The perceived image of self

… is a term I picked up from this useless woman who got me hooked on her blog and then petered off. And she was right. All my life I thought of myself as slender and delicate because that is what I was taught. I was miserably skinny, no doubt, but I had this fiery spirit inside that could never be mistaken for delicate. I kept fooling myself and then broke free one day and there was no going back.

My grandmother would dress me in velvet dresses with Peter Pan collars. My hair was short with a fringe and I wore matching Alice bands. My socks were knee high and I was only given Mary Janes to wear. At 15 I slipped seamlessly into sarees for partywear and skipped the salwar suit phase till I went to college. I still don’t really like them although they’re convenient as work wear. But the biggest mental block were my nails. We’re all dusky – from my Tam side as well as my Bong side. The apple cheeked Garhwali genes made a token protest and gave up the fight.

And without realising it we all wore shades that were pastel and didn’t clash with our skin tone. Whites, pale pinks, peaches. And we all painted our nails a pale silvery pink. I’m sure you’ve all used that shade at some point. We’d see people with red nails and nod remorsefully. Those were not for us. We were doomed to spend our lives patting our peach sarees down with pale silver nails. They were elegant, easy to touch up, chips went unnoticed and most importantly they didn’t draw attention to one. Something we all grew up learning. Don’t draw attention to your snub nose, don’t draw attention to cleavage, wear a longer shirt and don’t draw attention to your waist. Don’t walk into a room wearing red – it is attention seeking.

Shades from the past, still clutter my nailpolish box

And then something triggered a change. I have to admit it was the OA. He’d insist on me wearing oranges, bright blues, purple and red. My grey tees and white shirts lay languishing in a corner and I realised I look lovely in them. They are bright and cheerful and so me. From there it affected my make up choices and I was soon trying on a bright red nail polish and I have to say it looked better on me than any other colour.

And then I thought of Ma. I remember her telling me about her growing years. Darker than her mother, she was always told to wear ‘champagne colour shoes’ because anything else made her feet look dark. And so the poor girl wore them until she left college. Done with college she flung them out of the window and wore every colour under the sun with a vengeance. Even now if we go out shopping she is the one who will buy the wild purple stilettoes, the jute wedges with the checked bow, the multicoloured beaded slingbacks, the chunky red sneakers, she wears them all. As though making up for lost time.

But the one thing she stuck to were her pearly nails in delicate shades. And her simple brown and bronze lipsticks. And her big maroon bindi. And I’ve been working on breaking them down one by one. Each of her defences goes down with a bang.

To begin with, she deals with me going from pale pink to a neon orange (one of the staff at my parents’ office told me it was like having radium stickers on my fingers and would be helpful if I got lost at  night!). A  few days ago Ma sent me a picture taken on her phone – she’d given herself a French manicure! We’re making progress, baby steps is what it’s about.

This is my old self with neat silvery nails

Again, just in case you didn't get the picture the first time

And then come winter I got adventurous enough to wear darker colours

Vamp red nails on my son's face

From the tips to the toes

Hot pink for the beach and holidays

The eye-popping colour that sent people rushing for cover and sunglasses

My jazzy new range of colours

And finally, I decided I was going to start wearing red lipstick. Priyanka Chopra, Bipasha Basu, Malaika Arora – all darker than me and wearing it with great success. This one was even more deep seated a taboo. I had always been told it was too tarty and here I was, hunting for the perfect shade of red to go with my complexion. And as I experimented, I realised that warm shades of red really suit me. They are less of a contrast on my face than a silvery gloss and complement my skin tone. And so I hunted online and came up with the colours I wanted at the site I’ve begun to shop at. Strawberry Net.

It is cheaper than shopping at a multibrand outlet, I spend hours browsing and making up my mind and I hate the damn women commenting on my spotty skin and asking me if I want to buy something to conceal it. They have three promotions running right now, in case you are interested.

1. Buy 1 Get 1 Free
2. Extra Special Discount
3. Fragrance Super special

I bought a lovely Nina Ricci (Pourpre Volupte) that I gave to Ma and an Elizabeth Arden (Perfect Rosegold) for myself. The colours look lovely on both of us and I am feeling rather pleased with my new self. I’ve always been the dark kohl, light lipper person. And now I skip the kohl and go with the dark lips. Am rather pleased with myself.

