Sotheby’s Bourbon Parma Family Jewels Auction Yields $53.1 Million Thanks to Marie-Antoinette Jewels

Earlier this year, I broke the news here about the Royal Jewels from the Bourbon Parma Family going up for sale at Sotheby’s. The White Glove Sale took place on Wednesday with 100 percent of the 100 lots, including pieces owned by Marie-Antoinette, selling. Additionally, one piece, a special pearl owned by Queen Marie-Antoinette, broke the world record for a natural pearl sold at auction – going for $36.2 million.

Queen Marie Antoinette’s Pearl was the big-ticekt item at the Royal Jewels from the Bourbon Parma Family auction by Sotheby’s November 2018Sotheby’s

The biggest-ticket item, the 18th century natural pearl pendant that sold for $36.2 million, was originally estimated to sell for about $1 to $2 million. In fact, the entire auction was initially expected to draw about $7 million in sales, but set a world record, for being the largest royal jewelry sale ever. Heretofore, the record was $50.3 million garnered at the Duchess of Windsor auction nearly three decades ago in 1987. Of the final total auction sales of $53.1 million, 10 pieces owned by the famous queen comprised the majority, at $42.7 million. The second largest sale was that of an important three-strand pearl and diamond necklace owned by the queen, which sold for $2.278 million.

It is said that before she was taken captive and later beheaded, Marie Antoinette had wrapped her jewelry – pearls, diamonds and rubies – in cotton and sent them along with some clothes in a trunk to Brussels. They then traveled to Vienna where the Austrian emperor was Marie-Antoinette’s nephew. He returned them to the queen’s daughter Madame Royale in 1795 and then passed in into the Bourbon Parma family, which put these pieces up for auction at Sotheby’s.

A model shows a stunning diamond pendant, supporting a natural pearl of exceptional size (26 mm x 18 mm) that belonged to Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France and will be auctioned in the ÒRoyal Jewels from the Bourbon-Parma FamilyÓ sale at SothebyÕs Geneva on 12 November 2018 (estimate: $1-2 million), at Sotheby’s on June 12, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Bowles/Getty Images for Sotheby’s)Sotheby’s

Other pieces up for sale in the auction included  jewels owned by later generations of the Bourbon Parma family. Fetching nearly $1 million was a diamond ara taht had belonged to Maria Anna of Austria in the early 20th century and was made by the Austrian jeweller Hübner.  Most of hte bidding during the auction — with bidders from 43 countriies  participating came in the form of online bids, with 25 percent being newcomers to Sotheby’s.

“Tonight we saw the Marie Antoinette factor work its magic. No other queen is more famous for her love of jewels, and her personal treasures, pearls and diamonds that survived intact the tumults of history, captivated the interest of collectors around the world,” says Daniela Mascetti, Sotheby’s Jewelry Chairman in Europe.


Jewellery exhibition off to a glittering start

A model showing a necklace at a jewellery exhibition in Vijayawada on Friday.

A three-day B2B exhibition Grand Abhushanam, organised by the All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (AIGJDC), was inaugurated at SS Convention Centre here on Friday by Municipal Administration Minister P. Narayana.

Addressing the gathering, Mr. Narayana said about four lakh people were dependent on making jewellery for their livelihood, and the government was committed to extending support to them and entrepreneurs looking to invest in the sector.

The government was giving incentives to attract investments, which jewellery makers should utilise, he said.

AIGJDC vice-chairman Anantha Padmanaban said road shows were conducted across the southern region in the last few weeks and jewellers were excited to visit the exhibition.

AIGJDC director Ashok Kumar Jain said the exhibition was intended not only to boost the trade in small towns and cities, but connect manufacturers from small towns with local trade bodies. Exhibition co-convener Rajesh Rokde, A.P. Bullion Gold, Silver and Diamond Merchants’ Association president K. Vijaya Kumar and chief organiser Shantilal Jain were present.


From Sock Crocs to bum bag sandals: fashion’s perfect storm of shoe ugliness

Ugly fashion is big business, but for shoes, it has now become something of an arms race. This week saw the launch of the $140 (£105) “Sport” Sock Croc – part Croc, part tube sock – and the Nike Benassi bum bag sandals, which appear to be just that.

Although aesthetically worlds apart, they do share some time-saving, practical principles. The Sock Croc is a collaboration between Crocs and 90s New York brand Alife, which bring together two elements of the ugly shoe trend in one – Crocs and sock sandals – while paying “homage to the socks-and-Crocs lifestyle”, whatever that is. The Benassi bum bag sandal, meanwhile, is a slider with a small zipped bum bag in lieu of a foot strap, allowing you to carry very small things on your feet.

