#Video – HUDA Beauty: How This Finance Major is taking over the Makeup World

In just about 3 hours of it being uploaded, the video discussing Clarke Beauty’s liquid matte lip color, uploaded over Huda Kattan’s Instagram handle, has amassed over 400,000 views, and nearly 400 comments. It is therefore, extremely surprising to learn that many years ago, celebrity makeup artist and mega beauty influencer, Huda Kattan had cried over dinner in front of her family, uncertain about what she wanted to do in life.

Love her @ccclarkebeauty ❤❤❤ #hudabeautyliquidmatte in Flirt

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#tb @monakattan ❤❤❤

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In response to the demand from her followers to know her story, Kattan released a heartwarming video over her YouTube channel a few months ago, describing her journey from being a struggling part-time beauty blogger to one of the biggest beauty influencers of today.

Counted among the top 10 beauty bloggers in the world, with over 17 million followers over Instagram, Huda Kattan’s story of walking down the path of an unconventional choice of career with supreme passion is both inspiring and accolade worthy. Growing up in Tenessee (she eventually moved back to Dubai in her adult life) Kattan harbored a tremendous affinity for makeup since her teenage years but decided to study Finance at the University of Michigan. In spite of enjoying the mathematical subjects, she continued to curate makeup reviews and volunteered to do free makeup for college and university fashion shows. It was this passion for makeup, that prompted her sisters and family members to encourage her to attend makeup school, and consequently take up beauty blogging (at the time, of course, they weren’t aware of the explosive potential of Kattan’s work).

Struggling financially, a pregnant, Kattan followed a strict work schedule, of conducting makeup sessions from early morning till afternoon, followed by a few hours of posting and scheduling her blog posts before stepping out again to network at social events. In her video, she describes her euphoria, upon receiving a comment from a visitor from Japan (her first comment from any visitor), after about 12 months of blogging. She recalls working even harder, to fiercely defend her passion for blogging in front of her dad, who was worried that her work wasn’t leading anywhere.

Even after making significant headway into social media, and making her presence felt in a remarkable manner, she was still unable to monetize her blog to its best potential, and therefore, had to continue working as a makeup artists, to earn her living. It was only after an explosive response to the makeup she did for the women of the Royal family in Dubai, that her social media following grew to massive proportions.

Even then, her initial idea of selling eyelashes did not convince most of the distributors in Dubai and the Middle East. At the insistence of her family, and with the help of a $ 6,000 loan from her elder sister, Huda managed to create the complete product and convince a helpful distributor to help them in getting stocked at the Sephora outlet, at the Dubai Mall. Her company has since then, broken all records, becoming the most sold item at the coveted outlet, breaking out as a popular beauty brand, with a wide range of makeup and beauty products.

hudabeautylashes

Pic Courtesy: Hudabeauty.com

Echoing sentiments of most small scale businesses (or even ideas), starting out on their own, Huda Kattan seems to have definitely “pushed through” (in her own words), tough situations, with patience and commitment to her passion, and fortunately, her profession.

Watch the video here –

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#Video – Vidya Iyer, The Mashup Diva Who is Taking Over YouTube, and Catching Everyone’s Attention From Diplo to Shahrukh Khan

Jay Sean just became seriously old fashioned.

Because YouTube superstar Vidya Iyer, just gave a whole new dimension to East meets West music, beyond Bhangra Beats set to American Rap. The singer has been garnering global audiences with her YouTube Mashup channel, Vidya Vox, belting out exhilarating combinations of Indian, English track covers, punctuated with her own concocted spins.

Iyer launched her first Mashup in April 2015, covering the songs Big Girls Cry (originally composed and sung by SIA) and Kabhi Jo Badal Barse, and since then has then garnered over 90+ Million views over YouTube. With her videos covering works of Major Lazer, and Chainsmokers, she has managed to catch the attention of superstars Shahrukh Khan and Hritik Roshan, along with international artists such as Diplo. A psychologist major from George Washington University (she was born in Chennai and raised in Virginia), Iyer acquired Carnatic Music training from DK Nagarajan. Asides from performing at the White House, and Webster Hall, she featured in works by the Shankar Tucker Band as well.

