LUNA, The Mountain Witch: art & poem by Ruqia Ismat

loved by many and hated by some

Mumbling a magic under her tongue

Hexes her abusers ,treats her patients

Smile on her lips , stirs in the pot

Summons some ghosts and ties a knot

If you have a fever , she has the answer

In her bowl lies an enormous power

The curse is certain with fumes on potion

Ancient spells set all the faeries in motion

Spirits and demons are here to scare

She dances in the forest with feet so bare

Red is her skirt and long is her hair

If you ever doubt , would you go near ?

Choice is all yours, love her or fear

Empty is your heart but eyes have a glare

Don’t you ever judge , she is a slayer!

My mix media artwork in 2019. The sleeping witch

My late cat Sallu

In loving memory of ‘Sallu’ my cat

My cat ‘ sallu’ left this mortal world last summer . He was almost a year old. He was a happy cat all his short life. He ate, played and was sprightly most of the times. I never saw him being indolent, or sad. He stayed active mostly. When he died, I gave him a decent burial and cried for his departure for some days.

What I analyzed is that we get sad when our pets die and we miss them terribly. But after some days we start feeling like they never left us. We feel like they again joined us, if only in our memories or in our dreams.

After ‘Sallu’ left us I wrote a poem for him in the middle of night and then I decided to celebrate his beautiful time with us.

                                              Dear Sallu                                                                                               

Is that your grave or heap of our fond memories?

Mound of our sweet love,

So close to my heart, you little tuft of soul

Your kind of love, for sure I will never have again

And you will never know,

How much your departure triggered the pain 

You melted my heart for the last time

While breathing your last, you answered me back

your eyes had surprise, you questioned my crying

Dear mom would you let me go?

look I will be happy with my bubba brother

On the other side, we both will be together

Our forever home is in paradise  

With God everyone is happy and in bliss

We will never have misery, fear or illness

This world is only a chaos and a mess

We are promised nothing in this

And I conveyed to God your message

He promised to build a heaven and a passage  

Now wipe your tears, for I promise to greet you

With every rising sun and until the life is in you

Ours is the world there, most beautiful,

Unlike the one I have lived with you.

Why should we use hair oils?

Why should we use the hair oil?

My today’s topic is about oiling our hair. What kind of oils are good and nutritious for our hair? How much frequently we can use oil? Oiling hair or body is an old tradition worldwide. We should also know that what not to use that is harmful or useless. Oils provide protection to hair and scalp against environmental factors and internal physical factors that pose threat to the hair. A good hair oil is necessary to get healthy, shiny hair.   

For many people hair oil is every day need and they keep this product with them. Since not every oil has the same properties, we must know what’s best for our hair. Our hair follicles produce sebum that travels down the hair and keeps the hair healthy and shiny. unfortunately for multiple reasons this sebum is not enough to keep the hair moisturized. Here oils come to help.   

Image from Unsplash

Scalp and hair damage

The use of hair oil for moisturizing and protection is not new but we have more knowledge now. Oils are highly beneficial for hair and scalp. Oils can be very different for different hair types.

‘’ In our Indo-Pak region hair massage is leisurely activity at the weekends, mostly mothers and grandmothers keep reminding how much hair massage is beneficial. ‘’ 

 Texture protection of hair

Everyone has a different hair texture. Some have fine while others have coarse and dense hair. Hair can be wavy, curly. straight or fleece like.

Fatty oils \ vegan oils

Oils from vegetables are extracted from seeds, flowers, leaves and nuts. These oils are more viscous than essential oil and they evaporate in the air more slowly for that reason. The oil in the seeds is meant to protect the seed.

Braiding and hair oiling

In the Indo-Pak region oiling and braiding are still common to protect the hair against damage. They prefer long hair of girls over short hair since long hair is beauty symbol in the culture.

‘’ long, black and shiny hair for girls is considered a beauty asset in the Indo-Pak region’’

Essential oils

These oils are taken from plants too. For example, they can be extracted from trees, berries, grasses, leaves fruits or other parts of plants.  The strong aroma of plants is helpful in pollination. Essential oils are very concentrated and need to be diluted before otherwise they can irritate or harm the skin.   

