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Archive for the ‘skincare’ Category

Tonight I’m covering a very popular topic– and perhaps the most important one for every Indian woman to learn about. Concealing under eye darkness.

Well, ladies. We’ve all got it. It’s here to stay. Under eye darkness is hugely prevalent among South Asian women; it’s a result of bone structure and genetics.

Though it’s impossible to get rid of completely, there are some tips and tricks that can help reduce the appearance of under eye darkness:

  • Almond oil. Using your ring finger, gently massage almond oil around your eyes (from the outside-in under the eyes and from the inside-out on the lids and brow area) after thoroughly removing your makeup every night.
  • Drink lots of water. Stay hydrated; it’ll help keep your skin plump and dewy. If you are dehydrated, your under eye circles or hollows will only look darker and will take on a papery consistency.
  • Facial exercises. It makes sense, right? You exercise your body to keep it fit and to encourage blood circulation… do the same for your face!
  • Eat healthy, take your multivitamins. Darkness around the eyes could be a sign of vitamin or mineral deficiency. Eating well will also keep your energy levels up, which is crucial for bright eyes and glowing skin.
  • Sleep well. Well-rested eyes are happy eyes!
  • Do not spend too much time staring at the computer/TV. If you have to work at a desk for long hours, look away; focus your eyes on something far away from you at least once every 30 minutes (to relax the eyes).
  • Use an eye creamif you feel like it works. I’m skeptical about eye creams– I think they’re a marketing gimmick for the most part– but since they are very popular among celebrities and dermatologists, maybe there’s something to it. As for my own personal experience, I’ve found that a light smear of Vaseline (petroleum jelly) under my eyes at night made my under eye hollows much less apparent the next day (superficial water retention)… but I recommend doing this only on occasion, as mineral oil can clog pores.
  • Don’t be sad about it. Do NOT use fairness creams; they could cause terrible damage to your eyes. Accept your under eye darkness… remember, your favorite Bollywood stars, from actress Rani Mukherjee to Sonam Kapoor, all have under eye darkness, and use makeup to hide it! You’re not alone!

Those are just a few ways you can try to lighten the skin under or around your eyes. But for many girls, these home remedies are simply not enough. That’s when we turn to concealer.

First of all- identify the problem. If you are an Indian, there is a fair chance that what you have are not under eye circles at all, but under eye hollows.

Kareena Kapoor rocking the under eye hollows!

Under eye hollows, as modeled by Bebo above, are extremely common for South Asian women; it’s a skull shape thing. It’s most noticeable on those of us with close-set eyes. Nothing can dramatically alter the hollows apart from plastic surgery. The undereye area is sort of indented and deep-set, and although the skin itself might not necessarily be terribly dark, the shape of the hollow creates a shadowy darkness that can be very difficult to lighten.

So what to do?

Cream concealer. 

I recommend the amazing MAC Studio Finish Concealer SPF 35. It’s an opaque concealer, meaning it’s equipped to handle any concealing task you throw at it. Another benefit is that MAC concealers come in a wide range of shades, meaning there will be a match for everyone. (For reference, I use the NC 35 concealer on my NC 40-42 skin.) Go for a concealer that either matches your skin color or is one shade lighter.

As for liquid concealers… meh. I’ve tried both kinds and have always preferred cream concealers for their lasting power and their opacity. Liquid concealers are best suited for girls who need lighter coverage on under eye circles. Pair a liquid concealer with a brightening powder (Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder in #2) to set it for longer-lasting results. Brightening powders are said to help reduce the appearance of under eye hollows.

The key to concealing well is LAYERING. Don’t try and gob it on all at once. Using a clean finger, apply a very, very thin layer by dabbing and pressing gently. Do it again. And again, if needed, until the darkness is covered. Applying your under eye concealer in thin layers will help prevent creasing, caking, and overapplying. The heat generated from your finger will help melt and blend the concealer into your skin in a way that a brush can not, giving it a more natural appearance.

And that’s all there is to it! Hope this was helpful! Let me know all about your under eye concealing adventures. 🙂

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Indian film actress Sneha Ullal debuted in the 2005 film “Lucky: No Time for Love”, co-starring Salman Khan; she then went on to star in hit Telugu films. The media was abuzz with comparisons between her and look-a-like Aishwarya Rai– but we at Jolie Asie think Sneha has a beauty and charm that’s all her own! I had the chance to interview Sneha on all of her beauty secrets recently; here’s what she had to say!

