces hit the roads once in a while, just with a little right tweaks to the outfit.

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My necklace is no more a necklace that a bracelet would be as it is, not one piece, but a pair of my favorite silver anklets, linked together with the rings at the corners. My eye makeup is what I’d like to call old Indian, the sixties movie style- the winged eye. The fact is, opposed to popular belief as it is, that “traditionalistic” pieces or makeup can be paired with western, and they look fantastic. So take this as an invitation to raid your grandmother’s jewelry box, or take those pretty pieces out of the locked boxes they’ve been hiding in, and flaunt them!

Go ahead set your own rules 🙂

Love

Babita Jaishankar

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Treasured junk in my trunk

Every other day i am asked on how to arrange the wardrobe . So instead of just saying i thought to pen it down along with the pictures of my own wardrobe .

Doing it in parts and today it is about how i arrange my jewellery . Staying in an apartment i don’t have the luxury of space . I use the sliding draw under my bed to treasure all the junk 🙂

At a glance –

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I like to see all of them at a glance so i leave most of the smaller boxes (  shoe boxes or plastic storage boxes )  without the lids on .

I keep all my rings in  a big box ( have reused a cardboard box ) , i keep cotton balls in between,so they don’t rub against each other .

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I keep the precious ( stone /gem) and delicate rings in individual boxes.

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Teaming up same size and same color earrings / delicate necklaces  in a box which has small partitions , saves the time that you would  be spending taking them apart  . Oftentimes, my clients claim not to have any accessories to pair with their outfits, yet the truth is that they forget what they DO have.

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The chunky beads/pendant and expensive gem/beads are individually packed in velvet or cotton lined boxes.

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The fancy necklaces and pendants are individually wrapped and kept in two sections –     1. Colored      2. Gold/Copper/Silver

 

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Not much of bangle person and i like to stack them in a box so i can see them all together.

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Watches are wrapped in individual velvet pouches , i leave a bit of strap peeping out of the pouch hence easier to identify them without having to open  each  pouch to find the one you want .

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So yes, go ahead arrange your accessories and enjoy wearing them too 🙂

Love

Babita Jaishankar

 

 

 

 

 

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BAJA 2013 Dress or FIFA 2014 Dress

The most sought out dress from our 2013 collection was our dress that we named as ‘Off to Goa”.

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A dress that you could just slip into, a aqua-blue, vintage-inspired, island-print frock from BAJA .  Sleeveless Frock with flattering pin tucks, side zipped for that extra comfort , a natural waist, and an A-line skirt fully lined.. Wear it to a fun filled vacation at a resort or to a lunch date with your best friend .Couple it with vintage shoes and a white cardi….

Today  my daughter while watching the video screamed out Amma,  ‘Off to Goa’ ( yes my kids know names of all the dress from BAJA ) is in FIFA . That didn’t make any sense to me until i saw this ….

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So there it was a similar dress on JLo in the FIFA 2014 SONG .

Amma,  were they inspired by BAJA dress ? and I  was happy to hear that 🙂

Love

Babita Jaishankar

 

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Roots and wings

Yesterday was a beautiful experience for me as well as for one of my clients, Parvathi, and she couldn’t withhold much of her excitement. So, i begged her to put her delighted thoughts into the words that i so enjoyed reading, and now hope you will too:

“I have vivid memories of all the fuss my mother used to create over hair care – I think it is the typical South Indian household thing. .

It was a standard but consistent routine : Oil, comb and plait your hair twice a day – plait tied with a black ribbon at the end and folded back up with a pretty bow behind the ears; oil bath once a week washed away with home-ground soap nut powder or besan (oil was carefully prepared with a variety of ingredients and heated up – dried leaves of hibiscus, curry leaves, henna). I wonder how she managed to do this for two girls, with all the responsibilities of being a daughter-in-law in a joint family and in an era that did not know much kitchen equipments.

I must say the investment paid off – I had thick, jet black hair that touched my hips and could not be held in a single hand. My mother used to mutter in agony with a back ache while washing my hair – that will add to the force she applied and my crying session would ensue. On oil bath days , blood red eyes and a headache in the evening were the norm for me – with hair so thick near the scalp it will not dry till the evening. But that did not stop the ritual in any way.

