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!


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

Beauty Interview: Ratna

Brighten your Wednesday with a Jolie Asie interview, this week with my dear mother Ratna! I stole a few quiet minutes of relaxation Sunday evening to chat with her about her beauty tips.

Meg: What is your number one beauty secret?

Ratna: I’ve always washed my face at night and applied cream or lotion to my face, and to my body too.

You are over fifty and still get carded at parties. How do you stay young?

Ratna: I eat healthy food. I enjoy healthy food! I drink plenty of water. I drink two cups of tea a day, stay away from fats (for the most part). I have always exercised, since I was a teenager; not vigorously, you know, but at least walking. I NEVER over-indulge! I’ve never eaten oily, greasy foods. I am a strict creature of habit. I generally enjoy the same foods at the same time, and prefer to go to bed at the same time. And again, I apply lotion to my face and body every day, twice a day- once in the morning, and once in the evening after I’ve washed my face off to prepare for the night.

What are your diet and exercise regimens like?

Ratna: Carbs are my favorite! (laughs) So I know I have to control what I eat! I have to think deliberately about including protein in my diet. The protein in my diet generally consists of milk and milk products, beans, dals- legumes- and a couple of eggs a week. I also include the likes of chicken probably about once a week. I start my day out with some whole grain, fruit, and milk, soymilk, or cottage cheese. I also throw in some nuts, seeds, and include some dates and raisins to satisfy my sweet tooth- while getting some fiber. My morning snack, if any, consists of fruit.

For lunch, I usually have a very colorful salad with as many colored vegetables as I can find. Again, topped with some nuts, a bit of cheese, and grapes or dried fruit to make it an enjoyable feast. I supplement that with a whole grain slice of bread, so that I don’t get hungry in half an hour. It’s either that or a bean and vegetable soup. Often, I have cereal and soymilk for an afternoon snack. Dinner generally consists of Indian food: roti and vegetable, rice and dal, or some combination thereof, with raw vegetables on the side.

I exercise at least six days a week. For about six months out of the year, my exercise consists of a two-mile walk [outside], but I am also a very busy person. I am on my feet many hours of the day, for several hours. I don’t have a stationary lifestyle, and that gets included as a part of my exercise routine. The other six months, I generally rely on exercise videos which include light weights, lunges, squats, and a little bit of treadmill and elliptical.

What is your advice for me and other young women who want to preserve their youthful looks?

Ratna: Wash your face, put lotion! Do not leave makeup on a moment more than necessary, and make sure you have conditioned your face. Don’t over-indulge in ANYTHING, whether it is chocolate, or greasy foods, or chips, or alcohol: don’t do too much of any one thing. Also drinks lots of water and a cup of tea.

What is your skincare routine?

Ratna: I do on occasion apply besan [gram flour] and haldi [turmeric] to my face, and I always feel like my face is brighter and tighter after that “treatment”. I have never had a facial in my life, never. I use Clinique bar soap to wash my face twice a day.

Name some of your favorite beauty products.

Ratna: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, Estee Lauder DayWear SPF 15, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum (for firming skin), MAC Mineralize Foundation SPF 15, Estee Lauder Compact Powder (I’ve used it for bazillion years!), Clinique or Estee Lauder lipsticks.

How do you care for your hair?

Ratna: Through experimentation, I learnt that you can train your hair to get washed only twice a week, and yet maintain reasonable fullness. I have also learnt that it’s better to mix up shampoos, switch products, because somehow your hair learns to get annoyed by a single product. I also condition my hair; actually, I think I am a little more particular about a conditioner than I am about a shampoo. I’ve tried some expensive shampoos and, believe me, it’s no use spending money on them. I really like the Pantene 5-Minute conditioning mask.

What is the biggest beauty mistake people make, and how can they avoid it?

Ratna: They follow fashion trends, they don’t necessarily choose what works for THEM. Because if you are choosing what works for you, you are going to be looking beautiful even if the things you are wearing may not be what is out there in the market.

How have your beauty routines changed since you were a young girl growing up in India?