Other changes have been dropping my regular handbags and for the last 6-8 months carrying a sling bag across my body. I got the a very smart jute and leather one from Fabindia and Ma got me a Mexican handmade, patchwork leather bag and a deep blue non-leather one. I’ve been alternating them. They’re easy on my back and shoulder ache, they make me look less official and they’re more suited to my personality than I realised.

What have you always thought you are and when did you realise that you were utterly wrong? What changes have the years wrought? *settles down to admire her neatly painted red mouth and listen to you*.


92 thoughts on “The perceived image of self

  1. Totally understand – I wasn’t explicitly told not to wear red, but it was understood that those colours “were not for us”. So what do I do when I get my very first mani/pedi in Hong Kong?

    A bright deep pink that actually looked more red in the different light. And I loved it 😀 Went lighter after that and it still looks like a blood red in the light.

    My favourite is a corally-salmon pink which looks gorgeous with our skin. 😀

    And Strawberrynet – love that site – always buy the majority of my cosmetics from there. Free shipping worldwide!! 🙂

  2. Oh….my mom always made me tie my hair up because it was wavy and she thought only straight hair looked nice when let down. Ofcourse, it did not help that I did not know of anti frizz products either.

    Now, I let my hair down every single day. And I think I look good in it!

    PS: I got the hot pink nails for my toes and I think they look awesome. I also always thought they would not go with my skin tone!

  3. I painted my toes an ice green shade..just for the quirk factor – you know? Frosty pink on my hands and bam! funky green on my toes 😀 My mom nearly had a heart attack!

  4. pretty fingers and all colors suiting so well.. i am still in the phase where i admire bright colors on others and wish i could carry them likewise.. sigh!

    • Go on.. join us. Pick a teeny bottle and that way you won’t mind wasting it. And moisturise well before putting the colour. I realise that dark colours look awful on dry hands and feet.

  5. You’re so rocking the reds! That Nina Ricci lipstick looks so yumm.

    I don’t understand this thing about wearing clothes and makeup that suit one’s skin colour at all. All rules say for dusky people its this and for fair its that. I mean there is no one shade called “dusky” or one called “fair” – it is a continuous scale. I feel people who dress to suit their personalities look the best and in ease. And also mood – I mean if I’m low and need a little pick me up, I am going to pull out the biggest earrings I own and wear them. Rules be damned.

    So many times my requests at the hair salon, to cut my hair real short have been turned down because they always say that it will add volume to my face or some such crap. And they always suggest some sort of “layers”. Bleh! One day I stuck to my guns and got it chopped just like I wanted. I love love love it.

  6. Luks like story of our life…Had not touched the red lipstick till I jumped into the industry and was like ….WHOA! There are more colors in my life other than browns and beiges.. am wearing a red outfit today with a nice red color lipstick and can’t tell you how chuffed up I get when a compliment or a second look comes this way…hai ye color pehle zindagi main kyun nahin the…
    Love the neon nails… 🙂

  7. Does growing out of your tomboy nothing-but-jeans-and-tees state of mind (which lasted a few more years than Id like to remember), to go into a wardrobe that has everything from perfectly picked saris (albeit worn very very rarely), to salwar kurtas, dresses, shorts, skirts, and so much more count?

    I have always thought of myself as a bit of a tomboy, an abysmal disappointment to womanhood, until a few years ago when I discovered that here is more to my womanly side than I knew of and these days its all about letting it show more often 🙂

  8. As with everything else, I was born enlightened on complementary colours 🙂 Even as a kid I hated pastels with a vengeance and threw massive tantrums every time somebody tried to foist a peach or cream dress on me with a well meaning “these are the colours that suit your/our complexion”. I rebelled in the only way I knewhow , by wearing all black, all the time. Now older and wiser, I’ve embraced various hues of blues, reds, pinks, orange, purple and (bottle) green. I still have a massive mental block that prevents me from wearing yellow and light/mint/pista green…oh well, someday.
    I always paint my toes red/fuschia but I don’t know about red lipstick. I’ve heard people say stuff like “theres a right red lipstick for everybody” but I’m a doubter. Like you I’m a kohl and lip gloss girl and I love a dab of bronzy eye shadow. Over the years I’ve tried painting my face different colours but the end result is consistently clownish. Brown/bronze lipstick is too dark, pinkish/orangish thoroughly unsuitable and red makes my mouth look massive. I shall remain lipstick-less for life 😦

