Welcome to Peaches & Blush. Peaches & Blush is where all my beauty and fashion obsessions are unleashed. Here you will find a bunch of fun stuff to unwind – some skincare super heros (Im obsessed with anti ageing and good skin), a few makeup product reviews, tons of fashion and outfit inspiration , general work and life opinion pieces and travel diaries whenever I am fortunate enough to step..
If you’re expecting, you must have said goodbye to a lot of things – Adios, Alcohol! Sayonara, Sushi!
But did you know there are certain skincare / beauty ingredients that you should avoid as well ?
Retinol – Commonly found in anti-aging skincare; think overnight repair serums and anti-wrinkle creams. Brands like Dr Dennis Gross, Skinceuticals and The Ordinary have retinol based products but give them a skip during pregnancy. Experts suggest using a good sunblock instead as they are the foundation for any good anti-aging skincare routine. Kiehl’s midnight recovery concentrate can also be applied.
Chemical sunscreens – Apply sunblocks or physical sunscreens only. Opt for products that contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide that don’t seep into the skin like Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen and Skinceuticals Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50.
Essential oils – Essential oils are concentrated and have smaller molecules which are known to cross into the placenta. This doesn’t mean you have to avoid them all but its better to dilute them or avoid them during the first trimester. Palmer’s cocoa butter is a good option to keep the skin hydrated. Kama Ayurveda also does some cool stuff like Extra virgin coconut oil and Dhanwantharm Thailam for Pre and Post Natal Treatment. Forest Essential’s Mother’s Stretch Mark Oil (Nalpamarathy Keram) is also considered safe to use.
Aluminum chloride – Present in deodorants and is best skipped for the duration of pregnancy. Additionally, some perfumes also have chemicals like Phthalates/formaldehyde/toluene that are a complete no-no.
Salicylic acid- AHA- BHA – A lot of anti-acne cleansers and exfoliators have these acid ingredients . (Steer clear of professional chemical peels as well). A good alternative is Cetaphil Gentle skin cleanser. The same brand’s makeup removing wipes and facial hydrating lotion are also safe to use. Kiehl’s ultra facial cleanser and moisturiser are also safe bets.
Formaldehyde – This ingredient isn’t pregnancy friendly and can be found in gel manicures, hair straightening treatments and even eyelash glue. Butter London though, has an entire line of formaldehyde free nail polishes that you can check out. Generally, look for phthalate free nail polishes and acetone free remover.
Ammonia in Hair dyes – Well the jury is out on this one. Honestly , very little of ammonia is absorbed into the skin if at all but if you are someone who likes to veer on the safe side you may want to avoid.
Girls with curls never have to worry about their hair being flat and lifeless. But they can also be rebellious and difficult to maintain at times. And we know you’ve probably been asked if you’ve permed your hair a million times :)
Kiran also has curly hair and we decided to ask her what products she uses and how she manages her hair, that has a personality of its own.
My Hair Type : Naturally curly! At times it gets frizzy if exposed to heat for a long time. My scalp gets oily if not washed twice a week.
My Hair-care Routine
I oil my hair whenever I get time. I don’t get time to oil my hair every week but when I do, I use coconut oil.
I am currently using Organic Harvest Anti Dandruff shampoo & Conditioner for Damage Repair. I love these because they are made from natural ingredients and don’t harm my hair.
After towel drying my hair, I partition them in the middle and apply TIGI Bed Head On the rebound Curl Recall cream. This product helps in managing curls throughout the day. After applying this cream, I scrunch up my hair and let it dry naturally. I avoid blow dryers.
Sometimes, I use the Schwarzkopf Osis+ Curl Cream to set my hair. I don’t prefer using any heat tools as my curls set on their own after applying the cream.
Tips and Tricks
I don’t do anything special to my hair for a big event or shoot but I make sure to get a hair spa done at-least once in 2 months.
My advice to girls with curly hair is to try and avoid as many products as you can. I know its difficult since curls aren’t easy to manage but use minimal products. And do not use hair dryers to dry your hair.
Also, apply a bit of sunscreen on your hair before you step out in the sun; it won’t harm your hair.
Let’s take a detour from baby to beauty for a minute shall we ? You see, there are a few things in live that terrify me :
Needles & Injections
Crossing a road (Need to hold someones hand)
My favourite HG makeup item getting discontinued.