Watch her slay this Tove Lo & Jiya Re combination, in her purple-green mermaid hair and silver chokers.

 

#Stories- The Woman Behind Priyanka Chopra’s Slaying of US Entertainment: Anjula Acharia Bath, Media Scion & Pop Culture Creator

At this year’s People’s Choice Awards, draped in soft pink, Priyanka Chopra, let out an irresistible, shy victory wave, on being announced as the winner of the Favourite Dramatic TV Actress category. Amidst the standing ovation, one couldn’t miss the unforgettable, melt-your-heart, expression of triumph that erupted on Anjula Acharia Bath’s face, as she did a euphoric spring, next to a gloating Chopra.

screen-shot-2017-01-25-at-2-09-43-pm

Counted in the lists of Billboard International Power Player, Forbes Most Powerful Women, and ELLE’s #WomenInTech, 43-year old Anjula Acharia is not just the woman behind “the breakout star from India” – Priyanka Chopra, but among the most powerful, new age pop-culture creators of today. Rightly called as the “unstoppable force” in bridging the gap between technology, pop culture, and Hollywood.

An entrepreneur, investor, and now a full-time partner at Trinity Ventures, Acharia has always had her heart set on pulling South Asia into mainstream (Western) media and entertainment. And with PC claiming two People’s Choice Awards over the past 2 years, becoming a member of the Baywatch crew, slaying the red carpet at the Golden Globes, between singing alongside Pitbull, being featured in the National Football League, and becoming the brand ambassador for the iconic American fashion brand, GUESS – Acharya seems to have done more than just fine.

Growing up in the UK as the daughter of Punjabi immigrant parents, Acharia suffered during her school days, at the hands of gross misrepresentation of South Asian culture, in the West (and consequent bullying that accompanied such presumptions). The desire to break away from stereotypes, and reintroduce Desi culture, coupled with her husband’s serious love for mixing bhangra beats with Hip Hop, led the couple to start DesiHits! in the year 2006 (Los Angeles). Starting out as a side project, they developed DesiHits!, initially, as a podcast to create and mix, Bollywood and Indian fusion music (it later grew into a full-fledged content website about Indian, American celebrity news and music). The couple quit their jobs shortly when they were given the opportunity to raise their initial rounds of investment $ 6 Million, by Trident Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and American hedge fund, DE Shaw.

Acharia’s vision for creating a “dent” in the popular culture, was shared by Interscope Records head, Jimmy Iovine, who eventually came on board (along with Israeli venture capitalist, Aviv Nevo) as a mentor and investor, for the company, and Acharia personally. The company became a full blown media and entertainment outfit in the year 2010, in a Joint Venture with Universal Records, taking Acharia’s original vision of introducing western audiences, to South Asian artists, as part of mainstream media, to a dizzying level of execution (as proof, PC was signed the very same year by the company). Acharia by then had already organized a slew of successful Indian collaborations with international artists that included Britney Spears (with Sonu Nigam), Lady Gaga (with the Salim- Suleiman duo), and Rihanna (with Culture Shock). 

She started out Priyanka Chopra with collaborations across the prominent music circuit, first with an English song release (In My City), and consequently, the Pitbull featured collaboration, Exotic. While Acharia had to work extremely hard to maneuver around both the Indian and American markets, which had wide differences from the way business functioned and the schedule of a supremely busy artist, the larger challenges had not yet emerged.

