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Good News!

9 Apr

Hello friends. Hope you all are doing great. I have a great news to share.

I have finally got a new website! Yayy!! Here’s the link:

http://theiexpressblog.com

Please drop by and let me know how you like it.

Also, I’ll be sharing new and more exciting content pretty soon so don’t forget to subscribe to the new website.

XOXO

Get the Super-brain you always wanted with Yoga!

7 Apr

You perhaps knew that yoga can facilitate you in relaxing the mind, but did you know that it can also develop your mental well-being? Surprised? Well, you should be! Read this article to discover how yoga can help enhance your mental health and improve memory.

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Can’t remember where you kept your car keys this morning? Not sure if you took your pills before leaving for work? Is your memory killing you? No worries! Yoga is here to help.

Yoga is an ancient form of exercise often associated with physical fitness and well-being. While its benefits in strengthening your body and stamina are innumerable, you can just not ignore how it helps in improving your mental health; particularly your memory. Yoga includes a variety of meditation practices that focus on developing mindfulness, attentiveness, serenity, and acumen.

Memory has a serious role in our day-to-day lives. It is our capacity to preserve information about past happenings, and assists us in planning upcoming events. Hence, it is important to understand how our memory functions, what alterations it undergoes over time, and what can be done to improve our memory as we grow older. Luckily, most of the alterations in our memory are usual alterations caused by the aging process or are instigated by momentary or remediable problems.

Poor memory is no longer a thing associated with the old age. Today, you’ll find people from all age groups complaining about memory problems. Kids and youngsters often fail to recall everything they have just been communicated. Adults are extremely busy juggling between studies, career and family life and have so many other disruptions that they just do not have time to remember everything. As we grow old, we are more probable to have trouble recalling names, things on a list, or where we put things.

On the whole, nobody has a “flawless” memory. We tend to forget most of what occurs around us because it is simply not essential to remember everything. We’re bombarded with facts endlessly and the memory retains only the ones that we need to remember.

While there are several medications available that claim to improve your memory, yoga is one method that is totally safe and absolutely free. There are numerous yoga practices that fuel the mind and nervous system to recover memory and attentiveness.

Say no to medicines and try these yoga techniques today:

  1. Sarvangasana

This yoga pose, also known as Shoulder Stand, is recognized to develop the mental capacity by increasing blood supply. It nurtures your brain as increased amount of blood flows to the pineal and hypothalamus glands. It not only tones the arms and shoulders and improves spinal flexibility but also nurtures your brain with more blood. It can also help you fight constipation. However, appropriate care is essential when performing this posture. When practicing this pose, your neck and head are more susceptible to injury. Hence, if you’re a novice, it is important to take basic care. It is advisable to consult your doctor before performing this pose if you are pregnant, menstruating, have high blood pressure, heart trouble, slip disc, neck ache and severe thyroid issues.

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  1. Balasana

Balasana, also known as the child’s pose, has numerous benefits on the digestive health. It is a restful pose that reduces bloating and curbs constipation. Along with toning your abs, balasana fuels your nervous system and helps revitalize your body. It also improves blood circulation which eventually improves your mental health. While it seems to be a simple pose, it is advisable to avoid practicing it if one suffers from diarrhoea, knee injury, hypertension, or heart issues.

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  1. Paschimottanasana

Paschimottanasana, also known as the Seated Forward Bend, stimulates the activities of your brain. You must be relaxed and comfortable while doing this pose in order to harness the maximum benefits of this posture. Having trouble practicing it? Try placing a rolled up blanket under your knees. Paschimottanasana helps you calm the brain and get rid of stress and minor depression by eliminating negative sentiments like bad temper and rage. It stretches your spine, shoulders, and hamstrings so that you can add up a few inches to your height. It also appeases headache and fretfulness, thereby, reducing exhaustion. However, if you are pregnant, have a severe backache, suffering from slip disc or have ulcer, then you should avoid Paschimottanasana.

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  1. Viparita Karani

Viparita Karani, also called as the Legs-Up-the-Wall pose, is an excellent posture for improving blood flow in your body. Other effects include promoting the health of nervous system, relaxing your mind and reducing anxiety. Got joint pains? No problem! You can easily perform this pose quite frequently. Apart from improving your mental health, it reduces inflammation in ankles and revitalizes your body. Need more support? Try using one or two thickly folded blankets! You can also place your legs vertically on a wall for additional support. It is advisable to perform this asana under the guidance of your instructor if you are menstruating or have a serious neck or back problem. Viparita Karani should not be performed if you are suffering from severe eye issues such as glaucoma.