Lavender oil, rosemary oil, lemongrass oil, cedarwood essential oil, peppermint essential oil, lavender is good for deep conditioning the hair, controls the dandruff and keeps the hair soft and shiny. jojoba oil provides nutrition, moisturizes the hair and stimulates the scalp. argan oil is antioxidant to hair. Coconut oil and olive oil can resist UV rays up to 30 %. 

Types of hair

1.      Fine hair

2.      Frizzy hair

3.      Split ends

Let’s discus them one by one

 1.Fine hair

For flimsy and fine hair some light oil like jojoba oil, apricot, almond, grape or fig oil should be used. Be careful and don’t use excessive oil otherwise oil and hair both will stick to the scalp.  

2.Frizzy hair

The dryness damages the hair. To correct the frizz or dryness use oils with fatty acids and vitamin E like argan oil.

3.Split ends

Warm coconut oil or rapeseed oil is best for split ends of hair. Use these oils before going to bed at night.

Benefits of using hair oil

  • Protection from heat damage
  • Hair growth  

Oils prevent the hair breakage that ultimately increases the hair life and strength. Peppermint and rapeseed oils are the best for light scalp massage to increase the blood flow and helping hair to get nutrition

  • Action against dryness

Oils contain vitamin E and useful fatty acids and create a barrier against losing natural moisture of hair. The oil film even prevents humidity entering the hair shaft and keeps dryness and split ends far away.  

  • Strengthening the hair

Hair oils provide protection from breakage of hair and help with the strength of hair.   

  • Protection of hair melanin

UV radiation destroys the natural color and shine, while good organic oils provide protection against these factors and save the hair melanin. Plant based oils are the best protection against UV radiation. You can make your own hair spray by mixing your favorite oils like coconut, rapeseed and almond with water and when you get out in the sun apply this spray on hair.  

  • Detangling

Hair oils when applied to wet hair help detangling and protect from heat styling adding extra shine. Apply small amount of oil on wet hair, gently straighten out hair knots with a wet brush. Before blow dry use oil on wet hair to reduce the heat damage.

.How to choose the best hair oil ?

It depends on hair type to decide what hair oil is the best for your hair.

‘’ organic oils like grape, coconut, argan, almond, rapeseed, and apricot are the best for frizzy hair’’

Common mistakes about using hair oils

There are 5 common mistakes about using the hair oils and we must be careful.

1.Using excessive oil.

2.Using the wrong type for your hair

3.Using too close to scalp

4.Wrong proportion of oil and moisture on hair

5.Using oil on dry hair; always ad little moisture before oil.

Conclusion

Hair oils have become necessary care product and we must know what oil is best for us. How we should use it avoiding mistakes. The right kind of hair oils not only provide necessary protection but also give nutrition to the hair and scalp. What kind of hair oil you use and why? let me know in the comment section.

 

HAppy New Year Lovelies! May this new year bring peace, well being and protection for all of us.

An acrylic Original Artwork by Ruqia Ismat.

The Journey of ‘Lipstick’

For our present-day life hardly, a day goes by when we don’t use any kind of cosmetic. The most important and the most basic of all cosmetics for females is our well cherished little beauty “lipstick”. I can’t imagine a woman’s life who does not have at least one lipstick in some form. so, I thought why not do some research for its journey. I am grateful for the first person who took initiative and invented its first form of pigment for lips.

The journey takes us back to 5000 years on the archeological sites and apparently the ancient Sumerians were the first to use the lipstick. This early lipstick was made by crushing the gemstones and mixed with oils and waxes. So did ancient Egyptians but it was symbol of high social status. Most probably the Indus valley and the Sumerian civilizations were the inventers of lipsticks.

The Head of All Cosmetics

From ancient to modern society, lipstick still holds its most important place among other cosmetics. It’s most used and undoubtedly the most common makeup product.  This legendary cosmetic has woven warm and vibrant colors into the fabric of our society. It has stood the test of time.