For me, my concealer is literally the ONE thing I wear everyday and cannot live without. Seriously..for my mom this thing is her household help who she says she cannot live without (I got offended that it wasn’t me and she told me the maid was much more useful to her than me…ermm ..hmph). But for me, shallow person that I am- I need my concealer to bid those dark circles away. I also have some special requirements from a concealer. I’m perfectly ok with my concealer not covering 100% dark circles but I’m not ok with it creasing into lines one bit- what I’m saying is I prefer a low coverage but natural concealer to a high coverage cakey one and for the longest time I had the Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brighteneruntil recently , when I found out they reformulated it and now the same tinted eye brightener is this thick, messy goop that creases all over me. Sigh. Hence began the hunt for a concealer !
For the record- Iv tried most concealers on the market – Mac Studio Fix, Studio Sculpt, Moisture Cover, Inglot , Maybelline Fit Me (actually decent) , Nars etc etc . I think the Nars creamy concealer is pretty high on my favourites list but the two up for dissection today are:
Mac Waterweight concealer
Ill keep this short – I LOVE the Mac Waterweight concealer. I’m not kidding, it is one of the best high coverage but still super natural and long lasting concealers Iv tried. It’s super comfortable , doesn’t settle into lines and gives a solid medium to high buildable coverage. Its a dream. The only part that is troublesome is the application. You have to get used to it- its got one of those sciencey dropper things and sometimes when you put too much, it can crease a little bit but I genuinely find this the best concealer out of all concealers I have EVER tried.
Pros of Mac Waterweight
Super lightweight & natural finish
Medium to High Coverage
No creasing at all !!
You need the tiniest most miniscule bit
Cons of Mac Waterweight
Takes some time to find the best application method. Swipe don’t pat is my reccomendation and wait for it to dry before making up your mind
The Smashbox concealer does a decent job and has good coverage but I definitely found that it settled into lines for me. Deal breaker for an otherwise good product. I also found it didn’t last the whole day on me which the waterweight one does .I need a solid yellow tone .
Pros of Smashbox Studio skin
Easy to apply
Natural looking and creamy
Cons of Smashbox Studio skin
Creases on me after a few hours
Starts flaking after 6 hours of wear
Thats Me wearing Studio Waterweight from Mac
Verdict : A+ for Mac Waterweight and B for Smashbox
Price : 2100 for Mac and 2000 for Smashbox
Shade: Im using NC 30 in Waterweight – I would have usually gone for NC 35 but this is a bit darker than usual
Recommendation : My new , all time favourite, HG concealer is Mac Waterweight. Now if those people at Mac discontinue this I will seriously sue someone.
“I have been obsessed with skincare ever since I was a young girl and I decided to pursue this calling right after graduation. I studied Ayurveda cosmetology in India and then went to New York to do an advance course in General Esthetics. I have been giving bespoke skin treatments for almost 19 years now, specializing in non-invasive, non-surgical skin methods to treat skin with hyper pigmentation, cystic acne, wrinkles or to simply rejuvenate it.
I help my clients create a gentle yet effective organic skincare regimen so they can get the maximum benefit from the treatments. I have been formulating organic masks and cleansers for my clients and myself, and I am in the process of launching my own skincare line soon. I believe in a holistic approach to achieving the best results using natural plant based products in my treatments to optimize overall skin health.
What I like most about my profession is the satisfaction I get by helping my clients look and feel beautiful from the inside out. The thing that I struggle the most with in my profession is convincing women that a lot of quick fix skincare treatments are really not good for the long-term health of your skin.
AM Routine : I start with cleaning my face with Son and Park Beauty Water. It is a gentle cleansing liquid, which doesn’t leave the skin dry and stretchy after the wash. I have been using a cleansing mask morning and evening for years on myself and even my clients. It has an equal amount of :
Kaolin clay which is soothing
Crushed oats that are hydrating
Goat milk powder that gently peels off the dead skin cells
Then I immediately tone up with cucumber mist. I put cucumber seed oil in a spray bottle with boiled and cooled rice water. I use it right out of the refrigerator to refresh and re-hydrate the skin many times during the day. It’s calming and tightens the pores while brightening the skin over regular use. This is followed by Immortelle anti Ageing Blend. I mix few drops of Immortelle with Origins Oil –Free Moisture Lotion to use it as a day moisturizer. I make Immortelle by mixing :
6 drops Frankincense
6 drops Lavender
5 drops Cypress
1 drop Sandalwood
And ½ cup coconut oil
For eyes, I totally believe in Origins Firming Moisture Treatment with White Tea. I use it morning and evening under the eyes. And finally Tarte Mineral Powder Sunscreen.
