This Ottawa Artist Immortalizes Memories with Her Sculptures

Lifestyle, Ottawa Living

There are some moments in life that you want to save in your memory forever. That big belly bump of your first pregnancy, the adorably tiny hands of your toddler in the hands of their great grandparents.. some memories are truly too precious not to be sculpted into your memory. Unfortunately, photographs can only capture so much. That’s why a new way or immortalizing these moments and freeze them in time is by creating a cast and turning it into a decorative sculpture.

Pregnant Belly Bump Sculpture made using a cast.
Cast Mould Sculpture by “Cast Your Life Away” Showing a Pregnant Mom’s Belly Bump

Cast Your Life Away is a local Ottawa-based business in Ontario, Canada run by an adorable family of three. Steven, Audrey and Ashley help create unique life casts of hands, feet, pregnant bellies and children/hands & feet using a process that replicates every fine detail. The result is a solid stone sculpture!

Cast Mould Sculpture by "Cast Your Life Away" Showing a toddler's hand and foot in a wooden framed sculpture hanging
Cast Mould Sculpture by “Cast Your Life Away” Showing a Toddler’s Hand and Foot in this beautiful framed sculpture

Let’s face it, the most adorable aspect of a toddler’s footprint and handprints are lost in pictures without their cute wrinkles and the curling of their tiny toes. That’s one reason we adore Cast Your Life Away‘s beautiful way of setting these memories and the feel of those flesh memories in stone forever. The best part is, they are mobile and can come to your home to get the imprint! If you live in Ottawa or are planning to visit, this might me one family you need to plan ahead you can leave town with something super precious!

Cast Mould Sculpture by "Cast Your Life Away" Showing three arms of three people, Mom Dad and Child making up a family of three.
Cast Mould Sculpture by “Cast Your Life Away” Showing the hands of unity of a family of three

5 Sustainable Gift Ideas for Christmas!


By Faria Ahmed

There are a million little things we can each do to help save planet earth while still enjoying the joys of gifting. Here are 5 simple things that I decided to try out!

1.Baked Goods

Nothing says sustainable like some homemade baked goodies made from scratch! As much as we want to buy ‘things’ and put them into gift boxes and gift bags, food is actually not a bad gift idea and it does put a big smile on everyone’s face at the party!

2. Used Books

A lot of us may not like the idea of using pre-worn clothing, but used books are a whole different story. For centuries we have shared books and borrowed from the there’s no shame and no harm in buying some used books as a gift! It’s more sustainable than buying new ones…and the best part is that you might get some rare books, and first edition books, or even autographed books by opting for second-hand!

3. Goodie Jars

Instead of buying each of your friends separate boxes of candy or goodies and increasing the amount of plastic & paper trash in this world, you can buy wholesale and split it up in these cute glass jars! You can check out our step-by-step process to customize these goodie jars.

4.Handmade Ornaments / Coasters

Although cutting down trees for decor items isn’t exactly environmentally friendly…these trees were cut down for other reasons, and instead of wasting the branches, the farm decided to slide up the wood and sell them to be used for crafts. The best part is that it is entirely biodegradable! You can check out how we made these handmade ornaments here.

5. Wooden Gift Basket

Again, I managed to put together this gift basket with pretty sustainable items. Glass bottle of champagne, wooden coasters and ornaments, pine cones I had collected from the park, and some paper for sparkle. Always fun to come up with no-plastic and low-paper-waste solutions to presenting our gifts!

Quick 5-Minute DIY Gift Ideas For Any Occasion!


By Faria Ahmed

I absolutely enjoy giving gifts, but I enjoy personalizing them even more! Living on a young adult/student budget makes it hard to buy beautiful gift items from the store all the time, so I make up for it using a tad bit of customized creativity! Here are some of the super quick and super affordable Do-It-Yourself gift ideas for any occassion.

1.Handmade Personalized Ornaments

Whether it’s to hang from your Christmas tree or simply to be hung up on the wall or used as coasters…these personalized gifts are an all-time staple for affordable gifting! All you need is:

  1. Slides Wood (I got them for $1 a piece from a local farm where some trees had to be cut down this year)
  2. Twine Rope
  3. Hot Glue Gun
  4. Sharpie or Etching Tool
  5. Scissors

Cut up about 2 inch of the twine rope. Use the hot glue to attach the rope to the sliced wood coaster. You can also glue on embellishments to make it even more fancy. Let it cool for 2-3 minutes. Use the sharpie to write the gift receiver’s name or a cute message to them. Ta-da!

