The Ordinary: What Worked

If there’s a brand you need to do extensive research before buying, it has to be The Ordinary. Their Instagram is called Deciem if you want to check them out.

Before we get started, here are a few things you need to know:

1. If you’re buying The Ordinary skincare/makeup off of BeautyBay, and you happen to be in India, please note that you’ll have to pay custom duty.

2. Too much of anything is bad, so understand your skin really well before you buy stuff. But I bet you already knew that.

3. Be consistent.

And now, without further ado…

I have oily, acne-prone skin. When I say acne-prone, I mean SUPER acne-prone. My skin has a mind of its own and I get pimples right before I have an event coming up. And it gets super annoying. Which is why, after hearing about The Ordinary skincare a lot, I decided to haul a few things.

The Ordinary has no-fuss packaging, which I love. It’s very um, straightforward. Most of their products come in glass bottles with a dropper, which makes it so easy to use. Even though the pricing is super nice, they don’t compromise on quality. Here’s everything I got.

• Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%:

While neither ingredient effectively gets rid of acne, they work together to minimize the look of blemishes, reducing the congestion, and also improves the tone of your skin. I noticed a huge difference in my skin right from the first week of constant use.

Deciem states on their website that this product isn’t meant to be used with Vitamin C, because it takes away the integrity of the ascorbic acid. Aka, your skin will get irritated and you might get burns.

This is a water-based formula, which means the ingredients are super clean – there’s no alcohol, silicone, gluten, and it’s also cruelty free and oil free – and it feels super nice on the skin. I like to use it in the morning and well as before bedtime before my sunscreen and/ or moisturizer.

Some people are sensitive to Niacinamide, and you might get breakouts, so it’s always important to do a patch test first.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Buy it here.

• Salicylic Acid 2% Solution:

This was a lifesaver. I like to typically use a drop of it directly on whichever pesky pimple shows up , typically at night before my moisturizer, and I’ve noticed that it makes pimples go away within three days, tops.

However, it also makes your skin very sensitive to sunlight so if you apply it in the morning and you’re going out, don’t forget the sunscreen.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Buy it here.

• Granactive Retinoid 2%:

I love that it comes in an amber glass bottle, keeps it potent for longer. It’s meant for anti-aging, and I’ve noticed that it helps with hyperpigmentation as well.

I use this a couple times every week, before bed, and I put on my moisturizer and I’m going to slowly start using it more, because I don’t want to shock my skin with BAM, overdose. Know what I mean? I make sure I don’t use it with anything else – the Salicylic and Ascorbic acids, to be precise – and so far my skin hasn’t gotten burned.

A word of caution, pretty much like the rest of The Ordinary stuff, this product will burn your skin if it’s sensitive. Never use this in the morning and never use it with any other retinoids.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Buy it here.

• Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA spheres 2%:

This is the only product that comes in a squeezy tube, and I like that it has hyaluronic acid mixed in. To be honest, this is a very potent combination and if used right, you’re going to see a massive change in your skin in just a few weeks.

The Ordinary recommends you use the lightest stuff first and then move on to the heavier bits of your skincare regimen – and for good reason. I found that when used on my naked skin, the tingling (yes, they warn you about the tingling on the packaging) got pretty unbearable. When I woke up the next day, I noticed that my skin had inflamed around the edges of my mouth. And my brain went: Chemical burn alert!

My skin cleared up when I stopped using it. So if you’re someone with super sensitive skin, I’d say give this a miss.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Buy it here.

High Spreadability Fluid Primer:

I cannot begin to explain how much I LOVE this stuff! It does have silicone, obviously, but noticed that my makeup stayed put longer, and looked really good too.

It’s also fragrance-free (Huda Beauty, are you listening), so if you’re looking for a pocket friendly primer that fills pores and blurs out fine lines, get this. It feels super luxe and you only need a tiny drop.

I’ve seen people complain about how it gets too slippery but nothing of that sort happened to me, so major props to this little guy.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Buy it here.

• Serum Foundation:

So I saved the best for last.

Okay, I bought the wrong shade and unless I’m super tan, I can’t really wear it out, but thankfully it’s the peak of the summer right here in India and this foundation feels like NOTHING on the skin. It’s that weightless. I’m getting the shade 2.0 YG next. It’ll hopefully match me better.

The coverage is natural and makes your skin look like it’s happy and aglow with life. I know I’m being dramatic, but that’s exactly how it makes me feel. I also love that it comes with a pump you can actually lock.

