Our External World - Indian Makeup Beauty Fashion Travel

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

POSITIVE Root Therapy + Advanced Onion Oil for Hair Growth - Review

My last review was of a product from the POSITIVE brand. I tried two of their products as I mentioned in my previous post. Today I'm reviewing their Root Therapy+ Advanced Onion Oil for Hair Growth.

POSITIVE Root Therapy + Advanced Onion Oil for Hair Growth - Review

The Onion Oil for Hair Growth comes in a plastic bottle with a pump cap. The consistency is quite rich and it has a pleasant fragrance that reminds me of saunf or Anise. The pump makes it very convenient to dispense the oil and there is no spillage in case you topple the bottle over with your oily hands (yes this is a real life possibility when you are oiling your own hair).

POSITIVE Root Therapy + Advanced Onion Oil for Hair Growth - Review

This Root Therapy hair oil is a unique blend of 18 essential oils and 37 herbs!  Onion Hair Growth oil is power packed with nutrients like sulfur, amino acids and Omega 9 fatty acids known for their nourishing properties. The brand claims that regular usage of this oil helps improve the life cycle of hair and may even encourage hair growth.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

POSITIVE 3 in 1 Activated Charcoal Peel-Off Face Mask Review

Hi everyone! I'm trying to get back to product reviews slowly and the first product being reviewed this month is Positive 3-in-1 Activated Charcoal Peel Off Mask.

Positive is a brand that I'm trying out for the first time and I noticed it because of their onion hair oil. Onion hair oils are really creating a buzz these days but more on that later as I've got a review of it in my next post coming out in quick succession to this one. Back to the activated charcoal mask.

POSITIVE 3 in 1 Charcoal Deep Clean Face Mask

The mask comes in a tube with a flip cap and is ready to use straight out of the box. I love these kind of masks where I don't need to bother about mixing ingredients myself. They are easy to use and are travel friendly.

The mask is black in color and has a shiny appearance. It's thick enough to easily get applied to your skin but runny enough to come out of the tube if you open the lid and let it sit pointing down - basically you'll get a hassle free application if you use your fingers or a brush for putting it on your face. I prefer using a brush for an even application to my skin.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

What To Wear During Pregnancy - Stay Fashionable

Pregnancy brings about a lot of changes in a woman's body. I've heard that women become concsious of how they look but trust me, if this is your planned pregnancy, the joy of having a life grow inside you is beyond all looks and appearances.

What To Wear During Pregnancy - Stay Fashionable

Looking fabulous during this time only adds to your happiness and gives you confidence that this is the best phase of your life so far. So, here are some tips based on my own personal experience.

1. Be proud of your bump. The bump in most cases doesn't really start to show until the third month. Once it does, flaunt it, it's something to be proud of and not hide (unless for some reason you need to keep the news under wraps!)

2. Always wear comfortable clothes. I stopped wearing fitted clothes like jeans etc from day 1, the reason being I wanted no physical discomfort or stress on the womb. You can decide for youself what feels comfortable. Do not purchase maternity clothes in the first trimester unless you are really growing in size rapidly. As time progresses so will the size of your bump.

What To Wear During Pregnancy - Stay Fashionable

3. 2nd month onwards visit maternity stores to find out clothes that are specially made for maternity specially if you like to wear pants or leggings. I got 2 very comfortable pairs of maternity leggings from MAX stores, 1 pair of jeggings from H&M (gifted by my sis), 1 pair of jeans and a pair of leggings from H&M. I also bought 4 cotton full length dresses/kurtis. Since it was summers and hormonal changes were making me feel awfully hot, these came in very handy. Some of my old clothes like western tops and kurtis actually fit me fine right uptil the beginning of the third trimester. If you are working you definitely need more clothes because who likes to wear the same things again and again.

Maternity pants and leggings are a must have. They are amazingly comfortable and give a little bit of support to your growing belly.