2. Goodie Jars

I love how sustainable these gifts are and how you can practically customize it for absolutely anyone. For some friends, I filled these jars up with candy, for others with popcorn, and for some diabetic friends- I added cute little tea candles from Ikea! Again, this can be used for christmas, a new year gift for coworkers or clients, as a lootbag item for children’s birthday parties and so much more! Here’s what you need:

  1. Small glass jars (I got them from the dollar store for $2 a piece)
  2. Twine Rope
  3. Paper, Sharpie, Scissors
  4. Goodies to fill up the jar (candy, cookies, candles, potpourri etc)
  5. Hole puncher

Fill the jar with whatever goodies you have chosen. Wrap some twine around the jar and before typing up a bow add your note. For the note, fold up some plain white paper into a little card, white on and in the note as you wish, then punch a hole in the corner so you can slip it into the twine rope but tying it up into a pretty bow.

Gifts for the Man in your Life this Christmas 2019!


Compiled By Faria Ahmed

Wishlist by Jordan Johnstone

For some reason, I have always found it way more difficult to buy gifts for men than for women. Maybe because I am one, and I know all the range of books, beauty products, clothes, accessories, gadgets, home decor items, and other lifestyle products that women in my friend circle and immediate family will like. On the other hand, buying anything for my dad, my uncles or my boyfriend is quite the chore. All I can think of are nice socks and ties or the occasional book that they might like. That’s why this year, I decided to ask my boyfriend to help me figure out what kind of items he would love to get as a Christmas present. I promised to get him any ONE item off that list, and he promised to do the same for me based on my wishlist!

Canadian young man in Perth, Ontario. Posing with coffee cup in early winter.
Jordan at a park in Perth, Ontario

Here are the top 10 things on his Christmas Wishlist for 2019. I hope this helps you guys to figure out what to buy for the men in your lives too! If you like anything on this list, you can click on the image and see the actual product that I am talking about online. 

1.A Classy Wooden Watch

I found a bunch of different types on Amazon, and most were reasonably within my budget of $150. So, this is definitely in the running among the things I might actually get him for Christmas.

2.Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

God know he has a bunch of the extra large wireless headphones that he uses for gaming. However, he has been meaning to get the smaller sort that you can use with your cellphones when you are out. I found this one that looks kind of sleek and again it was within my budget, costing only $69.

3. New Release Video Games

So for this one he said we would be fine with any of the three recently released video games that he does not have for his Xbox. Now, my only advice for buying video games for the men in your life is to first be sure of what device he owns. Find out if he plays his games on a gaming PC, XBox One, Xbox 360, a PS4 or something else because these games are all device-specific.

4.Golf Clubs

When he started telling me about the type of golf clubs he wants, I thought he was speaking Hebrew because I didn’t understand a single word. He said something about having started off with Wilson’s but now he would like to get a nice one from TaylorMade and that the type of club would be an Iron. I noted down the specifics and looked it up. Amazon had some sexy looking ones around $300-$800. It’s a bit over my preferred budget for this Christmas since I’m also travelling, but it’s good to keep in mind for the next big occasion.

If the men in your life enjoy a sport, find out what they need and you can get them something they will love for a very long time!

5.Gaming/ Live-Streaming Equipment

If you haven’t figured it out yet, he is quite the video game nut. For several years he has wanted to set up a live stream but never gotten around to it. So this year he has been looking into the technology behind live streaming and I found this high-end Sling Studio Hub which can be used for multi-camera production, switching between cameras and live streaming. Seemed really cool to me but it is a bit of an investment.

6. NFL Cowboys Apparel

Jordan already has a ton of Cowboys merchandise but clearly the obsession does not end with getting a simple jersey. This year he wants the pants from NFL to go along with the rest of all this Cowboys merch.

7. Whiskey Glass Set

This neat set contains a set of two whiskey glasses, Irish Bourbon Whiskey Stones, Scotch Rock Tongs, and chilling stones. It seems like it will be a nice addition to the man bar he is trying to build.