PM routine : The evening cleansing and prepping routine takes me at least 20 minutes and I totally swear by it. I start with wiping off the buildup with Bioderma Micelle solution, cleaning it all the way to back of the neck. Then I use the Coconut Sugar Exfoliator for which I mix :
Coconut palm sugar from the brand Sprig
Tru Olive Olive oil
Fresh lemon juice.
I apply a thin layer on the face leaving it on for few seconds to let it dissolve the dead skin cells. And then wash it off with cold water. I am big on masking and generally do it everyday, switching the masks according to the state of the skin. I love Blithe Splash mask soothing green tea. It is great for a natural quick glow and leaves the skin smooth and revitalized. For a day out in the pollution I like to use the Detox mask mixing :
in equal amounts with water and apply to the face as a paste. It works as a great antioxidant and leaves the skin clean and fresh. For the days with water retention on my face I fix an Instant lifting mask by mixing equal amounts of –
Coconut cream powder
Marshmallow root powder
in water. This protein mask is anti-inflammatory and moisturizes the skin at the same time.
Another product I use is is Squalane oil. Inspite of being very high in moisture content Squalane oil is light in nature and gets absorbed easily by the skin. Few drops added to the cream or mask gives an instant moisture kick to the skin without congesting or leaving it sticky. I mix this with Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream and wear it as a night cream.
Enzyme Peels : I love enzyme peels and generally do them once a week. My favorites are – Neogen green tea peeling pads and Eminence yam and pumpkin enzyme peel. PS: Try and do enzyme peels in the evening to avoid sun damage to the fresh skin and do wear a good SPF the next day.
Prepping for a big event : I usually do this routine about 5 to 6 hours before the event, so the skin gets some time to settle down for the concealer and makeup. Starting with gentle exfoliating waters like Cosrx clarifying toner or Wishtrend Mandellic water 5%, I prep the skin for the beneficial serums and masks to follow. Then I do the self-lymphatic drainage massage with the Guasha tools which is great for blood circulation and sculpting. And finally I wrap it up with Tarte tight and bright clay multi mask.
Moon juice beauty dust – I started having this herb blend in my smoothies few weeks back and found it quiet effective. Noticed a healthy glow on my skin within a few weeks of having this.
Herb infused facial steaming – Herbal steaming is one of the easiest ways to get rid deep lying impurities from the skin. It helps with the blood circulation and enhances the effects of other skincare products. To make your own ‘facial steam mix’ put together: Lavender dry flowers, Coconut powder, Rose petals and Chamomile flowers. Store the mix in a bottle and infuse it in your facial steamer to get clear + clean skin.
Gooseberry /Amla powder – This is something I have been doing for years. Soak 1 tablespoon of Amla powder in a glass of water and drink it first thing in the morning, leaving about some to just pat on my face the first thing in the morning. Anything with which the skin is first fed in the morning has a different effect on it then anytime later in the day. So why not give a vitamin C boost to well rested, well receptive skin early in the day.
Summer Skin Tip – Any mask you apply, just add a few strawberries mashed to puree with a fork, in it. Strawberries are very high in vitamin C and in the scorching heat of summer; your skin can never get enough of vitamin C.”
I have realised that there are a few advantages to having your bump show. You can get away with pretty much what you want- like today at the movie hall when there was literally a 20 minute waiting line for the loo, women just smiled and nodded and let me pass. Or the fact that you get priority parking, get tables at restaurants quicker (cos yknow, ofcourse you cant stand for so long). So yes, I am planning to shamelessly use this bump for now because well, that’s the least I can do given I have it for the next few months.
It’s cute when people say “Oh you have the pregnancy glow” and everything but no people, please don’t credit the pregnancy with everything – my skincare products feel insulted . In the middle I had stopped my skincare routine for 3 months and I swear I looked like death- here is proof.