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  1. Padmasana

Padmasana, also known as the Lotus Pose, is an extremely popular and easy pose that has remarkable capability to improve power of the body and mind functions. It is a cross-legged yoga pose which aids in relieving numerous physical ailments. However, its role in improving your memory and relaxing your mind cannot be ignored. In order to reap maximum benefits of this posture, it is suggested to stretch your spine and not hunch when practicing this pose. If you regularly perform this asana, you will feel overall blossoming of your body and mind, just like a lotus. New to yoga? Instead of overlapping both your legs and sitting in the full Lotus pose, you may perform Half Lotus posture by putting one leg on the opposite thigh. Practice Half lotus asana regularly till you’re flexible enough to advance to the full Lotus Pose. In case of ankle or knee injury, it is advisable to perform this asana only under the direction of an experienced instructor.

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Final Thoughts

Meditation practices involved in yoga can be used in a healing manner to increase your concentration. As yoga is gaining more and more popularity among the masses, numerous practices and arrangements devoted to increasing concentration and memory are being invented. These are just some of the yoga poses that can help you improve your mental health and sharpen the memory. Want a super-brain? Try these asana and fuel your gray matter within no time!

Staying at home vs. Work: What should you choose?

18 Mar

Let’s face it: almost every woman has to face this dilemma where she has to make a choice between working full-time and staying at home as soon as she sees a positive sign on the pregnancy test strip.

While most women go with the flow and leave this decision till baby’s arrival, some of them have already made up their minds. There exists a large section of women who would love to work part-time, which seems to be a win-win situation. However, only a few of us have that luxury and the rest are compelled to choose between staying at home and working full-time.

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If you happen to be a ‘desi (typically South Asian)’ mom, particularly the one living in Pakistan, I’m sure you’ll have your own stories to tell. We all agree that the most favourite hobby of our society (read: nosy, desi aunties) is to criticize others and we consider passing judgments our national right.

From the clothes you wear at your wedding to the man you marry, everything is deeply scrutinized by these overly watchful aunties. This habit of prying doesn’t stop here. Once you are married, everybody waits impatiently to hear the ‘good news’.

Well before the baby arrives, unwelcomed suggestions start pouring in from all directions and if you happen to be a working woman, the first thing you are told is to leave work. ‘Ab tou araam se ghar mein baitho (now stay at home peacefully)’, ‘Tumhe naukri ki kia zarurat? Shohar acha kamata tou hai! (Why do you need a job? Your husband earns well!’, ‘Ab azadi bhool jao. Ghar sambhalo aur bachay paalo (Now let go of your independence. Sit at home and take care of kids)’ ….. and the list is endless.

Whether you choose to stay back at home or join workforce, you’ll come across a great deal of advantages as well as hardships. Let’s breakdown pluses and minuses of each scenario to help you make the biggest decision of your life:

Working Mother

Benefits:

  • Even though you treasure your family and love having them around, you will cherish some ‘ME’ time once in a while. You will eventually appreciate that not everything in your life revolves around them.
  • You will be financially independent. Even the thought of it is an instant self-esteem booster and is as gratifying as seeing your little one sleep peacefully! Plus, your husband will feel less burdened and will appreciate your contribution to the household.
  • You’ll stay in the game as far as your career is concerned. Your work will help you stay linked with the larger world, and will satisfy your inherent longing for intellectual stimulus.
  • Your baby will not comprehend the benefits of that additional pay cheque, but there is another incentive he’ll appreciate: he’ll become independent sooner than the children of stay-at-home mothers.

Drawbacks:

  • You’ll feel guilty leaving for work on those mornings when your restless infant is clinging to your legs or is unwell.
  • You’ll miss spending quality time with your baby and hearing the delightful things he did while you were at work will probably make you sentimental.
  • You’ll be busy juggling between work and home which could affect your health.
  • Bidding farewell to regular home-cooked meals and impeccably folded laundry may not go well with your husband.

Stay-at-home Mothers

Benefits:

  • You’ll be there to witness every little smile and wipe away every tear of your child.
  • Staying at home will reorganize your life and you’ll feel less stressful. You’ll find time to cook delicious biryani for your husband and watch your favourite Fawad Khan drama.
  • You’ll be at more peace to see your baby growing right in front of your eyes. This will keep unnecessary concerns about his diet and poop at bay.
  • Your husband will love to see you all dressed up, waiting for him like a typical ‘mashriqi (eastern)’ wife.

Drawbacks:

  • On some days, boredom will kill you and you’ll get fed up of cleaning, cooking and poop talks. You’ll miss having some kind of intellectual stimulus.
  • Sometimes you’ll feel your kids are clingier than those of working mothers since, obviously, they’ll be relying only on you.
  • You’ll get to hear ‘tumne parh likh ke degree zaya kardi (you have wasted your degree)’ on an endless basis
  • You’ll be dependent on your husband for your financial needs

 

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So, what should you choose?

Whether you choose to stay at home or work full-time, it should be your own decision and not influenced by the society.

