Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Marble Nails - A Tutorial

Hey everyone! I hope everyone has had a very happy celebration of their holidays! For me, Christmas time brings around a collection of birthdays and an anniversary so there's plenty of cause for celebration! Yay for non-stop partying 😁 Also, winter break means that everyone is home for the holidays so there's also an impromptu reunion, AKA, a bigger party! AND, on top of that, its shaadi (wedding) season here in Karachi, sooo....there's a party practically every day!

Having this...variety of parties, its understandable that you need a manicure (or ten) that's easy to do, and doesn't clash with any cultures or traditions. In other words, a neutral mani. If rocking a solid colour has gotten boring, or you're like Zooey Deschanel and plain nails make you sad, or you're nail art junkie like me, here's a quick and easy nail art tutorial that I did for a friend's birthday, partially inspired by my t.v table that has this  marble-y looking pattern over it and of course they were meant to be a recreation of Fernanda's work for her birthday.
The great thing about it is you need no tools (woo hoo), it takes about ten seconds to do each nail, AND it looks so chic! Its literally so easy to do, you cannot possibly mess it up!

Here's what you'll need:
  • A black polish
  • A piece of scrap paper. (I'm looking at you, Marketing notes)
  • Tape (any kind is good honestly - paper, cello, washi, etc)
  • Scissors. (I couldn't find my smaller ones so I used these 😄 )

You will need to tear up a small scrap of paper, this is what we will use to get the marble-y effect on the nails.
PS: Gather you supplies in one place before you start painting to avoid smudging the base!

And here's how to do it!
Start of with a base coat on your nails, I use a peel-off base coat because I paint my nails very, very often!
Once that's dry, paint on a thin layer of white polish. And I mean it when I say thin because it will dry quicker and you really don't need a perfect white base because the black will cover up most of it and the uneven white coat adds dimension to the marble-like look!

After the white base is dry grab your scissors and tape  and cut two small strips of tape. If you need an idea of what I mean when I say small then the length of one strip should be enough to go about halfway around the circumference of you fingertip.

Here's my attempt at being a pro photographer and trying to capture transparent tape 
You will now cocoon the top of your finger with this tape, while leaving the nail exposed. You don't necessarily have to do this step but it helps with the clean-up process. Which is a shorter way of saying you wont have excess nail polish on the skin surrounding the nail.
To ensure there's no clean-up involved, the positioning of the tape is key. You will need to lay one piece of tape horizontally, starting at your cuticle and wrap it around your finger. The next piece will also go horizontally but it will start at the side of your nail, go over your finger tips and to the other side of your nail. Make sure to overlap the second piece of tape with the first one and you will have perfect cuticles with zero clean-up! The taped up finger should look something like this:
I made this super large so you can see how the tape overlaps to create a cocoon like cover.
You could skip the whole tape wrapping process and jump onto the next steps, but then you will have to remove the excess polish from around your cuticles and the skin surrounding the nails with a cotton bud, or a tiny brush, dipped in nail polish remover, the process otherwise known as "clean-up".

The next step is to scrunch up the piece if paper into a ball. The more folds there are, the better! If you aren't satisfied with the shape of the ball, open it up and do scrunch it up again !

After you have achieved a satisfactory level of scrunchiness for the paper ball, your nail is ready to be made to look marble-y.

All you need to do is paint some polish on to the paper ball like so

And then dab it on your nails like a madwoman. Incase you don't know what I mean, all you have to do is lightly dab the ball against your nail in all angles repeatedly, at the speed of lightning. It's fun. 

You could repeat the process another time if you feel like once wasn't enough to get the desired look, or alternatively, you could do the same thing with your white base colour if you feel you went overboard with the black.
Once you're satisfied with how it looks, remove the tape and marvel at how quick and easy it was to do and how chic it looks. And of course, how you don't have to clean up around the edges, despite your mad dabbing 😆

Again, here is my attempt at being a pro photographer, trying to capture the transparent tape, but this time its loaded with the excess polish that would have ended up on my cuticles and skin.
As you can see in the picture above, I purposely tried to avoid getting any polish on the left side of my nail and that was because I planned to put a vertical black stripe down the left side of the nail.

Now all you have to do is repeat the process for your other nails and after adding the solid black vertical stripe down the left side, it should look something like the picture below.

To achieve the hazy black lines like I have on my nails, you need to concentrate black pattern into a thin black "vein" like you would find on marbles.All you need to do is paint a really really thin line on the scrap paper ball and dab it on the nail ONCE. That's it. If you do it more than once. the paper will pick up the wet polish from the newly formed veins and then you'll end up with another layer of the scattered black polish.
I went in different directions with my "veins" to make it look cooler, but you can do whatever direction you want. My finished nails looked like this:

So that's it for this tutorial, I really hope you liked it! If you do try to recreate this look I hope you tag me on instagram so I can see it :D

         Have fun polishing!
             -Mirza 💖

Monday, 19 December 2016

What do Pakistani's Eat?