During an interaction at one of your typical Los Angeles styled evening entertainment circuit settings, Acharia bonded with Keli Lee (TV & Casting, at Disney, ABC TV) about the shift of pop culture towards TV, and desire to move away from all white crews, and promote talent from other cultures. This resonated with an earlier conversation with her mentor Iovine, about the growing importance of TV, demonstrated by soaring popularity of series such as House of Cards,  Game of Thrones, Suits, among others. While Acharia emerged crystal clear with her vision on the next steps, it was altogether another challenge to convince a Bollywood big screen start to even consider TV. As discussed by Acharia in one her recent interviews with Mint, Lee apparently sent out over 25 scripts to Chopra, before the star decided to go with the character of Alex Parrish, falsely accused of committing a terrorist act on American soil.

Over the past decade, in addition to working on her own venture, Acharya has actively acquired the role of being a passionate mentor to budding startup founders, and has invested in companies herself, that include TheMuse.com (a career search site for well educated men and women in the age group 22-39), The Hunt (an online shopping portal), and more recently ClassPass (platform for booking gym memberships). She is most famous for her afternoon “Earl Grey Tea” sessions with entrepreneurs, tech co-founders, and media enthusiasts, where she animately discusses the latest in technology and entertainment.

Amidst her vibrant, affable, Instagram feed, Acharya, has posted a quote that reads – “What If I Fall? Oh, My Darling, What If You Fly?” She remains true to the words, not just by soaring the high skies with her stories of success, but also by giving flight to others, working as hard, under her mentorship. 

@payal222 love this. Thx u!

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Pics Courtesy: Pinterest/Elle, AnujaAcharia | Instagram/anjula_acharya | Twitter/anjulaacharia

#PhotoStory – Patriarchy Begins Suffocation of Women’s Rights in the Newly Installed Trump Regime

Did this really happen?

While the world witnessed an Inspiring March for Equal Rights over the weekend, one that not just drew out bright, pink hats, but voices from all professions, locations, religions, and sexual orientation, we went right back in time at the start of the work week with this photograph.

donald-trump

Photo Courtesy: Guardian

 

What do we see in this Photo?

The world looked on in shock, disgust, and increasing fear as US President Donald Trump, executed documents that banned federal funds towards non-government organizations (and agencies), that discuss, promote abortion as a family planning measure (or even generally) outside the US borders. For the uninitiated, this piece of legislation was revoked under the Obama regime (it was reinstated during the Bush regime and under previous Republican leadership). Among the most affected with the decision, are several organizations working with developing nations, which stand frustrated without the ability to openly discuss the use of abortion as a measure to initiate family planning, or even as a population control measure (especially in locations where resources are restricted).

Twitterati trolled the specific picture, to highlight the irony of the all-male body taking a decision towards a specific procedure, most central, critical to women.

 

 

Nicknamed as the “Global Gag Law”, the Democrats and Republicans have historically been at loggerheads over the issue, right from its introduction by former President Ronald Reagan in the year 1984. (It is officially called as the Mexico City Policy, as the information ban was first implemented in Mexico City at a UN Conference). The President’s personal views have oscillated right from the ’90s (when he had famously promoted the right to choose), till his campaign messages that attributed murder charges for women, who got abortion(s) done (owing to public fury he later on changed his stance to calling people performing the procedure as murderers, and not the women).

 

 

How about getting winter boots every year, for free? Check this out!

Wouldn’t everyone just lap up a free subscription to avail a classic pair winter boots every year? Reality Check – no one really provides such an offer. Something you can do, however, is just take a few simple steps towards creating a somewhat similar offer on your own – by investing your OWN money. Before you roll your eyes and close the page, let’s clarify that investing is not always that risky or complicated. And lending an ear or two, may result in some genuine financial gain.

Ever heard of mutual funds? While their TV advertising sucks significantly, they aren’t as useless as effective saving instruments. There are many mutual funds available in the market, which provide a return much higher than a savings account, with a risk comparable to a savings account (where your money is currently stashed).

Dial back a bit. To start, a Mutual fund is a pool of money from multiple investors, which an experienced fund manager invests in stocks, bonds, and many other investment instruments to generate higher returns for these investors.

Debt mutual funds invest in a mix of debt or fixed income securities and have a lower risk compared to mutual funds investing in equities (stocks). What’s more, you can sell this whenever you want your money back.