8.Winter boots from Timberland

This was possibly the one and only practical item on his wishlist this year! He wants a pair of nice winter boots from Timberland and if you live in Canada, you can never have too many of those. The price seems quite reasonable at around $130 and I will be sure to keep this among the top things I want to get him this year.

9.Cell Phone Case

This is one more of a stocking stuffer so I might get it along with the main gift. Once remember, remember to find out the exact model of his phone. Jordan specifically wants a cover with a front flap so it doesn’t scratch his screen so I’ll be keeping that in mind as well.

10. Xbox Controller

Yes, yes you guessed it right. He keeps wearing down his gaming controllers and ofcourse there’s a sexy new one out now called the Wireless Controller Series 2 Elite. I might not get it but I can only imagine how happy he will be to get one of these so definitely keeping an eye on it for the next big occasion.

Don’t forget to share what you are getting for the men in your life this Christmas 2019 by commenting below! Would love to know so I can broaden my options too. Happy Holiday Shopping!

11 Locally Owned Ottawa Stores to LOVE this Christmas! #BuyLocal

Lifestyle, Travel

By Faria Ahmed

Canadians are now more aware than ever before about the kind of footprint their consumer choices leave behind on the planet. Not just the environment, but health, labour rights, humane treatment of animals and ethical production of goods are now being taken into consideration before jumping into a prickly bed of roses with blind capitalism. The good news is that we can still enjoy our long list of Christmas shopping and have all our unique requirements met – by buying local! Not only will you be supporting your fellow Ottawa folks and giving them a chance to have a happy holiday, but you can also shop guilt-free by not giving more to corporations to are underpaying their workers and harming the environment on a large scale. Check out these 10 local businesses we thought had some of the coolest goodies to offer this Christmas!

1. Aux Delices Bakery

Photo Credit: Aux Delices Bakery

Visit Aux Delices Bakery at the heart of Ottawa’s Byward Market for a whole range of sugary goodness in adorable Christmas themes! They are located at : 32 ByWard Market Square, Ottawa, ON.

2. Wiser Meats

I love Wiser Meats because it gives me an easy option to have meat with little to no guilt. Wiser Meats is an online service that delivers raw, fresh cut meats in the Ottawa area. They produce fresh meat every Monday at noon and deliver from Tuesday to Friday. They have highest quality locally raised meat packaged in Federally inspected facilities. And the best part is that all of their products are free of antibiotics and steroids, and the cows are all grass-fed and ethically raised. You can find a wide range of options from aged beef, free-range & air-chilled chicken as well as certified halal meat. You can order online at

3. Good Grazes

Photo Credit: Good Grazes

If you are planning to host friends and family this holiday season, then Good Grazes will blow your mind! This amazing catering service makes custom spreads for your budget and party size! “The Holiday Graze & Go box” is great for 1-4 people, the “Gather & Graze table” for about 10 people, and the “Party grazing table” is awesome for a large group of 30-40 people. If you live in Ottawa, just order at! They do deliver to your doorstep for a small fee but pickup is always free. The week before christmas is already almost full, so big groups should try to book quick! Small boxes can be ordered as late as 24 hours before the event. Good Grazes can accommodate your dietary needs and do nut free, gluten free options and even a vegan board with items like roasted mushrooms, chick peas, olive tepanade, and vegan cheese caprese skewers, Cashew dip, etc. They work with mostly biodegradable utensils and with local suppliers as much as possible. For Pick-up, the location is in Orleans.

4. Aromesso Cafe

Photo Credit: Aromesso

This little cafe and bakery all the way in Tangers, Aromesso will surprise you with its dainty cheesecakes (From The Cheesecake Factory) and deliciously colourful donuts! With options for sweet, savory, halal items, they are bringing the A-game to that part of town! They are located at: 8555 Campeau Dr., Unit #852Ottawa, Ontario

5. Sweetlegs Orleans

Photo: SweetLegs

SweetLegs is the first Canadian leggings company to have their own in-house designed signature line. These comfy and adorably printed leggings are available in dozens of unique and beautiful prints and sizes! SweetLegs have a four way stretch and a kitten soft finish which makes them adored by all ages and genders! You can now buy from their local vendor in Orleans, by visiting SweetLegs Orleans with Sania!