The Earliest Form of Lipstick

The earliest users got the pigments from plants like henna, fruits, insects, rust, and clay. Some women in Mesopotamia used ground and precious stones like rubies to create red color for lips.  The use of lip pigment was gender free both in Egyptian and Sumerian civilization. In Europe during the renaissance period the aristocratic and well- travelled men used both red lipsticks and rouge. This fact is recorded in the realistic paintings of that period.

Image by Oleg Magni From Pexels

Queen Elizabeth i and Her Lipstick

 In 16th. Century Queen Elizabeth 1 had an obsession with red lipstick. She even believed in the magical powers of that early form of lipstick that could prevent the impending death. Ironically, the cause of her death was ruled out to be the high amount of lead in her lipstick that she used to apply quite a thick coat.

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria hated all kinds of cosmetics and regarded them unnecessary and even ill manner for ladies of honor. During Victorian era lipsticks and other cosmetics were reserved for prostitutes and actors

Image from Unsplash

The Commercial Production

Guerlain, a French perfume company in 1884, produced the first commercial lipstick. The formulae of this lipstick had beeswax, castor oil and deer tallow in it. Instead of any hard cover, this lipstick was wrapped in silk paper. 

The Modern Packing of Lipsticks

 Maurice Levy, invented the first cylindrical container for the lipstick. By the end of the first two decades of 20th century, it had made its permanent place among fashionable women who cared greatly about their looks. The modern swivel up lipstick tube was invented by James Bruce Mason in 1923. The most sought-after colors during those times were maroons, cherry, plums, purples, crimsons, and dark browns.

Image from Oleg Magni. Pexels

The Cupid’s Bow Lips

The cupid’s bow lips became trend in 1920’s. Especially during silent movie era deep colors became popular. The upper lip was contoured with lipstick in bow shape. This effect could be created by using your thumb for applying the pigment on lips.

The Suffragettes and Their Lipstick

The suffragettes used red lipstick as a symbol of protest in the 20th century. They fought for women’s right to vote. Their red lipstick did not need words to speak and they wore it every day in UK and USA. It was in 1912 that a cosmetic entrepreneur Elizabeth Arden handed out red lipstick to marching off Suffragettes as she herself advocated women’s rights. Red lipstick became their power and protest symbol at the same time; the sign of modern and strong women

Image from Unsplash

The Rebel Pink Lips

Ultimately, lipstick had established its place as a symbol of rebellion and feminism in society by 1930’s. The young girls took this cosmetic as a symbol of womanhood. Many cosmetic companies started making more and more shades like pink and lavenders when parents disapproved red color for the young girls. The pink shades of lipstick became the most sought-after among young girls. In the west Marylin Monero, Elizabeth Taylor and Farida Kahlo made the red lipstick iconic.

Elizabeth Arden created ‘Montezuma’ red color both for lips and nails for women serving in US forces. This shade of lipstick and nail polish was developed keeping in mind the uniform of women and accentuated them.

Image by Vince Mariel Conlu from Pexels

The Lipstick of Queen Elizabeth ii

During her coronation, in 1952, Queen Elizabeth ii created her personal shade of red lipstick. This color was customized by Her majesty’s favorite brand, The Clarins and the shade got special title of ‘Balmoral’ and matched with the coronation robe of the queen.

The Stain- proof Lipstick

The stain or smudge proof lipstick was the need of the day and so the process kept evolving. Hazel Bishop, a chemist by profession worked on that and developed a stain proof lipstick in the 50’s. Revlon introduced its own range of smudge proof lipsticks shortly after that.

Image by Cottonbrow from Pexels

The Glamorous Lips of Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn sculpted her lips by contouring and using gradient effect of different shades of red lipstick. Her lipstick was mostly ‘Ruby red’ from ‘Max Factor’. She used darker shades on the corners of lips and lighter in the middle and the lip gloss to top it off.

The Pop Culture and The Lipsticks

The flavored lip glosses and lip balms became popular during 1960’s and 1970’s. Then came ‘mood’ lipsticks that changed color according to the skin’s PH level. It was an interesting trend during pop culture through music and vibrant colors of that era .

