A very special friend of mine, Srijita, had been requesting me for the last few years, to share my tips on the perfect Foundation and Concealer. The Formulas, the brushes and the works. Make up has always had a prominent part in all our conversations, and she has always asked me to put it all down in a post. But I continued to ramble through random chats and the odd phone calls,whenever anyone needed any make -up related advice. So today, I thought of putting down the ramblings and am sure it would become a semi-decent post.

The key to Great Make-Up is a Great Base. If your Base is patchy or faulty, no matter how much you try to work on it, the results shall be nowhere good. So before you make plans for the latest red carpet Smoky Eye, work on your BASE. Its like Mathematics. You need to master Simple Arithmetic,to go ahead with Algebra. Am sure you get the drift.

What exactly am I rattling on about Base?? Base refers to Foundation, Concealer and Powder.  This Holy Trinity is what makes the difference. When you wear make-Up on your face, you don't want to look like you have just dunked your face in some whipped cream and decided to go about town. You want to highlight your features, camouflage your flaws,and make your skin look as flawless as possible.

Lets begin with FOUNDATION: 

It always makes sense to get your Foundation Matched by an expert. No use trying to guess what your color/shade could be. The best way is to pick out three shades,which you think are closest to you. Test them out near your jawline. The shade which blends and can't be seen,is the correct shade for you. never try to go dark or go light.

All of us have an Undertone to our Skin. Either Warm or Cool or Neutral. So its important to determine what undertone you are. A warm undergone will have Yellow notes to the Skin,while a Cool Undertone will be more Pink. And there are the blessed few who are Neutral. I have a warm Undertone.

Foundations should be different at different times of the year. If you are lucky then you can stretch the same formula throughout the year. But lets just face it, its not practical. In Summer, when we pick up a Tan, our  Foundation shade changes, and so does the formula. We settle for water Based Foundation Formulas like MAC Face and Body Foundation, which are also waterproof. the last thing you want is that your make up washing away in sweat. While in winter, we can settle in for the slightly heavier formulas like MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation. A drug store alternative is REVLON COLOR STAY FOUNDATION. It comes in two formulas: One each for Normal to Dry Skin and the Other for Oily Skin.

While choosing a Foundation, the next thing which matters, is the Coverage we are looking for. If its a light to medium coverage is what appeals you, then opt for Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation or MAC Face and Body Foundation. Both of these Foundations can be built up to have a full Coverage. if you are looking for a Full Coverage Foundation, then opt for MAC Match Master Foundation or MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation. 

Finally is there Flash Photography involved? Some foundations have SPF or Titanium dioxide in Them,which causes a White Cast in Flash Photography. Yes, I have been guilty of the ghost face in my younger days without a care in the world. Now I am more than extra careful. If I know I mainly outdoors, I know I can get away with foundations with SPF in it,and I would also need it,by all means. But if its an indoor event, I take no chances. All BB Creams ahem SPF in them,and therefore do not photograph that well. My favorite Foundation to be photographed in, would be MAC Face and Body Foundation.  A Drug store alternative is REVLON PHOTOREADY FOUNDATION. A problem child in this regard is the URBAN DECAY NAKED SKIN FOUNDATION. Nowhere do the ingredients speak of SPF or Titanium Dioxide,but it leaves a horrible white cast in photographs. I have tried it on various occasion,s and whenever threes flash photography involved, it has let me down. But its a wonderful formula to wear during the day,and has stayed put on the skin, even on long road trips.

Moisturize Moisturize very well, before you start your make up. This prevents the Foundation from clinging to dry patches on your Skin.

How do you Apply your Foundation? I opt for a Flat Foundation Brush to apply the foundation, then smooth it all out with a damp Beauty Blender Sponge. You could also use a Buffing Brush or a Stippling Brush for a closer to skin finish. and make sure you go beyond your jawline,and blend it well.


We all have the odd spot on the face, the prominent zit which comes up before a big day or the super dark circles. Concealers come in to pack in the extra punch. The foundation cannot hide these specific  imperfections. So opt for a Concealer which matches your skin tone, to cover up any spots or zits.

For the under eye circles, opt for a Concealer which is two shades lighter than your skin tone, and of a different Undertone. That will help cancel out the redness and darkness under the eyes. This is one trick which will take away all traces of lack of sleep from your face. With a Concealer Brush, apply the concealer in the form of a triangle below the eyes. Use a damp Beauty Blender sponge to smooth it out.