We're all asked ridiculous questions.But sometimes, those questions are what can only be described as insanely ridiculous. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me an incredibly ridiculous question with an obvious answer, I would have enough money to fund a couple months of college tuition fees.
So, what do you do when you show up to school one day with shoulder length hair, that the salon said was "a lob", and someone has the audacity to ask "Did you get a haircut?", despite the fact that they saw you just yesterday with your hair down to your waist.
If you're anything like me, your reply will be as sarcastic as possible! Yes, the situation above is based on personal experience, and my reply was "No, I dyed the ends invisible" and "No, it grew shorter". Yes, I was asked the same question by more than one person. And I'm sure you guys can relate to being asked these kind of questions. If you can't relate, here's another insanely ridiculous one. One day I got braces on my teeth. I went to school the next day and was met with "Did you get braces?". All i wondered was WHY anyone would ask me that, when it was so obvious that I was indeed wearing a painful set of braces. 

Now that we have this subcategory of questions on one hand, sometimes I'm asked the sort of questions that aren't ridiculous, but I feel like people should already know the answers to them. But it is unfair of me to assume that everyone would be somewhat aware of things that they have no exposure to; like Pakistani culture for instance. So when I said I would be blogging about Pakistani culture back here, I figured I would start off with some of the questions I've been asked over the years regarding our culture. Today, the question is "What do you Pakistani's eat".

The short answer is: EVERYTHING!!!! Pakistani's are generally foodies, we love food and we eat everything from McDonalds, to Thai to Indonesian to Lebanese. Like I said, foodies. We've got all the fast food joints here that you could think of, the most recent franchise that launched I believe was either Fat Burger or Johnny Rockets, and that happened about four years ago....so..... there is your answer people.

What I will talk about today is a Pakistani rotisserie based in Karachi called "Rowtisserie". I'm not sure why, but I've only eaten there twice. And I loved my meals both the times. Its got a lot more than just rotisserie chicken, which is something I was really happy with because my love for pasta surpasses all other food.
Courtesy DHA Today

 So as you can see from the picture of the menu above, (well, at least I hope you can see, I swear I'll use a better camera next time) they also serve pastas, salads and much more.
It didn't come as a shock to anyone when I ordered Spaghetti Bolognese the first time I went there.
It was a good enough meal, but not something I would order the next time I was there. It came with the standard two pieces of garlic bread (yay for garlic bread) and it was a hearty quantity. I almost couldn't finish it. Almost. xD

What I really thought was unique about the place was their decor. I had never seen the skeleton (is that even the right word for it?)  of a rowing boat before and there were at least nine suspended along the entirety of their Dolmen City branch. So different to any other themed eatery I have ever seen and so, so, cool.

Here's an image from an actual photographer for better clarity.
Courtesy Sunday Tribune

The next time I visited this place, I ordered a steak and cheese panini. I have one word to say about it: YUM. It was easily the best panini I have ever eaten. I burnt my tongue a little because the cheese was still hot when I took the first (huge) bite but it was so worth it! See what I meant when I said we were foodies?

And no, my utensils didn't come used, I actually stuffed a potato wedge in my mouth after I dipped it in ketchup - as one does upon the immediate arrival of said potato, before I took this picture.
In all honesty, I'm getting kind of hungry just writing about this, especially since I have to look at the picture above. Its not the best picture I could have taken, but I was starving and I didn't want my sandwich to get cold.

Who would have assumed that a Pakistani would prefer that panini to a plate of traditional food? Probably not even my mother. But that's not the point. The point is, we're people, just like the American, and we too, eat magical cheesy goodness sandwiched between buttered up bread, with potatoes and Coke.

So the next time you wonder what people of a certain country eat, its probably closer to what you eat than you would think! And apart from all this, we  do have traditional foods. And I will dedicate separate posts to them because they will not be done justice with just a one-line description and no pictures. But its not that every meal we eat is necessarily traditional. We eat food that we generally favour. It could be Chinese, or pizza or even just pasta (unless you're my dad, then, its never pasta) (also, hi Dad😆)

Happy holidays everyone!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Piercing Do's and Dont's

I got another set of piercings on my ears recently. Now having been pierced a grand total of eighteen times (!!!!), I consider myself pretty educated on the topic. And today, I'm sharing all that knowledge with you guys ^.^
My knowledge is based on my experiences, both good and bad, over the span of my life: 9 attempts, and 18 piercings.