  9. you said a mouthful, babe! I was always told I was dark, not to mention my dad was super-conservative and used to wish i dressed in gunny bags for college – I used to have to wear my dangly earrings, which i still love, only after I left the house for college! Bright coloured lipstick was considered a vampy thing in college, so I stuck to leucoderma pinks and one red-gold was for special occasions. I used to wear my crazy clothes though, regardless of public opinion – ties instead of belts around the waist, which i still do; scarves around the forehead, sweatshirts which were not at all in, scarves around the knee, dresses with churidars…Nailpolish is something I have trouble with even now – I wear the blues and greens fine, but can never figure out which reds will suit. But as for lipstick, i now wear every shade of plum fuchsia, red and crimson and revel in it 🙂

  10. I love it when you put out lists on your post. I can just use your word to order them now. I also love it when you put up lists of books or songs.
    I definitely love most of what you put up. Its like you know the list comes from someone who has good taste and all I need is to just pick. So here is a big Thank You to you :). Awesome. Now let me order some.

  11. forget the bright colour on nails. the true “challenging our colour myth” is using white towels. You know as dark people like me might stain the good towels; as the duskier cousin of the family that is one ignominy I still have to live down! It is very complicated, let me not get there.

  12. I’m dusky skinned too but I like to think I’m a lovely shade of chocolate.For me , Mom always chose bright sunshiney colours ,sometimes I found them too bright & so in my teens I went the other way & wore mostly shades of beige & pastels.Nails were only pastel .Now I wear whatever I feel like including bright red lipstick & nails when the mood strikes .The only colours I’m hesitant to still wear are dark blue ,grey & black as those have memories associted with funerals & death from childhood . I still remember the feeling of being engulfed in a sea of black during my granddad’s funeral with my parents nowhere within sight.

  13. Brought back so many memories of the old me who always stuck to dull and light colours because I thought I was too dark… I used to wear only blacks, creams, greys, light greens, etc.. Till my ex-boss told me that I’m a 23-year old who dresses up like a 50 year-old. :/ I realised it was true, and decided to give myself a chance. Now I go first for the purples and oranges and pinks blues and did I mention purple? 😀 I absolutely LOVE purple! And I realised I look good in it.
    But I’m still a light-pearly-shade-orearthy-brown shade of nail polish person. that’s one notion I’m just not able to get out of. When I see those bright greens and reds and blues on others’ nails, I wonder in awe whether I will ever be able to carry it off. :/

  14. …and all the grief I was given at a certain dinner at Soul Fry about my red nails 🙂 Glad to see you embrace the red nails. A similar change has made me wear fitting clothes instead of tents (as fat girls are encouraged to) and of course the red nails. Makes me feel much better about myself.

  15. I love Red lipsticks on me. Once I stopped listening to people going on how red lipstick looks weird on dark skin and attracts unwanted attention, I got myself a couple of MAC reds and just like you, realised that warm shades of red look really good on me. I love my MAC Lady Bug and Brick-o-la. I also got my nose pierced even though everyone around me told me that it would look funny because I have a snub nose.

    Now all I need to do is find a hairdresser who won’t flinch when I ask for a super short haircut. I get the “your face is too round and your neck is too short, so you need layers” line ALL the time.

  16. Aha! I got my first purple and lovely olive green nail paints last month and a lipstick thats more like the eye popping nail paint you have , Yes I went a little mad. Now I mute the orange with some other lip colour, but I love it .

  17. Love the post. I almost mailed you, asking where the nail colors post was! I want to see red lipstick photo – is there one on Facebook?

    I am a cream/ off- white girl, because I really love the color; that said, I never shy away from the bright shades. I love sarees in every shade of red and green and maroon there is and every chance I get, I buy myself one. On a sidenote, Rawmango had an exhibition here and I missed it. Still getting over the heartbreak.