Left: Pregnant but no skincare routine no concealer. Right: Pregnant but with skincare
So if you were reading P&B before the pregnancy thing you would know how big a deal skincare was to me. I mean I’m a skincare nerd- I research ingredients like I have a PHD exam on it. So when I did get pregnant I had to give up a few things. Two ingredients I gave up on were – Retinol & AHA. Even though there are limited studies to show stuff you apply on your skin even gets near the baby, it’s just better to be safe than sorry.
Instead of Retinol- well, nothing. Theres no substitute for retinol so Im skipping this…I just add some Hyaluronic Acid from Skinceuticals so my skin is more plump but Im’m not 100% loving the Hyaluronic acid product right now . Will wait and see
Instead of AHA: I used to love my AHA / BHA peel pads for exfoliation but now I have to do with a physical exfoliator . I like using the Kama scrub..
What I eat
Well, everything really. But after that terror of the first trimester where I couldn’t keep anything down (I literally survived on daal chawal for 3 months)… I finally have my appetite back. It’s back with a few issues though- I cant eat large meals or I feel sick and bloated ..but if I don’t eat enough I feel hungry . Add to that a perpetual weird feeling of being full and hungry at the same time and my brain cannot figure out what my tummy wants. So this is my routine.
9.00 am: Breakfast. I have stuff I would have otherwise eaten- Like an egg and toast or a paratha or poha with orange juice. (I would like to say its fresh juice but there’s no time so it’s standard tetra pack orange juice with no sugar)
11.30 am: I find I get queasy and wierd if I don’t snack here. I take an orange to office and either have a whole orange or some other fruit
1.15pm: Lunch. 2 Chapatis and veggies or like rice and some gravy thing. Standard lunch
5 pm: I need to snack again here. I typically reach for fruit again – I ensure the cook cuts up atleast 2 different fruit everyday for me so that I snack healthy. If not fruit I have nuts and a cheese cube. Or I like getting Wingreens Tatziki and just dipping anything in it and eating it – it is literally SO YUM. If you don’t get Wingreens you can make Tatziki at home- its just hung curd . Another great snack option is Idli Sambar or Makhane – both are healthy . Also sometimes I just tell the maid to make extra breakfast and I take that with me to snack on in the evenings
8.00 pm: My dinner is light , I eat one roti with whatever is made . If I feel more hungry which doesn’t usually happen, I load up a bowl of the veggy or daal and just have it as is.
My doc has also told me to take calcium in the morning and iron at night .
By breaking my meals into 6 meals I have less gastric issues and feel more comfy. I also try and have saunf after every meal to help me digest. The one thing Im struggling with is sweets. Im not a sweet person but ever since I got pregnant Iv just been craving sweet – so much so that my fridge had a whole stock of orange bar (I ate two a day :( :( ) till I got paranoid about gestational diabetes and gave it up. Now if I want something sweet, I pour myself a glass of orange juice from a tetra pack or dip into dark chocolate. I don’t have tea or coffee in general anyway so I don’t have that now either except half a glass of cold coffee on the weekend. \ My doc is super chill and she says as long as you eat fresh, hot, home food you are good dont need to worry about anything else.
From a potential yoga master, I think the kids future profession might be Ninja cos its kicking up a storm. That is until I excitedly call the husband and the boy touches my tummy and suddenly its like we have the calmest baby ever.
Is it a girl or a boy
Some of you have been messaging me on Instagram saying I refer to it as ‘he’. I just find it exhausting to write he/she and I don’t know the sex of the baby just that every Panditji I have ever met in life (grand total of 2) have told me I’ll have only boys so I just automatically refer to it as he. The boy definitely wants a girl so he always refers to it as she. I just want a happy and healthy baby honestly – he or she doesn’t matter . It would be nice to know so I can paint the nursery an appropriate color , but I get why its banned in India and that’s a much more important reason than paint colors so no complaints.
Prenatal Yoga classes
So after like asking a gazillion of you about prenatal yoga classes, I had initially decided I was going to go to Fortis Mamma Mia for classes. But then, the class timings were so strange (Like hello people, some women have babies and work) that I couldn’t make it. Luckily one of my followers on Instagram was so sweet she sent me references of at home yoga tutors for prenatal. I booked one called Yogyata Gandhi- and had my first class . I actually found it very helpful- she taught me a bunch of stuff that helps you deal with pregnancy discomforts and we did a lot of squats and pelvic opening exercises. Plus I bought a hot pink yoga mat from Amazon cos #yogaswag.
