Here are some Instagram accounts that all brown girls need to be following. These accounts really close the gap between culture and social media and if you feel like you can’t relate, check these gems out!
@BrownGirlMemes – I love a good meme – like that white guy blinking a lot – but sometimes a good desi meme is what I need. I end up sharing them with my mum sometimes and you know its a good meme when both you and your mum can find them relatable. So much of brown culture like Bollywood, strict parent jokes and “Pooja, what is this behaviour” memes are missing from mainstream meme accounts and this account really delivers on those
@BrownHistory – This account retells stories and memories from people’s POV. There’s some really heart warming stories about how parents fell in love, powerful moments in history and pictures which tell a thousand stories across the diaspora.
@ Browngirlgang – An empowering and uplifting space with South Asian women worldwide. From hilarious TikToks, make up looks, Bollywood appreciation and the odd post about chai, this account is a must-follow.
@Browngirltherapy – There’s a large gap in the mental health community for brown people and this page is all about promoting therapy and self-love. Mainstream mental health pages don’t always touch on the link between mental illness and bicultural identity and this page really accesses this.
@BritishBindi – A page run by 3 South Asian best friends. Inspiring, comforting and more memes. Follow if you want a laugh and an insight into South Asian lifestyle and culture,
It was my first experience staying in a heritage hotel and the Pearl Palace in Jaipur, Rajesthan was the perfect choice. But what is a ‘heritage’ hotel, you ask? It can be defined as accomodation which has traditional architecture and has distinctive qualities which mirror the area’s way of life. *Boujie for cheap has entered the chat*
The artwork in this heritage hotel was breathtaking. There were statues and stonework recreating the multicultural aspects of India and it’s faiths. The bedrooms were themed and sported different colours, represented a diverse range of vibrant arts and were the perfect combination of luxury and tradition.
Check out how stunning the hotel is
Look at that artwork tho, damn. I felt like a princess entering my own palace. The staff were lovely and attentive. But the food. Two words: Aloo Paratha. Add a coffee and I was set up for the day. The sister hotel Pearl Palace is two blocks away and has a rooftop restaurant called The Peacock Rooftop Restaurant. I didn’t get a chance to dine there but some of the dishes featured sounded amazing; Paneer Butter Masala, Paneer Tikka etc. (If there was an award for how much Paneer a person could eat in a day, I would have won it by now).
I just loved the whole interior of the hotel and how it was Travelodge prices; it definitely gives British hotels a run for their money. Check it out: http://pearlpalaceheritage.com/. We paid £191 for three nights (two rooms) which is a bargain.
It’s easy to think about all the negatives during lockdown and the pandemic but I am going to use this blog post to think about something positive that actually arose during my time at home. Skincare! I’m still very much a newbie with all these new brands and products (Wtf is a retinol?), but I’m learning.
I got started with some easy, well known brands such as Liz Earle, Glossier and Superdrug’s own brand.
Cleanse and Polish (Hot Cloth Cleanser)
Eyebright soothing eye lotion
I started my skincare routine with some good old Liz Earle products that my friend had recommended to me. The hot cloth cleanser was gentle and so much more soothing for my skin than make up wipes. I made a promise to myself to reserve make up wipes for Nights Out only and to use the Cleanse and Polish regularly. This coupled with the exfoliator and skin tonic made my skin feel super smooth and ready for the day. The eye lotion was a must because my eyes are quite dry and require a lot of care. Although pricy, I really loved the Liz Earle range.
Milky jelly cleanser
Exfoliating skin perfector
I love the cleanser! It really hydrated my face and was really gentle on my skin. I have sensitive skin so something gentle is a must. The exfoliator was good too but I prefer more of a face scrub texture. This was my first time trying the Glossier range so I will be checking more products out.
Ok these are definitely my favourite products. A range of face masks for every occasion. I bought a selection for £17 which is a bargain. Gold shimmery masks, charcoal, raspberry etc. These definitely add an amazing edge to your pamper night. If anyone wants me to review them properly in another blog post I definitely will!
