Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5 Issue 79, Tuesday, August 4, 2009



LS Pick

When dreams weave reality

Checks have made yet another comeback in fashion and Bibi Productions' Spring/Summer 2010 Collection swears by it. The work of the magical fingers of the weavers is shown in full glory as Bibi's designs reflect the vibrant yet comfortable attitude of summer.

“My work is not to show the misery of poverty but the joy of creation”, says Bibi who tirelessly works on to support the lives of many weavers, as they contribute their skills to fashion. All accessories are precisely made by the craftspeople to accentuate the colours and identity of Bengal.

For the first time Bibi is joined by her daughter-in-law Inshra Sakhawat Russel-photographer by profession- who like her illustrious mother-in-law is an alumnus of the prestigious London College of Fashion. Together they bring to fruition another refreshing mix of checks, stripes, silks and cottons, giving a touch of life to the world of fashion through development.

Ensemble: Bibi Russell
Photo: Inshra Sakhawat Russell
Models: Nishita, Ridita, Elma and Raj



I dont need a four leaf clover
Rabbits foot or good luck charm
With lucky lips you'll always have a baby
In your arms
Lucky lips are always kissing
Lucky lips are never blue
Lucky lips will always find a pair of lips so true
~ Cliff Richard

A healthy smile is a bonus at any age and it comes with the right care of your lips. A smile costs nothing, but your lips are worth an intangible amount.

The lips are without doubt, the most sensitive part of the skin, because the skin on the lips is thin and delicate, making it prone to environmental damage. Lips will also show the damaging effects of the sun and harsh weather rather quickly. All of these influences can cause wrinkles and lines, as well as dry out the lips, and cause them to lose their natural soft colour over time. Therefore, it is important to take good care of your lips to keep them soft.

Many women complain of chapped lips, but most are not aware that much of their problems are actually due to dead skin build-ups. The build-ups leave the lips looking dull and flaky, rather than flushed and luscious. Exfoliating the lips should become a habit and a regular step in your daily routine.

The process of exfoliation only takes a couple of minutes and it really helps the lips to feel soft and smooth, and allows the skin to better absorb the benefits of lip balms. You can use a manual grainy face scrub on the lips as well, and rub in a circular motion over the entire lips. You can also use sugar granules and a dab of Vaseline for a budget friendly alternative.

Protect and pamper
For soft, luscious lips, protect the delicate skin by using a lip balm everyday, preferably one that has a good SPF sunscreen in the formulation. Also, look for thicker formulations such as lip products with aloe, butter and petroleum, to lock in moisture and prevent drying and chapping.

Pamper your lips with balms that are scented and flavoured. You can mix one-tablespoon cranberry sauce juice with two tablespoons Vaseline for a homemade lip balm. If your lips are chapped and you want to keep them soft and smooth you can try this too: heat a little ghee (clarified butter) and apply it on your lips several times a day. Ghee, when heated helps the skin to heal very quickly.

Do this regularly for a week and you will be bidding goodbye to chapped lips and admiring your soft pout. Make an effort to reapply lip products often throughout the day, not just when the signs of damage begin to show.

For soft lips invest in good quality lipsticks and lip liners of reputed brands, which have moisturisers. Never compromise on the quality of cosmetics that you use as you may end up with disastrous results. Use lipsticks and sunscreens with vitamin E. The vitamin content of the lipstick helps to keep the lips soft and smooth.

Before you go to bed wipe off the lip-gloss or lipstick from your lips. If you let lipstick stay on for too long they may harm the delicate skin and turn them rough. To wipe off the lipstick you can use cotton wool soaked in milk. This will keep the lips smooth.

Do not bite your lips or press them together too often. If your lips are chapped do not pull at the delicate skin. This could turn the skin hard and rough, not to mention, you might even cut and hurt yourself. Avoiding these habits will keep your lips soft and smooth. Avoid smoking and drink plenty of water.

Yes, like the rest of your body, lips too are affected by what you consume. So take in fresh fruit juices, salads and soups. Eat a well balanced diet; your lips will love it. Keep smiling!

By Zion Ara Hamid

Rice cooker

I am a self-confessed gadget freak. Especially of the ones in the kitchen. Convection oven, food processor, sandwich toaster, coffee maker- they all adorn our kitchen cabinet. I have invested in various kinds of can openers and cork screws. Even our drinking water comes out of a mechanical water purifier.

I believe in pressure-cooking. Hand held mixers are a must in my life. But I had steadfastly avoided the thing called a rice cooker. It was an affront to me. How can a machine cook rice in my household?

Aren't I the ultimate rice cooker? Don't I come up with those lovely, fluffy, fragrant grains of perfectly cooked rice on time, every time? And besides, you can't really standardize rice-cooking time, right? Brown rice will take more time than long grain Basmati. And par-boiled rice and raw rice are altogether two different animals, for crying out loud!

I also have never been a great believer in measurements in the kitchen. Eye estimation is my mantra. So when everyone kept telling me to measure the proportion of rice and water, I refused. I went the pasta way. Rice and lots of water. Eventually it all comes together. Then I drain the rice the old fashioned way and no one has complained yet.

All that changed thanks to my Mother in Law's intervention. My wife had to take a very short trip to Dhaka to close some family matters. She was gone for only two days. I went to pick her up from the airport as she came back. She emerged from the arrival lounge with not a single tell tale duty free bag in tote, but a bulging packet. A rice cooker in all its glory!

My Mother in Law had decided that we are the best inheritors of her rice cooker. And the daughter promptly lugged it back with her. I was aghast! A rice cooker! But I kept my thoughts to myself, being the politically correct individual that I am. Soon, we had guests. Close friends have bought an apartment in the same complex as ours. They had come over for the first time as owners of the flat and we invited them for lunch.

My wife took over the mantle of cooking from me and announced that she will single-handedly do the needful, with the able assistance of, yes, the Rice Cooker! I snickered and waited for the expected SOS. After all, a machine is no match to my years of expertise of boiling, testing and draining rice. But much to my dismay, no hollers from the kitchen came. Instead, a very appetizing aroma drifted all over the place.

I was curious. Could it be possible that some good might come out of it? I pottered around for a while and when I really could no longer keep my curiosity under check, went and asked her about the menu.

She proclaimed a simple menu of polao and chicken curry. With some fried fish. And just to provide a healthy angle to the otherwise calorie laden menu, a green salad as well. Then came the moment of truth. The guests arrived, very hungry and eager to sample the product of the rice cooker. Out came the polao. Nicely creamy in colour, studded with cinnamon sticks, smelling rich of onions and ginger. Every grain was separate and glistening. Its steamy aroma filled the room.

All in all, the lunch was an unmitigated success, chicken curry and fried fish playing perfect second fiddle to the polao. And it made a convert out of me. Now I have sold my soul to the altars of the rice cooker. And my love story with kitchen gadgets continues.



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