If you can’t work full-time, search for part-time or freelance opportunities. How about getting a diploma or learning a new craft?

It’s important to take a break from motherhood once in a while and you’ll get back to changing nappies in a more energized way.

Remember, your kids will grow up one day and they’ll be absolutely fine. Trust your instincts. You are doing a great job, mama. Hang in there!

Plump Up Your Pout Without A Lip Job

13 Mar

What is the first thing you notice when you look at Angelina Jolie’s or Kylie Jenner’s face? Their plump pout, right? Bee stung lips have become a rage over the past few years and with this trend, lip liners have got back into the limelight. Unlike the 1980s and 1990s, lip liner is no longer about complementary colors. In fact, it is more about contouring – to produce the delusion of plumpness.

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Image: tipsoye.com

Of course, another way to get plumper lips is to get a lip job. Yep, the good ol’ lip job that turned several good-looking celebs into walking nightmares. With all the money to turn you into a monster, none would want to go over there. There’s another way; you can also use lip plumping devices. As far as the results are concerned, they’re not guaranteed to give you those perfect Kylie lips. Risk it or leave it! However, we all know that as strange as it sounds, the lip liner tricks have been the old school of the vanity fair all along. Even Marilyn Monroe used lip liner hacks to top the beauty standards across the globe. So, what do you say?

Slay The World With These Tricks

Want to flaunt a fuller, more defined pout? Here’s how you can plump up your lips with as little exertion (and cost!) as possible:

  1. Moisturizing The Lips

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Image: goodtoknow.co.uk

No matter what you believe, you can’t deny the sexiness of smooth, moisturized lips. You’d be surprised to see how plump your lips will look if you apply a hydrating layer before anything else. Look for a lip balm that includes a substantial amount of peppermint oil. It helps in improving circulation naturally, thereby, allowing increased blood flow to your pout. Let your favorite moisturizer or lip balm sit for about 5 minutes so all the dead cells can easily be removed.

  1. Exfoliating For a Better Pout

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Image: makeupandbeauty.com

Now it’s turn to exfoliate your lips. You can use a toothbrush or a lemon-sugar combo to scrub your lips gently. Toothbrush works by slightly irritating your lips, which makes them swell and appear more defined. Therefore, choose a toothbrush with softer bristles to avoid serious irritation.

Scrubbing in circular motions will allow increased blood flow and will make your lips apparently look slightly plumper than before. By the way, Angelina Jolie is rumored to be using toothbrush to scrub her lips every morning. So, you can’t get wrong with this trick!

  1. Conceal, Don’t Reveal Those Lips

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Image: faviana.com

For a smoother lip color application, you need to make sure there’s a base beneath it. You can make your lips brighter by using a foundation or a concealer base. It gives you the upper hand to add layers to highlight your preferred pout.

Adding a base will not only give your lipstick a slicker texture, but also help you maintain your plump look all through the day.

  1. Over- and Under-line

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Image: kaodim.com

Make sure you use a lip liner that’s a shade or two darker than your natural lip color. Drawing your desired shape, start from your cupids bow and taper down to your natural lip line. Don’t forget to under-line a little lower than your lower lip to make it appear bigger.

Using a lip liner that is slightly darker than your natural lip color will create the overall appearance of your lips more genuine and gorgeous.

  1. Fill The Lip Space and Contour

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Image: girlscosmo.com

Once you’ve made as far as forming a pouty lip line, you can fill the inner lip space with the same shade with which you drew the outline. It will make your new lip line appear more natural. Moreover, you can always contour to add some drama to your nice pout.

  1. Top it off with Layers of Lipstick and Gloss

If you want to get bigger lips, avoid using darker shades and opt for lighter colors. Dark shades tend to make your pout look flat. Use pale pinks or nude shades to create the illusion of plumper lips.

Add a clear gloss on top of your lipstick for a more defined look. Lip gloss tends to reflect light and makes your lips appear fuller. So, the next time, dab your beloved gloss on the center of your lips for a highlighting impact.

In Conclusion…

Apart from these tips, there are many others you can use to make your lips appear fuller. Just because you haven’t got a pout, doesn’t mean you can’t make one. So, go ahead and rock the world – obviously without having lip injections!

 

Mastering the Art of Eyeliner

8 Mar

Ladies all over the world are always willing to experiment with a new makeup look. No matter how much makeup you apply, the overall look still appears to be incomplete without a sharp, neat eyeliner. Read on to find out how to step up your eyeliner game in a matter of minutes.

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Eyeliner is one of the most essential yet tricky part of any makeover. Each day makeup artists and enthusiasts are coming up with new techniques of applying eyeliner. Classic, Arabic, Cat Eye, Double Liner, Winged, Open Wings…even the names are enough to panic someone who doesn’t even know how to draw a straight line!