While both sound like a joke fleshed out in a marketing meeting, and quite possibly both are – the fastest way to sell a pair of shoes, it seems, is to describe them as ugly – they actually mark a cornerstone moment for a trend that has become impossible to ignore. For one, it’s harder to find normal shoes than ugly shoes – see the clompy Balenciaga Triple S trainers, sky-high Crocs at Balenciaga, thigh-high trainer boots at this week’s Louis Vuitton Cruise show, and the trickle-down effect to the high street at Fila and Topshop. And, second, we seem to be witnessing a perfect storm of elective ugliness. Given ugly shoes are now interbreeding, it might be interesting to see where this trend goes next.

Regardless of how wearable this stuff is, it speaks of a change within the industry and suggests notions of beauty have shifted: that beauty and ugliness are not opposites, but rather aspects of the same thing; that prizing practicality over leg-slimming is OK; that heaven needs hell. Plus, it seems, the uglier the trainer the more on-trend it is, so you might as well commit. As most therapists would say, what is a “normal” shoe anyway?

Loewe’s curved toe trainers

Loewe curved toe trainers.
 Loewe curved toe trainers.

Ugliness rating 10/10

Style rating 7/10

Heron Preston Ugg

Heston Preston x Ugg.
 Heston Preston x Ugg.

Ugliness rating 3/10

Style rating 3/10

Chloé’s new Sonnie sneaker

Chloé Sonnie sneaker.
 Chloé Sonnie sneaker.

Ugliness rating 8/10

Style rating 7/10

Dr Marten Cleater

Dr Martens sandal.
 Dr Martens sandal.

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I was addicted to online shopping! This is how I controlled it

Online shopping, that’s the new bug under the list of behavioural addictions. Some people indulge in it because they hate to invest time and step out to shop, while some do it because of its massive variety and accessibility. However, studies say that the trend has caught particularly with stressed individuals as shopping on the net can provide instant gratification. Whatever the root cause, it is not something that should be taken lightly. A reader of ours, Meha Sindhwani, shares with us her encounter with online shopping addiction and how she chose to combat it.

I have been in a media organization for three years now, the industry that is known to be abreast with everything that goes viral. Also, not to mention, media industry is also known for the high scores of stress it gives to its employees. Though I don’t have hard fact to support my argument but I really think that stress, at least in part, comes from the unfamiliar nature of our job. We never know what may trend or happen in the next second. This has us glued to our seats, overwhelmed by the speed at which the world is moving.Though I like what I do but I would not deny that since the time I have been here, my stress levels have only gone up. I didn’t realize it when it was actually happening but only now that I look in the rear view. And, this stress had many forms of manifestations.

My job required me to stay active on social media platforms. I never realized when I became a junkie from someone who would even browse Facebook just thrice in a week. Being on the mobile so much, I would often browse the various shopping advertisements that showed on my social media feeds. And honestly, I couldn’t help but visit their websites and download their apps.

It started with an order or two every month for the first few months. I loved to order online because it started giving me a happy hit. My most favorite part would be the delivery, which I mostly got done to my office only. All those memes that exaggerate the sense of waiting for an online order, that’s actually me. No kidding.

So gradually, the frequency of my online shopping increased to once in every week. I realized that this was becoming a problem when, towards the end of the month, I would be bankrupt and I would still order clothes, or accessories, or footwear or something or the other, making the payment through my credit cards. And let me tell you, I have never been a credit card person.

Three months went by like this. I paid my credit card bills which would usually be not beyond a certain limit. Then, in the fourth month, I ended up not just crossing that limit, but also doubling it. But I wouldn’t say I was surprised. I knew what I was doing; just that, I couldn’t control it. Some signs that I felt particularly in that month included:

– Browsing shopping apps while travelling, before sleeping and after waking up, basically at all times I could spare. I was surprised myself when during one of the routine night calls, I disconnected because I was sleepy but post that, I browsed a shopping app for 45 minutes.

– Online shopping started making me feel happy. I started looking forward to the time when I would be idle, sometimes just to browse those apps and not even shop.

shutterstock_541434475 shopping online

– Clicking on ‘Buy’ often accompanied guilt and did not take into consideration my financial situation.

– I stopped telling my mother what I bought because she would scold me.

– My cupboard was flowing with clothes, many of them unworn so far and I had to get two new jewellery boxes to contain my accessories.

