Makeup Must-Haves For The Super-Pale Lady

Tanned skin has enjoyed popularity in our culture ever since Coco Chanel accidentally made sunbathing chic in 1923. However, with the recent increase in knowledge about sun damage and the risks therein, it’s becoming more and more fashionable to embrace your natural skin tone — just as it’s become en vogue to embrace naturally thick brows. If only we could go back in time and reassure our pale, hairy, teenage selves that our time would come.

Women with extremely pale skin are finally having their moment in the sun again (well, metaphorically speaking), thanks to gorgeously translucent celebrities like Dita von Teese, Emma Stone, Rooney Mara, the Fanning sisters, and Cate Blanchett, to name a few. They don’t seem to feel the need to turn themselves orange to be beautiful, and they really know how to make their red-carpet beauty looks work with their fair skin. 

There is, after all, a certain amount of effort involved in maintaining pale skin. Not only is it important to wear at least SPF 30 every day to protect your complexion, but it can often be a headache trying to find the right makeup. It can be hard to find a shade of blush or lipstick that won’t look clownish against fair skin, and things like foundation and bronzer often look fine in the store but then quickly take on an orange cast on the skin.

If you’ve ever bemoaned the fact that nobody makes makeup for vampires, don’t worry: They do, and we put together a roundup of the best cosmetics for super-pale ladies as well as some handy tips. Read on — and don’t forget the SPF, of course.

NARS’ Radiant Creamy Concealer is bound to become a holy-grail item for anyone who tries it, but it is particularly ideal for those with tricky skin tones and textures. It comes in a wide range of shades, from chantilly to cacao. Chantilly is described as a “true ivory shade for the fairest complexions,” so if you are so pale your skin is practically transparent, this is the concealer for you.

For those with a slight hint of pink in their skin tone, go up one shade to vanilla for a good match. The best part about this concealer is that, as the name promises, it will make your skin look lit from within. It’s very easy for pale skin to look flat and dry when made up, but this concealer imparts a subtle shimmer (without resorting to flecks of glitter or any horrors of that kind) and glides smoothly onto even the most dehydrated skin.

If you’re on a budget, Maybelline Fit Me Concealer is a great drugstore option that is comparable to NARS’. It only comes in six shades, but the lightest — fair — is extremely light, and the formula has a fairly creamy consistency. However, if you want a greater shade selection and that hard-to-get glow, you should save up for the NARS. You won’t regret it.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly, $28, available at NARS .

Concealer should go on after foundation for full coverage, but foundation can be incredibly frustrating for those with extremely pale skin. Discoloration from acne scars or sunspots as well as skin conditions like rosacea (or even just normal ruddiness) often stand out more clearly against fair skin.

Many BB creams are often too sheer or orange, so those with very pale skin are probably going to be better off looking for a medium-coverage foundation from a line that offers a variety of shades, such as NARS Sheer Glow Foundation(17 shades), L’Oréal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup (15 shades), or Clinique Even Better Makeup (a whopping 30 shades).

Remember to look for a foundation that is sheer enough to let your freckles show through if you have them — freckles are too adorable to cover up — and that doesn’t oxidize after a few hours’ wear. Wearing a primer under your makeup can help to prevent oxidization. It’s also best to wear sunscreen under your foundation or even choose a foundation that already has SPF, to better preserve your porcelain skin — both the Clinique and L’Oréal foundations have an SPF of at least 20.

Finally, if you simply can’t find a foundation that’s light enough (or if you find one with a great formula but not-so-great shade range), you can easily tweak it to your liking by adding some MAC Face And Body Foundation in White. It is literally pure white, so by mixing this with a too-dark foundation, truly pale girls can create their own perfect shade.

L’Oréal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous in Porcelain, $12.95, available at L’Oréal.
Many pale women shy away from blush out of fear of looking clownish because it can stand out so starkly against fair skin tones. This can be a mistake, because a bit of color on one’s cheeks does a world of good for just making one appear alive. The key is to find the right shade of blush for you. As professional makeup artistKristina Johnson (who has very pale skin herself) says, “Make sure you have color on your cheeks, but be careful with blushes and bronzers that are too dark or orange.”

Try soft, sheer shades of pink first — Bobbi Brown Blush is the best for a natural-looking flush of color, offering a wide variety of shades to choose from. Johnson also recommends trying to match or coordinate your cheek color to your lip color (that is, warm-toned pink lipstick with a warm-toned pink blush).

Bobbi Brown Blush in Apricot, $26, available at Bobbi Brown.