Skincare and mental health
A good skincare routine can transform your mental health, in this essay I will. A 2010 study conducted for the Asian Journal of Beauty and Cosmetology found that among elderly and middle aged women in Korea led to an increase in confidence, self-esteem and happiness.
There’s something really soothing about massaging these products into your face. Its calming and you’re focusing on something for a good amount of time which is a also a form of mindulness. It’s not a miracle cure to anxiety but just focusing on my routine produces a wave of calmness and tranquility. Every action is part of a ritual and by focusing on what to apply next I’m not focusing on anything but the present. I normally have my skincare routine at night but you can do it at any time of day. Just going through the motions is sacramental and really gives you that much needed lull in your day.
I’ve been absent for a while dealing with some life stuff but I am back now and ready to commence on these blog posts gathering dust in my drafts.
I took a staycation in mid August to lovely Cornwall staying in a lovely enormous cottage with my family. It was in a secluded farm area called Launceston and was about a hour away from central Cornwall. We were there for 7 days and then spent 3 days in Lizard Point. Here are some daytrips and activities you can do that are of course, socially distanced adventures.
W stopped off at Glastonbury to grab some lunch on the drive to Cornwall. Glastonbury has such a lovely assortment of colourful alternative shops and I was happy to have look around and grab some pretty items. If you need some sage, saris and sandlewood incense, look no further. I did some shopping and was happy to report that it really helped to keep me zen.
The cottage we had rented was located in Tresmoor, a village near Launceston, North Cornwall. The cottage really aligned with my vision of being a literary darling in a cottage writing her memoirs blog. Oak beds, ensuite bathrooms and a games room complete with a dartboard and a pool table. There’s not much to do near but Launceston is only 6 miles from here. I took a walk around the village and drank in the countryside views.
3. The Eden Project
A trip to Cornwall wouldn’t be complete without visiting The Eden Project. Two biodomes containing exotic plants from all over the world cannot be missed. Some areas of the project are closed off and mask wearing is encouraged to ensure health and safety. Give your senses a hit of this tropical wonderland.
I visited Padstow on a wet and windy day so it wasn’t as fun as it could have been been but it’s still worth a visit if you’re in town. Take a walk along the coast and around Padstow town. I was only here for a few hours before we had to take cover before the rain hit but check this website out for a few more ideas if you’re here for a full day. https://www.cornwalls.co.uk/top_ten/padstow.htm
5. St Ives
Boujie meets beach babe. St Ives has the most beautiful, picteresque beach location with actual sand (not that sharp pebbly rubbish the UK seem to prefer). Deep blue and green seas and some great views, It’s the perfect place to take a nice walk, indulge in some selfies, grab some tea and scones and sit by the sand and daydream. We ate at Mermaid Alley, this really cute restaurant in Penzance. If you stop by there, don’t forget the specialty glittery cocktail they have. The Notting Hill of Cornwall, St Ives is not to be missed.
6. Widemouth Bay
Up at the crack of dawn (7 AM) for physical activity? When its surfing, I make exceptions. I really recommend trying out surfing or if you’re a watersports virgin (I said what I said) even if you’re a seasoned surfer and want to catch some waves in the UK. What’s surfing like? It’s a mission getting into your wetsuit and not as glamorous as it seems in American 2000’s media. I stayed on my board for a maximum of 3 seconds. But it’s fun and really rewarding. Turns out pretending you’re surfing in California doesn’t make it stop raining in the UK but at least the waves were rough enough
7. St Michael’s Mount
St Michael’s Mount is an island with a medieval church and castle. I didn’t pay entry to see it but I’m definitely bookmarking it as something I have to do next time. Tickets are available to purchase here: https://www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk/plan-your-visit/opening-days-times
So UK travel wouldn’t have been my first option but with Coronairus, I didn’t really have a choice. It’s made me appreciate the UK more and make the most of staycations. Travelling is definitely more of state of mind than a place. It’s no Ibiza but Cornwall really is such a exquisite location.