You could also use the lighter concealer on the bridge of your nose and on the Cupid's Bow to highlight.

My favorite Concealer is MAC PROLONGWEAR CONCEALER,as a single pump dispenses enough product to cover both under eyes. A Drug Store alternative is MAYBELLINE FIT ME CONCEALER. Its not as thick as Prolongwear but does a decent job.

Last but not the least POWDER. You have worked hard on your Foundation and concealer, but you forget your Powder,and it all melts away to oblivion. You need to powder at least the TZone if you are not too fond of Powders. While some may sing all praises for Translucent Powders, I am not too fond of them. Some translucent powders will have Silica dust in them, and they have a similar white cast on your face in flash photography. The best option is to opt for a good quality colored powder. My choice is the MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Natural. Its a fool proof option. I use a large fluffy brush to apply powder after I have done my Foundation and Concealer.

Phew,that was long. I seem to have rambled on and on. So go ahead and give it a try. Cheers to Make Up Mania !!!!



Biriyani is surely a strong life force for a Bengali Foodie. The Biriyani, a Bengali usually grows up with, all around town, is the Awadhi/Lucknawi variety. Rice and flavored meat slow cooked together,with a helping of boiled potatoes and boiled eggs. The rice grains are a mix of milky white and pale yellow. When you open a pot of Biriyani, the sweet aroma of Saffron whiffs to your noses. Its a complex note of flavors and fragrances which make for the perfect symphony on the taste buds.

With that somewhat elaborate introduction of what my ideal Biriyani is, am sure you are well aware that I could be a strong critic when someone mentions Biriyani. 

Our first encounter with the Paradise Biriyani Point Franchisee was in December 2013, when we were visiting friends in Louisville,Kentucky. Our friends mentioned how this franchisee was creating storms in their neck of the woods. While driving back to our Hotel that night, Hubby tried to pitch in the idea of maybe trying to get a Franchisee of this Biriyani place. It was surely his love for good Biriyani which was speaking. 
Almost a year later, Kansas City got its very own, PARADISE BIRIYANI POINT franchisee. They had opened at a location, where an old Indian restaurant called MASALAS,had had to shut its doors, under two different sets of owners. 

No I don't believe in superstition about how ill fated the location was. 

I was more interested in how they made their Biriyani.

No, I have never been to Hyderabad,so no chance of me Sampling the famous Biriyani from the eatery called PARADISE.

This franchisee had a play with words, in luring its customers. You could almost think it was a subsidiary of the famous Hyderabadi joint, but in fact it was an offshoot from New Jersey( or so I have heard).  Correct me if I am wrong on this.

One of my first parameters of testing a Biriyani, is to check the rice grains. They should not be Soggy.And this mean Biriyani passed the first test. The grains were like little bits of pearl and each grain had almost kept its own identity,even in a complex rice and meat dish like Biriyani.

Although this Chain claimed to cook Hyderabadi Biriyani, but it surely wooed the Kolkattans with their addition of the Boiled Egg in the Biriyani. Now that's Biriayni which is surely influenced by more than 'School of Biriyani Making'.

As the Biriyani would take some time, we started off with a serving of Chicken 65  for us and  Plain Dosa for our Toddler. The Dosa was really thin and crisp and it satisfied the taste buds of a picky Toddler. Much better than the Dosa being currently served the other Desi KC restaurants.

The Chicken 65 used to be a favorite at the older establishment. I am not aware if they have retained the same Chefs,but it was cooked to perfection for sure.

Coming back to the Hallowed discussion of our favorite Biriyani. The server had asked us for our Preferred Level of Heat. This was a first for us as Biriyani is never Hot. We settled for a Medium level of Heat. It had a nice kick to it, but although I love my share of spicy food,next time I would try out the Milder option and see if it alters the overall taste or not.

The Biriyani was served in small Stainless Steel Handis which was quite sweet in a way. Traditionally Biriyani used to be cooked in these huge Handis,so it was a great play on that. But I had to be careful in spooning it all out,without spilling much on the table,as the container was pretty small. Looking good is something and being practical is another.

  We had ordered for a Goat Biriyani and Chicken Biriyani. Lets just say, we were not too lucky for two orders of Goat Biriyani as the eatery was in a  crazy rush and had run out of the crowd favorite.

We tried the Goat Biriyani first. Our share had Goat Ribs which were beautifully cooked. Perfectly spiced and juicy tender. Even the portion of Goat had the signature touch of heat. They were served with a  side of a cool Raita,which was good to wash everything down. It had also come with another side of a Gravy,which I didn't like much. The Meat to Rice Ratio per serving was good enough.