As Johnson pointed out, many pale women fall into the trap of using bronzer that is too dark or orange for their skin tone. It happens to the best of us. Even bronzers that look innocent enough in their packaging at the store can wind up turning orange once on your face.

Possibly the best bronzer for the fair-skinned is Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer. It comes in two shades: the fairest of the fair will probably want to stick to the light/medium hue, but most pale women should have no problem even with the darker shade, medium/dark. It is a true brown, with no hint of orange whatsoever, and it goes on sheer enough that it would be difficult to overdo it.

For a bit of contouring, simply use your finger to swipe a line under your cheekbones to your temples, and then buff it in thoroughly with a kabuki brush. That last step is key for a soft look that won’t be too harsh or obvious. Oh, and the best part about this bronzer? It actually smells like a chocolate bar (without making you look like you rubbed one all over your face).

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer in Medium/Deep, $30, available at Too Faced.
Highlighter is at least somewhat easier for pale women than bronzer, since it is usually quite sheer and light-toned. When choosing the right highlighter, one must consider three things: shimmer, opacity, and undertones. Usually highlighters come with pink, gold, or silver undertones; whichever one you pick depends mostly on whether your skin tone is warm or cool.

Just beware of golden or peach-toned highlighters that can sometimes veer into orange territory on pale skin. Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Highlighter Stick in Sparkling Sands is the best sheer, cool-toned option, while Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector is perfect for a warm glow that won’t read orange even on the palest of faces.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal, $41, available at Becca.Nude lipsticks can be tricky for every skin tone, but those with very pale skin have to be especially careful when looking for the right shade. Too pale and you’ll look completely washed out; too dark and, well, then it no longer has the desired effect of a nude lipstick. The right nude lippie for you might include notes of peach or pink — you don’t want it to be completely colorless, but do try to avoid any brown or orange in your lipstick.

Alexa Chung recently confessed her love for the nude shades of Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte lipstick and, considering she’s the reigning queen of the cat-eye-and-nude-lip look, you know she wouldn’t steer you wrong. Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte in Nude Beige is the top choice: just the right hint of pink, a creamy formula, and beautiful packaging. Much like tracking down that perfect red lipstick, however, it can sometimes take a while to find a nude lipstick that works best for you.

If you’d like to spend less money in your trial-and-error phase, e.l.f. Mineral Lipstick in Natural Nymph and L’Oréal Colour Riche in Fairest Nude are both excellent options for pale girls on a budget.

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Lipstick in Nude Beige, $35, available at Sephora.Red lipstick can also be challenging for the fair-skinned, but for the opposite problem: The contrast can look so striking that it can be a little startling if you’re not used to it. A good starter red lipstick for pale women is Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Standout. Not only is it affordable and easy to use, but it is a perfect true, blue-based red that looks amazing with fair complexions.

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Standout, $5.84, available at Target.If you’re pale and wondering which of the much-hyped Urban Decay Naked Palettes to purchase, we’ve got your answer. The general guidelines for wearing eyeshadow when pale are that darker shades can impart a too-harsh, bruised look, while pink or red shades will make you look tired or even ill. (And, of course, nude shades may simply blend in to your skin completely.)

For this reason, pale women will most likely get the most mileage out of Naked 2, which has an ideal mix of taupe and gray-beige hues that will be particularly flattering to cooler skin tones. Of course, you can be pale and also have a warm skin tone, in which case Naked 1 might be the better choice. What if you’re not sure if you’re cool-toned or warm-toned? Well, first, join the club. And, then consider trying Naked 3, which contains many rose-gold hues that are considered to be universally flattering. 