Comparison:

Savings accounts in India provide an interest rate of 4%-6%, varying based on the bank. Long term debt funds on the other hand, provide a return in the range of 9.5%-14.7% per annum. And these numbers are the average return of this category, the best performing fund in this category has provided a return of 20.5% in FY 2016 and 11.8% per annum over the last two years.

Source: Moneycontrol

Amount invested Savings account (@5%) Debt Fund (@12%) Difference (after 1yr) Difference (after 2yrs)
              50,000                   52,500         56,000                 3,500                       7,595
            100,000                 105,000       112,000                 7,000                    15,190
            150,000                 157,500       168,000               10,500                    22,785

Bottom line: Your money invested in such a fund can earn you more shoes, bags, books et all, than sitting idle in a savings account.

Now:

What you are thinking What I have to say to that
I have never invested before There is always a first time. You can start with a small amount.
I don’t have Rs. 50,000 to invest right away One can start with a minimum of Rs. 5,000. A good idea is to set aside Rs. 5,000 every month and voila, after an year it would be Rs. 60,000 invested
So much hassle for a pair of boots! As the amount and time increases, this can go way beyond boots
I won’t be able to track this daily For a low risk investment like a debt mutual fund, daily tracking is not required due to low volatility.
May be later Check the table above to see the amount/boots that would be lost due to ‘later’
Quite persistent! How to go ahead Follow the simple steps below

Convinced? You need to take just these two steps:

  • Open a Demat account if you don’t have one. Trust me, it is not that difficult!

There are multiple ways to buy mutual funds. However, since this article is aimed at New Investors, the easiest way would be to open a Demat account with your savings bank.

Many Indian banks (ICICI, Axis, HDFC, Kotak etc.) offer a 3 in 1 account which enables hassle free investment with minimal paperwork. Just ask for a Demat account at your bank and one of the bank’s representative can visit you once and your account will be live soon! If they don’t provide it, please see the link below:

http://moneysaverindia.com/finance/comparison-of-demat-accounts-in-india/

  • Once your account is live, you need to buy a Debt Mutual Fund. You can start off by buying one of these mutual funds,

http://www.moneycontrol.com/mutual-funds/nav/icici-pru-long-term-gilt-dir/MPI1203

http://www.moneycontrol.com/mutual-funds/nav/hdfc-gilt-fund-long-term-plan/MHD013

How much should I invest and how to withdraw?

You should keep aside enough balance in your Savings account for daily needs and contingencies. The rest can be put into one or more debt mutual funds.

When you need the money back, you can just sell the mutual fund from the demat account, the money would be credited back to your savings account in a few days, depending on which firm you have opened your demat account with.

Some mutual funds have an ‘exit load’, which is a fee charged if the money is withdrawn before a specified time. With just a bit of research you can easily find funds with zero exit load as well, meaning you can pull out the money whenever you want.

Then, sit back, relax and just wait for that end of season sale to buy a lot more than what you had planned for.

 

Michelle Obama Nailed Her Thank You Notes on The Tonight Show

 

The creepy-as-hell piano man James playing Thank You Music, as Jimmy Fallon overacts out his Thank You notes, is something we are fairly used to even in the Indian geography (Thanks to Comedy Central and WiFi). But it was Michelle Obama that really slayed audiences, in her recent farewell episode, with her perfectly timed comic thank you notes over the creepy-but-the-same-thank-you-music, played out by the show’s band.

The first one came right out in gratitude for her husband where she thanked him “for not being a lame duck, but her very own silver fox”, followed by a round smart shots belted out at Trump’s inauguration day, replacing “inauguration day with Let’s Move Day (!)” and highlighting her higher education program amidst a “4 more years” pun. (For the uninitiated, the slogan Let’s Move refers to Obama’s ongoing efforts to reduce child obesity). Pouring dollops of love on her BoB, she comforted audiences that she has in fact, effectively thrown out those Mom Jeans from the former President’s wardrobe. The show stealer at the end is thrown by show host Fallon, extending her love for physical fitness, encouraging her to “Run (!)” for President in 2020.