After having to pay the debilitating bill, I decided that this could not continue anymore. Immediately, I uninstalled all the shopping apps from my phone and reported all their advertisements that stared back at me on social media platforms.

But, by doing so, I was only eliminating my possibility of shopping and not the cause of my shopping problem. I didn’t know how to do that and so, I sought advice from a friend who was pursuing a Phd in psychiatry. It was then I realized that my habit was stemming from stress, majorly at workplace and also because of a recent break-up that I had had, which I earlier thought wasn’t as traumatic as it perhaps was.
I would shop in order to pleasure myself and because the pleasure wouldn’t last, I had to shop again. This was my coping mechanism as it gave me little adrenaline rushes every time I received an order. This has also been proven by many studies, such as one by the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. It said that online shopping reduced sadness. Another one by The Huffington Post concluded that every third person shops online to deal with stress.
My friend told me to reroute my mind, which meant that I needed to destress and unwind. She recommended that I do yoga and whenever I get an impulse to shop, I should recognize the underlying negative emotion that’s driving it. Once I know what the emotion is, I can either write about it, talk about it with a friend or just acknowledge it because even that apparently helps. And yes, it did.
It’s been six months since I have not shopped even a single thing online and I am really happy that I could come this far. Not that I will never shop online now. I will, but only much less frequently and when I really need to buy something and it is a necessity, not otherwise.


7 Reasons To Stop Wearing Shoes In Your House

Your home might be your castle, but that doesn’t mean you have to treat it like some kind of dirty medieval fortress. Taking off your shoes inside can help keep your home in good condition, create a more relaxed atmosphere and cut down on dirt and dust.

However, that’s barely the beginning; keeping those shoes off inside can improve foot health, and overall hygiene around the home. So after reading these top seven reasons for why you shouldn’t wear shoes inside, you’ll probably agree there is pretty much no reason to be keeping those clompers on indoors.

1. It’s already more common than you think

Excuse me for indulging in an argumentum ad populum, but it’s worth pointing out that taking your shoes off inside doesn’t make you some kind of pedantic oddball. On the contrary, you’re weird if you don’t, according to this survey that found 87 percent of Americans take their shoes off indoors. You might be a bit surprised by that figure.

“But wait,” I hear you say, “none of my friends make me take my shoes off at their houses!”

That’s true. Indeed, the same study found around half of Americans don’t ask guests to follow suit. Naturally, this goes a long way towards explaining why everyone seems to think they’re the only ones who go barefoot indoors. The reality is though, that pretty much everyone is already doing it, and you just don’t know it.

2. Your shoes are disgusting

Sorry, but it’s true. Research from the University of Arizona found that a new pair of shoes can attract 440,000 units of bacteria within two weeks. Not only that, but researchers also noted that viruses thrive better on the bottom of your shoes than they do on toilet seats. So your shoes are basically Trojan horses laden with bacteria and viruses, clumping around your supposedly clean house.

3. The disgusting-ness of your shoes is getting everywhere

At this point, you might be wondering if it’s really that bad to wear dirty shoes inside.

Turns out it is. Remember that research from in #2? Those same researchers also looked at just how much bacteria is transferred from shoes to clean surfaces.

On clean tiles, researchers found a 90 percent transfer rate. If you think that’s bad, then don’t even think about carpet. Still, you might think that’s no big deal; indeed, most of the time it isn’t. However, according to Jonathan Sexton, a research assistant at the University of Arizona’s College of Public Health, the research indicates that wearing shoes indoors could be downright dangerous for small children.

Speaking to ABC, she explained that small children can put their hands in their mouths as much as 80 times an hour — those same hands they tend to play on the floor with. “That means that your child can possibly be exposed to every single bacteria that you picked up on your shoe […] all the bacteria from the park, the store, everywhere you went that day,” she said.

Not horrified yet? Well how about the fact that…

4. There’s always poo on your shoes. Always. Sorry.

We all know that depressing feeling when you sink your foot into some dog-do. Next time it happens to you, take solace in the fact that we’re all walking around with poo on our shoes. All day, everyday.

After all, that was pretty much the finding of a research projectcommissioned by the Rockport shoe company (make what you will of that) into just how gross shoes are. As the company discovered, basically the first thing us consumers do when we get hold of their product is — you guessed it — step in poo.

After swabbing 26 shoes worn for at least three months, researchers found all but one pair were infected with coliform bacteria. For the record, coliform bacteria is universally found in the gut and feces of large mammals (like for example, human beings with poor hygiene). While the bacteria aren’t dangerous in themselves, they are often used by health authorities to gauge whether something has been contaminated with fecal matter.