A video I watched which I found super helpful
I know its a while away but the whole birthing process really does freak me out :( So I chanced upon this video and found it really really useful . Anyone pregnant here who is reading up on hypnobirthing/ Lamaze/ Bradley method by the way ?
My Top 8 Ways To Prevent Tearing During Childbirth - YouTube
“Our baby is an acrobatic alien”, I said to the boy after my second trim ultrasound. Well it was kinda true- as much as the nice ultrasound man kept showing me arms, legs and the like I could not for the life of me figure out what was what . I could see a cute alien-looking face and the fact that his legs were folded in and over his head (Like hello- future yoga master ?) but the rest I just nodded and pretended to know what he was saying. Anyway, Im 19 weeks along and kicking off the bump diaries with a few changes in my life…
Stuff doesn’t really fit anymore
Iv noticed people staring at my belly like- did she just eat two pizzas?? NO people, im forming a human inside thank you very much and because he/ she is being formed … I can no longer fit into my jeans. I have thats why bought a bunch of stuff which I think will also be perfect for me after maternity (cos who wants to be stuck with clothes you will never wear again) .
So far my favourite places to buy Maternity wear in India are
H&M Mama : The cutest maternity t shirts. They fit well and have a nice little pouch on the belly… They don’t hang like a sack and I live in the gunjees at home. I have all these three above See here
Next & Dorothy Perkins Maternity on Jabong : Specially think this set from Next is quite useful . It has basics you can use.
Regular floor length or short maxy dresses in stretchy fabric.: Bought a bunch of jersey dresses via Shein.com which I had showed on my insta story. I also think it makes a lot of sense to not buy maternity dresses per se but just regular dresses with an empire waist. This way you can use them later.
Maternity jeans & tights: I bought a pair of maternity jeans from H&M Mama which is nice but honestly any pair of maternity jeans iv tried Iv found uncomfortable after 3-4 hours. I just dont like that stretchy thing across the tummy. In comparison, maternity tights are a blessing. The H&M ones are good and if you can get a pair from Asos, those ones are amazing. SO comfortable. You can always throw on a loose shirt, with tights and a scarf for easy maternity style
Printed cotton dresses from Anokhi, Nicobar, Fabindia, AND : These are super comfortable and floor length and perfect for summers
Rubber band trick: I also got to know about this rubber band trick and OMG its a lifesaver ! A lot of my jeans fit me well around my legs but they don’t shut because of the tummy, so when you do this, they don’t need to shut . Just wear a long top and voila ! Caution though- don’t wear anything too tight around the belly
Bless the boy , I love him but the man is as clueless as a freaking pumpkin. In the middle of the night , for some reason his arms flail about and somehow manage to smack my tummy right in the centre. Like seriously this is why I have a problem when people say “We are pregnant”. I mean hello- he’s scarfing down sushi and alcohol infront of me without a care in the world. He also doesn’t have nausea, doesn;t have to think about clothes that fit, doesn’t have to worry about getting his blood drawn every two weeks so no . We are not pregnant . We are having a baby. I am pregnant. He is just the male species in the house trying to be considerate of the pregnant person next to him.
Essentials to buy for baby arrival
Some of you guys on Instagram have been so amazing, I got a full list of reccomendations from a bunch of you on things you need to buy . Also my mommy best friend sent me reccos too and the strange thing is, even though none of you know each other everyone reccomended the exact same things. If you guys want me to do a post on this let me know, cos i found it super useful !!!
My Japa ‘Agent’ was literally the seventh person to know about my pregnancy. For those unitiated, Japas are trained baby nurses which you hire for the first three months. SOme people find them too bossy and hate them, some people love theirs but I have definitely already booked mine. You get them from Calcutta and they cost between 18k-35k a month. (One lady quoted me freaking 40K bro..which made me think this is actually a pretty lucrative career opportunity if you like babies! When I asked her why so expensive, she was like “I get my own homemade lotions and potions”. Umm no thank you). Here are some agent numbers I know of to book your Japa.