Beauty After Baby: The Honest Truth

Two months ago, I gave birth to a baby boy. I’m madly in love with my son and feel blessed that I was able to have a child and that he is healthy. I know how lucky I am, but I have to admit that I resent what pregnancy has done to my body. I understand that the stretch marks, scars and baby weight are badges of honor, but it doesn’t really change how I feel. Personally, I no longer feel pretty. In fact, I’ve never felt less pretty than I do right now. I’m not happy with how my body looks. I’m embarrassed to be naked in front of my husband. I’m afraid I won’t lose the baby weight and that the scars and stretch marks will never fade. I’ve lost my sexy and I’m scared I won’t get it back.
I share these thoughts at the risk of coming off as superficial, because I know that I’m not alone. In speaking with other new moms, I’ve learned that so many of them share the same feelings and concerns, but don’t want to admit them out loud for fear of being judged, or simply because it’s embarrassing or depressing to talk about.
Therein lies the problem. Why should a woman be made to feel bad about wanting to feel good about herself? I’m not upset about how I look more than I’m upset about how I feel I look. The truth is, in gaining a beautiful baby boy, I simultaneously lost a bit of confidence when I saw what the aftermath of pregnancy did to my body. Friends warned me that my body would change, but nobody told me just how much, or that most of those changes would be for the worse. I thought I’d get to keep the glowing skin, thick hair, and sexy cleavage, I had during pregnancy. I was confident that the baby weight would melt off with breastfeeding. Instead, I couldn’t breastfeed, so I’m holding on to those extra pounds. I can’t exercise them away because I’m not cleared to work out just yet. I have a neck covered in skin tags. I have stretch marks the width of my stomach that my derm said will never completely disappear. My feet are a full size bigger. I need to resize my wedding band because my fingers got fatter, too. Part of my summer wardrobe is a splint (aka girdle) that I have to wear 24/7. It helps correct a condition called Diastasis Recti, also known as “Mummy Tummy,” as my abdominal walls separated during pregnancy after carrying a very large baby. To maintain a shred of dignity, I won’t even go into the countless gross and uncomfortable things that we new moms have to deal with in places we never thought we’d ever focus so much attention. Just know that the list goes on.
I know it could all be worse and that I am blessed to have this wonderful baby boy. But on top of the other challenges that come with being a new mom, I never expected beauty, or lack thereof, to take such a toll on me. Having been a beauty publicist for more than 14 years, I’ve seen firsthand on several occasions how beauty is so greatly linked to confidence. I’ve also witnessed beauty’s power to transform and heal others. The little things I can do for myself now, like get my hair colored or treat myself to a manicure, are an instant boost to my self-esteem. A little bit of concealer, mascara and lip gloss goes a long way to make me feel pulled together after countless sleepless nights. Beauty is powerful.
I work for a brand that celebrates a woman’s natural beauty, and I, too, truly believe that women should be empowered beyond superficial beauty. But dealing with unfamiliarity when I look in the mirror took me by surprise, leaving me uncomfortable—for the moment—in my own skin. I’m sure that, in time, I will slowly start to feel like a semblance of myself. I know that it hasn’t been that long since I gave birth and that you can’t completely reverse 9 months of pregnancy and traces of childbirth in only 8 weeks. I know some things will go back to the way they were, and some things just won’t. So, for now, I’ll let my makeup work its magic until I get my sexy back and focus, instead, on the true beauty in my life…my son.

What if the Fountain of Youth isn’t a miracle face cream or a new-wave plastic surgery procedure, but a five-step yoga routine developed 2,500 years ago?
The Five Tibetan Rites—a series of simple exercises immortalized by Peter Kelder in 1939—promise “vigor and virility” by energizing and aligning our seven “psychic vortexes.” What on earth does that mean? Essentially, when a bunch of Tibetan monks developed their ideal yoga routine a few centuries ago, they realized that one particular five-exercise sequence made them feel most fit and youthful, according to Kelder’s book, The Eye of Revelation, which also claims that the rites transformed a gray-haired, cane-carrying friend into a straight-backed lad with nary a silver strand.

While your average rite-performer can’t expect such Benjamin Button-style results, Equinox yogi Stephanie Culen says the thoughtful asana can indeed have an anti-aging effect. “With their back bends, the exercises stretch the spine,” Culen says. “And yoga philosophy says that when the spine is supple and flexible, the whole body is more youthful.” But that doesn’t mean that a few well-intentioned stretching sessions will take years off your life. “The monks did them three times a day for years and years,” Culen says. “Only with consistency, practice and time will you see benefits: healing, rejuvenation and increased energy.” Herewith, Culen walks us through the five rites. 
1. Spinning
The exercise: Stand with arms outstretched, horizontal with the shoulders. Spin, turning from left to right, until you become slighty dizzy or reach 21 spins. (All the rites are ideally performed 21 times.)

The benefit: “This is to stimulate spine and open the core. You’re getting movement through the spine, from the top down and the bottom up.”
2. Leg Raises
The exercise: Lie flat with your hands flat on the ground by your hips. Raise your legs to 90 degrees or further, keeping the legs straight. Hold this position for a moment, then lower the feet to the floor. Relax and repeat. 

The benefit: “This one aligns the chakras, getting strength into your spine and core—and stimulating the legs.”

3. Camel Pose
The exercise: Kneel with arms slightly bent, and palms flat against the side of your legs. Bend at the waist and lean forward as far as possible with your chin on your chest. Then arch your spine as far back as possible, letting your head drop. Keep your hands by your sides. Revert to the erect kneeling position, relax and repeat. 

The benefit: “Here, you’re beginning to open the chakras and therefore awaken the body. The baby forward bend stretches the back, and the reversal opens the front: chest, stomach, quads.”