    Hair – I have strange hair. Its curly when short and straight when long. An ex boyfriend and his obsession for straight hair had me confused for a bit. But in the last few months, I started leaving my hair loose and I have had way too many people tell me how envious they are of my double- faced hair. Couple of weeks back, I went and got myself a spanking new haircut – all curls, with bangs in the front. I love it now 🙂
    Oh, and nail paint – the BFF recommended a shade. Its peachy, orange-y pink and pretty. She’d shown me pics and it looked lovely on her pink skin. I wasn’t too sure, but like you said, I am tired of the cream-y/ silver-y/ pale pink-y shades, so went and got this shade. And while I was at it, a nice bright red too. I love them both. And I really don’t care for what people think. Yet to get down to trying red lipstick though. That will take a while. 🙂

    P.S: For those who think it might be a waste of money, Maybelline has some lovely bright colors. They are cheap, so even if the color flops, you won’t really mind it. Once you find the right shade, there are always the nicer, costlier brands that you can pick from.

  18. commenting after some time- basically spent the last few weeks looking up the wrong URL for your blog and wondering ..where the heck is MM and why hasn’t she updated her blog? senility is knocking harder than the 40’s!
    love the new look, btw.

    for me, black was my theme, for clothes, I mean- always wore and bought the color black until a few years ago when i realized how much i was missing out. now i wear almost all colors except purple-it just doesnt look good on me.

    lastly, agree with you about MGM-totally useless:-) she needs to write more often-I am missing her posts!

  19. I have always thought I was fat and I will organize a champagne and caviar treat for anyone who can convince me that I am utterly wrong, wishful thinking even though it may be (let us not harp on the changes the years have wrought). Sigh.
    And YOU are not helping much by putting up pics of those nice arms and calling them flabby. *Goes away sobbing*

  20. I feel I can’t tell what looks good on me, so I stick to “safe” colors (or, most of the time, no color). A friend of mine got me black nailpaint the last time she visited, knowing that I would never buy it for myself, but that bottle has been languishing somewhere I can’t recall. I think I need to gradually experiment but I don’t trust myself (or friends who push black on me either)…

  21. Only you could write about nails and make it interesting
    The biggest change in me over the years is definitely about becoming feminine, I was always encouraged to act like a boy and dress like a boy, my parents wanted a boy when I was born, I was sporty, had a boycut and religiously wore shorts and a baggy t-shirt. Now I’m much more feminine because I like dressing up and matching things up, thankfully I don’t listen when my sister says pink is for girly girls, I’ve stopped trying to be something I’m not just because my family was used to it

  22. Love the jazzy colors on you! I think they really suit you, MM.
    The conservative Tamilian in me made a change in grad school – jeans, skirts and finally shorts (although only to the beach and not anywhere else). Growing up in Madras, I had always worn only salwars. And now the biggest change I have made after the baby is sleeveless! That’s right I never wore sleeveless till then – dark hair, lots of hair……you get the pic? Now I am more regular about shaving and said who cares if there is black stubble, I will wear what I want. Also because in the US, its so hard to find things with sleeves unless you shop in the Woman’s section and then the prints are not so good. My next goal is to wear more dresses (maybe after losing a pound or two or should I say ten!)

  23. wow…this could not have come at a better time 🙂 I am changing now, now, now…and may I say, it looks awesome. I could fall in love with myself !!! All my life, in an attempt to be taken seriously by the god-forgot-to give-sense society, I gave a pass to all things beautiful. Name it, jewellery, pretty dresses, shoes other than sneakers… and convinced myself ki arey, tomboyish hu mai, un stupid ladkiyon ki tarah nahi banna.

    Blah, I am more stupider than most, so why the pretence na? Am throwing the safe, pink and flowery wardrobe away. There’s nothing better than genuinely surprised faces to make my day 😀

  24. Love your hands.. Ditto about the dresses.. had all shades of white, pastel, baby pinks line my closets before.. now its a riot of colors.. I always thought and was told that the bright colors were for the fair skinned people.. A trip to the american land changed my wardrobe forever..

    Also with lets say 😀 with a well rounded body or rather curvy body I never went beyond the loose cotton salwars or kurtis or tops.. But well now. you say it I have it..