MEG: What is the secret to your gorgeous, flawless skin?

SNEHA: I always believe the less you play with your skin, the more clear and clean it’s going to stay… so ever since I’ve known about makeup, creams, oils, etc., I prefer to stay away. I feel the more you pamper your skin, the more prone it’s going to get to all these products. And it’s going to want it even more. And let’s face it, there’s chemicals in everything today. So my most basic secret is to  just try and wash your face 3 to 5 times a day with plain water if your skin is dry or with the mildest soap if skin is oily. I don’t use face wash at all.

But I must say– and I don’t know if this is the reason — but it’s my belief, I have been using talcum powder on my face and body since childhood. And I’ve had a lot of milk too. And I mean a lot.

What is your diet and exercise routine like? Do you have any special tricks for staying slim and healthy?

I’m a vegetarian/eggtarian (not a lot of eggs, since they’re heaty), so my diet is all about spinach, fenugreek, potato, thyme, cottage cheese, etc. I’m not a rice person, so I have my wheat chapatis daily. [Plus] all kinds of lentils that help in protein levels… most food is cooked in minimum oil (preferably olive oil), which helps keep my stomach light and clear, and as we all know, a bad stomach means bad skin.

Exercise is mostly YOGA which is my favorite time of the day… includes stretching, light workout, and breathing (bandhas), which opens all the blocks in my body. It’s my belief that sweating is top secret for good skin.

What is your number one beauty tip for young women?

My tip for my girls out there would be “keep your stomach as light and healthy as possible and try to sleep without your phone next to you.” And stay away from heartbreaks, hehe.

How do you stay energized and fresh during long days on the sets?

If I have enough sleep and a light breakfast, I’m good to go at least 12 hours a day. A heavy breakfast makes me lazy, so I recommend something light, but don’t starve yourself like most women today… as it is the most importantly meal of the day. And it’s stupid, but I say, “the day is as good as your breakfast” :).

To feel fresh, inspite of my makeup artist hating this fact, but I do wash my face even with makeup on, as it feels clean. My most important thing is a perfume. I spray it almost every 2-3 hours especially while shooting; my favorites are Gucci Rush and Chanel Chance.

Can you tell us about some of your favorite beauty products?

You will always find me without makeup but if I have to wear some, here’s what I use: a liquid foundation of Guerlain Parure Gold with SPF only under the eyes, with a cover-up mix of MAC concealer in NC35. A very natural feminine blush on just the cheeks and chin– Guerlain Blush 4 Eclats’ Sculpting Blush in Rose Plein Vent. For my green eyes I prefer to go nude (without any eyeshadow; maybe a little cream to shine it up). But my mascara is nice and thin– 1 coat, no matter what. For my lips, I prefer no lipstick, but a healthy lip balm with some fruit extracts… I do Body Shop for that quite often.

What is your daily makeup routine?

Absolutely not a good idea to apply makeup everyday; of course when at work, then we have to… but if I have a meeting or an outing then it’s just undereyes and lip balm. 🙂

Thanks, Sneha!

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Beauty Interview: Ruby

Hi all! Here’s a special beauty interview with my ultra-glamorous friend Ruby! I have known Ruby since we were young girls, and I am thrilled to share her get-gorgeous tips with you. Without further ado:

Meg: Tell us a little about your skincare routine. What are your favorite products?
Ruby: Honestly, as much of disappointment this may be, I just use Dial soap as of right now or whatever soap is lying around at home when it comes to washing my face daily. But when the weekend comes around, when I have more time, I use this mixture of haldi (turmeric powder) and rice powder. I have this tub/jar sitting in my bathroom that consists of a cup of haldi and two cups of rice powder mixed together. I grab about a pinch full and put it in the palm of my hands and then add a little water until it forms a thick paste. I rub that all over my face to scrub off all the dead skin (rice powder) and keep my face glowing (haldi). I just rub it on my face and keep it on for a minute or two and I just wash it off and then if there seems to be some color remaining from the yellow haldi, I’ll just rinse of top with basic soap! I love this process because after it all, I feel so so fresh and my skin literally has this nice glow to it!

Afterwards I put my Aveeno moisturizer with SPF 15 on and my face and my skin care routine is complete! I always make sure to put moisturizer to keep my skin hydrated and feeling fresh.