Watch the video below –

 

 

 

 

#Music – Bebe Rexha Hits the Desert in Her Jan Video, for the Song “I Got You”

The temperature just soared this winter, with the uber talented, singer & songwriter releasing her latest music video for the track “I Got You” from her upcoming album, “All Your Fault: Point I”, already crossing over 30+ million views in less than 2 weeks from launch.

Albanian born, American artist Blete “Bebe’ Rexha, is no stranger to pop music glamor, featuring and co-writing some of her best works for artists such as Rihanna (“Monster” featuring Eminem), David Guetta and Nicki Minaj (she sang backing vocals and co-wrote “Hey Mamma”). “I Got You” is from her debut solo album scheduled to be released this February (her single was released earlier in October 2016, followed by the video in January 2017).

Interestingly, her looks from the new album seemed to have found some serious amount of inspiration from Instagram style icon, Kylie Jenner’s beauty picks. Starting from Jenner’s nude makeup looks, paired with oversized jackets and minimalist body suits, to the crop top red cape suit, that the singer struts around in the parched, desert backdrop. Is that why we see Jenner’s return to dark hair tones?

The Kylie Jenner Classic Nude Body Suit paired with a coat of Ash Blonde Hair 

 

Night 😇

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Nude Suit, paired with Blonde Hair in Bebe Rexha’s latest music video – “I Got You”

 

 

In a radio interview, the singer admitted that she had made an alternate music video to her song earlier, but did not use the same, in view of it’s explicit content. “It was actually too sexual so I had to get rid of it. It was too much,” confessed the singer, as the primary reason behind her decision to re-shoot the video.

In her recent Twitter post, the singer clearly could not contain her excitement of crossing 30 million views on YouTube, and praises pouring in from all over the globe. Exciting times indeed – wondering which of the Kardashians she will pick out to acquire inspiration for her next video.

Catch the official music video for “I Got You” below

#Music – How Ninet Tayeb’s “Subservient” is mixing Mediterranean Influences with Surreal Eroticism in her latest video

There is a hooded figure lurking around this year’s alternate music scene, effortlessly seducing listeners with her haunting vocals, sprinkled with inviting doses of Persian surrealism. Losing her hood only at the very end, Ninet Tayeb is literally ripping out our souls this winter, as she takes away her throbbing (bleeding) heart at the close of her latest video titled “Subservient”.

While Israel born Ninet Tayeb is currently among the new names to be added to the Los Angeles music circuit, she brings years of fame and adoration from her home country, as a celebrated musician, DJ, actor and model. The singer and songwriter’s latest single, is drawing increasing admiration from listeners world over, for both the gothic, penetrating video theme, and Tayeb’s piercing, almost dark in color vocals.

The visuals of “Subservient” are set in an opulent yet, ghostly manor, with distinguished characteristics inside each of the house areas (reflective of individual sub-themes, as we get to know during the course of the video). The camera follows an oddly romanticized version of a date between two individuals,  set amidst an idiosyncratic environment, even as they are surrounded at every step by overwhelmingly ghost like female figurines (do they represent human emotions, we wonder).

Tayeb’s vocals (that by the way, bear striking resemblances to the melancholic expressions of Lana Del Rey), are raw, infused with heartbroken grief, teeming with desire for revenge, pain. And much to our delight, her lyrics are effectively punctuated with some great Mediterranean beats, around the chorus and the bridges.

With the upcoming release of her American debut album this winter, Ninet Tayeb seems to be sufficiently ready to breakthrough the US charts with ease (she has already released 4 albums in Israel, mostly in Hebrew). Her short visit to the country in 2015, had created a significant buzz around her musical talent, leaving audiences wanting to see more of her performing live.