    Again wearing dresses was a big taboo in my mind.. I though they were for the slender people.. But this summer, its all dresses that am picking up..

  25. I khol-line my eyes. And put nude on my lips.
    And, I wear every color nail-paint under the sun including egg-yolk yellow, slime green, hot purple, and mein-mele-mein-jaa-rahi-hoon pink.
    I wear a Buddha-to-Buddha silver ring that looks like I was tied to a post.
    I hardly comb my hair.

  26. MM, Hi five on the sling bag, nails & shoes!! I carry a orange colored sling with pictures of hibiscus, some hawaiin lady and the likes 🙂 I bought myself a lovely pair of floral shoes (orange again) to go with my sling bag. My nail polish is candy pink aur mere kapde, anything from blue green checked shorts to brown pants :-)))

  27. in one word – boobs. i’m ‘well-endowed’, and all through high-school and undergrad my biggest concern while dressing was how to ‘play them down’. loose tops, bold prints – you know the routine. coming to the us was liberating. i still remember the time i was in the changing room with some white girlfriends, and tried on a well-fitted, slightly low cut top. they went crazy! and thought i was crazy for constantly trying to hide them. i bought the top and haven’t looked back since.

    i’m still fairly conservative in my dressing and how much cleavage i expose. but i’m comfortable with, and even proud of, my ‘rack’ now 😉 hello well-fitted dresses and halter tops!!!

    that’s one thing that irks me about India – why are we always pressured to hide every womanly curve?

  28. Wow! Your toes are as long as my fingers!! My littlest toe barely has any nail on it! I was too embarrassed to wear skirts or shorts because of my skinny chicken legs. Hubby talked me out of it and insisted I try them with smarter tops and fun footware and now I spend 6 weeks of summer in skirts and shorts. I’m Lovin it!

  29. Oh , I used to be that way too! But since the time I moved to the US and went with a friend for a pedi and they convinced me to try sumthing different, I’ve been on it. Write now, I have a lovely purple on my toe nails. But I’m nto very good abt keeping my finger and toe nails painted.
    In 2007…I took the drastic decision to cut my hair to shoulder-level after much apprehension. Since then my hair has grown and been cut several times. rite now I’m on a growing spree.

    Never had the guts to color my hair, tho. Or the guts to play around with lipstick colors. I’ve anywez got hardly any make-up skills and end up eating my lipstick in abt 15 mins.

  30. Bright colors rock, don’t they? Growing up, nail polishes always were red or maroon (thanks to amma) and such dark colors and lipsticks were bright too (and that was probably cos the shade had to be bright for the stage performances) and I discovered pastel shades when I went to college/started working when I saw my room-mates had pastel shades. After a fleeting affair with them, realized that I am “bright” girl and pastel ones don’t suit me. So they are all out of the window now. My choice of colors in clothes hover around the red, orange, rusk shades so much that my friends/husband have threatened that they will throw my new piece of cloth out the door if I get one more in that shade 😀

    Sling bags – I heart them. Pictures please?

  31. So pretty pretty…lovely hands and feet. I firmly believe no colour is bad for any complexion but havng said that I think our south asian complexion is the best out there. We can carry off such colours and combinations thereof including siver and gold jewelery. Awesome.
    Since childhood i have somewhat had a ‘mature’ sense of dressing. My mom is the silk-khadi-cotton type of woman- looks her school principal part to the T. Maybe it rubbed off on me- so even now i find myself almost always in ethnic indian wear-lots of khadi/silk/cottons, very fab india type. So far i havent felt the need to change, i like my style sense but see your point in the post. Inspite of what every one is syaing over here including you, I always stayed away from pinks and pastels on hands and feet because I felt it didnt suit my dusky complexion. i always have worn solid/blocked colours on hands and feet!!! Esp no pink on the face and most certainly not lipgloss-makes my oily face look more shiny.
    I used to be very proud of my feet-had such pretty ones but 3 yrs ago got injured on the left big thumb which never healed due to diabetes and now i am left with a dead/fungus ridden nail….i never show it, but there are days when it makes me really sad…i mean, it makes me really sad. 😦
    I so enjoyed this post MM. Love your taste. Now some troll will come and act nasty with all your admiring fans….