What are the three most important products in your makeup bag and why?
One of the the three most important products in my makeup bag is definitely my concealer. I need concealer to feel complete about my look! I had really bad acne when I was younger and I have some darks spots remaining that are slowly fading away but not as fast as I wish they would, so concealer really helps cover those spots and give my face a solid consistency.

The second most important product is my eyeliner. Eyeliner gives me the look of being awake. I feel like without it I look tired and with it I get a nice pop! I use liquid eyeliner or gel eyeliner, and honestly the cheaper brands seem to work best when it comes to lasting a long time on my eyes! The way I put it on, I try to get that classic old Bollywood look like Sharmila Tagore had done.

Lastly, bronzer is my final essential. Bronzer allows me to contour the shape of my face and it gives me that look of being sunkissed. I know being “brown” most people would think not to use bronzer, but I use just enough to emphasize certain parts of my face and make my face have a certain glow appeal.

How do you treat and care for your hair?
I really do not do much for my hair. I use basic shampoo and my conditioner is Healthy Sexy Hair, from the product line, Big Sexy Hair. I keep my conditioner in for at least 3 minutes and rinse it out. After, I just simply use a towel to get my hair from soaking wet to just damp. From there, I always put Moroccan Oil (a quarter size amount) in my hair and let my hair air dry. I avoid using the blow dryer to prevent my hair from being damaged.

Where/how did you learn about styling your hair and applying makeup?
Styling my hair and applying makeup… hmm… I have no idea. From experimenting? I know I never learned it from anyone or any tutorials. I just experiment and have fun with it! I tend to get inspired by certain celebrities and then I will try it on my own, but basically it has been all trial and error.

What is your advice for girls who want to make their hair look shiny and full of volume without straight-ironing?
I know the Moroccan Oil has helped me tremendously with shine. Volume is a hard one, since my hair is SO full of volume already (I even have to get my hair thinned, that’s how full it is)! I know from working at a salon that people LOVE dry shampoo (Rockaholic Dry Shampoo). It gives you height and volume and also lets you get away with not washing your hair for an extra day or so!

Have you tried any special beauty treatments like facials, hair coloring, etc.? What did you think?
The only thing I’ve really tried is hair coloring. I went through a crazy phase in high school. I tried to get my hair to be a really nice chocolate brown… I used box coloring… and I soon learned that I should leave hair coloring to the professionals – when it comes to wanting a different color! But otherwise, I do use hair coloring when it comes to getting my hair to a darker color or giving my hair a certain tint to it. And of course my haldi and rice powder concoction lol!

What are your top fashion tips for young Indian women?
Top fashion tips for young Indian women… I honestly think with our skin color, everything, literally everything, looks amazing on us (color wise). Also, I don’t know why this bothers me, but Indian girls… you don’t need to put colored contacts in to look a certain way… being natural is SO beautiful and having dark eyes is such a beautiful thing. Don’t feel like you need to be more westernized with having lighter eyes. Being Indian is such a wonderful thing and it’s something to embrace.

What are the biggest fashion mistakes college-aged girls make, and how can they correct them?
The biggest fashion mistakes college-aged girls make is simply trying too hard. I go to a school where literally the girls get ready everyday as if it’s a fashion show! Keep it simple! You don’t need to wear platform heels going from class to class. Cute knee high boots, leggings, loose top, and some accessories can look amazing and go a long way!

If you could go back in time and give beauty tips to yourself when you were 14 years old, what would you say?
Oh my god! I would tell myself not to glob on all that concealer and BLEND!! I remember this was a crime for every 14 year old!! All the girls would have their concealer only up to their jaw line and you could see the color difference from their neck compared to their face!! Blending is key and I WISH I knew that back then so I didn’t look like a multicolored chick!

What are your tips for Indian women who are interested in hair removal? Do you recommend waxing, threading, depilatory creams, or something else?
From experience, LASER HAIR REMOVAL! Yes, it’s painful and it might take a year or so, but it is SO worth it. You have to go to the right people though because some of them only specialize in lighter hair or lighter skin and might not tell you that… so find someone that really knows about Indian hair and Indian skin tones to receive the best results. All the other stuff like waxing, creams and all are temporary. With laser, you are hair free FOREVER, and that is the dream of any Indian girl!

Thanks, Ruby!

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Here’s a Jolie Asie exclusive beauty interview with the super hot, super glam Kingfisher calendar girl Saiyami Kher. Read on for her fashion tips and beauty secrets…

Meg: Tell us a little about your background and how you came to be a Kingfisher Calendar model.