3. Buy bra extenders - they will help you save a lot on lingerie. I bought 3 new pairs of bras and the rest I managed with extenders. Remember for nursing you will need separate bras and that too you need to purchase in the last month when your breasts are the right size. They will grow once you start feeding as well so invest wisely.

Bra extenders

Bra extenders

4. Underwear - I grew one size during the second trimester and another size up in the 8th month. There are special maternity underwear as well but I didn't need them personally. I prefer bikini style underwear but hipsters felt more comfortable during and after pregnancy.

5. Shrugs - all my shrugs came in very handy. While I flaunted my bump throughout my pregnancy, I did use a shrug to make my outfits look more polished for work. A shrug also works well if you are wearing an older garment that looks just a wee bit tighter than you would want it to be, yet feels comfortable to wear.

6. Shoes/slippers - in the second trimester when my feet swelled up (almost in the 6th month) I outgrew my old ballerinas and slippers overnight. One fine day I woke up and nothing seemed to fit. I had my mom send over her shoes (a pair of basic ballerinas from Sketchers) that I wore throughout the rest of my pregnancy. I had my sister pick up a pair of household slippers for me one size bigger than my existing pair and thankfully I didn't outgrow these. (The reason I wasn't shopping myself was due to limited exertion allowed as my pregnancy was high risk)

7. New socks - if you wear socks and your feet are swell up you'll need a bigger size for sure.
Depending on the season you will have to tweak the above to suit your needs.

This is about it. Go stylish as you flaunt your bump, take regular photos that will later remind you of this incredible journey, and enjoy yourself in whatever makes you feel happy! I took one pic every single day mostly in the office restroom since I wanted to capture each day in some form. They are basic mirror selfies nothing grand. If you have the time you could get professional pictures taken each week as well!

This is your time, don't listen to people telling you you're wasting too much money on clothes that would later not fit, do as your heart desires and stay fashionable, always!!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Pregnancy Third Trimester + Hospital Checklist

Sharing the story of my third trimester journey, this post was written around November 2018.
I'm into my 9th month of pregnancy as I write this post. The third trimester for me began with a hiccup. My baby's scan revealed a nuchal cord twisted around twice. Although doctors say it is common but it does reduce my chances of a normal delivery. I have another scan to go before the doctor makes the final decision.

Third trimester
Wearing Vera Wang

The most crucial difference in the third trimester is the increased difficulty in sleeping. I have woken up after an hour of sleep and stayed awake for hours until sunrise. Doubts about how things would unfold, increased baby movements, and just the need to use the restroom were enough to keep me awake. And on top of that if there is any emotional stress in your life, say bye bye to sleep.

Turning over in bed became extremely difficult. The pelvic area hurts badly as the body prepares for the birth making things awful at times. Not having an understanding person to help you out in such a situation can be daunting. Make sure your partner is aware of this so that he can help you out. If you are alone and need to turn make sure you turn very slowly with proper support.  Don't get up straight, turn over to one side and then get up. Sit in the bed for a few seconds before getting up so that your blood circulation is normalized and you don't lose your balance. I read so many places that moving both legs joined together while turning helps, it did initially but with time even that became painful.

As I entered my third trimester I was asked to do  a simple excercise. It's called the chakki aasan or churning the mill pose. That is the only excercise I've really done through my pregnancy. There were no antenatal classes near my place so I can't really say if you must attend one. I feel they would help specially if the husband accompanies you so that you both get to understand the nitty gritties together. Talk to your doctor to get proper guidance before you undertake any form of excercise.

Third trimester also brought on lots of swelling. My hands and feet would swell up at night and hurt. It was difficult to hold my toothbrush without feeling some pain. This is the time when shoes became a problem. I couldn't buy new ones for work because the length of my feet hadn't changed and in India the concept of separate wide foot shoes simply isn't there. I actually borrowed my mom's shoes to wear throughout the last trimester.