6. Anna Stubbe Chocolates & Confectioneries

Tired of eating the same old flavours in mainstream, mass-produced chocolates from factories? It is time to go local and taste these dainty and delicate chocolates made with choco-expertise, love and care! If you love all things chocolate and would like the ultimate chocolate experience, then you need to visit Anna Stubbe Chocolates and Confectioneries! High quality ingredients and a super classy presentation are matched with really creative designs. You won’t be disappointed! Everything they sell is handcrafted right onsite. Located at: 500 Hazeldean Road, Unit 108Kanata, Ontario.

Photo: Anna Stubbe Chocolates & Confectioneries

7. Beetle Bug Baby

Beetle Bug Baby is your one-stop shop to get custom Stay on Baby / Toddler booties, play mitts, and more! This locally made store takes care of both mommies AND babies with nursing arm pillows, scrunchies, santa sacs and so much more!

Photo Credit: Beetle Bug Baby

8. Canoes & Creativity

Photo Credit: Canoes and Creativity

At Canoes and Creativity you need to load up on beautiful handmade stocking stuffers and gifts! They offer a wide range of rustic woodburned home decor items all designed by hand. There is a 12 Days of Christmas sale happening from November 26 – December 8, featuring 24-hour daily specials. All custom orders are guaranteed by December 20.

9. Sofi’s Silly Slime

Martine, the owner of Sofi’s Silly Slime started making handmade slime after her niece Vanysa introduced her to his fun little thing. However, once she had discovered the fun and therapeutic effects of making and playing with slime, she got super creative with it and now is ready to spread the joy with you all! “What I create is enjoyed by both children and adults and nothing makes me happier than to put a smile on someone’s face because of something I have made”, shared Martine. At Sofie’s Silly Slime, you will find a super creative and fun range of slime – the ideal gifts for children this year! You also get amazing courteous service in both French and English!

Photo: Sofi’s Silly Slime

10. Clutch by Pat Durant

Everyone needs a nice leather clutch, even vegans! That’s why Clutch by Pat Durant is offering incredibly stylish clutch purses in her Seasonal Clutches collection. Some are made with brushed wool plaid and quality vegan leather, another with lace and vegan leather to move easily from daytime to nighttime events. The third in the collection is a is a classic envelope clutch made with a gorgeous brushed wool plaid reminiscent of the Burberry check. All are on special for $75.

Clutch by Pat Durant

11. Crazy Cat Witchy

Photo: Crazy Cat Witchy

At Crazy Cat Witchy, you can find something spiritual, artistic and beautiful for that whimsical friend in the group! They make custom energy alignment tools using high quality gemstones and each dome comes with a full write up of healing properties, how to use and an identity. They range in price from $60-$150 with delivery options anywhere in North America for just an additional $15. You can make requests and get custom ones made within a week.

If you are done with the main Christmas gifts and just need a few more stocking stuffers within a few dollars, don’t forget to check out our list of 10 items you can get for under $10 as a Christmas gift!



Whether it’s Christmas, new year’s or a birthday, we are all a little crunched for gift funds this time of the year. Apart from the few big gifts for loved ones, there’s always a whole bunch of stocking stuffers, secret santas, and workplace gifts that we need to get within a very tight budget. This year, I decided to take time to sift through the dozens of cheap-looking things at the Dollar Store to find the few great ones that are way under-priced for their quality and looks. Here are the 10 amazing finds from the dollar store that were well below my $10 budget!

1. Wooden Christmas Decor Item

2. Wooden Hanging Tags

3. Unicorn Loofahs

4. Wooden Letterboard

5. Cookie Jars (Filled with candy/candles/cookies)

6. Stuffed Toys

7. Reindeer or Santa Mugs (For Hot Cocoa!)

8. Photo Frames

9. Artificial Plants

10. Seeds & Indoor Herb Plant Pots

Instagram influencer shares her 4 MUST HAVE make-up brushes needed for every single glam look!