The Piercing and The Pain:

Every time someone sees my ear, the first thing they do is wince, and then they ask me if they hurt. Long story short: yes, and no. Paradoxical statement? Yeah, but here's the explanation. The way I get my piercings done now does NOT hurt when the ear (or otherwise) is actually being pierced. I repeat, the metal thingy that poked a hole through my skin did not hurt while it was actually poking said hole. *Cue the shocked faces and disbelief*
I know, I know, it sounds like it SHOULD hurt, considering the fact that a metal thingy is creating a hole in your skin, but my friends, welcome to the 21st century. Gone are the days when the human race had to live, pierce and get pierced, without a magic potion that serves to numb. Yep, the secret to no pain is a numbing spray that the guy piercing me already had. Which is part of why I went to that guy in the first place, more on that later.

Eventually though, the numbing agent does wear off, typically after an hour or so. For me, personally, it didn't hurt at all after the numbness wore off when I got my second piercing done, but the ones after that did sting a little and I think that's because they got closer to the cartilage, and that area is a lot more sensitive since it is harder flesh.

And all this being said, AFTER the piercing process is done and dealt with, the piercing is now a "wound". This is where the 'Yes, it hurts' part comes in. There are so many activities and motions that we subconsciously and consciously go through that affect the level of pain that is felt.
There's things that you can do to minimize the pain, and things that could make it worse. Here's my list of Do's and Dont's that worked for me, my mother, my aunts, my cousins and my friends, and if you are planning on getting a piercing in the near future, I hope they help you out just as much!


1. Talk to the person who will be piercing you BEFORE you ask them to pierce you.

I cannot stress this enough. Ask them to walk you through the process verbally if you can't remember the last time you were pierced, or if you've never actually been pierced before. You might not like how they plan to pierce and knowing that, you can decide to go to someone else.

For example, when I wanted to get my third piercing done I went to the nearest mall (Dolmen City).  Once there, I talked to a lady who owned a jewellery shop. I did not have prior experience with the lady, so I asked her to walk me through her process. She planned to use a piercing gun with a numbing gel. That was not how I wanted to get my piercing done, so I thanked the woman and went on to some other shop. The next shop had my preferred method of piercing; a sterling silver ring that is sharpened to a point and then used directly to pierce. BUT the guy DIDN'T have a numbing agent. Again, talking to the guy BEFOREHAND saved me A LOT of pain.

2. Take someone with you.

As Justin Beiber said "you don't have to be fighting on your own". Ask someone close to you to come and keep you company when you're getting a piercing. Not only will they tell you how good your new piercing looks, they will also crack jokes, keep your anxiety at bay and ensure you are calm (BECAUSE IT REALLY DOESN'T HURT). Bonus points if they hold your hand if you're really scared.

When I got my second piercing done (more than 10 years after my first lobe piercing) I was so scared. I actually look back on that day and laugh at my 13 year old self. I dragged my grandmother, mother, two aunts and my best friend with me to the piercing place. I KNOW. I was that scared. But, not only did my squad alleviate my tension, my aunt actually volunteered to go first and get her ears pierced the third time. I was much calmer knowing I wasn't alone.
And if you do have to go alone....

3. Watch someone get pierced

Right before you get yours done. You will have visual proof that there is nothing to fear.

It worked for me when I was scared, and a newbie. It also worked for my baby cousins

4. Know what you want

Do you want to be pierced the traditional, hygienic, and safer way with a silver ring that's sharpened off of one end to pierce or would you prefer a stud be pierced into you with a hand held machine designed to pierce, AKA the newer way?
Its so important to know what you want before you get something like this done. Do your research, ask your fellows what worked for them and what they would recommend. (I've been pierced with both methods and prefer the silver ring, hands down.)

Also. its important to know what you want in terms of the actual piercing. There's so many different kinds for the ears. Here's an ear diagram I found that's a good reference from here.

Just please keep in mind, the cartilage starts from point number 6 in the above reference diagram and all the piercings from that point onward take longer to heal and hurt once the effects of the numbing agent wear off and the wound is relatively fresh.

5. Go to someone you trust

Remember how I said I went to the mall because it was the closest place I knew to get piercings done? Yeah well, I actually got zero piercings from that mall. In fact, I've had all my piercings done by the same guy, except one, which I later had to close off. I could have gotten my newest piercing done from anywhere, but I just couldn't bring myself to trust anyone other than Ali; my piercing guy.
The reason I trust Ali so much is because aside from the fact that's he's now pierced me 8 different times, he's been professionally piercing people for about thirty years, maybe even more. So I have the confidence that he knows what he's doing. He operates from a small shop on Tariq Road, and that's where I have been going as long as I can remember getting pierced.
You may need to ask around and do a bit of research but its so worth it for the peace of mind that you get in return.