Ratna: When I was growing up, I did not use much else beyond an eye pencil and a compact powder. I continued doing that through even my twenties, thirties, and forties. Of late, I have started using a foundation to give me a little bit better coverage. The products I used in my teens and early twenties have changed, but since my mid-twenties I have been using Clinique products and I have not changed that, and I never will. But, I have added the SPF products because in my forties I started feeling the need to protect my skin from the sun.

What are your basic fashion staples?

Ratna: My basic fashion staples are a nice pair of slacks… I dress in layers, so I always have a short-sleeve or long-sleeve cotton or silk blouse with a complementing sweater, whether it’s cotton or wool on top, so that I can manage my body temperature effectively. In summer, I enjoy wearing sleeveless maxi dresses. For dress-up, I enjoy wearing a variety of Indian clothes- saris and salwars. I do not particularly enjoy to wear blues, browns, or even yellows. I like all shades of pink, purple, and red.

Thanks, Mom!

Happy New Year! Thrilled to be mentioned in the Times of India in an article on 2011 Bollywood fashion trends. Here’s to another year of beauty, fashion, and health! Best wishes!

Click here to read the TOI article

Happy holidays! Here’s a Jolie Asie exclusive interview with personal trainer to India’s top stars, Yasmin Karachiwala. Yasmin’s famous clients include Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, Arjun Rampal, Kunal Kapoor, and Imran Khan, among others. Without further ado, to the interview:

Meg: You are Bollywood’s reigning fitness superstar! Please tell us a little about your famous clients and the workouts they love. We hear Katrina is into Pilates!

Yasmin: Katrina trains her body differently everyday. One day it could be pilates, and the next functional training, or interval training, or just machines. The look she’s aiming for dictates the workouts I design for her.

Yasmin (pictured at right) with Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif

MegDo you recommend any special foods, supplements or vitamins to your trainees?

Yasmin: I only recommend protein shakes once a day for non-vegetarians and maybe twice for vegetarians, depending on what their current foodplan is. Vitamins, etc. I leave to the doctors to recommend, as they would be the best qualified to do so.

MegYou recommend eating meals every two hours. What are some examples of meals that you suggest?

Yasmin: 3 egg whites and a whole-wheat toast, 1 jowar chappatti with a bowl of eggs and a vati of daal, 1 banana with 3 walnuts.

MegWhat is the best form of exercise for women to burn calories and lose extra weight fast?

Yasmin: A combination of strength training and cardio. I find interval training most effective.

MegWhat is the best form of exercise for women to trim their waistline and tighten and firm their problem areas?

Yasmin: First, to watch what they eat. I find a combination of cardio & Pilates works the best for the abdominals.

MegWhich gives better results for a lean and toned body: Yoga or Pilates?

Yasmin: I would say its different for each person, you need to try both and figure out for yourself which works best for you.

MegWhat should Indian women in particular be doing to live healthier lifestyles? What common diet and fitness mistakes do you find them making—and how can they correct them?

Yasmin: Cut the ghee, butter, [and] milk from their diets which their ancestors swear by. Women need to realize that our ancestors’ lives were far more active than our sedentary ones, with drivers, maids and nannies at our beck and call.
Women need to start strength training, and not just stick to cardio, as more and more women of today are heading towards osteoporosis.

MegWhat forms of exercise do you recommend for older women, who may not be comfortable hitting the gym?

Yasmin: I cannot generalize exercises for older women, as with age comes problems and each one’s is different from another’s. For me, it’s very important to view each client as an individual before I can advise them about any kind of exercise. There are lots of exercises that older women can do at home; my advice to them would be to consult a good trainer and find out which would work for them.

MegWhat can we do in our diets and fitness strategies to improve low energy levels?

Yasmin: Eat every 2 hours, make sure each meal consists of protein, carbs, fiber, don’t eat till you’re gonna burst, stop just short of being stuffed, do some form of exercise at least 3 days a week. I find 1 banana and 3 walnuts work instantaneously on low energy levels.

MegIs there a “best time of day to work out”? If so, is it the morning, afternoon, or evening?

Yasmin: The best time to work out is ‘the time that works best for you’!!

Thanks, Yasmin!

If you are interested in training with Yasmin, visit her website at http://www.bodyimage.in/.