Lifestyle, People

If you are a beauty/makeup junkie, then you probably know how important is to own a set of high-quality brushes which will not only help in applying the products, but also increase its durability and finished look. Something as simple as the brush you use can completely change the final outlook of make up application. That’s why as an instagram influencer focusing on beauty, Taskin Khan stays loyal to the 4 classic brushes that she has personally tried and tested over the years. No matter what new product she is trying out, reviewing or critiquing, these are her essential go-to tools to get that glamorous look! Find out, in Taskin’s own words, why she fell in love with each of these and how they are help you achieve a perfect look!

beauty blogger and instagram influencer Taskin Khan shares her tips on the four essential make up brushes and tools with millennial things blog 2019.
Photo: A glamorous make up look done by Taskin Khan on herself

Here are my top 4 brushes which are vital to my makeup routine: 

1.Elf Flawless concealer brush

This $4 brush from Elf Cosmetics is the real game changer when it comes to your concealer blending. The bristles are so fine and packed that it helps the concealer under your eyes or other parts of the face to spread evenly, while providing you a good coverage. The fibers are nicely packed yet slightly feathered at the top which gives it a great mechanism for a great blend in a very short time. 

2. Real Techniques Setting brush

Need something that can help you more than applying highlighter? Drumrolls, we have this buddy right here. This is by far one of the most famous brushes by Real Techniques and there’s a lot of reason why this is famous. The tiny little sturdy brush has the most hair ever and the tapered-oval shape which makes this the perfect tool for your blinding highlighter to pop. It picks up the products gently and the blend it gives to your highlighters and powders is just phenomenal. The shape of this brush makes it perfect for blending powders and concealers as well on the hard-to-reach corners of your face. This is an absolute MUST HAVE. 

3. Luxie 522 Tapered Highlighter brush

I mean who wouldn’t want this medium-sized cute pink brush? But there’s a definite reason why I love this brush so much. This is my go-to brush for applying blush. The rounded tapered shape makes it fantastic to apply blushes or shimmering powders on your cheeks. You can control the blending as the brush isn’t overly fluffy.

4. BH Cosmetics V2 Face Brush

I have enjoyed applying bronzer a lot more since I got this baby in my hands. It blends your bronzers and contours in like a dream. You can even use this brush to apply powders and it will do a great job with that as well. Being a makeup addict, I’m constantly on the hunt to try and explore new brushes and make up application tools, but these four have been my loved ones till date.

Check out Taskin’s work at Chronicles of a Glam Addict on:

Facebook I Instagram

Check out these brushes & more at great discounts by clicking the image below!

(VIDEO) Do It Yourself Christmas Cookie Jars!

Video: Steps to DIY Your Own Chrsitmas Cookie Jar I Video Credit: Faria Ahmed

It’s always hard to find a nice gift on a budget that doesn’t say ‘I got you the cheapest thing at the store that you might not like.’ That’s why the trick to budget shopping and budget gifting is customization and handcrafting things. If you put something together with your own hands, the person receiving the gift will know that you cared enough to put in time and effort. So, this year I came up with the idea to prepare custom Christmas cookie jars for all my close friends, family and coworkers. I realized they would be cute plus they are all reusable things that won’t go to waste in a landfill and harm the environment. Moreover, I can customize it by filling up the jars with things that each person likes or wants! Here is how I did it:

Christmas Cookie Jars with herhsye kisses chocolates, candy canes and ikea scented tea candles.
Image: DIY Christmas Cookie Jars Photo Credit: Faria Ahmed

Step 1: Gather the Ingredients!

There are just a few inexpensive things you will need for this project. These are the things I got:

  1. Small glass jars from the Dollar Store ($2 each)
  2. Chocolates or Candy of your choice; I got Hershey Kisses to fill the jars
  3. IKEA Tea Candles, Beads, Rocks, Marbles or other items to fill the jars
  4. A Roll of Jute Twine
  5. Paper, Sharpie, Scissors, Punch machine
Items needed to complete a DIY Project for a personalized christmas cookie jar. Image shows glass jars, hershey kisses chocolats, ikea tea candles, and jute twine rope.

Step 2: Fill it up!

Fill up the jar with whatever items you think your loved ones will enjoy. For my aunt who is diabetic, I filled the jar up with red and white IKEA tea candles. For my father who loves chocolates, I filled it up with Hershey’s kisses. I am also making some full of Popcorn, one with marbles and many more!

Step 3: Personalize with a Note

You can fold a small piece of paper in half, and punch a hole in it using a punch machine. After that, I basically used a sharpie to write in a cute little note for the person getting the gift and signed my name off.