The Chicken Biriyani however was not as great as its Goat counterpart.  It was a  let down of sorts,at least for me. The Chicken was dry and it had been a victim of over cooking.

The Servers were trying their best to be over friendly . You could feel the tension in their body language. They were almost trying to not let the Jinx of the Location marr the current establishment. But having three different servers constantly coming to your table can be unnerving at times,even for a seasoned Food Blogger. So my only point to the Management would be let the Severs breathe a bit easy. Then the Patrons can enjoy their food better,rather than having to answer the same question over and over again. The Maitre'D looked clearly hassled. She was juggling phone calls and take out orders and seemed to be having a hard day. While she told us, there was no wait time at all, we had landed up waiting for more than half an hour, with an active toddler in tow.

And lest I forget, their High Chairs were in need of Repair.  We tried all of their available High Chairs and All of them had their straps or locks defunct. My toddler would try  to stand up all through the meal and thought it was a fun thing to do. Not every calming for any parent. So she landed on my lap after some time.

The Food is definitely  good,but the Management surely needs to pull up their socks when it comes training their staff in handling a rush. And Maybe Cloth Napkins. Paper Napkins are no good,when it comes to heavy duty greasy Indian Food.

Whether or not will I go back there? Well, I will surely go back for the Biriyani. But maybe opt for a Take Out.



Weeknight dinners tend to get boring and repetitive at times. You are either struck by Monday Blues or a mid week crisis hits you harder than usual. And  more often than not, its the Kitchen,which takes a toll. So the Man sensed that one of the two were about to happen, and he took charge. He sent me off for some quality Couch Time with my favorite YouTube Beauty Videos. He took over the Kitchen for the evening. He made sure that a normal Weeknight Dinner became something more than Normal. He decided to make some Chicken Cutlets.

So while I let my hair down and put my feet up,the man hammered away and fried away. I did sneak in every now and then to try and take a few pictures,but its difficult to document his cooking,as he will not stop, for you to try and take a proper picture.

Kolkata Puritans will probably have their own theory about Chicken Cutlets and how they are made. But this particular Dinner which was whipped by the man, had a different inspiration altogether.

Having a toddler at home means that you watch Disney Junior more than usual. And sometimes even after the toddler is sound asleep in her room, in her white toddler bed in her super pink room, Mommy Daddy forget to change the Channel to something Non-Disney for a change. It was during one of those times, that both Mommy and Daddy had come across a particular episode of Disney Junior Night Light,featuring Helen Cavallo. And she had made some Chicken Cutlets. That was surely the inspiration for Daddy for that particular weeknight dinner.

We did not have Chicken Breast, in the freezer, as the recipe demanded. But we had a few portions of Boneless Chicken Thighs. And I must tell you, once I bit into the Chicken Cutlet on my plate, I was happy that he had used the Thighs, instead of the Breast,as it was so juicy. The cutlets had the perfect crunchy exterior yet were perfectly cooked and succulent inside. Yes, I stay in Kansas City, the home of Pan Fried Chicken. But the Husband's Chicken Cutlet  can surely give them a run for their money,for the sheer amount of taste he managed to pack in.

The Man always has some Aces up his sleeve whenever he is doing anything creative, The Chicken Cutlets were no exception.  Cayenne Pepper, Parmesan, Parsley, Paprika spell magic when woven together.


Recipe Inspiration: Helen Cavallo's Chicken Cutlets 

Chicken Breast or Thigh
Bread Crumbs/Panko Bread Crumbs
Cayenne Pepper
Canola Oil: To Fry
Parmesan Cheese: Grated
Ginger/Garlic paste: To Marinate


Take the chicken pieces and put each piece within two pieces of Plastic Wrap. Place them on your cutting board and tenderize with a Meat Tenderizer.

Make a marinade of Ginger-Garlic Paste, Cayenne Pepper and Salt. Marinate the flattened Chicken Pieces in this marinade for at least an hour. Overnight marination is ideal.

Make a dredging station. Beat two eggs in a flat deep dish. In another dish, add in Bread crumbs, salt, paprika and chopped parsley/dried parsley. Dredge the chicken cutlets and keep aside. The Man ahad used Panko Breadcrumbs.

In a Non stick pan, heat some oil on medium heat and fry the chicken cutlets till they are golden in color.

Serve warm

Bon Appetit !!