Around The World In Eyeshadows: Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal 2012.jpg


Summers are coming to an end and we have not done much of going around the world. So today we will head out to India and learn more about the Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world and a Vasanti Inspiration.


Taj Mahal or The Taj, as it is popularly known, was awarded the UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1983 and labelled as a ‘Jewel of Muslim Art in India.’


The Taj is actually a momentous mausoleum complex that took nearly seventeen years to build. Construction on site, on the right bank of Yamuna River in present day Uttar Pradesh, India, started in 1631-32, at the behest of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. He wanted a befitting and ever-lasting memorial built on the tomb of his most beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal.


According to UNESCO:


The Taj Mahal is considered to be the greatest architectural achievement in the whole range of Indo-Islamic architecture. Its recognised architectonic beauty has a rhythmic combination of solids and voids, concave and convex and light shadow; such as arches and domes further increases the aesthetic aspect. The colour combination of lush green scape reddish pathway and blue sky over it show cases the monument in ever changing tints and moods. The relief work in marble and inlay with precious and semi-precious stones make it a monument apart. 


Every year, thousands of tourists and visitors visit the Taj and pose on the iconic ‘bench’. Also known as the Lady Diana’s Chair, the humble bench catapulted to legendary status for two reasons – for one it captured the Taj as a perfect back drop to the Princess, with all its regal, eternal loveliness, secondly, at a monument of love, Lady Di had sat and posed alone for photographers. It was at a time her marriage to Prince Charles was crumbling and sure enough, they announced their separation the same year.


Getting back to what makes the Taj famous, despite two tragic love stories associated with it, is the majesty and grandeur of its architecture and its façade, pure white marble. Ustad Ahmad Khan Lahauri is generally credited with the design of Taj, incorporating elements of major Islamic ‘styles’ of the time, Persian, Ottoman Turkish as well as the local Indian architecture.


Some of the most breath-taking sights of the Taj are at dawn and dusk, when sun rays hit its eastern and western faces. Its white marble is effused in tranquil shades of rose, golds, and creams, like time come to a standstill. At Vasanti we wanted to capture this magic moment in colours that lend elegance to the wearer, day or night, all year long. Enter Silky Eyeshadow Duo in Taj Mahal, a complementing duo of butter soft, pigment rich metallic champagne rose and luminescent cream, this duo evokes all the classic colour play that charms visitors to the Taj.


Timeless shades that are almost magical in capturing and reflecting light, Silky Eyeshadow Duo in Taj Mahal is our ode to the Taj, in all its splendour.


Kat Cole’s Tips For Success


We are always looking out for strong women role models who have broken through the glass ceiling and made it to top echelons. Kat Cole’s journey, from a Hooters girl to becoming the President of Cinnabon at just 32 years of age, really should be a case study for all ambitious young women among us.


If there is one thing you should take from Cole’s ascension up the corporate ranks, it’s fine-tuning your abilities to identify opportunities and grab them.


Cole started working as a Hooters girl to help out her mother who was a single parent to three children.  She moved into the kitchen and then into managing the store when the cook and manager at her Hooters quit. She had planned on studying for an engineering degree, followed by law. However, when there was a chance for her to open a Hooters restaurant in Australia, she made it happen.


In her Forbes profile, she says:


When I was 19, I got the opportunity to go open the first Hooters restaurant in Australia. I’d never been on a plane. I didn’t even have a passport. I realized that in Miami you could get a passport in one day, so I flew to Miami, got a passport and flew to Australia the next day.


I was in Sydney for 40 days, came back and within 10 days was asked to open the first restaurant in Central America. Then ones in South America, Asia, Africa and Canada. By the time I was 20, I’d opened up the first Hooters on most continents outside the US and was failing school. So I quit to become the head of Hooters corporate training. I’m a college dropout.


So how did she turn that around? Again, in true “where there’s a will, there’s a way” fashion, she sought admission in an executive MBA program and recommendation letters from  every CEO she knew, including Ted Turner.


I was accepted to Georgia State’s MBA program and did nights and weekends from 2008 to 2010. I graduated two months after I started at Cinnabon.


Surely there must be much to learn from such a role model. As Entrepreneur magazine puts it, she has been an 'entrepreneur of her own career.'


In an interview to Entrepreneur magazine, Cole shares her key tips that helped her catapult to high ranks. More than hard-nosed business acumen, it seems that Cole has relied on relationships, empathy and a keen understanding of the human pysche to get to where she is. We sure are listening!




Image credits: Forbes and Entrepreneur

Why You Need Sunscreen


We have talked about sun protection quite often on the Vasanti blog. There should not be a single day when you go out in the sun without proper sun protection. Simple as that. In fact, you should apply a sunblock even on cloudy days, since UVA rays can penetrate clouds as well as glass. 


If simple reminders in words, facts and figures are not enough to get you more serious about proper sun protection, you might rethink your habits once you watch this video. 


Thomas Leveritt, a New York based videographer recently uploaded this video and it went viral immediately. He shot a small film, showing people what their skin looked like in ultraviolet rays, or "How The Sun Sees You' as Leveritt titled his video. Watch it, you'd be slathering yourself in sunscreen too!


RIP Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall


This week has not been an easy one, with the news of deaths of two high profile celebrity entertainers coming one after the other.


Robin Williams, actor and comedian par excellence, was found dead, in an apparent case of suicide in California home on August 11, 2014.

A day later, news came in that Lauren Bacall, an actress from another era had breathed her last in her New York residence.


While many of our generation may remember Robin Williams and his impressive body of works, not many would be able to place Lauren Bacall immediately.


However, both were high profile entertainers, award winning actors and exceptional human beings who touched many lives through their on screen performances.  


Here are some of their most memorable quotes on humour, stardom and life in general.


Lauren Bacall

I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.

A woman isn't complete without a man. But where do you find a man – a real man – these days?

Legends are all to do with the past and nothing to do with the present.

I figure if I have my health, can pay the rent and I have my friends, I call it 'content.'


It's inappropriate and vulgar and absolutely unacceptable to use your private life to sell anything commercially.

Stardom isn't a profession, it's an accident.

Robin Williams

You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.


I left school and couldn't find acting work, so I started going to clubs where you could do stand-up. I've always improvised, and stand-up was this great release. All of a sudden, it was just me and the audience.


Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves?


I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone, it’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel alone.


I believe in destiny. There must be a reason that I am as I am. There must be.


In America they really do mythologize people when they die.


Images: JustJared, Wikipedia and