Hiralal Agency: 9903030010
Another Agent: 9971923802
Advantages of having a brother who is an architect- I can throw stuff at him everyday about what I want my nursery to look like. Given I don’t know whether this kid is a boy or a girl I have to pick a neutral color scheme and so far Im leaning towards yellow , white and grey . I might throw in a bit of turquoise in the middle just for my happyness. That extreme left nursery in the pic- Im pretty sure thats some sheikhs baby- my room will probably accomodate 1/10th of the things there. Oh also, I know it’s the in thing to put inspirational quotes in your baby nursery but hullloooo- the baby wont be able to read it much less understand it ..so Im going to put this one…
Atleast this way, when the baby is pooping and crying and driving me nuts I can look at a wall and giggle.
What Im eating + skincare
This will take another post but no Im not on any special diet. Just that I eat 6 small meals a day instead of 4. If you are having major heartburn, acidity issues try it . If you guys want I can again do a detailed post on my everyday food habits because they have changed a little bit since I got preggers. Also my skincare routine has changed cos I have to eliminate AHA and Retinol from it so if you want a post on that Ill do that too..
Urvashi says, “For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been into beauty. As a little girl, I used to play with my mum’s makeup products; goofing around and applying it on her face while she was asleep. Little did I know that one day my life would revolve around beauty.
*Flashback to 2013*. I got married in Delhi and shifted to London where I was well settled in my job but always yearned to do more. I used to blog about beauty, fashion and lifestyle along with my full-time job. During a random phone call with my childhood friend Sakshi, we spontaneously decided to take our shared passion for makeup to the next level. After a year’s groundwork, we successfully launched “Sakshi & Urvashi Beauty Studio” in Delhi. We both had to move away from our jobs and dedicate our heart and soul to something bigger. I believe that it was a risk worth taking as nothing in life comes easy.
I was part of Mrs India UK 2017 as a make-up artist and dolled up the finalists for their photo session. It really fascinated me as I’d always dreamt of participating in Miss India but somehow couldn’t. So I auditioned for the next season and was selected as a finalist!
My Morning Skincare Routine – I believe we are all pretty and have our unique attributes and features, but makeup just helps in bringing forward an even prettier version of ourselves. Like they say, “A little lipstick never hurts”. But for makeup to work its magic, its essential to take care of the skin first! I follow a strict skincare routine of CT(s)M(o). That’s my funny abbreviation for cleansing, toning, serum, moisturising and oil :)
Cleansing – I start my morning skincare routine by cleansing with my all-time favourite Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser.
Toning – Pixie Glow Tonic which has glycolic acid in it
Serum – Then I like to apply a pea-sized amount of Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate Vitamin-C serum
Moisturizer – Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturiser with SPF-30
Oil – I finish off my morning skincare routine by applying some Beauty Bar Liquid Gold Nourishing Beauty Oil. It contains a blend of 6 oils including rosehip, pumpskin seed and vitamin E + 24 karat gold flakes. I travel for almost half the year from London to Delhi for my beauty studio so I moisturize using the Beauty Bar oil and keep my skin hydrated while traveling.
Night Routine – Everything remains the same as my morning skincare routine except I skip the serum and SPF at night. At times I also use the Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream to brighten and de-puff the under-eye area.
I’m not into facials but I like to go for clean-ups sometimes. I really enjoy experimenting with different face masks from various brands every weekend. Whenever an event requires heavy makeup or if I want my makeup to stay on for hours, exfoliation is the key! I exfoliate my skin (using any mild exfoliator like Tea Tree Scrub from The Body Shop) to prep for a big event as it removes the dead skin and my makeup looks flawless and stays for a longer duration.”
Ever since I wrote my last post with my pregnancy announcement, I literally had over 100 women who DM’ed me about their own struggles with infertility . Within my own family and friends I know people who are now on their 3rd IVF attempt , people who have had multiple miscarriages, people who have been trying for years without understanding what really is wrong. And while I might have concieved within 15 months and didn’t have to go through IVF, I did go through the monthly emotional highs and lows that process can take on you , and since so few of us even talk about this struggle, I wanted to share my story.
When we started planning, it was around November of 2016. I would be turning 30 in December, we had a big Australia trip coming up , and I remember having a conversation where the boy brought this topic up (I was surprised because I didn’t think he would be the one )….but I remember talking about how I wasn’t even sure if I was ready to have a baby . This conversation would later come back to haunt me because I somehow felt responsible that god was maybe punishing me for thinking these things (Silly, I know but well emotions can make you think silly things).
