Saturday, 26 November 2016

Here's a list of everything on sale for Black Friday

Isn't it a pain when you're bombarded with Black Friday sales on your newsfeed and SMS only to lose track of them when they're needed... like now.
Annual event Black Friday is one of the biggest sales of the year, one celebrated around the globe and after its recent infiltration in Pakistan, it has undoubtedly become a nation-wide phenomenon, one (let's be honest) we've all been waiting for.
So instead of scrambling all over the internet and your phone, we made a neat list of all things lifestyle available on Black Friday in Pakistan.
You can see if your favourite stores are on the list:



Khaadi: Up to 50% off on selected items, sale is only from the 25th - 26th Nov.
Origins: They've got 30-50% off, their sale will last from 24th - 27th Nov.
Zeen: Offering 20% on all stock, but it's only for the 25th of Nov.
Beech Tree: Offering 30% off from the 25th - 26th Nov.
Ego: They've got 60% off.
Mausummery: Up to 50% off from 24th - 27th Nov.
Ideas Pret: Has up to 70% off.
Sapphire: Offering an online sale of up to 50% off on selected items. Sale is only on 25th Nov.
COCO by Zara Shahjahan: Flat 20% off on retail stores and online store, sale lasts 25th Nov.
Generation: Online sale up to 50% off, from 25th to 26th Nov, only on online products.
Orient Textiles: Up to 50% off on online products, but only on select items.
Ethnic and Outfitter: 30% off on all products, sale lasts 25th - 27th Nov.
CrossRoads: Offering 60% off on online products. Sale is only on 25th Nov.
Chen One: 30% on all online stock.
Chinyere: Up to 40% off from 25th to 27th Nov.
Gul Ahmed: Offering up to 50% and 70% off on all fabric.
Pepe Jeans: 50% off on all products, only 25th Nov.
For those interested in home
Ideas by Gul Ahmed: Up to 50 % of on bedding.
Crescent Home: Sale of up to 50% on selected products online.


Nida Azwer: 70% off on Pret/Semi Formal and selected formals. Sale lasts 22nd - 26th Nov.
Amir Adnan: Offering up to 50% off from 24th - 27th Nov.
Body Focus Museum: Up to 50% off, sale started 21st Nov.

Shoes, bags and accessories

Walkeaze: 20% off on all online products, sale lasts 25th - 30th Nov.
Stylo Shoes: Up to 50% off on online products only, from 25th - 27th Nov.
Dream Catcher Accessories: 50% off on all products.
Hobo by Hub: Buy 1 get 40% discount on second purchase.
Gul Ahmed Ideas: up to 50% off on bags.


Scentsation: Up to 50% off on all products from 24th - 27th Nov.
Makeup Revolution: Up to 40% off, sale lasts 24th - 27th Nov.
Nabila’s No Makeup Palette: 20% off, only lasts 25th Nov.
Massarat Misbah Makeup: Up to 45% off, sale only on 25th Nov.
Conatural: 20% off on all products, offer ends 27th Nov.


Food Panda: Up to 50% off, lasts from the 25th - 27th Nov.
Eat Oye: Offering a Hyper Discount, up to 50% off.
Port Grand: Calling it a Grand Friday, offering free entry, and up to 50% off at restaurants.


Liberty Books: Up to 40% off on 1000+ books, this sale is only online, from 25th - 30th Nov.
And if all else fails, there's always: Offering up to 80% on their online products from 25th Nov to 1st Dec. Up to 90% off, sale lasts 25th - 27th Nov. Up to 80%. Sale started on the 18th of Nov, 25th Nov is the last day to buy things on sale. Up to 70% off. Offering up to 80% off.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

PUBLISHED A DAY AGO Is chopping off your hair a liability in Pakistan's entertainment scene?

Kylie Jenner’s sporting a sleek new bob – but we expect plenty of hair changes from someone who snapchatted a closet full of wigs. But would a Pakistani star find going for the chop a liability?
Like a prospective mother-in-law, the Pakistani public does seem a little fixated on long hair – and that’s probably why heroines almost always have flowing locks.
Once you move away from stereotypical screen heroines, Pakistani women have been rocking cropped locks for years in the fashion and entertainment industries. Marina Khan had relatively short hair in Tanhaiyan but went super short in Dhoop Kinare.

