Oh Dior Oh Dior

IMGP2297I have struggled long over this post. Should I write it. Is it really definitive in the way I feel

I don’t want this to come across like I have tried every brand on earth OR even every Dior product and compared it with the rest. Often my makeup reviews are based on my mood for that day. Some days I am more forgiving to a product, others not.


Often it could merely be the fact I am applying my makeup with a normal mirror as opposed to a x5 maginified one.

Normal mirror hides flaws so  face and makeup seem more acceptable.

Sometimes it could just be I have made peace with a product and accepted it for what it is and how it applies.

So….anyway,…. Dior.

French brands are often hit and miss with Indian skintones so I am not mad on them.

But killing time in DutyFree at the airports, with what appears, at that time, to be ‘funny money’, is when my impulse makeup purchase happens.

That’s when Dior happens. And Dior has managed not to piss me off so far. You know I love and adore their glosses the best. Non sticky shimmer little sticks.


The latest was this little travel kit.

Long haul to LAX. Bored. So why not shop !

I didn’t open this pack up for ages. And when I finally did I must say I wasn’t disappointed.

It also gave me a good sampling of 2 Dior product lines I have not purchased before ie Mascara and Eye Shadow.

A nifty little kit for quick touch-ups or even a makeup pick-me-up. Good for a casual after-work-drink-thingy ?

The Dior Iconic mascara applies  natural, thick and no clumping. Dare I say it. DARE I SAY IT…. yes.  I prefer it to Chanel’s De Volume. The black eye liner doesn’t run. The shadows are gorgeous shimmers and subtle at the same time.

The lip plumper has a faint tingly sensation and the 2 gloss are a bit too subtle in the pigment department for me. They might be tinted lip balms come to think of it. Or maybe its my pigmented lips. Will give them another chance applied over my lip concealer and see if they show up more.

The Under eye concealer is NOT my colour I assure you. Its LIGHT beige but when applied under my eyes, under my concealer it gives a stunning brightness. It makes me want to look at myself in every reflective surface.

I have a party tonight so will definitely be using this under my eyes.

It applies a bit white initially for NC40 tone, but blend well. I also use it as a lovely non shimmery highlighter on my cheeks and under brow bone. It’s a matte finish but without the DRYING MATTE look, if you know what I mean.

I will see how I go with this travel kit and might even  buy a full size of this AntiCernes Beige Clair if it continues to give me this effect.

It also has foundation powder. Probably good for that skintone I dont know. Also I am not the powder matte finish girl so I haven’t tried it. It has a lovely texture though. Nice buttery powder.

It has a nice brown brow pencil but I haven’t used it as yet because I don’t do my brows.

What I dislike in this kit and as a Dior product, is the blush.

I know this kit is not for my skin-tone but how subtle does a Blush need to be ??? I can NOT see it.

Maybe it gives a subtle glow, a subtle shimmer? I can see shimmer specks so there must be some shimmer, somewhere….but….where ? I am tempted to put this down to poor pigmentation as opposed to not working for my skin tone. I honestly doubt that.

This kit comes with a few brushes and a sponge. Take the blush brush and the eye-shadow applicator sponge and throw them both in the BIN. Or use it to scrub your pots and pans.

The sponge might be handy but I haven’t used it.

Like I said this kit gave me a chance to sample some more Dior and the mascara and eye-shadows have impressed me.

I already prefer my Dior perfumes over my Chanel No 5.

I already prefer Dior’s lipstick over my Chanel, and I now prefer Dior’s eye pencil over the Chanel Khol

I am not ready as yet to knock Chanel off the numero uno mascara position so lets wait and see.


My Bengal-Calcutta

durga puja
Durga Puja for the Goddess and her kids

I have never lived in Bengal. I grew up in Bombay. My mother grew up in Nagpur. Only my dad and his family were from Calcutta. My parents moved to Bombay in the 70s.

Panthera_tigris_tigrisBut I am a Bengali first and then an Indian.  To slightly militant levels. I identify completely with the Royal Bengal Tiger, as most Bengali women are referred to as.

The comedian Russel Peters has said “Indian parents are not afraid of killing their children” in a sketch about Indian disciplining styles. Topping that list is the Bengali mother.

Bad grades, backchat or wasting food would result in a mother-daughter chase. I would often use my father as a shield as my machete wielding mother raged against a defiant daughter.

Machete wielding Ninja mother would then share her tribulations with the other Bengali mothers who would nod in disapproval and then yell at their kids just for the heck of it.

Just so they didn’t even think of behaving like me.

Being Bengali was of great importance in our household, instilled more by my Nagpur born mother than my Calcuttan father. Bengali literature, music, poems even Children’s alphabet books were common place in our home

I was made to watch Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali at age 5 !


Fell in love with that film, much to the relief of my parents. I would not be sullied by the North Indian Bollywood Cinema, yet, they thought.

After that Satyajit Ray became a regular feature in our house.

30 years later Pather Panchali was the FIRST Indian Film my Husband saw at the IFC Mall in Hong Kong. 10 pm show first row  ! He fell in love, much to my delight.

But inspite of this my Calcutta grandparents bemoaned the fact we weren’t Bengali enough. This is because we were being educated in Bombay and didn’t know how to read and write Bengali, They expected letters written to them in Bengali.


So in preschool like handwriting we wrote letters to them every Bengali New Year (lunar calender) and over Durga Puja.

Aaah Durga Puja my FAVOURITEST festival ever ! Durga Puja is a 5 days eating drinking celebration for the Goddess.


Its bigger than Christmas. If you ever had the misfortune of asking me “You are Indian so Diwali is your biggest festival” you would get a very curt answer: ” No I am Bengali and Durga Puja is our biggest festival”.

For my British husband, ofcourse The Curry is the national dish….and the quitessential Indian. But I have rewired his brain. The curry is not your national dish, darling, ‘masoor Dal (red lentils), slice of kafir lime, steamed rice and fried aubergines(brinjals) are !


Bengal is the home of so many greats but currently lies in an advanced state of disrepair. I wont try and articulate it but rather refer to Amit Chaudhuri’s book CALCUTTA, TWO YEARS IN THE CITY to give you a current snapshot of the place and its spirit.


My memory of Calcutta is winter vacations with grandparents and paternal cousins. The train coming into the Howrah Bridge station


Eating hard rock candy sticks we called ‘Calcutta Candies’ at New Market. They were like the English one but more translucent


Strolling along the Victoria Memorial and eating Jhaal (spicy) Muri (puffed rice)


Jhaal Muri is a Calcutta special. Main ingredients other than the puffed rice are chopped green chillies, peanuts and RAW mustard oil.

I am not going to add a picture of the Jhaal muri because on camera it comes off looking like the BOMBAY special the BhelPuri or Mahrashtrian special the MISAL.

Jhaal Muri has far fewer ingredients than the Bhel or the Misal and the Raw Mustard oil adds the vaa vaa voom.

Drinking tea in environmentally friendly earthen tea cups and thinking why doesn’t the world adopt this ?!!??


I could go and on but this post has to end , sometime. But I can not end this post without a nod to one of my favourite authors, Jhumpa Lahiri, and  her books.

The Namesake, The Unaccustomed Earth, The Intrepretor of Maladies.

41258wTJpHL namesake_ver2_xlg

Her Bengal, her sketches and her memories are mine. I read her books and I have nothing to add.

I can close my eyes and simply….remember.