With the passage of time health awareness became more a concern than looking good. Lipstick formulas are getting better and better. Brands are more conscious about using ingredients that are not harmful to humans and are cruelty free to animals. Vegan, organic and ecofriendly are the conditions necessary for the production of lipsticks. So here comes to an end my study and sharing about the journey of ‘lipstick’ . Hopefully you enjoyed with me .

Goodbye

Image from Unsplash .

Why We Love to be Looked at as Fashionable

Fashion is loved all over the world. We want to look beautiful and unique, confident, and love to express ourselves. Our fashion identity is important for us. Shopping for new items is pretty exciting. Fashion is a creative and innovative process that engages many industries within itself

Fashion and Happiness

If the clothes we wear make us confident, beautiful, and smart, they affect our emotions positively and lift our mood. we feel happy and our self-worth is reinforced. Sometimes we feel an emotional attachment to our clothes and wearing them motivates us. If we look nice we feel nice

Importance Of Fashion Industry 🏭

Each one of us is a buyer or consumer of the fashion industry. The fashion industry is one of the most important and glamorous of all industries.  All over the world, skilled and unskilled people get their jobs from it. Our special occasions like weddings, proms, birthdays all are associated with wearing the best dreamy dresses and accessories.

The Global Economy

The fashion industry is a  very big part of the global economy. It depends upon creativity. Throughout history, the creative and intellectual minds of people stood behind it. The most genius designers control and contribute to the fashion legacy. The fashion industry is a fact and it will stay a part of our world though it will keep evolving, making adjustments, and setting trends.

The Impact of the Fashion Industry on our Lives

Fashion helps us to build our distinct personalities. We want to feel our existence uniquely and charmingly. It helps us craft our identity and aesthetic sense. We are defined by the way we present ourselves in terms of fashion. Therefore every designer has a very distinct style and features of his/her creations.

The Environmental Effects Of Fashion Industry

The global fashion industry creates lots of waste and greenhouse gasses due to the energy used for manufacturing products. Each year millions of garments and accessories are manufactured and then transported. We can differentiate the Fashion industry into two main branches.; the sustainable and the fast fashion industry

The Sustainable Fashion Industry

The sustainable fashion industry focuses on many things before the production process even begins. They work on a water budget. The production of the clothing industry impacts the environment and pollutes freshwater with chemicals. No doubt 10 ÷ of the global greenhouse gas emission comes from the fashion industry. The only possible solution is to slow down the process of production from fast to sustainable fashion without impacting the financing.

 A carbon neutral fashion industry built on moral and social justice, animal welfare, and ecological safety is a sustainable industry. Sustainable fashions produce long-lasting natural organic products with high standards of quality. They use biodegradable materials from natural /recycled fabrics. They require very little to no chemical treatments, less water, no pesticides. Their products are vegan and cruelty-free. They don’t use animal leather or fur and have other alternatives.

What’s Fast Fashion

By fast fashion, I mean the fashion products that are produced very fast for short-term fashions. The main focus is money and accordingly the biggest possible production. This fashion is ultimately cheap and relies on cheap labor. They launch weekly fashion trends with poor-quality products. Only harsh working conditions and low wages are possible. This fashion has a huge carbon footprint resulting from material creation and its transportation to consumer markets. Ultimately resulting in large textile waste and decomposition into landfills. The goods are made from petroleum-based materials like nylon, acrylic, and polyester and require a substantial amount of energy and water used for washing and dyeing processes

Marketing and Fashion Industry

Marketing is one of the most important aspects of the fashion industry. They go side by side. The end products would not sell without the right kind of marketing. The people in the marketing are responsible to track the consumers and their trends to collect the information and boost the revenue

The Visual Merchandising

As the title suggests it’s about the presentation of the products and services to highlight their features and benefits of them. The main purpose of visual merchandising is first to attract, engage and then motivate the customers to buy the products. The experts are hired for the promotion of brands. They set up amazing displays and attract buyers.

The Division of the Fashion Industry

This division of the fashion industry clarifies the gradual process of work divided into four main parts.