Yeah well, this was fashionable back in the 80s
Yeah well, this was fashionable back in the 80s

Several of yesteryear’s stars such as Babra Sharif and Atiqa Odho now sport sleek short cuts. The doyenne of fashion, Maheen Khan, is instantly recognizable thanks to her undyed, elfin cut.
She once said in an interview, “I have often thought that the best thing a woman can do for herself is change. Don’t live in a time warp with the same hair, makeup, wardrobe. But having said this, leaving my hair naturally grey was a milestone in my life. I shed a lot of “trying to look young baggage” along with my dyed hair and long locks. I feel free.”

Maheen Khan's salt and pepper mane has always made her stand out
Maheen Khan's salt and pepper mane has always made her stand out

But younger stars have also taken the plunge. From Sanam Saeed to Cybil Chowdry, going super-short is something many have experimented with. Syra Sheroze even sported a cute bob at her wedding.
Tabesh Khoja, senior stylist at Nabila N-Pro, thinks it’s important for celebrities to experiment.
“Celebrities are trendsetters and when they do something fresh and exciting with their hair, it encourages the general public to experiment too. There are so many ways to rock short hair, from pixie cuts, to bobs, lobs and shoulder-length cuts. I feel in general, people in Pakistan are too conservative with their hair, sticking to the same long, extenso-ed look, and that this restricts people’s overall style.”
Tabesh asserts with that with quality of extensions now available, it’s perfectly possible to still accept the “pyari si beti” type roles. N-Pro is the go-to salon for most models and actresses and Tabesh has worked with models and actresses such as Fia Khan and Nausheen Shah, both of whom currently have short hair.

Pictured left to right: Nausheen Shah and Fia Khan
Pictured left to right: Nausheen Shah and Fia Khan

“When Fia or Nausheen need long hair for a shoot, commercial or serial, we put in extensions for them.”
Actress Sanam Saeed echoes this view,
“I don’t think it’s necessary to stick to any particular look in the hopes of landing a role. Almost anything is possible with extensions.”
Nevertheless, Tabesh agrees that actresses in general are hesitant to experiment. Wigs and extensions can help but at the end of the day, many feel that lambi zulfein are a pre-requisite to be the nation’s sweetheart.
“There is that fear factor among actresses, many feel that they will lose out on leading roles with short hair. Also extensions are high maintainence – if you are using them, you need an experienced stylist on hand at all times during a shoot as not everyone can handle them correctly.”
The other issue is that not everyone can pull off short hair.
“Once you crop your hair, it brings the focus to your face. You need personality to carry off many shorter looks. Ayesha Omer is one celebrity I would love to see with shorter hair. She once wore a pixie wig at one of Nabila’s parties and looked simply stunning.”

Okay, okay, it's a wig.
Okay, okay, it's a wig.

Although long hair (discreetly augmented with extensions) has been a celebrity mainstay for several years all over the world, there’s no denying that shorter hair does give an edgier, cooler look.
If you’re very young, short hair can make you look older and more sophisticated while if you’re older, chopping your hair can help you look younger and fresher. Hadiqa Kiani, for example, has given herself a funkier look with spiky layered crops in recent years.

Hadiqa Kiani is one celeb who keeps going shorter
Hadiqa Kiani is one celeb who keeps going shorter

Models and singers changing up their hair can probably boost their popularity but actresses still hesitate unless it’s for a specific role. As long as the vast majority of female lead roles still conform to stereotypical notions of beauty, this is unlikely to change.
It’s a catch-22 because unless celebrities spearhead trends, the public will remain doubtful about shorter cuts. With the celebrity sphere burgeoning in Pakistan, hopefully some stars will make bold hair choices to stand out. If Kylie Jenner’s popularity is anything to go by, changing things up can only be a good thing.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

7 Pakistani beauty products that are surprisingly awesome

You know what I'm tired of? Not being able to get the branded beauty products I want.
With Facebook pages bringing foreign branded beauty products to Pakistan and even many official websites helping out with such needs, you'd think it would be easy for me to get my hands on those Anastasia Beverly highlighters, right?
Well, it still bugs me because a) the products takes forever to get here and b) I end up paying almost double due to taxes, shipping and dealer profits. I love these pages but sometimes, that just gets to me.
One fine day, I was getting rid of a serious case of buyer's remorse by shopping more (I may have a problem) when I realized I was not staring at imported branded goodies, I was staring at this range of lipsticks from a local brand.
And I said to myself... well first I said "I need this!" and bought like five... but after that I said to myself "There are more out there."
We have some very good Pakistani brands and each have their own range of products to offer, some which are cult faves. We have the pricey ones and the dirt cheap ones (which make you feel really good about your spending) but they can easily compete with imported labels we order from abroad.