Even the researchers were grossed out by just how much evidence of fecal contamination they found on ordinary shoes. “I’m starting to make myself paranoid,” microbiologist Charles P. Gerba said. “It seems like we step in a lot more poop than I thought.”

5. They’re noisy

Poo isn’t the only threat to your health that your shoes pose indoors. Noise pollution can be genuinely harmful for your health. what’s the noisiest thing in your home? Boots, obviously, but shoes in general. So do yourself and everyone around you a favor, and trade those noisy shoes at the door for some silent slippers.

6. They are destroying your floor

Your shoes are destroying your hardwood floor. Or any even vaguely delicate flooring. Over time, shoes can leave scratches, dings and scuffs that can be expensive or impossible to remove. Save yourself problems in the long run, and just don’t wear shoes inside.

7. Your feet will be healthier

A landmark 2007 study found that shoes have secretly dedicated the past few thousand years to mutating our feet. The study compared 180 modern humans from three population groups (Sotho, European and Zulu) with 2,000-year-old skeletons. Who had the healthiest feet? The 2,000-year-old skeletons, of course.

Somehow, all our technological progress of the past 2000 years has succeeded in making our feet worse off — well, not quite everyone’s. Of the modern humans, the Zulu participants had the healthiest feet. The Zulu participants were also the least likely to wear full closed-in shoes in their daily lives, and most likely to go barefoot.

Researchers point to a number of reasons why our feet are worse off, but perhaps journalist Adam Sternbergh put it best when he said, “Imagine if someone put a cast on your arm when you were three years old and you never took it off. Your arm would stop working. That’s kind of what’s happened with our feet.”

Of course, we can’t all go barefoot all day, but at least at home you can get a reprieve from those devices that have destroyed your feet.

Do you wear shoes indoors? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!


How To Become A Jewellery Designer

Gemstones, diamonds and precious metals: jewellery is born of nature’s finest handiwork. It’s unsurprising, then, that it carries an intrinsic emotional value too. It’s not only the act of buying, receiving or wearing jewellery that invests a particular piece with meaning – jewels are charged with their designers’ experiences and values, too. “It’s important to have a personal relationship with the people or stores that are buying my jewellery,” muses Danish designer Sophie Bille Brahe. “If I made it, I want to make sure it has a good life when it leaves my office.” Thus, jewellery is where personal stories, luxury and traditional craftsmanship intertwine, and any aspiring designer needs to have a handle on a broad mix of artistic, technical and commercial skills. Want to know what it takes? Vogue speaks to six industry leaders for a step-by-step guide to becoming a jewellery designer.

What does a jewellery designer do?

The breadth of a jewellery designer’s job depends on whether you work in-house for a brand or set up on your own. Either way, the most important part of your role is to provide a strong artistic vision. At Bulgari, creative director Lucia Silvestri lays out coloured gems, picks combinations and fixes them in putty to model her preferred constellation. The process involves creating a technical sketch, modelling it with computer-aided design (CAD) software and selecting the stones. Production then follows, starting with a 3D-printed prototype and ending with the work of the goldsmith, which includes metal-casting and stone-setting as well as engraving and enamelling. Unless they are going it alone, most designers won’t be physically involved in this part of the process – but they’ll still need to understand the mechanics of how jewellery is made if they want their designs to be wearable.

Lucia Silvestri.


Guidance from industry leaders and famous jewellery designers

Whether you want to design in-house or run your own brand, the first step is to get educated. And while you can expect to be in school for up to six years, the good news is there’s a lot of flexibility to jewellery design courses. London’s British Academy of Jewellery (BAJ), for example, offers programmes that last from six months to three years, including paid apprenticeships. Depending on the level students apply for, the interview process can include a bench test – in which you’ll show off your measuring, cutting, forming and soldering skills – and a portfolio review. So how do you get that portfolio to the top of the pile? “I would certainly want to see what’s behind a finished piece,” says Sofie Boons, BAJ’s head of academy. Students should always include moodboards and prototypes in their presentations – “so that I can see their thinking, their problem solving, [and] how they have come to a certain solution,” adds Boons.