  32. Just wondering….if any of your readers know some kind of treatment for fungal problems in nail beds?? Maybe we could share a tip or two?? I have heard a pinch of haldi in a tsp of hot mustard oil will help…has anyone any idea?

  33. I’ve realized a lot of the “color” advice that’s dished out by well-meaning aunties in India is……well, wrong. I’ve realized over the years that pastels and nudes look much better on fair-skinned people than dark (for anyone who actually cares about that cr@p). And that red/orange/fuschia/bright colors look great on Indian skin.

    As a teenager, I remember reading an article on Catherine Zeta-Jones that said her olive skin was “made for wearing reds” and wondering why they said that. Wasn’t she “darker” than the average Hollywood actor?

    I also remember being surprised when a blonde, blue-eyed classmate once complimented me on my outfit and said, “I wish I could wear that hot pink…I look totally washed out in it with my skin tone.”

    I think it’s got something to do with the fair = good-looking equation in a lot of Indian people’s heads. Because, you see, washed out is sometimes the same as a little fairer.

  34. Am not a make-up and polish person, but love clothes and shoes. For the longest time I wore mostly black, but the husband got tired of the goth look…and that’s how I got to experimenting. Now my wardrobe is tastefully colorful, my favorite shoes are a pair of sexy red shoes! I was “miserably skinny” as well..these days I look much better in my jeans than I ever did as a skinny thing!

  35. Hi MM,

    How timely! There was recently a discussion in the NY Times that you might find very interesting. It is titled: “Why did wild nail polish go mainstream?” and has several ‘experts’ weighing in….it is a fun read. Here’s a link:

    Btw, I realized after reading your post how wary I am of color…it is indeed all that conditioning. Have to take that brave step of going for my first bright color on my nails! Your post inspires me to try!! 🙂

  36. hav tried most of purples, voilets etc on lips and nails.
    but npw i stick to brown, bronze lipsticks
    am more adventurous with nails tho- silver, gold, purple, mauve, browns, i love a coppery gold / chrome green gold color tho…

  37. I have given up lady-like hand bags too. I carry sling bags – make me feel like i am jet setting all the time – and i love the feeling.

    I love red nails – on my fingertips and toes, and have never cared abt what people say.

    I also have very wild-child mad hair whihc i just let loose. people tell me to do something – i dont. That look is very me 🙂

  38. MM, love your white kurti!!! and good abt u losing your perceived image of self, thats what keeps most of us from doing the things we want to! cheers to the red and pink season 🙂

  39. The perceived image of self – love that phrase.
    I am not a lipstick-nailpolish-manicure-pedicure person. But I love colours- all of them-at times altogether – chappals,clothes,bags,earrings,chokers,beads – they are my palette. On my face – the only colour allowed is black kajal. I went through a blue/green eye liner phase in college thanks to the terrible fashions way back then but got over it soon enough.
    My perceived image of self is that I can wear what i feel like even if it is yesterday’s trashed fashion style. Not here to match any standards being set by anyone. My panju relatives fondly called me jhalli, or politely, very simple. I wear it as a badge of honour – no panju prettiness for me please.

    • Hey! Not allowed to joke at the expense of panjus. I am going to come back as one in my next janam since I didn’t marry one in this janam. I am not a big one for mani-pedis, but I appreciate the way panjus come out in their dazzling best at weddings. I like the simplicity of a kanjeevaram and a bunch of mallipoo… but how can you deny the beauty also in the precision with which they dress? its too much effort for me, but I can still appreciate it in them.

      • you can have my relatives and make them happy by agreeing to get your eye brows plucked. 🙂 my aunt begged me to before i was to get married and even soon after.
        i have punj baroque in my community. my husband belongs to the land of gold. you want to save my child?

        • Your child got saved the moment she got the two of you. And you know I want to marry a Panju only second to a Mallu, right? You guys are my favourite combination. Hell, I’d like to be your child! The closest I am coming is living in Delhi and in the most wannabe fashion, adopting Mallu names for my nephew to call me.