Visiting Japan has been a lifelong dream (that still needs to be fulfilled) and I was excited to be invited to the virtual opening party of a new hotel, the Fujisan Mishima Tokyu Hotel in the Shizuoka prefecture. The hotel group was founded in 2001 and has since expanded to 46 urban sites over 12,400 guestrooms. In 2015, five Tokyu brands split into 3: Tokyu Hotel, Excel Hotel Tokyu and Tokyu Rei Hotel to offer three types of hospitality.
The opening party started with a myth busting video about Japan. Many people view Japan as too crowded, difficult, not for me etc.. Japan has over 230 registered traditional crafts and contains one of the oldest ceramic traditions. It also has the most hot springs, natural sources, ski resorts and Michelin star restaurants in the world. Japan exceeds expectations and there is something for everyone, whether you’re a foodie, nature lover or so much more.
The Fujisan Mishima is located just 45 minutes away from Tokyo. Shizuoka is famous for having the most green tea production in Japan, plenty of bikes for tourists and containing many shrines and temples for those that are looking to immerse themselves in culture on their holiday. The Mishima Shrine is a must-see.
The gendered open air baths are the hotel’s top attraction boasting magnificent views of Shizuoka and an amazing place to unwind in.
I was given a first look at the hotel via Zoom which is a first for a hotel opening party. The luxurious lobby offers guests a warm welcome (complete with antibacterial hand gel!). The 14th floor had stunning designs and contained a spectacular open- air bath. This was accompanied with fabulous views of Mount Fuji.
I also got a look at the restaurant on the 13th floor which was clean and polished. The restaurant offers traditional Japanese food and the speciality dish was BBQ cooked in front of the guest and excellent paired with Sake/whisky/beer. Western style meals are also served here so there is something for everyone
The suites are substantial and have plenty of space. They also come equipped with flat screen TV’s and monumental bathrooms. The rooms are designed to exhibit beautiful views of Mount Fuji.
The Family rooms have pink and green hues, representing the cherry blossoms of Japan along with the greenery of Shizuoka. There are traditional Japanese rooms and also Western rooms complete with Katame flooring.
Complete with an Old Japanese style table setting, the rooms combine luxury with an infusion of traditional Japanese culture.
After experiencing the virtual opening party for the Fujisan Mishima, I’m extremely excited about potentially coming to view it in the flesh after I finally do embark on my long awaited mission to explore Japan. Check it out here.
A few months ago everything seemed to change for almost everyone. Our regular lifestyle, schedules and lives in general were changed as we went into lockdown. Although the changes have been made for safety reasons there are still things that we really miss that we wish we could still experience. Pooja, a fellow blogger and I were talking about this and decided to write a post about what we miss most and what we are excited to experience after this lockdown/pandemic is over. The first four are mine and the last four are hers. We hope you enjoy reading the post as much as we did writing it!
Underrated but I miss cheap and cheerful pub dates where you meet up with friends and get a pint (overpriced if you’re in London, of course) and talk and anything and everything. Bonus point if there’s a pub garden because who doesn’t love a bit of Sun and Sangria. Pub culture is just easy, laid back and chilled which is needed after a long stint of lockdown
There’s a strong chance my eyebrow lady will not recognise me the next time I see her. Or she’ll be speechless when she realises that lockdown pressure culminated in me trying to do my own eyebrows which resulted in a slight disaster. Suffice to say, give me the works (after it is safe, of course). A Mani, Pedi and a facial. Stat.
Food, Glorious, Food
My eyes are definitely going to be bigger than my stomach when all the restaurants open up again. Lockdown has reminded me that I need to be expanding my culinary bucket list and there is are variety of feasts that any foodie can appreciate.
International travel is going to be difficult in the foreseeable future as borders will likely stay closed until it is safe to travel. I definitely want to explore more of the UK and see gems like Cornwall and even partake in a road trip to Scotland.
I am not someone who is super into hugging or really showing a lot of affection in general but as they say- you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. I can’t wait to hug my friends and family and just be around them without worrying about wearing a mask, washing my hands or anything like that.
I am really looking forward to travelling a lot more as soon as all this is over and it is safe to travel to other countries again. I even have an entire list of all the places I want to see ready!
