Vintage Chic with an Indian Twist

The original style queen meets the modern style queen.

Coco meet Sonam

Sorry for the silence, folks. Been super busy at work and subsequently super tired. Posts reviewing The Wedding Co. Show and new wedding magazines (Lavish Dulhan and The Wedding Co.) are in progress, as are posts exploring Art Deco wedding fashion and beauty inspirations and posts featuring up and coming photographers.

I hope pictures of the chic ladies above will satisfy y’all for now. :)



{Guest Blog} The Silent Killer: The Dupatta by Amplified Soul

I am honoured today to welcome Shobana from Amplified Soul Make-up + Hair Couture as a guest blogger. Amplified Soul has become one of the most sought-after make up and hair teams in the wedding industry, and they have the exquisite (and rightful) honour of being listed in The Wedluxe Glitterati. In today’s post, Shobana shares her expertise about the dupatta setting, which, oddly, is often an afterthought even though it is central to a South Asian bride’s look. I remember purposely choosing a light dupatta, with simple detail for my wedding outfit so I wouldn’t be weighed down. However, in terms of styling, I didn’t even think about it. I figured a dupatta is set in one way and there’s not much else. In her article, Shobana trumps that idea pretty quickly, describes the factors that influence a dupatta setting, and reviews the range of options available to the modern-day South Asian bride. Enjoy! (All photos, unless otherwise noted, are courtesy of Amplified Soul.)


Of all the planning that goes into a wedding, the frequently overlooked factor is the dupatta. The beautifully adorned piece of fabric affects your look, comfort, and outfit security. It can be very light or heavy, applying weight to your head, shoulders, and back.

Avoid the hunchback syndrome by choosing a lighter version. Net is your best friend without compromising the beauty or elegance of your look. It’s the quality of work that makes it spectacular, not the quantity of work; this is especially important for shorter or petite ladies. You want to wear the dupatta, not have it wear you. Ideally, choose a light dupatta with a light to medium border. Make sure the lining on the border isn’t stiff, otherwise it won’t have a flowing quality. Factors to consider for the border include: material, lining, crown, width, & weight.

When wearing the dupatta on your head, have a strong blouse to support with the right lining, bra holders, and a blouse tie at the back, so the weight of your dupatta doesn’t cause your blouse to sag.

Dupatta Settings:

There are several dupatta setting options to choose from when draping a dupatta on your head. Important factors include the height of the dupatta and the style of your hair: 

  • Dupatta heights can include: no height, natural (moderate), majestic/rani (high)
  • Hair options can include: no part, centre part, side part, front poof, finger curls, bangs
  • You also want to consider whether you want to remove the dupatta after–this will also influence the dupatta setting you go with.

Real Bride examples of Dupatta Settings:

Option 1: Poofed front, Low Dupatta Setting; hair was styled to facilitate easy removal of the dupatta

Option 2: Traditional Slicked Center Part, Moderate Dupatta Setting

Option 3: Traditional, Peek-a-boo, Loose Center Part, Moderate Dupatta Setting

Option 4: Peek-a-boo, No Part, Moderate Dupatta Setting

Option 5: No Part, Moderate Dupatta Setting

Option 6: Center Part, High Dupatta Setting

Option 7: A growing trend: wearing your hair down. Styles that work well are half up, half down, waves to one side, a vintage braid, or finger curls


Thinking back, my dupatta setting was a cross between Option 3 and Option 6. If I could do it again, I would go for the last option. I really love the romantic feel of this setting. Rather than leaving my hair out, though,  I would opt for a vintage braid with a modern…parandi! Yes, I said parandi!! The following look would be my inspiration:

Definitely not your Aunty's parandi! Image from

Thanks to Shobana for her informative guest post! For more on the trend-setting Amplified Soul team, check out their site and their blog.



Eyes that Pop by Amplified Soul

Tired of the same, boring make up look?

Then forgo the matchy-matchy eyeshadow and introduce a pair of opposites to your eye make up repertoire:

Thanks to the stylish Shobanna from Amplified Soul for sharing this pic.

The above image is a teaser from the glam Amplified Soul team’s new collection (more to come soon!!). By having fun and playing with colours that contrast and complement your outfit, your face will be the star attraction.

