Posts by AKI :

Trousseau Makeup Essentials (Part 2)

In continuation with my last post , Trousseau Makeup Essentials, following are rest of the makeup essentials for Indian Brides.


  1. RED LIPSTICK – There is a shade of red for everyone. Even though I don’t wear a red lip often, there are times when a red lip is all I need to make an ensemble pop. Try as many shades of red till you feel comfortable and confident in a particular shade. Check my post on lip colour basics for more information on application and makeup looks.
    Recommended: M.A.C Ruby Woolip colours trousseau makeup
  2. PINK/CORAL LIPSTICK – Depending on your skin-tone and the makeup look you are going for pick atleast two lipstick shades either from pink, coral or berry colour family. If you don’t plan to use them often go for budget brands. Make sure one shade is a matte and the other a gloss, along with colour variation you get texture variation.
    Recommended: Colorbar Rose Clair
  3. NUDE LIPSTICK – By nude I mean a shade which is ‘your lips but better’. A total nude would wash out most people and looks best with dramatic eye makeup, since this is a list for beginners I would not suggest a total nude. You could either go in for a nude pink or a nude maroon. This would be your go-to lipstick for everyday wear and for formal occasions.
    Recommended: Lakme 9 to 5 Peach Path / Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balmlip products trousseau makeup
  4. LIP GLOSS – Most lip glosses look the same eventually, so just having one lip gloss in your makeup trousseau would do the trick. Pick a gloss with less pigment and nearest to the colour family you love best.
    Recommended: Faces Lip Creme Cosmopolitan
  5. LIP LINER – Optional. A lip liner is great shaping or as a base. This is completely optional fro beginners and if you do want a lip liner select a shade nearest to your natural lip colour. Pick a lip liner from a good brand as they have better staying power than most budget brands.
    Recommended: Maybelline Lip Liner Velvet Beige

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Manicure & Pedicure at Home


Today’s post is about achieving the professionally done pretty nails in the comfort of your home. Though there are manicurists who provide at home services, I will be discussing do-it-yourself ways of making your hands and feet look pretty. Every-time I got a salon mani-pedi I would try and observe the steps the manicurist used and it took me some time to finally accomplish a similar finish at home. The hardest parts for me were the cuticles and the nail paint. The warm water cleansing and massaging were the easiest sections of the process. If you have ever tried a mani-pedi at home let me know what you find hard or easy.

Manicures and pedicures follow the standardized nail shaping- soaking- cuticle removing- cleansing- moisturisong- paint routine. The following is a step-to-step guide :

Step 1: Remove all traces of old nail polish from the nails.

Step 2: Cut and file the nails into the desired shape and length. While filing don’t see-saw back and forth because this tends to leave the nails weaker and with jaggered edges. Instead file from the edge to wards the center and repeat on both sides, then gently even out the center of the nails.

Step 3: Soak your hands in a bowl of warm water, you could even start the process after a hot shower. The warm water softens the skin around the nails making them easier to buff and shape. You could even apply a hand or foot scrub for a deeper cleansing.

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Border Designs for Sarees


I have been mulling over the idea of sarees with different edge designs for a while now and it became stronger while researching for my post Saree Trends for 2015. The patti-patti border saree made famous by the likes of Sabyasachi and Anamika Khanna have been all over the place for more than six-seven years. I despise these embroidered straight border designs, often with contrasting coloured borders included, especially when compared to the alternatives available. In today’s post I will be discussing various border options along with other edge embellishments.



The saree edge could be finished with a basic hem, fold and stitch. Anamika Khanna’s shaded organza saree is a perfect example of it. Certain sarees require weight on the edge for it to fall fluidly, in this case a self coloured fabric facing could be stitched onto the saree. You could also add a thin self coloured fabric border depending on the saree fabric. This style of edge finish highlight’s the saree’s fabric giving it an airy look.


The saree could be designed with a thin border, no more than 1.5 inch wide. This could either be a fabric or embroidered border. Pick softer fabrics like georgette and silk crepe for thin border designs. Do not add heavy embroidery to the saree’s body. Focus on the blouse design. You could pair a simple design like this with printed crop tops or embroidered contrast blouses.