          • i am called peramma by my niece and nephew. makes me sound rather dignified. you could take that on.
            and when called peramma, reply- haanji (pronounced hainji ). then you have struck the perfect mallu-punj combination.
            thats the way i do it. 🙂

            • oh you rude rude woman. you awful woman. i take up cudgels on behalf of all punjabis (who no doubt will wonder who died and made me rakhwalaa) 🙂

  40. Been the pastel girl. Done with the stupidity of worrying about perceptions.

    My thinking of late: Everyone looks beautiful in every color. It’s the person who adds color to colors. err….do I make any sense?!

  41. “I hate the damn women commenting on my spotty skin and asking me if I want to buy something to conceal it.”..Very true.
    Another place where all they do to sell you their most expensive services are beauty parlours. They go on and on about how I am wrinkling, and skin is dry and heels are cracking.

  42. Me was a pastel girl too in clothes and used to have all my footwear in black (chappals, peep-toes, slip-on, pumps – all black), have now moved to colored footwear (read – white, maroon, browns, beige’s). next want to go to daring colors – red, yellow, blue….

  43. I’m in a happy place where I wear whatever I feel like, and really don’t bother about the chic and the glossy. I wear what makes me happy, and everything ‘suits’ happy!
    Doesn’t really matter what I look like to the world.

  44. So obsessed with myself, had to come back to say that since I’ve known you, I’ve seen you in lovely rich colours which look great on you. Love the scary nail paint:)
    And the bags.Post pics, na, of the bags.
    I have a photograph of me in college, wearing a pale pink frosted lipper that was much in fashion then. It looks so yucky now- all wraith like(:

    • 🙂 Yes, you’ve known me after I stopped thinking of myself as delicate and pastel! And yes, lets harass that useless woman into blogging. I’m hoping some of my readers will hit her over the head with something.

  45. same same! minus the gorgeous hands and feet! :p it was M who made me try all the new colours. bright hues all around! thank god for that! 🙂 and to go for the big stuff! earrings and necklaces! and try something always out of my comfort zone! much fun it is, no?!

    i hope to get my toenails painted brighter this time! 🙂


  46. i want to try all those beautiful shades sooooooooo desperatly but my sweet heart tells me i look like a dracula in lipsticks so i have stopped painting my lips at all. but yes with toes nails… i paint them deep blue and blacks… just love them

  47. i spent the first 18 years of my life thinking brown and gray were my favourite colours.
    I went to college and started shopping for myself realized that not only was the colour of sunset (all the shades) my favourite, they also looked great on me!

    I also recently started using red lip liners. Gives a more powdery effect which looks greaaat! 😀

  48. After decades (a lifetime?) of admiring other people’s red nails and saying no-that’s-not-for-me, I took the plunge a couple of years ago. And boy! My feet looked gorgeous. They had never looked like that before and I mourned the loss of all those years when I could have been proud of my feet. I promised myself no more pastels, but they do creep in every now and then. But red it is for the days when I need cheering up or for the times when I look in the mirror and don’t recognise myself anymore. I’m still looking for the perfect red lipstick. The ones I’ve tried on make me look like an elderly aunt. Will hop on to your new found site and check out the goodies asap. Thanks for the tip!

    • Ask the girls at the counter, wear something that doesn’t clash on the day you’re trying it out, and remove all mental blocks. When you look in the mirror, don’t prep yourself to scream in horror!

  49. Can so so so relate to this post. It’s so much about the conditioning, isn’t it? I grew up thinking a lot of things will not suit me, but later, I realised it was all in the brain. As I matured, I began trying out a lot of new stuff (new to me) and loved it. From jeans (I never wore them to college!!), to skirts to lipsticks to short kurtis and patialas – I changed my ‘perceived image of self’ to include them and I loved the result.

  50. Oh my lord lady you have prettyyyyyyyyyyyyy hands!!!! All long and slender and nice..OK I sound like I have a hand fetish!! But I have tiny, child hands! 😦 I wear every colour I can get my hands on. The brighter the better. Though I stay away from browns….I think they bum me out a bit! The only thing I stay away from is nail art, you know the kind with fake nails, diamante and stick ons…eww! Freak me out completely. I have horrible visions of running my hands through my hair and getting stuck!

  51. Pingback: Thank You, Adele « The Wild Child

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