To get this look: choose a base coat that is similar to your outfit colour(s) and then apply a complementary colour on top of your black eyeliner. You will add a pop to your eyes and your make up (and you!) will look amazing in pictures…just like the one above!

(For those wondering what the heck a complementary colour is…complementary colours are those found on opposite sides of the colour wheel, such as red and green. Check out this site for some colour edumacation.)



Portraits of Beauty

We all know that, technically, a wedding is about two people coming together and making public vows of their commitments to each other; but we all also very well understand that a wedding is about the beauty and style of the Bride! Sorry, guys, but it’s true.

Below are portraits of two gorgeous brides shot by the dynamic photography duo, Sangeeta and Monty from Kumari Photo & Design. They captured the elegance and effortless beauty of both woman perfectly!! What I find captivating about these photos is that both brides have struck a fine balance between traditional and 21st century bridal looks. On the surface, they both have contrasting styles as their accessories and lenghas are quite different. But, interestingly their make up is  similar: both brides chose a neutral make up route, which highlighted their best features and really enabled their beauty and style to shine through.

Both brides are absolutely stunning and are truly portraits of modern and chic South Asian bridal beauty–in my opinion anyway! Enjoy!

For more pics of both weddings, go here and here.



Art Karat Exhibition in Mississauga-till December 4!

Image via Art Karat’s Facebook Page

It’s amazing how much you miss when you’re away for 8 days! I just learned that jewelers Art Karat is holding an exhibition show in Mississauga this weekend, highlighting their “Juhi Chawla” for Art Karat line.  Here are the details:

Wednesday NOV 30th to Sunday DEC 4th 2011. (5 DAYS)

Delta Meadowvale
6750 Mississauga Road
Mississauga, ON L5N 2L3

11am to 7pm

For more information please call 1.877.278.5272 or visit




Eye Candy

I’ve been working on a presentation for work for several days now and this entire evening. The big day is tomorrow/today. I should be getting to sleep, but I need to replace my presentation thoughts with other thoughts so that I can actually fall asleep. And I got to thinking, what’s better than pretty thoughts?

Here are some pics that have caught my eye over the last week or so…

Gorgeous Crystal Bridal Set from Blossom Box

Awesome hair and gorgeous hair jewelry from Lakme Fashion Week:

Super sexy and classy lengha from CTC West: This is my dream lengha because it can serve double duty. You can wear this for the wedding ceremony and then take off the coat and show off the sexy blouse for the reception. It’ll be the same lengha for two occasions, yes, but you can style it differently for two unique looks! (Hmm…photo shoot idea, maybe??) For example, the model looks very much like a sweet Indian girl, but take off that coat, let down her hair and throw in some sexy waves, put on some contrasting jewels, up the bling factor, amp up the make up, and voila–she’ll look like a super hot and sexy bride ready for the wedding night…and she’ll have money left over for the honeymoon because she didn’t blow the budget on two outfits! yeehaw!

Gorgeous saris from Vogue India:

Love you long time, Sabyasachi.

You have my heart again, Mr. Malhotra.

Loving this look and the blouse is hot, Tarun Tahiliani.

All that glitters is gold, Rina Dhaka

Best hair piece ever (photo by Chris Nicholls; picture from here :)

I’m on vacation starting Friday at 4:30 pm. CAN.NOT.WAIT. After a hectic weekend, J and I will be flying off to the lovely isle of St. Lucia. I might post some pics from my vacay to make you all jealous….muwahahahaaaa….




1920s Indian silent film stars–Inspiration for the modern beauty

Recently, I have found myself obsessed with photos of 1920s/1930s beauties–from Indian silent films and Hollywood. Based on my readings (and these have been on the internet, so maybe not the most accurate sources), it seems like many, many silent films were made in India, but very few remain. I am incredibly intrigued and inspired by the remaining and rare photos of Indian film actresses from the early part of the 20th century. The black and white photos are simple and elegant, yet the photo subjects are daring and provocative.

Silent film actress Sulochana (image from


Silent film actress Seeta Devi (image from

The pictures of Sulochana and Seeta Devi are very different–pose-wise, wardrobe-wise, composition-wise–but they both exude quiet confidence and understated beauty, elements which can easily translate to the look of the modern 21st century bride.