Saiyami: I was born and brought up in Nasik and shifted to Bombay 5 years ago for college. I studied at St. Xaviers college (Mumbai). Both my parents were models, my mother was a Miss India and they both did over a 100 ads. I thought of giving it a shot when I was in college and really enjoyed the process. Atul Kasbekar was very impressed with my photographs and he signed me up with his agency. There’s been no looking back from there, I did ads for Mahindra Rodeo, Pantaloons, L’Oreal, Levis and lots more over the past 2 years. He asked me to do the Kingfisher calendar last year, but I wanted to wait until I got done with college and also I felt this would be a great year because it is the 10th edition so it makes it even more special. The Kingfisher calendar was a fab experience!

What is your number one beauty secret?
Happiness! If you are happy inside it automatically shows on your skin, I have experienced it!

What are some of your top fashion tips for women who are tall?
I feel women who are tall are absolutely stunning! My only tip is to be confident and not conscious about your height. You are blessed with good height– flaunt it. You stand tall; you stand out from the crowd!

Tell us about your skincare regimen– what products do you use for glowing skin?
I drink a lot of water through the day which is essential for glowing skin. Besides that I moisturize my skin at all times. I use a sun block by Avene without which I don’t step out of my room and use Vichy’s under eye cream before I sleep. It’s very important that every little trace of makeup is wiped out when it’s not required. I feel if one even does just these basics it makes your skin flawless and the sun block and under eye cream is a precautionary measure for the future.

How do you treat and take care of your hair?
I have extremely curly hair. I normally like to keep it tied to protect it from the sun and pollution but I use a range of L’Oreal products which I am very happy with and I do a Kerastase hair treatment very often which just makes my hair so soft and beautiful.

Everyone always wonders– do models get stretch marks and cellulite like the rest of us? If so, what do you do to treat it?
As models we face problems like anyone else. Almond oil mixed with haldi (turmeric powder) really helps lighten stretch marks and make your overall skin look wonderful. This was something I did everyday before the Kingfisher calendar and I could see the results!

What foods does your diet regimen include?
Every morning I start my day with a liter of water and a fruit and eat 4 egg whites after my workout. A normal lunch with 2 rotis and vegetable and soup and salad for dinner. I love eating fruits and keep eating them all day. I am a chocolate lover so I do treat myself to chocolate every so often.

Modelling is no cakewalk. The lifestyle can include late nights and long work days. How do you stay fresh despite the difficult hours?
Sometimes I shoot and get hardly 1-2 hours of sleep with all the erratic schedules and traveling. My secret to it is I catch up on sleep anytime and anywhere I get a chance. So if the hair stylist is doing my hair, I sleep; when they are setting up, I doze off. These power naps really help!

Lastly, what is your exercise regimen like? What exercises do you enjoy best?
I am a fitness freak, have always been one. I played badminton and cricket for Maharashtra. I was called for the Indian women’s national cricket team selection but didn’t go for the tryout because modeling wouldn’t have been possible then. Even now I play a lot of sports. I prefer a sport or a run much more than going to the gym. So if I am not shooting you will see me running around Bandra between 5-8. 🙂

Thanks, Saiyami!

Saiyami Kher featured in the 2012 Kingfisher Calendar, shot by Atul Kasbekar

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Beauty queen Jacqueline Fernandez first hit the Indian glamour scene after winning Miss Sri Lanka Universe in 2006. She has since entered Bollywood as a film actress. Jacqueline spoke with Cosmopolitan India about her favorite beauty secrets and tips for skin care and hair care.

What’s the secret of your translucent skin?

Jacqueline: Believe me, as a teen I was plagued with acne! What cosmetics couldn’t do, my diet did. Slowly, I became more conscious about my nutrition and stopped eating junk. More of fish, veggies, fruits, nuts and a diet low on carbs and sugar soon made my skin glow!

Your beauty and skincare routine is…

Jacqueline: Oh, it’s no secret! I am very particular about cleansing, I stare hard at every cotton ball I use till the time I’m sure there’s no makeup on the cotton itself! Then there’s the regular toning and moisturising. I love Dermalogica products, they work well on me.

Do you diet? And exercise?

Jacqueline: I take care of my diet. A lot of grilled fish, steamed veggies, some fruits, nuts to snack on. I go low on carbs and totally avoid sugar, sticking to green tea rather than coffee or tea. I’m not big on exercising, but of course I do yoga. If I can’t make a class, then I do some weight training and cardio to break into a good sweat (which is good for your body and skin!)