I tried mixing it in with some Cover Fx custom cover drops, to lighten it, and it worked well too. Major props to The Ordinary for doing everything right. The only reason I’ve given it four stars is that the shade range needs work. I mean, Fenty has a million shades. Come on, Deciem.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Buy it here.

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That’s a Wrap On August

What a slow month, you guys.

I’m not dead, no. Not even been as busy. I’ve been dry as a bone, meaning my creative juices have literally stopped flowing. It happens, when you’re stressed out and you’re hating on all things remotely connected to the Internet.

A quick rundown on everything that hit me like a speeding train this month:

“TEA SPILLAGE”.

Oh my Lordy. If you’re into makeup and stuff like that, and if you haven’t been living under a rock, you KNOW where I’m going with this. Brands and people my friend calls “Influenza” (influencers) are spilling way too much tea. I don’t know where this phrase came from.

Everyone’s been spilling it, sipping it, burning their tongues in the process. My English friends are super mad, you know, because their precious tea is being used to stir up drama. I feel like tea spillages are going to go extinct very quickly and go down the exact same route as fleek and slay have, and that’s only because the market is so over-saturated, people are getting tired already.

I, for one, want my coffee. I’m done with this stupid tea. I want to find this person who started the phrase and smack them crapless. Why must you squeeze every damn lemon till it turns freaking bitter as eff? Thank you, but stop. Like, now.

FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS/ THROUPLING/ OPEN RELATIONSHIPS.

Jesus. I thought FWB was the end of it. And now we have “throupling”, and I didn’t even know such a word existed. So I did some research and realized a movie (surprise, surprise) had popularized the trend. That’s like three people in a relationship. Isn’t that twisted beyond measure? My brains from the twenties can’t comprehend this weird millennial logic. It can’t. Can yours? Then do explain how and why any of this is normal? The movie was released in 2014, but since stuff reaches popularity (notoriety) here late, we now have this dumb act on the rise in India. Kill me.

(The only good thing that’s been happening is the fact that celebrities are actually getting married. Or engaged. Maybe, people will take some inspiration. High time.)

KERALA FLOODS.

The amount of political dirty laundry aired, post the Kerala flood situation, was crazy. I had no idea politicians lied more than Amy Dunne in Gone Girl ever did. Jesus H. Macy.

The upside, though, was the fact that people – regular people – actually made lots of donations and helped in any way they could. Faith in humanity restored.

“SLOWLY.”

Someone recommended I use Slowly to make pen pals.

I know what you’re thinking. Who the heck has the time? Why this dumb app now? How many apps do we need?

You don’t need a million apps and you don’t need to invest a lot of time. Slowly lets you type letters, with stamps and everything, and here’s the thing – it takes hours for letters to deliver, depending on your location. You get matched with strangers and you have complete anonymity.

I’ve been enjoying writing to people on Slowly. Really happy with the old-school feeling it gives.

Do you have any hits and misses for the month?

Dating Old Scrooge

Let’s get straight to the point, and completely disregard the elephant in the room (aka the fact that I’ve been MIA for a whole freaking month), okay?

So I see a lot of people asking the same question all the time: “My boyfriend/ husband/ partner of a billion years, never ever EVER buys me a damn thing. What am I missing?” This is what happens when you’re bored and spend a bunch of hours on Quora doing stupid relationship research. And now, on to the stingy boyfriend (read: Old Scrooge, and if you Google “Funny Nicknames For Stingy Boyfriend”, you get a whole lot of results) part – what are you missing? NOTHING, really. I asked around and discovered that men are super specific when it comes to spending on a woman. There could be a lot of reasons that I don’t know yet, but here’s a list of the top five:

1. He is broke to the boxers.

Yep, you heard me right. He is bankrupt, probably from a gold-digging ex, or he is just really bad with finances, or he’s gambled away all his money, or lost a drug deal, or had his identity stolen multiple times and it’s gotten so bad that he’s now suffering from a serious case of identity crisis, and oscillating between actual-broke and pretend-rich. And his Twitter secretly looks like this:

2. He is super unsure of you.

You could bloody well twist your man’s arm and still come up with nothing. Why? Because he’s just not that into you, so his wallet, and his money – both paper and plastic, are not into you either. Move on, sweetheart. This man doesn’t love you, and he will never commit to you. So if you’re a gold-digger trying to date such a man, bad luck.