Step 4: Wrap it up!

The very last step is to cut out a long piece of jute twine rope and wrap it around the top of the jar (not the lid). I wrapped it around a few times and finally I passed one of the ropes through the hole-punched note an then tied it into a little bow. That’s it, you now have your Christmas Cookie Jars ready for gifting!

Twine wrapped presents for christmas

5 Netflix Horror Movies to Binge-Watch This Halloween


By Faria Ahmed

As a big fan of horrors and thrillers, I have pretty much watched them all. The only type of movie I try to avoid in this category are the gorey splatter/slasher movies (let’s face it they are kind of nasty). Needless to say, I’m a pretty big fan of Halloween and begin my celebration from the very first week of October! I enjoy dipping my hands into my bucket of candy and binge-watching horror movies on netflix every weekend of October leading up to the 31st. This year, I’ve particularly enjoyed the following titles from netflix that you need to check out as well and they are perfect entertainment for Halloween night. 

  1. ELI: So Eli was released in 2019 so it’s a very new movie. As with all movies, I try not to look at reviews or ratings beforehand, so I can have an open mind going in. I did the same for ELI, and I actually quite enjoyed it. Without giving any spoilers, I would like to say that the first half of the movie has almost no relationship or hint of what the second half will be about. The second half could indeed have gone a very different way. Nonetheless, if you enjoy twisted and unexpected storylines and gradually building suspense, this movie is worth your time. Afterwards, I noticed it has pretty bad ratings on rotten tomatoes but it had all the elements I typically enjoy in a horror movie-innocent child, scary house, creepy doctor, and lots of symbolism.
  2. In The Tall Grass: If you think plain old lawn grass could not become creepy and deadly…you were wrong. Stephen King and Joe Hill are able to turn any simple story into a scary, mind-wobbling journey of personal growth, exposing the darkness and the light within human beings. Apart from a tiny bit of satan-worship and cannibalism, the rest of the story is quite interesting and full of symbolism and raw human instincts of good and evil. The multiple timelines that seem to be overlapping and in a loop in this tall grass area makes the story confusing but amusing at the same time. If you are in the right headspace for timeline manipulated Stephen King storylines, this is quite a slow-paced but fun watch.  
  3. Hush: I think the next three movies are definitely ones that use one specific sense or function of the human body to make the storyline extremely real and intense. The first one is hush, where a deaf writer is found living in the woods, working on her book, and fighting for her life against a masked murderer. Living in the middle of nowhere with enormous glass windows and doors doesn’t help. I absolutely love the strong and single woman taking on the world plotline anytime and when the woman has an auditory disability, it only makes her more badass. This is a must-watch for me any year, but again it is a slow paced movie which needs to be followed to great attention. 
  4. Birdbox: As if I didn’t love Sandra Bullock enough before, now she had gone ahead and made a film in my favourite genre. Birdbox plays on the visual senses, in that, when you ‘see’ this evil force you go insane and eventually kill yourself. Amazing direction, acting and human challenges of trying to find love and family in this mess makes this a brilliant film. Pretty much anyone who wants to survive needs to remain blindfolded whenever they are out and about, which makes us really appreciate our gifted health and visual abilities so much more. The gradual character and story development is top-notch in this sci-fi thriller/horror. 
  5. A Quiet Place: John Krasinski from The Office takes up a serious role and kills it in this horror movie where everyone must remain quiet to survive. The first ten minutes of the movie is absolutely heartbreaking and really sets the tone for the rest of it. Without giving out spoilers, all I can say is this is an absolute must watch for those who enjoy steady story building and can handle being on edge for prolonged periods of the movie…while you watch them attempt to lead a normal life while expecting things to go wrong at any moment!

Those are the 5 Must Watch Horror/Thrillers that I recommend for this Halloween! Hope you enjoy them and don’t forget to leave us a comment about which one you liked the most. 



By Sanjana A

Right from the second you walk into this makeshift nail salon, you are greeted by the owner Amani Mulk herself and immediately you can tell it’s a very relaxed setting. Chatting with her during the entire duration of my luxurious manicure-pedicure, I learned about her venture which goes by the name Polish Me Splendid. In just a little over a month, Amani says the response she got from sheer word-of-mouth referrals by friends and family, has been nothing short of extraordinary.