1) Masarrat Misbah Silk Foundation

Price: Rs. 1,450
Oh, this beauty product is a must have for makeup artists in Pakistan. Masarrat Misbah, a renowned figure in the fashion industry, launched hercosmetics line last year and before even branching out, this foundation was in demand.

The shade range caters to South Asian skin tones and that's a win!
The shade range caters to South Asian skin tones and that's a win!

And I know why now. It's better than the L'oreal True Match and the Maybelline Fit Me foundations and is actually a great dupe for the much coveted Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation.
The shade range caters to all Asian skin tones and pays attention to South Asian skin dilemmas, like humidity. It's almost always out of stock because we love it that much! Might as well be Pakistan's Kylie Lipkit!
Considering how oily my face is (you could fry an egg on it), this stayed on my face all day, gave a natural finish and did not leave me looking like an oil field. That, people, is a win.

2) Luscious Brow Luxe Tinted Brow Gel

Price: Rs. 895
Only recently did I find out the difference made by unruly eyebrows. And how easily they can make or break a face (And I mean break! like, they can look like dents, if not done right).

Lightweight and easy to use
Lightweight and easy to use

I also realized and not only did I never pay attention to them before, an added step of brows in my daily routine should not take long. This brow tint caters to that and can easily give Anastasia Beverly a run for her money.
3) Atiqa Odho Blushes
Price: Rs. 450
Ah, the first celebrity cosmetics line in Pakistan, how could we forget you? Well, the color range of their pretty blushes is huge from the brightest pink to a highlighter gold.

That highlighter is a keeper
That highlighter is a keeper

And they pack a lot of pigmentation in those little containers, so not only does a little go a long way but but it lasts a long time as well. I used to love Sleek's blushes, but these are tough competition for those.
With each shade named after a bird, you'll be feeling fly!

4) Sweet Touch Twin Cake Face Powder

Price: Rs. 665
Didn't expect this did you? Neither did I, for the longest time. Until my friend raved about this, I was very 'meh' towards Sweet Touch, there was nothing in their range that stood out to me as such.

This is the underdog in face powders!
This is the underdog in face powders!

However, their face products are good. And this powder is what you need in this humid country. It keeps you looking fresh and matte. It's better than most translucent powders that drugstore brands abroad like Nyx offer.
I can easily throw this in my bag and it's perfect for touch-ups; the powder blends in and matches your skin tone so you don't look like a cakey, powdery mess.

5) Clazona 24 hr matte lip gloss (Liquid Lipstick)

Price: Rs. 150
Okay, say goodbye to every single liquid lipstick on your wishlist that isn't this because this Sialkot based company's little jewel will easily become a holy grail product in your makeup bag. I don't know why they say gloss when they are a liquid lipstick but heck, when something is this good, you don't complain!

Instant holy grail!
Instant holy grail!

Remember that product I bought five of? Yeah, this is the one. And guess what? Even after buying five I still didn't pay half of what I would for an average matte liquid lipstick. They aren't uncomfortable, last throughout the day and aren't transferable! Clazona's formula makes me like them more thanColourPop.
I don't know of any online place that sells these but they are available in all super stores etc.

6) Medora of London Lipsticks

Price: Rs. 105
I was very biased when it came to these lippies. Like "Ew they probably turn your lips black" because I don't know, Medora. But after a lot of peer pressure, I decided to at least check them out. And I was overwhelmed.

Just a few pics from like millions!
Just a few pics from like millions!

They have enough lipsticks to rival the best of lipsticks, in fact, this Swat based company has dupes for almost all popular lipsticks out there. I have a weakness for berry shades and to find five of those alone had me giddy. The formula is decent too!
Frankly, Medora is like Pakistan's Wet n Wild; that drugstore brand that has dupes for all the reigning lip shades from the big names in the game.
7) Organic Secrets Sea Whisper Shampoo
Price: Rs. 800
I love the Big Shampoo from Lush so when I discovered this I just had to give it a try. Its a great dupe for it and a great shampoo overall! While it does not have the aromas that Lush carries, it does exactly the same; cleanses your hair and gives you amazing volume.