3. He got burned by the Ex.

Chances are, he was a nice, caring, gift-giving, adoring, devoted AF boyfriend once. Many many moons ago, when he first fell in love, he thought lavishing gifts upon that hoe he was with would make her stay. But it didn’t, and she cheated anyway and he had to witness the whole bloody act, and the scars it left on his mind are incurable by Mederma. Well, tough titties. You got stuck with him. And you love him, and you act like the boyfriend but he doesn’t do a thing in return for you. That’s not his fault, not really. It’s that ex of his. No matter how many guns or hints you drop, he won’t take them and he won’t be cute with you. He will be that badass that doesn’t care and you’ve to love enough for the both of you. Again, not his fault. Hang in there, maybe he will change once you’re on your deathbed and actually pay for the blood transfusions, probably wearing a tee that says:

4. He’s tactless AF.

He doesn’t know what to get you. Even after you send him links. He doesn’t know how to send a card or choose flowers. He just doesn’t. Don’t blame him, he’s only tactless and that’s something that you need to live with. His idea of a romance is pointing out that new stretch mark on your butt. Or telling you you’re losing hair, or you’re being childish, servile and you’re just a giant boob. That’s his way of showing love, I promise.

5. He’s investing elsewhere.

UH OH. That’s a scary one. I remember my Dad once told me:

Because men spend selectively. If he isn’t sparing a cent on you, but doing it for other people, you need to do a little background check because if a guy is into you, there will be cute little surprises. He will think of you and what makes you happy. If he’s constantly online, and never calls you and never checks on you, and disappears over the weekends and says he’s been talking to people on the work WhatsApp group and to his little bro in the States, you need to know that it could be a red flag.

Do your research and don’t be that girl he cheated on and got away with it.

• How to deal with the heartbreak of watching other girls’ boyfriends buying them flowers and birthday presents, and cards and everything, while you stay at home on your birthday, on your anniversary and everything pretending to be happy?

Simple. There’s the magic of shopping online. Discreetly. Pretend to be your boyfriend or partner or husband and buy yourself presents and act all surprised when the boxes show up at your door. Take yourself on a solo trip and pretend he surprised you. Make sure you don’t post any photos together because you’re just “trying not to jinx your beautiful relationship”. And if you’re in a long distance, and you want him to come see you but he isn’t, go see him instead. It’s okay. Buy your own ring, woman.

Remember: everything is worth it, if you do really love someone.

…and then, there’s distance.

There’s a reason I loathe watching romantic comedy movies. It makes me want to grab a whole box of tissues, cry enough buckets to drown a whole town and then some. But I also love, love, love Drew Barrymore. And her cute little smile and all of the movies that she’s done.

Specially Going the Distance.

If you haven’t seen this movie, pause and go watch it. It’s about a thirty-something intern called Erin who falls in love, over the summer, with a guy named Garrett, who manages a band and hates his job. Just briefly, they fall in love over the summer without even planning to. Since she must go back to San Francisco in a span of six weeks of meeting him, they agree on a casual fling. But love doesn’t really work that way, and they end up crazy about each other.

Soon, they’re exclusive and decide to do the long-distance thing. Erin gets offered a job at a newspaper in San Fran, and is not sure of what to do, because she’s been in the same situation before and she followed the guy around. Garrett tries to find a job in San Fran so he can move there and be with her, but there are NO jobs. Over the next few months, distance makes it really hard and they call it quits.

And then some miracle helps them meet halfway and everyone is happy.

The thing is, distance sucks. I can tell you that because I’ve been in the exact same situation, and things get super crazy. You start to doubt yourself. It’s easy to have a romance and everything when you’re in the same city as your partner because you guys KNOW that you can just pop over and see them. With long-distance, there’s no knowing. At all. And boy, that’s so exhausting. Nothing makes you question your self-worth, your existence, and yourself in general, like a long-distance relationship does.

Am I not worth it? Is he cheating? He’s online till 4 AM and he wasn’t talking to me. He doesn’t send flowers, is he not into me anymore? He doesn’t call, has he gotten tired of me? Should I drop my plans of flying to see him on his birthday? That list, that bloody stupid list, is endless.