Alternatively, you could hone in on your preferred craft. Bille Brahe trained as a goldsmith for almost five years at the Copenhagen Technical School of Design & Technology before enrolling on an MA course at London’s Royal College of Art. “Without having the craft, [the design process] becomes quite hollow,” she explains. Or how about gemology? Among Silvestri’s team at Bulgari are graduates of the European Institute of Design (IED), the Academy of Costume and Fashion in Rome, and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Other designers place less emphasis on technical expertise. “I don’t think it’s useful to go deeper if you [want to] create your own brand,” says French designer Anissa Kermiche, who advocates a short technical course to provide the necessary introduction to 3D printing, sketching and stone-setting. It suited her perfectly, combining two technical courses at the BAJ – CAD for jewellery production and Level 2 jewellery manufacturing – with a creative BA in jewellery design at Central Saint Martins.

Lucia Silvestri’s Rome studio.


How do you go from a student to a working jewellery designer?

Silvestri’s advice on getting that first break? “Shadow expert leaders, maybe abroad, even as an office assistant,” she says. And once you’ve got your foot in the door for an interview, you’ll need a strong portfolio of existing work showing competency at technical sketching and CAD. The BAJ advertises jobs through its social channels, but Boons advises students to keep an eye on trade publications and websites such as Benchpeg, Retail Jeweller, The Artists Information Company and The National Association of Jewellers. In some cases, it’s worth reaching out to companies directly, and important to bear in mind that the jewellery trade still relies on word of mouth. Applying for competitions such as HRD Antwerp or Talente in Munich – which in turn can lead to exhibitions – is essential to let yourself be known to as many industry professionals as possible.

The job interview process varies widely. Small businesses might require only one stage, but established companies can involve up to five, including bench tests, interview panels and, in some cases, a written exam. “Research is key,” says Boons. “Students should look into why their skills can contribute to the company, read their strategic plan and see how they could complement it. [Ask yourself] what job could get me the experience that they are looking for? It’s about planning and being resilient.”

Practice makes perfect

If you’ve been hired by a big brand, expect to keep training for the first two years of your career. “School is good, but practice is essential,” sums up Silvestri. “Even if our new recruits have commendable degrees, they always start by copying jewellery sketches from the Bulgari archives.” It’s the same at the Japanese heritage jeweller Mikimoto, where trainees spend 18 months learning Japanese traditional ink and fine-point brush techniques while sketching the entire Mikimoto design archive. The goal is to better understand how to manage your artistic goals with the mechanics of making jewellery. “Pearls are spherical and it’s quite difficult to incorporate round objects into jewellery,” explains Akira Haga, Mikimoto’s general manager of merchandise development. “It’s not something that you can learn in a day or two; you need a lot of experience.”

Akira Haga.

Learn how to communicate

At Mikimoto, designers compete to have their sketches chosen among dozens of other drafts, so it’s important to learn how to sell your design internally. “We line up all the rough designs on a table, followed by each designer’s presentation,” explains Haga, adding that communication skills are also essential between designer and craftsman. It’s this latter relationship that’s essential for a designer to master, as it’s the artisans who will interpret your design. This is easier in smaller houses; Bille Brahe, for example, manages a team of seven in her Copenhagen workshop. For bigger houses, it can be more complicated: at Cartier, the designers and craftsmen work under the same roof to ensure smooth communication, with Pierre Rainero, the brand’s director of image, style and heritage, describing “an endless discussion between the designers and the jewellers.”

When launching your own business, start small

When launching her brand, Kermiche transformed her house into a jewellery lab, crafting her first prototypes with small, relatively inexpensive stones. “I managed to save money because I spent [the previous] years learning how to make my own prototypes, so I didn’t have to spend on manufacturing,” explains the designer. “I don’t recommend mass producing right away,” adds American designer Jennifer Fisher, who was a wardrobe stylist before launching her own label. “You have to start small, grow from there and see what is successful.” Fisher made personalised dog tag charms for clients on set before setting up a customer-facing website, while Bille Brahe began making bespoke pieces while sourcing the financing for her brand. For the investments you do make, be strategic. “[It was important] getting a team that had the experience I didn’t have,” says Bille Brahe, while Fisher adds the simple but all-important advice to “make sure that the infrastructure of the business is sound.”

Jennifer Fisher.

Learn to tell stories

“Journalists love telling a story,” says Kermiche. Designing personalised pieces with a narrative can help you create an identity for your work in the international marketplace. Fisher, for example, created her dog tag design to celebrate the birth of her first son, while Bille Brahe started incorporating pearls in her jewels after her mother gave her a pearl necklace to celebrate her pregnancy. “You cannot offer anything as amazing as some of the big jewellery houses do,” she explains. “The only thing you can do is offer something that is very different and personal.”