Such gorgeous hair! You bathe them in milk or beer?

Jacqueline: I am as careful about caring for my hair as I am about cleansing my skin. With all those shoots, there is so much product in my hair that going to bed without shampooing is criminal. I feel that the basic step to taking care of your tresses is choosing the right shampoo and conditioner. The second step would be to update your product type, according to the change in quality of your hair.

A brand I can vouch for is Kérastase, they’ve got some fabulous solutions for hair problems. It is slightly high-end but hey, if it gives me good results, I think it’s worth it. I also use their hair mask once a week and I just adore a good head massage with hot oil! But these are still secondary solutions. I really believe in the saying, ‘You are what you eat’. Clichéd, I know, but since I eat a lot of fish and snack on nuts, I think the Omega-3 keeps my hair healthy!

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I recently had the chance to chat with Bollywood actress and American model Nargis Fakhri about her beauty secrets and tips.

Nargis, whose debut Indian film “Rockstar” co-starring Ranbir Kapoor releases later this year, had great advice to give me that is applicable to any woman looking to get gorgeous skin:

“Everything starts from the inside. Your body is your temple. Only put healthy food and positive thoughts in it!”

For radiant skin, Nargis recommends: “sleep, good food, lots of water, no soda or juice. I put lemons in my water so it has some flavor and [use a] face wash with salicylic acid. I like Neutrogena Acne Wash. I use coconut oil or olive oil to moisturize. Each person is different and I know what works for me.”

Great suggestions! The key to perfecting your skincare regimen is finding what suits your routine and your skin type. Thanks, Nargis!

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My most favorite addition to my skincare arsenal has been my homemade, natural facial serum using essential oils. Instead of blowing money on expensive night creams full of chemicals, fragrance, and other junk whose names I can’t pronounce, I decided to tailor-make my own serum for my individual skin needs.

Making your own night serum to use as a moisturizer is wonderful for so many reasons: it’s cost-effective, it’s fresh, it’s all natural, it’s FULL of healthy vitamins and skin healing and protecting properties, and best of all, you can choose the ingredients!

Essential oils are sold in tiny little bottles; basically, they’re concentrated extracts of plants and herbs. Essential oils contain vitamins like A, C, and E along with the unique properties associated with the organic material. Different essential oils suit different skin types; for instance, frankincense and rose are brilliant for aging, mature skin, while tea tree and lavender are famous for treating acne-prone skin.

So how do you make an essential oil serum? It’s super easy.

Step 1: First, do a little Googling about essential oils (EO) that are appropriate for your skin type. There’s lots of resources around the internet to learn more about the EO that’s right for you; for starters, click here and here. Pick two essential oils you want to include in your serum.

What do I use? Helichrysum essential oil and carrot seed essential oil. After very thorough research I chose these two oils for my young, sensitive, slightly hormonal skin to heal it now and protect it from wrinkles in the future. I also chose these two oils to preserve my even skintone and a radiant glow.

After you’ve picked your two essential oils, choose a base carrier oil. This is the main oil you will add your drops of essential oil to; your base carrier oil makes up the bulk of your serum. I use almond oil, a gentle, protective oil that is not greasy, sinks in to my skin well, and provides me a healthy dose of vitamin E to boot.

Step 2: Now you’re ready to order your essential oils and base oil. I trust Ananda Apothecary for all my EO needs- they are reliable, fast, secure, and carry excellent quality materials! I also ordered from Ananda a cobalt-blue dropper bottle to store my EO serum in.

Step 3: When your EOs have arrived, use this formula to create your facial serum:

Keep your serum at a 2% dilution of essential oils (i.e. helichrysum and carrot seed) in the base oil (almond oil).

This means you will add 12 drops of essential oil total per ounce of base oil. So, 6 drops of helichrysum essential oil and 6 drops of carrot seed essential oil in one ounce of almond oil. Remember, with EOs, less is more- they are extremely potent. I like to store my EO bottles in a spare fridge and make the serum one ounce at a time for freshness.

I keep the serum in my vanity drawer. Do not store your serum where it can be hit by direct sunlight or exposed to too much heat or cold.

That’s all there is to it! Massage the serum into your skin after you’ve washed your face at night, and see the beautiful skin results! My skin absolutely loves my moisturizing serum and my skintone looks better than ever since I started using it!

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