You know what’s worse? Having an introvert partner on top of that. Long-distance and under-sharing do NOT go hand in hand. Your partner shuts you out and makes you feel like turd and doesn’t even realize because that’s what comes normally and totally naturally to them. You try sending hints and hints fall flat. And when they do get the hint, they try to overcompensate and it doesn’t really feel as good. Nothing feels as good, not until things happen organically. Plans are made, and cancelled. Tickets are made, and cancelled. And eventually, you start pulling away. Emotionally and physically. You don’t visit as often because you’re scared you’ll be troubling them. Doubts and depressing thoughts chase each other around in your head in circles till one fine day you wake up with an aneurysm and go, “FUCK THAT SHIT.”

Eventually, once distance wins, you don’t have the energy left anymore to start over. But you do. You look for love again. Be with the old flame, or you start swiping. All the time going, fuck you, technology. Fuck you, 2018.

Why Being a Doctor SUCKS At Times

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to hurt anyone, it’s just all in fun and jest, to lighten the mood. If this title offends you, please find another blog post. 

So, we all think doctors are these amazing people who basically play God at times, right? WRONG. I’ve been in the field for quite a while now; long enough to – as the cool kids say – spill the tea. 

AND IT’S NOT FUN.

For starters, you’re nothing unless you’re doing your residency. Me. I’m not doing my residency. I’m the worst apple in the basket and all I do is just cry on the inside. You’re nothing even after you’ve devoted the better part of over half a decade of your life trying to retain some information in your brain so you don’t potentially end up killing people.

I envy people that sit in “corporate offices” and lord it over other people and complain that their jobs suck, all day. Oh, how I feel sorry for you – because you don’t have to rush to attend calls at the drop of a hat, because you have your weekends off, and because nobody calls you to look at a nasty pulsating abscess that needs to be drained. I pity you.

I have this friend who works at one such establishment and is the most inconsiderate person I know. And since I’m a doctor, I can’t complain that she’s being inconsiderate. While you’re looking at patients and your phone keeps going off constantly and you come home at quarter past midnight, drained and dehydrated from the day, only to peek into your phone and realize your friend has Un-friended you because you couldn’t be there for her all day.

When you didn’t even do it on purpose and you were basically with a patient that happened to go into labor right in the middle of her partner’s eye check up, for God’s sake. And you couldn’t leave her alone and had to arrange for transport and everything else and be there till the baby was born. Which is super crazy and has never happened to you before. But then you’ve taken an oath and you only put your patient first. And you come home super empty, and your friend gives you an attitude.

Forget about the times you’ve texted back immediately or called from the loo because she was freaking out. Forget all that.

Because no one understands.

When you’re a simple MBBS graduate in the likes of a country like ours, nobody tells you that you’re also a pariah, a watchdog, a doormat and a punching bag. Nobody tells you that. I wish I could stop taking my oath as seriously.

For the most part, our fraternity is also greatly misunderstood. People think we’re snobs that only hang out with other doctors but that’s not true because well, refer to the earlier example, please. We’re labelled as snobs and that kind of hurts because we aren’t snobby at all. This is why being a doctor is super lame because no matter what you do, you’ll be put on a pedestal and judged.

The thing is, people think that a lot of us aren’t cute. That’s like, missing the mark by a wide margin. So what do we do to make up for the lack of looks? We get an attitude as well. And forget about the pretty ones. You’re pretty, and you’re a doctor, and oh you’ve got an attitude. That’s all the whammies combined. Ouch. And with the whammies come the personal attacks and the physical attacks.

Which prompts us to consider getting bodyguards or even, guns.

I carry pepper spray. I’ve had my share of handsy patients. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of working in any hospital run by our darling Indian government, you’d know what I’m talking about. Patients swarm in like a whole hive of bees. You have no personal space. Forget that, you have no breathing space. And then people sneeze all over you. Puke all over you. And your mask isn’t helping. And you’re still supposed to smile.

Just an example of how bad it gets, guys.

I’ve been puked on. I’ve been sneezed on. A patient once gave me a sharp smack on my hand during my internship because I was trying to draw blood. If this was America, I would have sued. For assault.

But it isn’t America and we don’t have the right and we have to live with it all. Guys, don’t send your kids to med school. Please.

The Rise of The Anti-Vaxxers

Vaccine controversies have been around for almost a century. People that don’t believe in vaccinating their children or don’t believe in being vaccinated themselves, are called the anti-vaxxers. There’s been a sudden spike in the numbers, even more than the numbers last year, according to this article I found.

That’s crazy, right?