Social media vs traditional PR

If you’re launching your own brand, social media can be your friend in getting the word out. Kermiche used her Instagram account as a lookbook, creating a fully-fledged visual identity for her new-born brand at a minimal cost. She then used the app to find journalists. “It won’t be long before they notice if your product is right,” explains the designer. Hiring a PR agency is another option, but for Kermiche the decision boils down to the designer’s personality. “If your friends are influencers, just do it yourself,” she explains. “But if you’re more of a creative mind, then of course a PR is vital.” However, thinking carefully about commercial partnerships you make and being aware of legal implications, including avoiding long contracts, is paramount. “I would have loved to have had a background in law,” she adds. “It would have saved my life on a daily basis.”

Sophie Bille Brahe.

Value your relationships with retailers

“I think it’s very important to respect relationships in this business, stay true to your word and respect the people who have respected you,” says Fisher. Barneys was the first US brick-and-mortar department store to approach her and she has maintained that relationship exclusively ever since. Similarly, Kermiche manages up to 20 face-to-face monthly meetings with retailers and mines these relationships for consumer insights she can feed back into her design work. “I ask them what sells in [their] shop, what’s the price point they like the most, what’s the colour of gold [they prefer],” she says. “It really helps me target my designs in a way that will sell.”

A step-by-step guide to becoming a jewellery designer

If you want to work for an established company:

  1. Choose a degree in fields like Design, Gemology or Fine Arts.
  2. Scan trade publications for job offers. Applying for competitions, exhibiting your work and networking are the easiest ways to get noticed by future employers.
  3. Get in touch with established brands, even if they are not publicly advertising for a role.
  4. When applying for a job, your portfolio should showcase your technical, manual and creative skills as well as your thought process. Include sketches, prototypes and moodboards.
  5. Do your research and keep up-to-date with industry news. Showing a good knowledge of a company’s history and commercial strategy can give you the upper hand over other candidates.
  6. Communication is key: as a designer you will be required to work with artisans, so practise explaining your thought process and concepts in a clear and concise manner.

Sketches at Akira Haga’s studio.

If your goal is to launch your own business:

  1. Combine a short technical course with a creative degree.
  2. Be financially aware: start with a small production, support yourself with bespoke orders, make your own prototypes and find people with the experience you don’t have.
  3. Self-promotion is essential: learn how to use social media to your advantage by creating a strong visual identity and connect with journalists, clients and retailers. Be mindful of your relationship with retailers: nurture them with personal meetings and use them to better target your designs.


Mistakes to avoid while applying make-up, tips to get a flawless look

Dump all the products that have crossed their expiry date. Old and expired products are not safe to use and can lead to rashes, allergies and irritation.

Make-up can be your best friend or your worst enemy, depending on how you use it. To get it right, find the right blush for your skin tone, don’t wear waterproof mascara daily and don’t go overboard with your love for matching your everything with your outfit. Make-up artiste Mouna Lall, and Jason Arland, senior manager at Artistry, have listed the dos and don’ts of make-up:

* The biggest mistake is not using a moisturising cream. One must wash and apply a cream or moisturiser depending on the skin type at least 15 minutes before pruning the skin.

* Always use a primer which helps the foundation to have a smooth surface to settle on. This makes make-up last long.

* If you have dry skin, any kind of moisturiser can be used where as if you have an oily skin then only water based foundations should be used.

* It is important to know how to apply foundation. We make big mistakes like using both our hands and rubbing it away instead of tapping and placing it on the skin with two fingers or a brush.

* Confusing correctors and concealers is a major confusion people often have. Correctors are for correcting one’s skin tone whereas concealers will conceal the corrector and foundation, giving an even skin tone.

* Use a fine mineralised powder just to set the make-up base to avoid a heavy cakey face as the natural make-up look is in fashion.

* Matching same colour eyeshadow, lipstick and nail polish with clothes is a big no as the look becomes one-dimensional and is not appealing to the eyes. If you wear a pink outfit with gold work, then the eyes can be brown gold or smokey with only lipstick matching the dress.

* Heavy punched in the face kind of smokey eyes is a big turnoff. Blend it well.

* Go for a blush that is closest to your skin tone. Fair and medium skinned people can try the rosy pink and peaches. Nude, red and brown coloured blush look best on people with dusky and deeper skin tones.

* Using same colour lip liner all over the lips and following with lipstick is important for the lipstick to have a long stay and not leave a line after a while.

* Waterproof mascara is amazing, but not always. The water-resistant formula can dry out your lashes causing them to break easily. Also, removing the waterproof mascara takes a whole of effort which can again damage your lashes. Keep it reserved for weddings and parties.