Great for va va volume!
Great for va va volume!

It's a cleansing shampoo so not for regular use, but perfect for those days when you need that extra oomph. I have flat hair so this has become an instant fave!
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some more goodies to stock up on.

I went to the Lux Style Awards for the first time and it was kind of awesome

For me, having a great time is a night spent curled up in bed while... sleeping. So when I was told I probably wouldn't get any sleep because I had to attend the Lux Style Awards for work, I wasn't pleased — at first.
As the day loomed I soon grew excited about the show. A fancy award show with fancy decor and fancy song and dance, where everyone just flaunted their... fanciness! Maybe I'd get a photo on the red carpet and feel all fancy myself, I thought.
Since I had never gone to any of these fancy (sorry) shows before, I was nervous, even if I wasn't squealing about it. What would I wear? What if the bouncer refused me entry based on my non-celeb-ness? What if I stepped on the hem of Mahira Khan's ball gown?
I would soon find out...


The prep for the show was the toughest. Because, clothes. What do people wear? It's... fancy, right?
At an event where everyone's decked up head-to-toe in designer wear, I would stick out like a sore thumb because the fanciest thing I owned was thesharara I wore to my cousin's wedding. Based on my discussions with my team, I highly doubted a bridal look would be appropriate for the Lux Style Awards.
So it was either a sharara or a Green Lantern shirt with jeans... but good jeans, with beads on the side. Sparkly beads.
I was in a crisis until one of my helpful colleagues reminded me that designers actually loan out their clothes for events like the LSAs. Yep, practically everything you see on the red carpet is borrowed, not bought.
Armed with this knowledge, I tried to arrange my very own designer dress, using my, ahem, fabulous press credentials.
Unfortunately, the designer my colleague and I were stalking for this purpose went MIA on us. Yes. (I bet this has never happened to Ayesha Omar). So it was back to square one.
But thankfully I had the most powerful weapon ever. My striker. Mom. She remembered a dress I had worn for a play and I thought crisis averted! Until she reminded me I had to wear heels with the dress. Don't say no to a striker. Even though I have this dangerous condition where if I wear heels... I fall.
Anyway, before I knew it the big day comes along. Even though I didn't manage to borrow a designer dress I was offered a free makeover, which made me feel rather like a celeb. Yes, celebs get free stuff all the time.
And just like that, I was back on track with feeling fancy! I went to the salon, where some hair and makeup artists promised to 'transform' me.


Now, when you're a makeup junkie like myself, you know that works and what doesn't.
These guys were sweet, very nice, but they had that typical makeup look in their head that they do on almost everyone, for almost every occasion. My makeup guy suggested the smokey look with red lip, I can't argue with that much, it's a classic. But the concept of 'party wear' is a little nineties here... nineties modeling. So I ended up looking like this.

Yeah, no. The lipstick was way too bright
Yeah, no. The lipstick was way too bright

I shouldn't complain, but I couldn't handle it. This is not me! The red was too bright for my dress, the cheeks way too pink, as if all of my aunts pinched them (I have a lot of aunts). I did like the nails though. But I had to revamp the look. So heading back home, I fixed myself up.

Much better!
Much better!

I couldn't change it all, but I could improve it. Just toning down the blush, darkening the lipstick and contouring. In fifteen minutes I was feeling way better about myself.
So my actual transformation went three ways, from hobo to caked to just right. Very Goldilocks, I know.
But can you blame me? I actually felt proud of my damage control!

Left to right, looks for the day!
Left to right, looks for the day!

So off to the ball I go!

The entrance to the LSAs!
The entrance to the LSAs!

Arriving at the LSAs

I was lost the second I reached the venue, that is the colossal Expo Centre where the Lux Style Awards have been held for the past couple of years. Slow clap for the girl who entered the wrong door.
Thankfully, I had my entry pass in hand and no bouncers stopped me. Once I managed to find the right way inside, I was proud to realise that I was totally right about the fancy! Men in suits, ladies in gowns, one-biters being served on silver platters, celebrities posing for the camera, so hoity-toity!