2018 has seen a lot of anti-younameit so far. There’s anti-Christ, anti-humanitarian, yada yada yada. And now we have Kat Von D join the bandwagon. She’s a tattoo artist, who injects her own body with chemicals but won’t vaccinate her baby when he’s born, because she’s vegan and refuses to pepper her child’s body with vaccines. Wow. There are hypocrites and then there’s Kat Von D. Why she going in and standing her ground is yet another piece of dumbass information – the Lancet published an article saying vaccines cause autism because of the aluminum that accumulates in your brain.

The doctor that published this also had his license taken away, because the connection between autism and vaccination is completely non-existent. There’s no solid proof because the whole thing is completely dumb to even talk about. You need to be vaccinated, period. Medical sciences have brought us where we are today, with longer lifespan and better lives, because vaccinations make it possible for people to not be prone to a lot of life-threatening diseases. Polio. Measles. Diphtheria. Tetanus.

I posted a comment under a Facebook video of a child getting vaccinated and people went off like crazy. But here is the thing: pathogens don’t seek permission to enter and infect your body. Pathogens don’t seek permission before setting up shop and making you sick. Pathogens just don’t. They won’t. So what’s the point, you know, of saying things like:

“Parents do whatever they want with their children and vaccinate them because children are incapable of giving consent.”

Right. That’s very sensible, yes? Because pathogens definitely ask oh hello, can we please live inside your body? Jesus, this whole thing gets me so mad. It makes me even more so because Kat Von D is super influential, and she says things that people tend to believe in and I’m scared epidemics are going to make a comeback super soon. The beauty community acts like the Roman mob from Julius Caesar every time something like this happens. I’ve gone ahead and boycotted the brand (it makes me very sad, because I did love the KVD liquid eye liners) and I’m not alone – other people are doing it too.

Combined with the rising number of people that believe in the earth being flat, and that vaccines cause autism, I don’t want to live on this planet anymore. This is why we are undergoing serious retrogressive metamorphosis and soon, we will go back to the stone ages and the human race is going to die out. Just you wait.

Things I Learned on Vacation

I’ve been away for a good while. Not gonna lie, I missed blogging terribly. I missed being able to sit down and pour my heart out on my freaking keypad and I missed being able to talk to you guys.

To answer your question, no, I’m not dead. Just on a hiatus. And extremely happy that I got to think about a bunch of stuff, because going someplace with no cellphone reception is, like, liberating. This was a learning curve. A whole lot goes down in a week’s time, you know?

Here’s what I learned on my getaway:

1. People stay in your life as per their convenience.

I had this friend. Really, really, really good friend. The 3 AM SOS kind of friend. I go away for a while, bam, I get unfriended – literally. Please note, that this was the person that would text me at ungodly hours and I would always be down for a conversation, no matter how tired I would be. You can tell a lot from the way a person’s text pattern changes and one word answers and weird emojis are a big no no. I asked if she wanted me to stop bothering her – she replied, without missing a beat, “Yes”, no punctuation. Which also goes to show that two women can never stay friends for ever. That ship sailed way back in 500000 BC and it’s a lost cause.

2. It’s good to disconnect.

I had no idea I would feel so good with no cellphone reception. I was happy without having to FaceTime, text or call people to assist them when they needed help with something. And people usually call when they need something, we all know that. It felt really good. I swear.

3. It’s not the place, it’s just how you feel, that actually matters.

You don’t have to go to Bali. Or Peru. Or the Bahamas. You could just take a random road trip or go trekking and feel so much sadness lift if you just let things go. You’ll end up noticing so much. And little things do make the most amazing memories to cherish. Look at this amazing heart shaped stone I found while walking around to go see this waterfall. In the middle of nowhere.

Changi falls, Rishap, North Bengal, India.

4. Fur babies are beautiful.

I was at this hill station called Loleygaon, and the place we stayed at had a few highly trained, pet dogs. Meet Whitey (I’ve to be honest, I hate that name), Bobo and Bailey. I may not be ready to have kids just yet, but fur babies? A million times yes.

5. Food is bae.

You don’t have to constantly be on diet and punish your body. Letting go sometimes, feels really good.

I’ve never had as many dumplings my whole life. And guess what? I didn’t feel guilty at all. I know I’m not a photographer but here’s what I’m talking about. Momo and Thukpa on a cold, rainy day. That’s what I’m talking about.

Does anyone want me to do a travel blog post? About the places I’ve been to this past week? Let me know!