* Dump all the products that have crossed their expiry date. Old and expired products are not safe to use and can lead to rashes, allergies and irritation.

* Make-up brushes are important tools that give you the right application and finish. Keeping them clean prolongs their life and saves you a lot of trouble of breakouts and infection. Wash them regularly with warm water and detergent and then soak them in antiseptic liquid before drying out completely.

* Bronzer has become the next big thing in the make-up world. But while everybody wants to use bronzer for that sun-kissed look, wearing too much of bronzer and applying it all over the face can backfire. Use the smallest quantity of bronzer on the jaw line, edges of the forehead, temples and sides of the nose bridge for a warm glow that looks natural.

* Lipsticks are the easiest way to perk up the pout. A general thumb rule to follow is that, dark colours are likely to make your lips look even thinner while lighter ones will make the lips look fuller.


Kolkata Man Dialled Flipkart To Complain About Order, Got SMS To Join BJP

Kolkata Man Dialled Flipkart To Complain About Order, Got SMS To Join BJP

A call to the customer care number of an e-tailer fetched a message to join the BJP

KOLKATA:  A football fan in Kolkata didn’t want to disturb his family while watching late-night World Cup matches. So he ordered two sets of headphones from Flipkart.

When the package arrived, there were no headphones, only a bottle of oil.

The furious customer called the number printed on the package to complain.

The call went through and disconnected after one ring. He was about to hit redial when he got a message that began with “welcome to BJP” and gave him a “primary membership number”, urging him to go through the next step to complete the process.

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The football fan claimed to have got this message on dialling the number

He didn’t join the dots immediately and called the 1800 number again with the same results.

He also shared the number with friends, who received the same message.

It soon dawned on them that 1800 266 1001 was a BJP number, one you could apparently call to sign up. The first customer then found the correct helpline number and complained.

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This morning, the football fan also received a call from the online shopping portal.

The Bengal BJP has denied any connection to the Flipkart package. “The BJP number is on the website, on Facebook. Anyone can share it. You can also share it. That’s not our responsibility,” said Dilip Ghosh, the state BJP chief.

This morning, the football fan also received a call from the online shopping portal. “Please use the oil sent to you accidentally. Or throw it away. We are sending you the headphones. Sadly, we have only one pair at the moment. We can only give that one. We will refund your money for the other set,” the customer was told.

Flipkart said in a statement that it had given up the number three years ago. The number was printed on tape used for packing — and some of that packing tape was apparently still out there, the company said.

“The phone company must have just re-allotted the number, as is done when a number has been surrendered and there is no activity for six months,” said the portal.

The football fan has kept the bottle of oil in the locker in his cupboard. For now, he is watching football with his TV on mute.

Here’s how online shopping websites are planning to deal with frauds

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-commerce companies are focusing on artificial intelligence and virtual reality with a view to cut logistics costs and identify fraudulent orders, said a report by global auditing and consulting firm PwC.

With an emerging middle-class population of more than 500 million and approximately 65 per cent of the population aged 35 or below, India represents a highly aspirational consumer market for retailers across the globe, said the PwC TechWorld report.

“E-commerce players are revamping their technology strategies to maintain their competitive edge. Most e-commerce platforms are upping their investments in areas such as conversational commerce, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR)/augmented reality (AR) and analytics technologies,” it said.

It observed that to identify fraudulent orders, reduce return rate and also cut down on logistics cost, e-commerce companies are investing in robotics and AI heavily.

“AI-based voice-based shopping in vernacular language enables deeper customer engagement and smoothens the transition from offline to online by overcoming the language barrier,” it added.

Then there is advanced analytics that allows for better optimisation of stock management as well as customisation of content based on data-driven understanding of consumers’ online behaviour and preferences.

Also, there are blockchain technologies that improve fraud detection and enable companies to offer a secure and transparent online medium as it helps in determining authenticity in multi-party transactions and expedite payment settlement, PwC said.

“Almost all customer interaction for online retailers occurs via phone or email and involves banking information or personal data, e-commerce sites are particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

“Given the recent episodes of data breaches and alleged misuse of customer information, the need for adopting appropriate security measures has escalated significantly,” said Sandeep Ladda, PwC India Partner

The report further highlighted that frauds or data thefts cause not just financial loss but also reputation damage and consequently loss of business, which is detrimental in today’s global digital economy.
According to research from the Ponemon Institute, in 2017, India recorded the largest average number of breached records at 33,167 (global average = 24,089).