During my teenage days, I remember the new additions – Keshavardhini and Neeli bringadhi oil. When I stayed in a hostel during my college days, the weekly, sky-blue inland letter from my mother will have two standard advises in the last paragraph; “Eat well and eat on time” and “Don’t forget to take oil baths every week”. And I did – I remember the relaxed Sundays in the hostel room with friends, thick hair washed, dried and tied together in a plait.

Cutting your hair, styling it were taboo for girls in my household. Leaving it untied would be met with raised eye brows from the grandmother. Being the rebel that I was, I was the first one to trim my hair and leave it open when I started work (why spend so much time and effort just to tie up the beautiful hair, was my logical question). It was nothing less than a scandal when I trimmed my hair one inch.

So my hair – thick, beautiful and tied up – became my identity. Other than the occasional wash and blow dry I never experimented with my hair style and had reservations about it too, part of the upbringing and deep rooted practices.

I have grown and evolved over the years from the shy girl from rural Tamil Nadu to the confident woman that I am today – I juggle multiple roles with ease, have pulled myself up from the many experiences life threw at me, have eclectic interests and a zest for life . All of these have added layers to my personality. But my hair continued to be the constant thing – Tied, Plain and conservative.

Here I was, sitting at the hair stylist with Babita. I hear her say to the stylist, “I want layers, make a change in the partition, a snip here and a cut here to frame the face with a strand”. I could not help but blurt out “be conservative when you cut, leave the length as much as possible”.

While the stylist is at work, Babita and I chatter about the south Indian long hair and common experiences. Out of the corner of my eyes, I see strands of Meera shikakai , Keshavardhini and hours of pampering falling on the floor. I close my eyes as the stylist dries and set the curls and fringes.

The mirror does not lie and smiles back at me. The layers dance and bounce, as free spirited as I am. The strands frame my face perfectly bringing out the glint in the eyes. The stylist says “You have such thick hair, you can afford to experiment with any style”. It strikes me then that my tied down thick hair is not a limitation anymore, but it is the foundation and a pre-requisite that allows me to explore.

It is not just a hair cut, it is a transformation.   I drive back home with a smile and realize that your roots don’t have to tie you down. Your roots give you the strength to branch out ; your roots give you wings.

My daughter squeals at my hair-cut and plays with the curls. I tell her “Come let’s oil your hair and comb it”.”

Parvathi Viswanathan

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Coffee for beautiful eyes and skin

I love making my own skin care products at home as it does not contains harsh chemicals, parabens, PEG’s, glycol, sulfates, petrol-chemicals, synthetic fragrances and artificial dyes. These are the products or routine that I have been using, please before trying out any of these suggestions do a patch allergy test .

 

Not only does coffee wakes and perks you up, but it can serve as a potent exfoliant as well, provided that you rub the ground-up coffee beans on your skin instead of using them to brew a steaming cup of joy.

For Scrub – (don’t add the sugar if you have to use this as a face pack)

Mix  two portion of coarsely ground coffee with one portion  of sea salt (don’t use the iodized salt – it’s too harsh on skin) or sugar ( it is much gentler than table salt ,experiment with the size of sugar crystal ) and two-to-three tablespoons of massage or olive oil. Take a hot shower to moisten your skin and open your pores, and then, using wide circular motions, rub the mixture onto your skin with strong, even pressure. Then rinse off the scrub, pat the skin dry with a towel.

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Coffee as skin care

The caffeine in coffee has a number of benefits for your skin, from treating redness and inflammation, to reducing the appearance of under-eye circles, to getting rid of cellulite.

 

Coffee as anti-inflammatory –

In a 1978 performed at the University of Tennessee, researchers found that adding caffeine to anti-inflammatory creams significantly increased their effectiveness. Overall, use of skin care products containing caffeine will reduce and prevent inflammation and redness, leaving you with a beautiful, even skin tone.

It reduces puffiness and dark under eye circles –

The diuretic property of coffee reduces the puffiness. It also reduces the redness ( that causes the dark under eye ) due to blocked blood vessels under the eye.

To get rid of cellulite –

The major ingredients in anti cellulite cream is caffeine. If cellulite is a issue then adding coffee to any of your favorite body scrub would also be beneficial.