6. Take a pain killer if you think you need it

Like I said before, a piercing is actually a wound, and if you feel like it hurts, take an over-the-counter pain killer that works for you. Brufen is what I took when I had my second piercing done and I only took it about two times after I got my piercing. The first time was immediately after my piercing process and the second was before I went to bed that night. I didn't really need to take it, but it was a precaution. I didn't feel like I needed to have any pain killers when I got my other piercings so it really depends on your tolerance for pain and the pain that you actually feel
*please consult a doctor before you take any medicines, and never eat medicine on an empty stomach.

Going through these six simple Do's ensures that you get a piercing that you're satisfied with, and that the piercing process goes as smoothly as possible. In simpler words: you're chill + the piercing guy is legit = you like the piercing + no complications with the piercing. SAFE + MINIMAL PAIN


1. Touch the wound for the first couple days

Don't do it. Your finger may have bacteria on it that will transfer to the wound. It may get ugly. You WILL NEED TO constantly put some form of ointment on your piercing, I recommend applying straight from the tube. NO FINGERS. You could use a cotton swab but I feel that I can't control the pressure with a cotton swab, and wiping the swab against the wound is painful so I don't recommend that. Straight from the tube works best for me.

AFTER THE FIRST COUPLE DAYS, its fine if you touch the wound to see how its coming along. Check for swelling, rotate the silver ring around so that you minimize the likelihood of an infection.

2. Switch out the silver ring or piercing jewellery until at least three weeks

Whatever you choose to get pierced with, just keep that very piece in until the wound completely heals. It should take around about three weeks for piercings along the lobe (numbers 1-5 on the reference diagram) and about 5-6 weeks for anything higher along the cartilage. Also, some people heal quicker than others so your healing time may vary accordingly.

3. Eat spicy food for the first week

THIS. This is something SO important. Resist the urge to eat anything even remotely spicy because it will irritate the wound, causing it to itch. Itchy wound= not good, also not safe. You might accidentally actually scratch your wound and that can lead to an infection, and you may have to close the new piercing that you dragged half your family to get.

4. Sleep on your side or on your stomach.

For obvious reasons, if you sleep on your side, your piercing will rub against your pillow and it will hurt. You will also get ointment all over your cute pillowcase. Same case for the stomach-sleepers, only twice as bad.
BUT if you are a side sleeper (high five! I am too!) what you need to do is contort your pillow so that it ends before it reaches your ear, its not easy, but its doable if you absolutely cannot sleep on your back!

5. Mindlessly brush your hair.

One word. Pain. You need to be really careful with brushing your hair, you don't want the hair brush to snag your piercing! Also, who wants ointment all up in their hair?
In addition to the hair brush, please also be mindful of brushing your hair behind your ears with your fingers ESPECIALLY if you have long nails!

6. Go near children/elder people that may touch/hit/irritate your wound in any way

I recently just discovered that elder people are just as dangerous as little children when it comes to new piercings. The day after I got mine, I went to visit my dad's aunt. A very elderly lady, who grabbed my head in both her hands. I couldn't breathe for those ten painful seconds. You have been warned.
Also, remember that baby cousin I talked about? She has a younger brother. He threw a stuffed toy at her head. Painful. Again, you have been warned.

And that concludes my piercing Do's and Dont's and if you plan to get a new piercing I hope this post helps and it all goes well for you!

Monday, 12 December 2016

A Karachi Blogger

Hi guys! I decided to post an introduction because I felt it was necessary.
Right so first things first, my name is Mirza but some people call me Chandni. I know it sounds weird because there seems to be no connection between the two, and, there isn't, but this is just the start of all the weird things about me 😂

I live in Karachi, and am currently taking a gap year after doing my A-levels from Nixor College and because I love writing, and basically everyone I know was yelling at me to do something productive, I decided to start a blog! A huge shout out and virtual hugs to my friend Chrissie who has helped me out so much from the onset of my decision with her support and kind words!

What you will find on my blog are posts laced with humour. I love painting my nails so you'll definitely be seeing my posts relating to that the most and maybe some nail art tutorials and reviews on products I use for them.

I love featuring Karachi in my nail posts and since so many of my friends live outside of Pakistan I feel that this is a great way to show them my city and culture. Below is an example...

Sunset,, the creek and a party. At Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi.

The picture I have posted here is from my instagram @uptown.nails.

I also cook sometimes so you will be seeing the occasional recipe and food posts. Apart from that I'll just be posting general articles and random adventures and I hope you enjoy reading them all! 💖

Have a great week you guys, and if you've got any suggestions or comments of any sort I would love it if you could leave them down below!