I cannot wait to be able to go out to just relax. Whether it’s to a restaurant, movie, coffee shop or just walking around downtown. I know that I can do that right now but I can’t wait till I can do that without having to put on a mask and avoid other people and keep a distance. Just being able to relax is something I am definitely looking forward to.
Taking the bus
I know a lot of people have a problem with taking the bus or don’t particularly enjoy the experience of taking the bus. I always did though- I thought it was peaceful and I particularly enjoyed longer bus rides because they gave me time to think and reflect. I haven’t taken the bus since the pandemic and honestly I kind of miss it.
What are you looking forward to once normal life resumes?
I collaborated with Pooja G on this post. She is an awesome, helpful blogger and it was lovely to collaborate with her! Check out her blog and her Instagram and Twitter
PSA: The Youtube Beauty Community is toxic af. When I say the Beauty community I specifically mean the US community which includes Shane Dawson/Tati Westbrook/Jeffree Star/James Charles. Yeah I’m talking about that lot, the masters of stirring the pot, but let’s delve in
In May 2019, Tati Westbrook uploaded a video on her YouTube titled “Bye Sister”. This video ‘spilled the tea’ on her friendship with James Charles and why she was ending it.
For context Tati Westbrook is a make up artist, posting beauty reviews and tutorials on YouTube. In this video, she pinpoints the main reason she ended her friendship with James was because he promoted SugarBearHair which is a brand in competition with Tati’s brand Halo Beauty. She also accused him of sexually harassing straight men. Tati announced that she was severing ties with James after his behaviour and failure to appreciate her. After that video dropped, James lost millions of subscribers and celebrities such as Zara Larsson came forward and states James repeatedly pursued her boyfriend which seemed to confirm Tati’s views. Mutual friend Jeffree Star also tweeted this:
People questioned why Tati had decided to come out with these allegations now. It reeked of relevancy and seemed she was more concerned with dragging James down because she felt undervalued by him rather than actually wanting to out him as a predator.
The plot thickens as James first responded with an apology video and then a video seemingly pulling out the receipts and refuting Tati’s claims. James alleged that he had tried to get in contact with Tati on multiple occasions to discuss the fact that he had promoted SugarBearHair. However, she refused to take his calls and reply to his messages which led to him posting his apology on Instagram. He pulled out receipts of him promoting her hair products, meaning her claim of being underappreciated wasn’t true.
As for the claims of James being a predator, James made a statement in his video “I am a 19-year-old virgin. I have never and will never use my fame, money, or my power to manipulate or get any sexual actions from a guy. That is disgusting. That is not me. The fact that Tati brought this up blows my mind”. Tati brought up a specific situation where James manipulated a straight man called Sam. James shared further screenshots with his conversation with Sam showing that Sam stated he was bisexual and after saying he was nervous, James reassured him that he didn’t have to do anything sexual.
There are lots more receipts James pulled out in response to Jeffree Star, Zara Larsson etc so check the video out! After this video surfaced, Tati received backlash and negative comments. She put out a video titled “Why I did It” pleading with the public to stop sending her abusive language, memes and urging her audience to stop picking sides.
The verdict: Trying to cancel an 19 year old because you ultimately felt he was disloyal was never going to end well. Also, accusing someone of being a predator comes with serious consequences and it seemed that Tati did not put out the whole story. James pulling out the receipts painted Tati as untrustworthy. There are some rumours floating around that James could have been lying and edited those screenshots but regardless, Tati should have spoken to James first rather than trying to blacklist him on YouTube.
American entrepreneur Jeffree Star owns make up brand Jeffree Brand Cosmetics. He is also a former musician. Star has come under fire for derogatory racist remarks. He called make up artist Jackie Aina a “gorilla” and has repeatedly used the N-word. He also said he would throw battery acid on a Black women to lighten her skin. He has also, on many occasions, been misogynistic towards women, yelling the N-word at women in the street, calling Tila Tequila a whore and criticising her for being overt in her sexuality. It’s interesting that Jeffree Star is a well known racist fuckwad as he sported cornrows in 2018. Cultural appropriation even though you’ve been aggressive towards Black people? Wow.