You will also be asked to take the OGTT which is a Glucose test. You get your blood sugar measured on an empty stomach after which you need to drink 75gm of glucose dissolved in 250ml water. Two hours later another blood sugar reading is done. My test was done at Dr Lal Pathlab and the collection center messed up my data, the test report showed extremely high fasting sugar and just normal 2nd reading. I instantly stopped all sweets and sugar intake. When I visited my doctor she asked me to repeat the test after a week. This time I got it done at a different place and my reading was normal. High sugar in your blood can lead to birth problems with your child and hence this test is important.

Doctors will also monitor your BP to rule out pre-eclampsia. This is a condition where your BP can shoot high and can cause a lot of complications.
Breathing became difficult specially whenever the baby moved higher up towards my rib cage. My heart burn condition worsened as well. And till date I have this really bad heartburn that gets triggered by eating past my mealtime, eating spicy food, and eating very hot food.

Another thing which I faced was a high  emotional state. Normally when people say things you don't like, you can ignore them. But if you are having trouble on the emotional front every little thing just builds up. There have been nights I've cried wanting to hug someone badly and talk to someone who would understand what I was going through. I would talk myself out of these episodes by reminding myself that it was bad for my little one. Do whatever keeps you happy. The baby can and does sense your emotions. You will immediately notice a change in the way the baby moves.

Thankfully girl friends who have sailed in the same boat are saviors during these times. Talk to them, talk to your partner, just find someone to talk to. It's important to share your feelings so that you can feel lighter and happier.

I also took this opportunity to post positive assertions on my other blog channel where I write little quotes as "thought for the day" posts.

Third trimester baby shower
Baby Shower Cake

My birthday fell in the third trimester and my friends surprised me with a special baby shower cum birthday party. They got me a new dress, a tiara and a sash. The cake was super cute and we really enjoyed ourselves. I wish my mom and sister could be a part of this but unfortunately the circumstances were such that they could not be a part of it. It was a little break we took from office during lunch hours to celebrate. (Hubby got me a 3D pen which I'm really excited to use as soon as I get some time, I love DIY and it is perfect for that)

Another thing I did through pregnancy was write to my baby. Every week I wrote a diary, a few sentences mostly talking to my unborn child about what was going on outside. Someday I hope to share them with my child.

As I approach THE day I'm getting my hospital stuff ready. There is a good checklist available online. I'm sharing mine here for those of you who'd like to know.

1) 3 dresses if you are going to have a cesarean. Else lounge sets preferably with a button down shirt would be more comfortable. I've kept a feeding gown (team.mumsie), an off shoulder dress which is super easy to nurse in, and one pajama suit. 

2) Maternity pads (I've kept normal pads since maternity ones would be available at the hospital)
3) Underwear (basic ones, I've bought a size bigger as they feel more comfortable)

4) Nursing bras - I've got two nursing bras and two nursing tank tops

5) Toiletries- basic stuff, you can keep whatever you normally do when heading out overnight

6) Toilet roll - I'm sure my hospital won't have this but you don't need one if your hospital provides these

7) Shawl since the weather is getting slightly cold

8) Jacket
9) Towel

And for the baby
1. Clothes (4 sets, unfortunately I cannot use new clothes so I can't carry the cute onesies at this time)
2. Sweater sets (again because this is winter season)
3. Towel
4. Swaddle sheets or any cotton sheet you can hold the baby in
5. Diapers/nappies
6. Baby wipes
7. Booties, mittens, caps
8. Blanket
9. Baby sheets to keep under baby
10. Sheet protector

Apart from this don't forget to keep your medical documents and insurance papers with you.

Update: I had a baby boy through cesarean at 39 weeks. I got to see him being taken out of my tummy and then gently hug him before he was taken away.

All of you in your third trimester, good luck for the final countdown. Excitement and a little worry go hand in hand at this point in time. Trust that God is looking after you. All the best and congratulations for your bundle of joy!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Pregnancy Second Trimester

Second trimester of pregnancy can be considered the honeymoon period of sorts. This is the time when you should start to gain back your appetite. You will be somewhat used  to the initial hormonal changes that were driving you nuts in the first trimester.