Her rendition of “Crazy” and “Hallelujah”, on stage is evidence enough to demonstrate maniac enthusiasm during her live performances. Luckily, her fans were treated to a high profile tour this year, where Tayeb performed (and continues to) in parts of the United States, Canada as well as Europe. She is also among the featured guest vocalists for the hugely awaited Steven Wilson tour last year, and has collaborated with the Porcupine Tree fame singer, songwriter on multiple occasions, the most famous of them being, her rendition of Wilson’s “Routine”.

The billboard charts seem to be definitely counting down days for Nina Tayeb to proclaim her undeniable status on the top of the list. And with the sounds of “Subservient” already striking a chord with global fans over her YouTube channel, that doesn’t seem to be a big problem for the talented artist.

Emma Watson’s Beauty & The Beast is Redefining Feminism Like No Other

The Internet is ‘ooh’ing and ‘aww’ing over Emma Watson’s gorgeous portrayal of enchanting Belle, from our childhood, dressed in the beautiful classic yellow gown. But what’s even better is that the story is rumored to be resplendent with some innovative changes. 

David Hoberman’s adaptation of the popular Disney story, Beauty and the Beast, has concluded shooting and is gearing up for a 2017 release. Earlier this week, the Entertainment Weekly released some jaw-dropping imagery of the upcoming movie, it’s characters, and settings, leaving Disney lovers in a pursuit for more. 

There is an equal amount of excitement on a few quirky, nonetheless progressive changes from the original character sketches that the actors and the production team have co-opted for. For instance, Belle has been portrayed as an inventor, even though it was her father who was the inventor in the original story (Belle’s father has been given the role of music box maker). In the movie, Belle supposedly invents a washing machine to do the dishes, so that she can pursue her love for books, in an uninterrupted manner. After all, no less can be expected when Belle is being played by Watson, who has worked actively in the field of gender equality and women’s rights.

Another interesting detail is the over pronounced “beastly” look of the Belle’s beast, as seen in the latest photo releases. Unlike the Disney interpretation, where audiences were treated to an almost handsome Beast, Hoberman’s team seems to be staying closer the traditional definition.

The movie teaser, is decorated with fairy tale visions of the old castle, dazzling interiors, polished flooring, ornate chandeliers, and exquisite curtains. But what truly leaves viewers wanting for more, is the picturesque rose scene, introducing Emma Watson, as the new Belle.

It is definitely going to be an eager, exciting wait as the movie goes into theaters in March, 2017.

#Movietrailer

KENZO world perfume and it’s inner eye connection with Hinduism

How a perfume video got it’s freak on while laughing at an entire industry. 

Undertaking the mundane yet necessary Facebook scroll morning, I came across a perfume video advertisement on my feed, shared by a very talented marketer friend. At the risk of sounding cliche, what I saw ahead blew my mind beyond any perfume ad perception I ever had. A work of drama, chic, crazy and wild – the new KENZO WORLD perfume cuts across boring perceptions of beauty and fragrance, before the end of the 1st minute of the video.

Where flower overdose scenes combined with bedroom prowess are typically used to sell smell, the director of this new video, Spike Jonze starts with similar settings but launches into a riotous choreography, set to the percussions of “Ape Drums” by Mutant Brain feat. Sam Spiegal Assassin. Along with Qualley, the viewers open their “inner eye” to peel out out their wild, wicked and fierce within a tie strung world, as free spirit takes on new meaning altogether.

As global audiences watch in amazement, the point of the ad is driven much faster closer home. Simply because of our historical familiarity with the esoteric concept of the third eye, most often discussed in association with the Hindu God, Lord Shiva. The inner eye opens pathways to realms beyond the known and provides thought beyond ordinary sight. And as the dancer unleashes the madness within her, fragrant enchantments suddenly go much beyond ordinary romanticism, and  establish a powerful bond with us.

One of last year’s most engaging video advertisements, KENZO has managed to talk about the world of beauty in a fresh manner, sans the saxophone, but with electric base, and some serious dance moves. Waiting for