There’s more controversies surrounding Jeffree Star in ths thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/BeautyGuruChatter/comments/bduvox/a_comprehensive_list_of_jeffree_stars_many/
The verdict: Being a racist POS to stay in the spotlight was always bound to backfire. Boycott his makeup. Boycott his channel. Boycott everything.
The most recent scandal that’s erupted from Beauty YouTube Inc. (not a thing) is Shane Dawson. An YouTuber, Musician, Actor, Comedian, Make up Artist, Shane has garnered a massive following including over 22 million subscribers. His YouTube consists of comedy sketches, popular conspiracy theories documentaries,
Why is he problematic?
He has used ‘blackface’ in past videos as well as using the N word in a previous video. Paedophilic comments have also come up in an old video of Shane calling a 5 year old ‘sexy; and making references to googling child porn. A disturbing clip of him pretending to masturbate to a poster of Willow Smith when was she 11 has also come to light. Tati Westbrook uploaded a video where she suggested that Star and Dawson manipulated her into denouncing James Charles, but that’s a whole other story…
The verdict: Paedophilia is absolutely unforgivable and it sickens me that Shane made these comments. The Smiths came forward and also expressed their horror at Shane sexualising Willow at such a young age. It’s Karmageddon that YouTube have demonetised Shane and Morphe have pulled all Shane’s make up from their product range. Content creators need to stop being so damn problematic and face up to the consequences.
Even more annoying, Shane put out a statement saying he was done with the beauty industry after Tati accused him and Jeffree of manipulating her (Tati, take some accountability for your actions please) to put out her video about James Charles. Hunny, the beauty industry is done with you/ He also went on to call beauty gurus “attention seeking, vengeful, narcisstic” etc in a now deleted tweet.
The verdict overall? EVERYBODY STAN JACKIE AINA
It’s been three months of anxiety, overexcitement, boredom and fatigue. You’re looking for a wholesome way of entertaining yourself during this period of overkill. Here are my top picks for entertainment:
Money Heist: If you haven’t seen this amazing 4 part series on Netflix then what are you waiting for?! Guided by The Professor, fugitives take part in a heist to rob The Royal Mint in Madrid. Captivating and bold, this show has prompted me to think of my own criminal alias, taking inspiration from capital cities like the characters from the show. Delhi sorta has a ring to it, no?
Peep Show: I recently started this show and it’s been curing my anxiety. It’s a British sitcom about two flatmates who try to navigate society while trying not to fuck up. A must if you want to see some OTT comedy and feel better about your life
RuPaul’s Drag Race: The perfect escape from ordinary life, you get to see beautiful drag queens compete for the crown. Lip synching, glamour and hilarious acting challenges, you really get sucked in to the competition.
Too Hot to Handle: This show definitely falls into the category of “Trash TV You Can’t Miss While Scrolling On Your Phone”. Think of it as Love Island on Steroids. A group of single Lads and Ladies are put on an Island with one simple rule: No sexual contact. If they break the rules, money from the prize fund is detracted. The aim of the reality show is to help the contestants form meaningful relationships and genuine connections.
The Sims: I’d downloaded the game last year but never got round to playing it so this was the perfect time. Slightly addicted to making my family a chaotic, backstabbing mess but it’s ok. Spending thousands of pounds on a red gothic bedroom and then barely having a penny left has become the bane of my life but it’s ok, we live vicariously
Pokémon Go: I had a long ass hiatus but I’m back. Going out on walks and tryng to catch Pokémon has become an act of self-care and is really wholesome and motivating
The Last of Us Part 1+2: If you’ve been waiting with bated breath for the next instalment of TLOU series like me then you’ll be overjoyed to discover it is the perfect lockdown fix. Zombies and a captivating storyline make this a cathartic release for the soul and if you’re anything like me, lockdown will make you want to take out your frustrations on some fictiona characters. I would definitely recommend buying the first game if you haven’t played it.