The Everlasting Beauty of the Sari…CTC West Style

I recently had the pleasure of coming across a wonderful website, Old Indian Photos, which is essentially an archive of photos from the Indian subcontinent. Many of them are simply breathtaking and I have spent hours going through picture after picture. Apparently, Gaurav from CTC West has also fallen in love with this site and posted a series of vintage LIFE magazine pictures documenting “How to tie a sari” a while back. Using these pictures as inspiration, Gaurav selected a team of creative geniuses to recreate the shoot with Canadiana colours and symbols. It’s absolutely breathtaking. I love how the shoot juxtaposes old and new while simultaneously highlighting the everlasting mystique and beauty of the Indian sari.


Original Creative Concept: LIFE Magazine 1945
Photography: Christine Lim
Make-Up & Hair: Amplified Soul
Producer: Gurjeet Kaur Bassi
Model: Pardeep Bassi
Assistant: Gagan Bassi
Outfit: CTC West



Great Skin: A MUST for your Wedding Day

If there’s one thing you can give yourself on your wedding day, it’s good skin. Why?

  • Make up goes on smoother and looks more natural
  • Less foundation is needed because there’s less to cover up…and so less potential for the caked on look
  • Make up application happens faster
  • You will look flawless in pictures
  • Plain and simple: good skin=happy skin=more confident bride=happy bride=happy wedding (ok maybe a bit of a stretch…but, I’m trying to prove a point)

I was really happy with the condition of my skin on my wedding day. My skin tends to be very sensitive, dry, and dehydrated, and I get eczema breakouts, which is exacerbated by stress, change in weather, diet, you name it. My goal was to have soft, supple, eczema-free skin on my wedding day, and I think I achieved it. My make up artist, Sherry Vanstone, even commented that the good condition of my skin meant she had to put on less make up, which led to a faster application.

So what did I do?

Good skin doesn’t happen over night. When I was a teenager and in my early twenties, my skin was awesome. As I get older, I still have pretty good skin, but it’s become increasingly sensitive. I started getting facials regularly about 3 years ago, so about 2 years before my wedding. However, the facials are not the key: the key is finding an amazing esthetician, an amazing spa, and products that are perfect for your skin. It’s all about maintenance, not quick fixes. One facial the week before your wedding will not produce miracles.

I’m not a make up artist or esthetician, but based on my experiences, here are my suggestions for awesome skin:

1. If you haven’t already, find a good esthetician and good spa and book a facial!! For recommendations, ask friends/family you know who have great skin and get regular facials.

Please don’t go to the $3 threading place in your neighbourhood for a discount facial–your skin will not like you!!

I highly recommend Pure + Simple Spa. Ladies (and men), it is honestly one of the best spas in the GTA. They combine European Esthetics with Ayurveda principles to create a holistic approach to skin care and all of their skin products are organic—heaven to my sensitive and reactive skin.

2. Go for regular facials. If you’re not engaged yet and your skin’s in ok condition, go at the change of every season when your skin tends to be most reactive.

3. Soon after you get engaged, get a facial, tell your esthetician you’re getting married and ask for advice regarding a facial schedule. She might recommend every 4 to 6 weeks, but if that’s financially prohibitive try to go at least every 8 weeks. Incorporate it into your wedding budget!!!!  What’s the point of paying $5000 for photography and $500 for make up if your skin looks like yucky?

4. If that still doesn’t convince you, at least ask your esthetician for a skin care regime to improve and maintain the condition of your skin–you might want to do some extra work on a regular basis on your own if you don’t want regular facials. And, please, ask an esthetician. Not the lady at Shoppers’ or the lady at the Clinique counter–they haven’t examined your skin under a giant light and, based on personal experience and friends’ experiences, they often “misdiagnose” your “skin problem” and recommend wack products.

5. Go for a facial a week before your wedding–not only will it help prepare your skin, but it will also offer some “ME” time before the onset of the wedding madness.

6. One common fear I hear from women is: “What if I react after my facial?” Well, that’s a good question. Avoiding a potential reaction only strengthens the importance of finding an esthetician you trust. If you go for a facial and you have a reaction, don’t go back. That means your skin was not properly assessed or treated. I have the most sensitive skin ever (I can’t even use products meant for sensitive skin), and I have not had a reaction after a facial–because my esthetician knows what she is doing!

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Any other ideas or suggestions for flawless skin?


LBB :)