For some reason, I just thought it would happen quickly for us. I mean my periods were always like clockwork- never really had a hormonal imbalance so I was really chill about this. We went to a gynaecologist who put me on folic acid , asked me to get some basic tests done which all came back fine and just told us to try on the ‘good dates’ with a pillow underneath etc etc.
3 months into ‘trying’ it didn’t happen but we weren’t sweating it. And then the 4,5th,6th month went by and nothing happened. So we went back to the gynaec who told us to be patient and that we need to wait for atleast 9 months before anything else, we also took a second opinion who said the same thing. Well I waited …every month was that cycle of ‘hope’ before your period ; thinking maybe this is the month, and then every month you would come crashing down low the minute your period hit and you just wouldn’t understand what you were doing wrong ! Well the 9th month came and went and still nothing. At this point of time I was starting to get antsy…
So the doctor advised me to get a follicle study so we could monitor when exactly I was ovulating. This involved me going to a radiologist every single day for 2 weeks , and then going to the gynaec every single day afterwards and getting 3 injections in my bum to help me ‘ovulate’ . I know this doesn’t seem like much trouble but if you are a working woman who leaves her home at 9 am daily, then battle traffic post work to go to your radiologist, then go to your gynaecologist and reach home everyday at close to 10 pm, its likely to just add to your stress .
I was supposed to continue this treatment for about 3 months but honestly, I gave up on the first month. The whole routine was just adding so much stress to an already stressful life that I just wanted to listen to my body . (Infact my gynaec later told me that infertility treatments themselves have become a cause of infertility because they add so much stress that it interferes with the process). So we took a break and went to Goa , and thought we would just try normally for the next few months. Hate to sound like a stuck record but well…nothing happened…I turned 31- we had now been trying for over 12 months – I became overly aware of how old I was and that every year was a ticking clock and got stressed some more.
Then as the new year hit, I just realised I didn’t want to try anymore. There were treatments like IVF available and I just wanted to let go of this tension and leave it to science to gimme a baby. It’s fine, its just the way its supposed to be, I thought. Then, magically almost as if my body needed to be relieved of the tension and stress, I concieved naturally the month before our IVF consultation.
Here is why, I think the struggle with infertility takes such a toll on you
You lose control on your emotions: Your emotions are governed by your period and it swings like a manic pendulum every single month. It’s honestly frustrating, exhausting, and beyond your control. You feel you are doing everything right but failing miserably every time and you don’t know why and you just want to ask god like Why? Why me?
You become a not so nice person: Whenever you hear news about other people get pregnant, you are happy for them but the happyness always comes with a twinge of “Why not me”. Then you feel super guilty for thinking such horrible things at peoples happy moments. Its ok ladies, been there , thought that. You are not a terrible person.
Your otherwise normal life starts to revolve around this and everytime an idiotic aunty asks you about good news, its like someone is stabbing you: Sometimes I felt like taking that dagger out and stabbing that aunty back but well..aunties are aunties. Just putting it out there though- please don’t ask people about personal things like this – you don’t know how many hours they have spent crying over the very thing you are jokingly asking them about. It’s really not cool.
Tracking dates is a freaking annoyance: 14th day, 15th day 16th day…OMG you just keep counting those freaking dates and it takes the romance out of your relationships…
And while I’m no expert, here is how I dealt with our struggles
Wine Days: Since every time I got my period I would be low and depressed, we realised we needed to do something fun. So on the first day of my period we would open a bottle of wine at home to celebrate another month of being able to drink since I wasn’t pregnant. It was a silly token gesture , but it helped !
Meditation apps: I genuinely feel the fact that I started meditating was the reason I was calmer, slept better and happier. There are two apps- one is called Simple Habit and the other is called Calm. A few minutes before bed is all it takes really and some of them have meditation practices for uplifting your mood when you feel low.
Be greatful because you can afford modern medicine : There are tons of people out there who struggle with this but cannot even think of IVF , let alone surrogacy because of the expenses. So if you can… be greatful and know that one way or the other it will just happen – if you dont concieve naturally you will do it via IVF and if you can’t do IVF you will try surrogacy. It will happen. I know its easier said than done but knowing this gave me some solace.
This statistic helped me : Apparently I read somewhere that 80% of couples concieve in the first year (I was in the 20% that didn’t) but out of the balance 20%, 60% of them concieve in the second year without fertility treatments. So the horizon is long..wait it out.