  • The operational process
  • The designing process
  • The manufacturing process
  • The retail process
  • And lastly the supply chain

My today’s blog explains the importance of the fashion industry as one of the economic sectors all over the world. We love to look beautiful, distinct and these thoughts work behind our fashion choices. Ultimately we stand behind the fashion industry to keep it running. Luckily we can turn our hobbies into our professions

Some Words About Loneliness

What’s loneliness?

Loneliness is more about the quality and level of relationships and less about the number of people in one’s life. A person may feel alone and disconnected on a deep emotional level. He may feel vulnerable most of the time because of his mental distance from other people. The reasons behind these emotions can be his past experiences in life. For example

  • Poor parental connection.
  • Childhood abuse.
  • Apprehension of intimacy due to lack of trust.
  • Lower self-esteem due to unrealistic standards of society.
  • Our society encourages individuals’ accomplishments in life more than their relationships.
  • Pandemic has also isolated many of us these days
  • Most of us are unable to listen to our physical needs
  • From a very early age, individuals are taught to achieve very high standards and when they can’t they feel left out

Our Culture

In our modern world, we stay disconnected from our natural abilities and we ignore ourselves. We need to understand that the culture and standards of our society do not have that much hold on us to be our destiny. We can take our control back. The change can be slow but definitely, it’s possible. We need to accept how we look and we need to accept our natural abilities or disabilities

Reclaim Yourself

Accept yourself – know your worth, be productive with your comfort level. Respect your value and respect others too. Make friends and get close to them. Ask your friend about his day.  Learn intimacy and trust your loved ones. They need you as much as you need them. Be vulnerable and it’s never too late to change yourself for your greater good.

 The Modern Life

The modern busy life of social media brought connections on one side but also reduced the physical need to stay close at the same time. Chats, selfies, photos, videos all transport information very quickly without our being present physically with whom we want to communicate. The beautiful superficial masks of perfection and false toughness are appreciated. Individuals’ freedom is more valued than their social intimacy.

The Vacuum

Sometimes children get bullied and receive the message to never trust anyone. They avoid close connections because they think it’s unsafe. On the one hand, it provides security and on the other hand, they are not open to useful relations to meet their social needs. They feel the following emotions

  • It’s not ok to show the world your true self.
  • Trust no one
  • You are not enough
  • Do not be vulnerable

Habitual or Chronic Loneliness

A person may feel chronically alone in case he had parents with violent behavior; anger and control issues. The bond between him and his parents was weak and he spent his childhood in fear and distrust. While he knew he was dependent on them for survival and simultaneously could not save himself from their destructive behavior

Harmful Effects Of loneliness On Health

Persistent loneliness has far-reaching mental and physical effects on a person’s health.

  • The person feels some kind of distress.
  • Even when there are people around him he feels lonely.
  • His level of loneliness throughout his adulthood stays the same.
  • After his 70s, a person feels more alone due to health issues that make it difficult for him to socialize.

Loneliness is a highly subjective experience and tends to differ from person to person. Loneliness may shorten someone’s life span when he is unable to care for himself.

How to Deal With loneliness

Our unmet social needs inculcate feelings of loneliness. We must address them first. Sense of attachment, reliable reactions, reassurance of our self-esteem, support in physical and mental issues, are certainly backup strategies. Some people may not know what’s stopping them from meaningful relations. Social anxiety, meeting strangers, distrust, and shyness could be replaced with more rewarding ways. Since these people have a pessimistic approach to life they tend to be less useful for themselves and society. They keep on blaming themselves or others for their drawbacks.

Sudden loneliness

 There is one form of temporary and sudden loneliness but it’s only short living and can be handled easily. Some of these cases are the following

  • Change of city
  • Change of job
  • Divorce or end of the relation
  • Marriage of your children
  • Working from home
  • Spending a lot of time with extended family and couples

 If you want to stay away from loneliness then you have to take some action. Always stay in touch with your loved ones. Get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors. Find some hobby or adopt a pet. Stay with nature. Help stray animals or do some community service like working at a nursing home or hospice. Find your happiness and make others happy too. It’s mutual