Animal Crossing: So I haven’t purchased this game yet but I had to include it because it’s garnered such a mass following in a short space of time. I’ve heard that its such a calming, soothing game which lets you build your own village and take part in activites like fishing and bug catching as well as meeting other ‘villagers’. I’m gonna put buying this game at the top of my self-care list.
4 AM is the new 11 PM. Sleeping before midnight is now an urban myth. You will get haunted by the Insomnia ghost and suddenly you have the urge to watch a movie, do a home manicure, go over your regrets from 2010 -2020 and watch videos of funny cats on YouTube.
2. On the other hand, you can’s stop sleeping. Waking up and every day turning out the same is getting boring real quick. Might as well lucid dream to get away from this shit.
3. “Don’t be a COVIDIODIOT” – Aka, stay indoors, stop having parties/gatherings, this is not the time to be social. So if Tyler wants to drop by the off license with 20 of his friends to pick up a multipack of Strongbow dark fruits to drink in the park together – SAY NO
4. It’s okay to feel burntout and lost right now and just wanting to crawl in your bed and play Animal Crossing and The Sims all day long. Don’t let those people who are pressuring you to upskill/apply to jobs/redecorate your house dictate your lockdown experience. Read that book you never got time to read. Play the video games gathering dust. Watch the movie.
5. I don’t know what it is but all of a sudden people are turning into Mary Berry and using this time to make all the crumbles/pies/pastries you can think of. It’s like a game of cat and mouse though everytime you go to the supermarket since flour is always missing. And toilet rolls. Which brings me to my next point.
6. Toilet paper nearly went extinct at one point. Some stupid people thought it was an apocalypse and not a pandemic and bought masses of toilet paper. You greedy fuckers there are lots of people who are struggling to find toilet paper because of you. I hope you all step on logo xoxox P.s. well done to those people who aren’t hogging toilet paper, this meme is for you!
7. Lockdown is weird. Without a purpose everyday begins to feel like Groundhog day. I can’t remember what the date is half the time. You just know this pandemic is going to be mentioned in future GCSE history exams.
Mental Health Awareness Week has approached again and this year’s theme is kindness.
The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability in some social groups and the difficulties they may be facing. The elderly and people who have compromised immune systems and certain health conditions have been advised to stay indoors for 12 weeks.
But what does kindness mean in a time like this? A lot of people that have been advised to stay at home aren’t able to physically make their way to supermarkets to buy groceries and essentials. Being unable to go outside and see people, spend time in nature and go for walks can have a detrimental effect on people’s mental health. It’s important at this time to show kindness to people that are struggling if you are able to. Offer to drop off groceries, speak to them on the phone/FaceTime etc. A little kindness goes a long way.
It’s pivotal to also show kindness to your self as well as other people. A lot of people have been let off work temporarily and are furloughed which means they will be paid 80% of their wages. This means being stuck at home for an indeterminate amount of time and this can trigger poor mental health in some people. Patience with yourself is key. A lot of people feel pressured to spend this time upskilling, looking for remote/other work and building on businesses. This can keep people motivated with a routine which encourages learning and expanding on skills and career goals. But at the same time, it’s important to use this time to pause and take a step back to work on self-care if you are struggling. Be kind to yourself and give yourself warmth and rest if you are struggling. Read that book that you never had time to read before. Pick up that Netflix show you never quite finished. Use this time to unwind, sit in your garden and take in those smells and sights you overlook. For people suffering from burnout, this is the perfect time to take a step back from the fatigue of everyday life and lighten the load. If you want to know more about the importance of self-care, check out my post here.
I’ve seen a post circulating around social media criticising those that don’t reach out to people who are suffering and belittling those that don’t check up on people who may struggling. I feel that this point of view is one sided as it doesn’t let people take care of themselves. By all means, check in on your friends and FaceTime those that are not coping. However, you must also nurture your own mental health and take time out for yourself if you are not in the right state of mind to be in contact with people. A balance between looking after yourself and others is crucial.
Hope my post was useful! Let me know what you think. Also, to anyone struggling, please message me <3
P.s. Awareness is all good and well, but when are you gonna put some money in the NHS mental health funding Boris hmmm?