Now you can wear sweatpants to work without anyone finding out, here’s how

Here’s why these new kind of sweats are going to be your best bet for work wear.

Wade Eyerly got an invitation to the New York Stock Exchange, telling him to come dressed in “business professional” garb. He decided to break the rules. The 39-year-old executive put on a pair of stretch fabric pants that look like slacks but feel like yoga wear. “I was, like, ‘This is amazing,’” he said. “I immediately ordered two more pair.”

The pants, sold by athletic-wear label Rhone Apparel Inc., are technically made for commuting. Eyerly, who lives in New Canaan, Connecticut, does a lot of that, given his regular 90-minute trips to Manhattan. The pants are also perfect for flying. “They are just so comfortable,” he said. “They don’t stick to your calf; they aren’t too tight. They look pressed every morning. You could work out in these pants.”

As office environments open up to more casual dress, clothing companies are looking for ways to sell less formal clothing to the working masses. Marketed as “commuter-wear,” brands hope to convince workers that they need clothing specific to the trials of getting to and from work. These new clothes come in all kinds of old forms: blazers, chinos, button-down shirts—you name it—but in fabrics and cuts that can survive Americans’ increasingly long and grueling trips to the office.

It’s also a natural expansion for active wear brands that want a piece of the workweek. While dress codes have eased, employees don’t typically sport lycra bodysuits or compression shirts—at least, not yet. “We see work wear as an opportunity,” said Sun Choe, senior vice president of global merchandising at Lululemon Athletica Inc. Right now, companies such as hers fully own the weekend wardrobe. Now they want the remaining five days, too.

The cubicle may seem an, um, stretch for a company known for yoga wear and leggings, but Lululemon’s research and development labs are working on anti-wrinkle, anti-stink, anti-stain fabrics that can serve the commuter from home to work and back again. Choe points to the ABC pants for men, a colorful abbreviation for their roominess where it counts. Made of something called Warpstreme fabric, the $128 item looks like a regular five-pocket pair of casual pants.

And that’s the key: The fabric is constructed to look like normal woven pants, but it’s actually a knit that allows for more comfort. The back has a zippered pocket to store a phone, too, just in case you’re hopping on a bicycle to get to work.

“It was definitely built with the commuter in mind,” said Choe. “It was very intentional.” Lululemon plans to start selling a version for women in the fall.

Pure athletic clothing developed by such companies as Nike Inc. and Under Armour Inc. isn’t a viable solution for commuters because it’s developed for intense use over short periods of time. A workout T-shirt doesn’t translate well in the office either. Ministry of Supply, a men’s work-wear company that infuses tech in all of its items, is trying to ease commuter stress with gear that can adapt to different environments.

Gihan Amarasiriwardena, Ministry of Supply’s co-founder and president, is focused on managing comfort throughout the day. There’s much more moisture involved when you’re running on a treadmill or kicking around a soccer ball, compared with waiting for a subway train or walking to a car. If you’re on a work trip, you spend hours seated on a plane, but then have to hustle through the airport and still look good when you get to the big meeting.

Amarasiriwardena calls it a “peak demand” problem. “If you use clothing for a very specific moment that’s actually a short period of time, that leads to more discomfort,” he said.

At Ministry of Supply’s lab, a team is working on a jacket that helps create a steady level of temperature and moisture, so commuters don’t have to peel off layers of jackets and scarves when they step into a warmer area.

Researchers gather data through testing on treadmills—because outdoor walking often makes up a quarter of a typical commute—to figure out how the jacket can modulate heat. That means handling temperature regulation, moisture control and movement in what’s called a microclimate—the zone between skin and fabric. If you wear a raincoat in humid weather, your skin feels clammy because that microclimate isn’t being managed appropriately, for example.

Clothing that can help you acclimate to the different environments we travel through every day, while remaining comfortable and office-presentable, is the niche that commuter wear is aiming to fill.

And demand for it is growing. Rhone said its commuter pants, made of a Japanese air-permeable stretch fabric, is the company’s top seller. The company worked on the original pant for a year just to get just the right mix of structure and stretch. It has another version coming out this fall.

“When you’re in commuting situations, you get on the subway—it’s hot down there. The last thing you want is your pants to be retaining heat,” said Nate Checketts, Rhone’s co-founder and chief executive officer.

He admits, however, that comfort—not commuting—is the main reason shoppers gravitate to the pants. “Men in particular crave that comfort,” he said. “If we can give that to them without letting them look like a slouch, I think that’s the real benefit.”