The grazing diet, in which one takes in several small meals throughout the day as opposed to three large meals, is hugely popular among celebs around the world– from East Asia, to Bollywood, to Hollywood. This method is recommended by nutritionists and fitness experts to keep the metabolism stimulated throughout the day and prevent gorging during any one meal. This means more energy and faster weight loss!

I’ve compiled here for you a meal plan followed by many celebrities, from Katrina Kaif to Sonakshi Sinha. Choose ONE of the meal options for each of the five meals. Be sure that you are picking wisely– if you have brown bread with breakfast, don’t eat it again for your snack. Try and choose snacks that complement one another: instead of having two fruits for both snacks, have one fruit in the morning, and vegetable juice in the afternoon. Strive for balance by including fruits, vegetables, proteins, carbohydrates, and some fats (in moderation) into your meals every day.

Also, learn to rethink portion sizes. Because you are eating five meals, your portion sizes must be smaller (fewer calories) than they would be if you were only eating three. This may involve some challenging realigning of your thinking– it might feel strange having only one roti with dinner, but remember that you’ve been munching throughout the day!

Be sure to stay hydrated from morning to night by drinking water and sipping green or white tea.

8 AM


  • Eggs and paratha/roti (Indian flatbread)
  • Egg whites and porridge
  • Egg whites and muesli
  • Oatmeal and fruit
  • Egg and toast
  • Cereal

10 AM

Mid-morning snack:

  • Vegetable juice
  • Sprouts
  • Protein shake (recommended protein powder: whey protein)
  • Fruit

12 PM


  • Dal (lentils) and roti or brown rice
  • Salad and soup
  • Roti and vegetables
  • Fish and bread (recommended fish: salmon)
  • Chicken and salad
  • Protein shake with juice

Between 2 & 4 PM

Afternoon snack:

  • Brown bread with peanut butter
  • Tahini with whole-wheat pita bread
  • Fruit
  • High-fiber crackers with chicken cold cuts
  • Skim milk and nuts (almonds, walnuts; throw in a few dates and figs)
  • Yogurt
  • Buttermilk
  • Vegetable juice
  • Sprouts
  • Protein shake

6 PM


  • Dal and roti or brown rice
  • Salad and soup
  • Roti and vegetables
  • Fish and soup
  • Chicken and salad

Do not eat carbs, sweets, or other heavy foods after 7 PM. Consume only fruit after this time (if you are hungry). If you’d like dessert after dinner, try a piece of antioxidant-rich, low-sugar dark chocolate.

Best of luck!

Everyone loves grazing!

During my research for the How to Look Like Katrina Kaif post, I was baffled to learn how little makeup Kat actually wears. She swears by an illuminating concealer and a sheer loose powder. No foundation- powder, liquid, cream, or stick.

In an effort to get similarly fantastic skin, I followed her suit. I ditched my beloved MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation for Guerlain Meteorites (in #3 Teint Dore), a sheer, illuminating face powder (also a favorite Danqing’s).


What an amazing difference! I now have perfect, Katrina-worthy results! I am giving all of my makeup-wearing friends (that includes you, dear reader) this shocking advice: DITCH THE FOUNDATION! Concealer is your BFF!

Too many girls waste oodles money by using their foundation as a concealer. This is one of the worst makeup mistakes you can possibly make. It breaks my heart to see this because it is a total misuse of  the foundation– you lose precious product by asking it to do something it’s not meant to do! It’s like hiring a carpenter to fix your plumbing.

Why do most girls buy a foundation? To get flawless-looking skin. Unless you have uneven skin pigmentation or a dull complexion, concealer– and not foundation– is the key to flawlessness.

Foundations are meant to be sheer. Sheer products are not designed to cover blemishes effectively. If you are skipping concealer and going straight to foundation, you are almost certainly applying too much foundation to get that opaque concealer effect.

So try this: after you have applied your favorite opaque concealer (in the exact same color as your skin– not 2 shades lighter), dust a sheer powder over your skin to buff and blend the concealer in and mattify shine from your face cream.

If you have applied your concealer in the right places– over dark spots, redness, undereye circles, and acne– I promise you: you will feel no desire to smear foundation all over your face. Instead, your skin will breathe, will feel light, and look oh-so-natural.

Your glowing skin will thank you!