Overall, I just think we need to talk more about this . I think at some level we either feel ashamed that we are letting this affect our life this much or we just feel others wouldn’t want to know about our struggles so we bottle it up and smile and say “Yes, we are trying” . But given so many women suffer from this , you don’t know who else might be going through the same thing you are…so maybe if we just talk and be open about it- it will help us cope more.
The Smashbox corrector is rusty orange + extremely soft and creamy in texture. The product comes with a free sharpener whose width is perfect to sharpen the broad pencil smoothly. There is no doubt that there is a little bit of product wastage when we use these kind of pencils. I generally use different sharpeners for different products and I am glad that this one came with its own.
Formula : Smashbox Color Correcting Sticks are creamy matte and non-drying in texture. The skin around eye area is usually thin and sensitive. The stick works smoothly without any tugs or pulls. The color is buildable and one can apply the stick on the sensitive areas and blend it with a sponge. I prefer patting with my fingers after applying. The warmth makes the shade blend well and the concealer when applied above it gives a neat finish. My undereye area is a little oily as compared to my other facial skin but even with it the product works quite well. It is also suitable for all skin types and does not contain any Parabens or Phthalates. Also it does not contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, fragrance or talc. It is also cruelty free.
Effectiveness : Despite applying the best makeup for events, I noticed that my eye area always looked dark. I have very slight dark circles but when I am deprived of sleep or work excessively on computers they become prominent. The color correcting stick worked as a godsend. The eye area appears bright and lively and matches the face. The concealer when applied above the corrector works much better to cover my dark circles. The eye area does not appear cakey at all. Though the product is slightly expensive this is going to remain as a must have for me until I find something better.
Does not contain Parabens or Phthalates
Creamy texture – easy to apply and stays put after application
Comes with a free sharpener
Covers pigmentation well
Suitable for all skin types
Travel friendly packaging
Availability is an issue
Verdict : A
Price : 1950 for 3.5 gm
Recommendation : Smashbox Color Correcting Stick -Look Less Tired (Dark) orange is an excellent corrector that covers the dark circles well. It is travel friendly and easy to use. Its creamy matte texture is suitable for all skin types.
If you guys follow me on Instagram you would know about the adorable mint and baby pink package I recently received from Kama . Fresh, summery and honestly too pretty to open (It was kept on my bedside table for ages because the packaging was so lovely). In fact I think the colours just gave me some inspiration on what I want my summer wardrobe to look like ! Anyway , I digress – coming back to the package-it had four lovely new launches from Kama and here is what I think about them .
The Kama All Natural Makeup Remover
My skins been feeling excessively dry of late, and the all natural makeup remover is this delightful concoction of natural oils and butters that removes everyday makeup and is also gentle and mild on my skin. Its like a cream you rub on your face that cleans my eyeliner, lipstick, concealer easily with a few swipes and It doesn’t leave that tight, dry feeling on my skin that so many makeup removers can do. Plus there is nothing more cathartic than coming home and wiping your face with a soothing cream smelling of rose and Jasmine. Aaah, I can feel the days stress melting away.
Personally I didn’t expect to like this because I’m not a fan of foam based cleansers . This was different however ! One of the top things I look for in a cleanser is ‘balance’ because finding a cleanser which can leave your skin looking squeaky clean but still help it look balanced and calm is hard. Most cleansers are actually really harsh and leave my skin feeling dry but the sensitive skin cleansing foam definitely does its job and I can smell the sandalwood coming through in this. My everyday routine now incorporates using the All Natural Makeup Remover followed by the foam for an extra squeaky clean feeling. Definitely my favourite product from the entire bunch and the fact that it is all natural is such an added bonus, because who wants harsh chemicals on an everyday basis ?
I tried the day cream and I was pleasantly surprised at how hydrating this was . There are very few creams that keep my skin moist and this was one of them – I also think this will work great under foundations . If you guys love sandalwood and creams with very strong scents you will like this , because it does have a strong scent coming through.
This particular one is hard for me to pass judgement on honestly because it I don’t suffer from Acne or breakout issues . I think however this is the alternate to the sensitive cleansing foam if you have very oily and acne prone skin !
Overall I am actually really impressed with these new products , and come summer I know I shall be reaching out for them often . The makeup remover and cleansing foam are already a staple in my bathroom shelf and I ‘double cleanse’ with them every night .