Even though Dhaka has some salons that do nail art and nail extensions as such, it does lack a specialized nail bar that is dedicated to premium quality nail art with diverse designs, embellishments, themes and more. Such was the thought process behind starting this nail salon, says the chartered accountant turned entrepreneur. The next two-and-a-half hours while she worked on my nails, she talked through the different types of services she offers and how she had taken an elaborate course to acquire this skill. She loves having fun with nail designs and she wants to share that experience with other girls. She intends to cater to a market that remained untapped until now.

Amani has two staff currently supporting her at the nail bar that’s getting the job done, so it’s advisable to make a prior appointment before you visit. What I loved was how Amani was present there throughout this entire process and was also pitching in every now and then with her own suggestions and improvisations; that truly did make a difference.

The girls used a homemade scrub for the pedicure before getting started on the nails, which in my opinion felt really nice. They repeated the same thing on my hands. As for the nails I went for, it was a set of Polygel Nail extensions with a classic Red Matte Gel Polish finish nail design, glammed up with rhinestones and metallic bow embellishments as well as golden glitter. They also did a gel polish on my feet. The end result looked splendid (pun intended)! 

The owner talked me through Polish Me Splendid’s nail services which presently include Polygel and Acrylic Nails, Gel Polish manicure and pedicure and a wide range of nail accessories that make your nails look as though they were adorned with jewelry.

Polygel: Among these, Polygel is the safest and the most durable one. Even though they initially started with the Acrylic ones, soon after they saw the chemicals it exuded was toxic and harmful so once Polygel was introduced in their collection, they encouraged more people to go for that. As for Gel extensions, they don’t last too long so if people prefer to have them done for a week or so you may prefer them. In addition to all these, they have Gel Manicure where they use all their organic products for the manicure then they apply gel nailpolish on natural nails. This one is very popular among those who don’t want the extensions but still have beautiful nails.

Gel Pedicure: The Gel Pedicure is well loved by everyone as the Gel Polish lasts for a long time even if you’re wearing trainers and closed shoes. They also have a lot of nail art and accessories that resemble jewels. Although the owner says her favourite nail is a different one each time, if she had to pick one as Polish Me Splendid’s signature nail style it would be the French Manicure, where they put on Chantilly Lace sticker with pearls, stones and glitters that appears just perfect for weddings! She also picked out the signature ombre which is known as the baby boomer ombre where they do intricate stonework and a signature purple where they use purple shimmer and fuchsia pigments adorned with glitter and stonework. Initially when they started they thought the response would stem from women of ages between 21-50, but in reality what they’re getting is 13-65. So that has been overwhelming in itself. Also inquiring about the durability of the nails, she says while it varies from person to person but what they thought and what they are seeing from customers is totally different, what that means is that they didn’t expect the nails to go beyond the second week but here they are now getting pictures from happy customers with pretty nails fourth week running. While few have said the polish coming off by the end of the second week, it does depend on the amount of oil coming out naturally but they obviously try their best and if things do go right it should last three weeks without any maintenance after which you can do an infill however she recommends after the third or fourth week to take the nails out letting them breathe for a week and then do it again. 

Photo Credit: Sanjana A.

Talking about future endeavours, Amani Mulk says since this has only been a soft launch from her own home, so she does have an official launch coming up in the month of December when she’ll have a full service nail salon that specializes in nail technology. She also has plans for the salon to branch out from currently Gulshan 2 to Gulshan 1, Uttara and Dhanmondi and beyond the capital too eventually. Another exciting addition she mentions is introducing lash extensions to her nail bar which I’m sure many women would find fascinating. 

Photo Credit: Sanjana A.

While we discussed the pricing of getting these nails done she says the price for Polygel Nails is 5000 taka, however initially when they began they set it as 3000 taka but from the huge positive  response they got on the quality and longevity of the nails they decided to mark it up as it wasn’t covering their costs and also it does take two to three hours to get them done. She does say people have responded to it well however it should not cost any more than this for anyone to get their nails done. 

My overall experience was a very happy one as I came home with beautiful nails that are still going great after ten days. Although a bit heavy on the wallet, I think if you’ve a special occasion coming up you can glam your nails up it is surely worth it. Besides, it does last almost a month so that does justify the price.

Photo Credit: Sanjana A.