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Favourite – International Beauty Vloggers


I was in double minds about doing this post as I refer to these beauty vloggers (video bloggers) for my Beauty Roundup posts. I was skeptical that once part of the source is revealed you might not come back to the blog. But I realised that the beauty posts on AKI 1 a.m. are much more than just the vloggers. To compile a post I have to surf through numerous videos, follow hundreds of vloggers, keep updated with the happenings on YouTube and carefully select the videos that best reflect the post’s topic. Though the following are masters at what they do I have to refer to other vloggers on certain topics for more indepth information or a different makeup look.

The beauty sector has seen a rise in the number of vloggers and subscribers. I am not going into details about how the vlogging industry works and the statistics. You could read this article for further information. I would just like to warn you that certain vlogs (vlogger posts) or vloggers make paid videos promoting certain brands, they state that the views are their own but sometimes the praise just seems fake. While choosing a product based on vlogger review it’s best not to rely on just one review but check a few more before the final decision.

The following are 5 of my favourite international beauty vloggers on YouTube. I have used the ‘No Makeup’ makeup tutorials from each of them for the post.


Lisa is my top favorite with her extensive experience as a professional makeup artist for editorials, brands and celebrities. She is presently the Global Creative Director of Lancome makeup. Lisa”s book on the history of makeup ‘ Facepaint- The Story of Makeup’ is scheduled for release in October 2015.  Her tutorials are in-depth and replete with information. She has her hand set on the pulse of makeup trends, her’s was the first Youtube video with a thorough explanation of the now famous Korean beauty trend. Along with products and techniques used on herself, Lisa discusses options for various other skin tones and skin types. Though her videos are longer in length, she has a sense of composure that makes you want to see them. Also the application techniques used are easily achievable.

YouTube: Lisa Eldridge


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Saree Trends for 2015


Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2015 and India Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2015 recently concluded leaving us with a broad spectrum of designs to choose from. Among this assortment there were recurring design elements which caught my eye. Based on the Wills India Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 which took place last October I have already discussed some of these styles in my Saree Drape Styles post.

The following are 8 trends in sarees that will be big this year. The list includes some continuing styles along with new additions.



The styling of a saree with a belt has been around for two-three years but never omnipresent like this season. Black leather belts were spotted on the ramp in shows by top designers like Sabyasachi, Tarun Tahiliani and Anju Modi. The use of embroidered belts and metallic belts has been seen in fashion week and online collections by designers JJ Valaya, Iika and Raakesh Agarvwal.

(Refer the Saree Styling post here for more pictures)



I have started seeing this trend in retail outlets already. The saree can be paired with a peplum top, crop top, short jacket or even long jackets. The options are endless. Abraham & Thakore have styled their sarees with shirts and jackets for both their Summer 2015 and Winter 2015 collections. Amalraj Sengupta, Not Like You, Paromita Banerjee, Aarti Vijay Gupta are few of the designers who showcased their sarees with non-traditional blouse options.

(Refer the Saree Styling post here for more design options)

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3 Indian Celebrity Inspired Makeup and Hair


I recently realised I have only covered makeup tutorials in my Beauty Roundup posts, but starting today I will try to include hair tutorials too.

Celebrity inspired makeup is a rage among Youtube beauty vloggers! Sadly, I have come across very few vloggers covering Indian celebrity inspired tutorials. In my quest to create a wholesome blog about Indian fashion and style I will be compiling videos that are nearest to the India celebrity looks. These will be inspired by celebrity editorial shoots, movie looks, event looks or their signature styles. In the first such post I have selected three easy looks.



First is Alia Bhatt’s black smokey eye with big voluminous curls. A classic look that goes well with your western-wear and ethnic-wear. Mehak shows us how to achieve the smokey eyes and nude lips along with a few additional tips for Indian skin tone. There are many ways to achieve voluminous wavy hair and Mimi’s tutorial using curling irons is just one of them. I will be covering the other methods in a future post.
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