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Crazy formals

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There are some days when constantly changing outfits is not an option. Today, since I had to meet a very successful entrepreneur, who is now a budding politician, my outfit needed to be very versatile. I love putting together my crazy Wednesday outfits, and I didn’t want to pass up the chance today, thus the mustard colored necklace. I was going for a formal look, with a black tweed jacket, and tan boots, paired with khaki, fitted trousers. The watch is one of my favorites, a brown large-dial. Keeping my hair and makeup simple as possible, I had loads of fun putting together a combination like this one, crazy and formal.

This crazy-formal outfit wasn’t the talk of the day though with my client. We found a common ground in our passion and hopes of seeing India “Go Green” someday. As a fashion fanatic, I can’t wait till fashion goes eco friendly  or clothing that are recycled , but there is so much connected to this whole eco  fashion idea.

Walking on the roads I constantly shop on, there’s always an overload of goods (cheap products or export surplus) or trash lining the streets. Sometimes it’s just plastic, but sometimes it’s even cloth, clothes that have been discarded carelessly. Some people shop, but once they take their bags home, and try on their clothes, they realize that they aren’t the right style after all. The clothes then find themselves discarded, never worn. This might be a small thing, but with so many people doing this, it’s become a big issue. If only we knew what suits our personality, lifestyle, body style, career profile , color profile and how to build a wardrobe with limited number of outfits !!!

Love

Babita Jaishankar

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Pink Glass

My Tuesday wardrobe consisted of one of my favorite #BAJA  dresses,

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  A collage of white and pink chiffon fabrics. The dress looks three- toned because of the overlap, and the dress is backed with stretchy lining. My necklace is lace with glass beads hanging off it, and the watch is antique finish , with floral designs. The lack of earrings stop the dress from becoming too dressy, and the vest in pale pink completes the look.

Love

Babita Jaishankar

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When cotton feels like silk

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Monday wardrobe –

The day was calling for this sari, i think. That, and my love for the color and the style of sari in general. This sari is like one of those delicious desserts that you can almost taste , just looking at them. I could imagine the feel and the colors that would go so perfectly with certain pieces of jewelry from my collection.

Wearing it, I can truthfully say it is everything I’d thought it was, who says appearances are ‘always’ deceptive? The sari’s drape is perfect and feels deliriously like silk, though it is  organic cotton. The borders are woven, and beige colored. Simple as it is, it delights me to wear something as beautiful as this particular sari, just like many of my other clothes. It almost feels as though this reflected on my day! A session that went wonderfully, a client from jammu-kashmir, even! A few delightful moments when I realize that people have traveled far and long to come for my makeover  sessions, not to mention the variety of other things that they must have had to take care of!

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I strongly believe that clothes can impact your day is so many different ways, feeling confident and comfortable just seems to push everything in the right direction, somehow. Not just clothes, even the small things matter, like the tiny moonstone that glinted on my finger, the silver  bangle on my hand and of course the antique hair pin in silver , that held my carefully mussed curls in place during my hectic day.

Ridiculous as it sounds, I am absolutely sure that it was my sari that held my day together, making it bright and beautiful, till the clouds set in, dulling the harsh sun, and cooling the air. strangely, they looked the same shade of grey as my antique pieces…

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Love

Babita Jaishankar

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Hair oil – Bramhi and castor oil

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My Sunday special 🙂

Hair care oil

1 portion castor oil

2 portion of olive oil

3 portion of coconut oil

Mix them well and warm it.

Empty the contents of one capsule of brahmi ( himalaya’s brahmi capsule) . One capsule for total of 200ml of the oil mixture. Leave the oil with contents in a air tight glass bottle in the sun.

Massage the scalp with the oil (work it upwards from the neck to top of your head)

Steam with a hot towel, wait for fifteen minutes.

Wash it off with shampoo. (Twice a week)

Castor oil in hair care ­-

Castor oil is filled with some excellent vital nutrients such as vitamin E, minerals and proteins, which are required for healthy hair. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Ricinoleic acid that is present in castor oil helps to protect your hair and stimulates circulation of nutrient rich blood to your scalp. Natural omega-9 and 6 acids present in this oil helps to lock the moisture in your hair and scalp. So, it is a great conditioner for your hair.

Read more here

Bramhi in hair care –

Bramhi plant consists of many useful chemical compounds which include alkaloids like Brahmine, Herpestine etc., flavonoids, saponins. Thus prevents Alopecia , Alopecia is the medical term for consistent and extreme hair fall, which, if left untreated might result in temporary or permanent baldness.

Love

Babita Jaishankar

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