Second trimester is also the time when your next major ultrasound scan will be conducted.When I went in for my scan I was ecstatic and could barely control my tears as I saw my little one - head, body,  legs, arms and those cute tiny hands and feet. The feeling is out of this world.

Ethnic Wear During Pregnancy
Ethnic Wear During Pregnancy

The only downside for me were two cysts on my baby's head which suggested that I should get extra checks to determine likelihood of down syndrome and other such diseases. The doctor said my age also played a role here and hence the tests were important to get done. I kept my heart in the hands of God and let my fears vanish.

As time progressed I started experiencing baby movements, tiny little flutters which changed to noticeable kicks as time progressed. I was back in office and my spirits were in a much better shape.

One important thing I learnt was how important it was to keep a gap in between medicines specially calcium and iron otherwise they are not absorbed properly. Some doctors forget to mention this but it's better to have a minimum gap of 2 hours between these two medicines. Take calcium with milk while iron is best absorbed once you have had some citrus food or best on an empty stomach.

Second trimester is the time when your bump will start showing, you might need new clothes, I did. I decided to invest in 4 full length dresses/kurtis which I could grow in. They were all anarkali style where the middle stitching ends just beneath the breasts giving the garment enough room on the belly area. Those still fit me well into my third trimester.

If your bras have started feeling tight, measure yourself. In my case the cup size remained the same while the band size increased. This meant I really didn't need a new bra, I needed bra extenders. I got a set of 5 from amazon and it turned out to be a cost effective saviour.

A few things that you must be careful about:

1. No stretching of hands above your head level as it puts undue strain on your belly; no bending with legs straight, if you have to bend, squat a little and then pick up whatever you need to. I used to lift things with my foot to avoid bending completely. If in doubt consult your doctor.

2. Vaginal hygiene - ask your doctor for a good vaginal wash and cream to ensure no infection is there. A vaginal infection can spread into the womb making it dangerous for your little one.

3. Waxing: is completely fine as long as you are used to it. If you've never done it before now is not the time to experiment since the skin can be very sensitive.

4. Keep your makeup and skin care simple and chemical free as  much as possible. I  invested in a virgin  coconut oil bottle (bought from amazon) which served as a moisturiser and makeup remover. The only makeup I wore everyday to work was my Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation which is safe to use during pregnancy. Retin-A products and those with salicylic acid are to be avoided completely. Trust me at first it's difficult to let go of everything (you'll realize how many chemicals your skin ingests everyday!) But for that little life inside of you, you'll go all the way to avoid chemicals in your skin care.

5. Stick to flat shoes to prevent  any fall, don't buy new ones unless you really have to since your shoe size will change as you enter the third trimester.

6. As your belly grows it will be difficult to cut your own nails, go in for a pedicure or take someone's help. Unfortunately I had to do mine on my own and it became a challenge each time specially since toe nail growth increased considerably due to the hormones.

7. Listen to your body, stop and relax no matter what the situation. Depending on how the baby is positioned inside you, there will be times when each step would be difficult to take. Don't worry and don't try to match pace with others.

Second trimester seemed to fly by the fastest. 
This a good time to start reading the Garbha Sanskaar or listening to it's music. The child can start hearing your voice and these chants and rhythmic sounds will help develop the child's brain as well. This is what I read and was told by friends so I tried to do it as much as possible. It is important that not only you but your husband also reads this. It is said that the child will learn from it's father's voice too. A screaming foul mouthed parent will pass on the same traits to the child while a loving parent with a soft gentle voice will lead to a calm baby. You can make this part of your couple time or just have it play in the background while you go about your individual tasks.

Eat right, stay happy and connect with your baby, these should be your only focus activities at this time. Oh and yes, do make sure all your queries are answered by your doctor, each woman goes through something unique since we all have different bodies, no question is trivial!
Stay blessed!