The stars in all their glory
The stars in all their glory

It was fun roaming the set and checking out the event, feeling (yes I'll say it again) fancy. But then I saw Ali Noor in jeans and it made me miss my Green Lantern shirt because my heels were killing me.
Anyway, now I had to contend with the question: "Who are you wearing?" Yep, at an event like the LSAs the biggest news is what label you're sporting.
My dress was a random Dolmen Mall Tariq Road buy for a play. And everyone here was talking Elan and Feeha and Sana Safinaz... So I may have started telling people I was wearing a Tareeq Dolma'an original. If you loosen the r and keep the n silent, it sounds French.

Photo, please

Anway, I was here to work! So I went to the red carpet to take pictures of the celebs, who turned out to be quite pleasant, by the way!
I just had to call out 'picture please!' and they'd look at me, smile and pose for the camera. I found it decent of them to acknowledge me before posing.
A fun experience with Faysal Qureshi: I called out to him for a picture and he came up to me, took my phone, put it on selfie mode and took a selfie with me! But alas, had to hold a phone for just a second so now I have blurry lines. Mr. Faysal Qureshi, you owe me a selfie!

I swear! That's him! That's Faysal Qureshi taking a selfie with MY phone!
I swear! That's him! That's Faysal Qureshi taking a selfie with MY phone!

Let's be honest, I wasn't the fancy one there, but what was awesome was when I felt special.
Taking pictures of Fuzon's Emu, my friend kept saying how he wanted to take a picture of me on the red carpet. I told him I wasn't allowed on the red carpet. Turns out Emu overheard me. He says, "Yes you are," and pulls me on the red carpet for photos! With him! Okay, so I was squealing now!

Yes it happened! I'm on the red carpet with Emu!
Yes it happened! I'm on the red carpet with Emu!

The actual awards

When the event began, it was fun. I mean it was no AC/DC concert, but I was impressed with the level of finesse with which our stars pulled off an awards show here.
I was also happy about snacks. I was sitting in the press section, which was right across the aisle from the 'celeb' section. On each chair was a small goodie bag containing chips, water and painkillers... sustenance for the six-hour show. The next five seats beside me were empty, so I took all the chips.
Ali Zafar, who was hosting, was charismatic, Yasir Hussain was funny. They had some good performances lined up with more celebs. The Amjad Sabri tribute had me emotional. But the 'Jeena joke' (you know which one) had me offended. So lots of mixed feelings there.

Great set up though
Great set up though

But you know what feeling remained? Sleepiness. The show started by around eleven and lasted till the wee hours of the night. I was there till three thirty. I had promised to toughen it out and see the whole thing.
But with Sohai coming in for a dance performance for like the third time, with the awards for film not being announced at all, and my back screaming at me while my feet soldered into my heels, I couldn't take it. Yeah, yeah I'm weak, but hey, at least I'm not this guy!

This happened. The show went on so long that a member of Amjad Sabri's troupe decided to take a nap.
This happened. The show went on so long that a member of Amjad Sabri's troupe decided to take a nap.

My after-party

Reaching home, there was a lot of work cut out for me. I removed half a trillion bobby pins from my hair and every ounce of makeup from my face. This took a long time, and made me respect the celebs, they do this every day, and still aren't killing people!
Once I was done with all that, these thoughts bounced about my head as I drifted off to sleep:
  • Makeup is still a field to be explored in Pakistan. (At least get the lip shape right!)
  • I am an Ali Zafar fan (I realized after I was ecstatic for him winning for 'Rockstar'... it was a good song! Ugh!)
  • There IS such a thing as too much Sohai. (Not that I ever doubted that.)
  • People will believe your lies if you make the words sound fancy. (There is no Tareeq Dolma'an, I'm so sorry.)
  • Celebs don't eat real food. I had to overdose on the one biters to feel better.
  • We still have some milestones to achieve for comedy to not be insulting. (A medical problem should not be the butt of a joke.)
I was tired, My feet were sore, this was way too much out of my comfort zone. But you know what?
I had fun! I just might do it again. Only next time I'll be in my Green Lantern tshirt and will get that selfie with Faisal Qureshi coz he owes me! And Ali Zafar because I want to!