Ways to Get Selfie-Ready Liner Instantly

If you are one of those who have always been apprehensive about eyeliner and struggled to get the flawless wing, here are a few tips on how to master the art of eyeliners:

  1. Choose the right type of Eyeliner:

There are basically three types of eyeliners; Pencil, Gel and Liquid.

  • Pencil eyeliners are simple to apply, however, at times they do not glide on as effortlessly or densely as the other two types.
  • Gel eyeliners are more popular among makeup artists as they are matte and spread easily. However, using them can be a bit tricky for a novice as they have to be applied with the help of a brush.
  • Liquid eyeliners are famous for their accuracy, and typically come in two packages: a small bottle with a tiny brush, or pen-shaped with a brush tip. They normally take some time to dry completely after application.

It is important to choose the right type of eyeliner depending on your makeup look and the level of expertise. If you are a newbie, it is advisable to start off with a pencil eyeliner as it is easier to handle.

  1. Choose the right color:

Eyeliners come in a variety of colors and every color has a different impact on your overall makeup look. For instance, black liner looks striking and bold while brown liner is more suitable for smoky and subtle looks. If you have narrow eyes, use a white liner on the lower waterline to make them appear big. You may also use a glittery eyeliner to add head-turning sparkle to your eyes.

  1. Use the correct posture:

If your hands get shaky when applying a liner, it is better to sit down and rest your elbow on a uniform surface. Now place your little finger on the cheek to control the jerks. Basically, you have to stabilize yourself as much as you can to avoid shaky blunders.

  1. Use a string:

Want perfectly winged eyes in seconds? Try using a string as suggested by Sri Lankan-based beauty blogger, Rochelle Wick. Paint eyeliner on a simple string (or dental floss) and put it at your outer eye corner in an upwards direction. Next, print another line in a little downward direction. Fill liner in between both the lines using any liquid liner. Voila! You have nailed the look!

  1. Start with dots or dashes:

This tip is ideal for those who are new at using liquid eyeliner. Start off with applying dots or dashes along your lash line. Next, just connect those dots/dashes using the liner one by one or in a single go, whichever is easy for you.

  1. Fix smudges:

Once you have put on the liner, clean any mess with the help of petroleum jelly applied on a cotton bud. Don’t have petroleum jelly? No worries! Use your clear lip gloss. You can also fix the smudge using a dab of concealer or primer.

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Choosing the ‘Right’ Eyeliner

There are so many eyeliners available in the market and each one claims to be better than the rest. Wondering which one to choose? Here’s a little comparison of some of the most popular liners to help you pick the right one for you:

This liner has a fine tip (0.4mm) and actually works like a pen which makes it very easy to use. To get the perfect eyeliner, start from your inner eye corner and slowly glide it on to make it heavier at the outer corner. This liner is strongly pigmented, hence, it does not fade away quickly. It was the winner of Allure Best of Beauty Award in 2013. While it is a pocket-friendly product ($7.99), it doesn’t seem to be water-resistant which can be challenging for women with watery eyes.

M.A.C is famous for its finest quality cosmetics and this Fluidline liner is no exception. It is an ultra-smooth gel liner that delivers the meticulousness of a liquid eyeliner with a glossier, smoother texture. If you are looking for a long-lasting, water-resistant and smudge-free liner, then investing in M.A.C Fluidline is a wise decision. The only issue is that you’ll get just the 3gms gel pot and no brush for $17.5!

If you are looking for a vegan product, this eye pencil by Urban Decay will become your go-to eyeliner. This eye pencil is an ultra-velvety, rich form of UD’s creamy, water-resistant 24/7 pencils and is more suitable for creating smoky, rimmed eyes. Enriched with Jojoba oil, this $20 worth of formula is easy to apply and stays on for long without smudging. However, many users feel that the product is so velvety that it needs to be sharpened carefully to maintain the fine tip.

The fact that this product is the winner of Allure Best of Beauty Award thrice speaks volumes about its quality. It is a richly pigmented gel liner that lasts for as long as 12 hours and offers hassle-free accuracy of a liquid eyeliner. The only drawback is that it’s costly, however, its 3gms of super-fine quality is worth the price tag of $27.

Whether you are a newbie or a professional makeup artist, this waterproof eyeliner by Stila has a fine pen-like tip that offers accurate application for everyone. It has rich pigmentation that doesn’t smudge easily. The formula is such that it spreads smoothly, and dries swiftly. On the downside, only 0.016 oz formula comes for $22 and it dries out quickly.

Final Thoughts

Eyeliners are an excellent way to add a delicate definition to your eyes. While it seems to be a tricky makeup technique for some, applying an eyeliner correctly is no rocket science. All you need is the right product and lots and lots of practice.