4. Tabletop
The exercise: Sit with perfectly straight legs stretched out in front of you. Place the hands on the ground, and the chin on the chest, and raise the body while bending the knees so that calves are vertical to the ground. Make the chest and legs horizontal, tensing every muscle in the body, and let the head hang back as far as possible. Lower, relax and repeat. 

The benefit: "Tabletop opens the front side of the body—the legs, hips, chest, shoulders and arms—and energetically opens all the chakras."
5. Downward and Upward Dogs
The exercise: From standing, place the palms on the floor a few feet in front of you. Push the body—particularly the hips—up and back as far as possible, rising on the toes and hands. Bring your chin to your chest. Then lower the chest to the floor and arch the back, drawing the head back toward the ceiling and letting it hang as far back as possible. 

The benefit: “Again, you’re opening the front and back. In Tibetan Buddhism, there’s a focus on ‘reversing the wind,’ or performing both an action and its inverse.”


Make Your Own All Natural Bug Repellent

I am a mosquito magnet. While they just buzz by my friends and family—apparently less appealing to the bloodsuckers—if I don’t douse myself with bug spray before every outdoor activity, BBQ, or cocktail party I will have five to ten golf ball-sized welts decorating my arms and legs. If you think I’m exaggerating, several dermatologists have asked me about possible exposure to exotic spiders. On a recent trip to Costa Rica I sprayed on 90% DEET about five times a day to protect myself. It worked, but the terrible smell and tingly feeling made me vow to never use traditional bug spray again.
DEET, the main ingredient in mainstream insect repellant, is a known neurotoxin, meaning it could be toxic to your brain (on top of irritating to your skin). Recently, Urvashi Rangan, director of Consumer Reports’ Food Safety and Sustainability Center said, “We think that DEET and other chemical-based repellents should be used only if other, safer methods don’t work for you.” And now there’s the threat of chikungunya, the latest scary mosquito-borne disease hitting the Caribbean (and it could move north, to the U.S.). Growing even more paranoid about my unmanageable bug bites, I reached out to Jolene Brighten, a naturopathic medical doctor based in Oakland, California to shed some light on the topic as well as some great alternative solutions to over-the-counter bug spray. 
“All popular brands that don’t tout being natural have DEET in them,” says Brighten. She said if you follow the direction on the bottle it may not be a huge problem, but things get iffy when you’re also using sunscreen that contains DEET or applying the bug spray multiple times a day. “The toxicity builds and because of the way it’s processed to the kidneys and liver it could lead to seizures and even death.” More sad news: the chemical also contaminates ground water. Brighten advises to reserve heavy-strength DEET for foreign travels when you might be exposed to malaria.
Thankfully, there is a healthier, natural way to repel insects without exposing yourself to excess toxins. “Research has shown that essential oils can be just as effective because they work in a similar way,” says Brighten, of the products that mask those scents, overloading the bugs’ olfactory senses, block their receptors, and confusing them, so that you become invisible to the critters—which is all I want in life.

So which oils do you need?  First, a carrier oil like olive, sunflower, or coconut to dilute and distribute the essential oil, making it last longer and buffering potential irritation. (The latter actually has mild insect-repelling properties in itself.) Then comes the essential oil. Citronella, lemon eucalyptus, clove, thyme, lemongrass, and peppermint oils will all prevent mosquito bites (and smell nice!).
Mix 25 drops of essential oil for every two tablespoons of carrier oil and apply to your skin like lotion, or put them in a spray bottle. “Blending a broad range of oils can help,” says Brighten. “When hiking you may want to repel ticks and mosquitos, so you could use a mixture of citronella and rose geranium.” 

How to get beautiful lips

Your lips have a very delicate skin and are one the most sensuous parts of your body so taking good care of them is vital. What can you do to ensure they remain beautiful looking and healthy? Here are some tips:

Make sure you do not rub your hands over them too many times or bite them with your teeth. This can lead to the skin getting irritated and the area around them to become dark.

Just like your skin, your lips need a routine care for their upkeep. So always keep a lip balm handy with you and apply it on them from time to time. If you do not wish to carry it around, then apply once in the morning and once before you sleep. You can get different kinds of lip balms – apply lip oil if you do not want intense moisturising, or go for heavy lip butter if they are too chapped. You can even buy lip balms with SPF to protect them against harmful sun rays.

If you apply lipsticks, make sure you dab some lip balm before you apply them so that the skin is well moisturised.

A simple home remedy to heal chapped lips is to apply a drop of ghee before you sleep. Apply it for a few days every night and see your lips heal soon.

Make sure your lips are free of any lipstick or lip gloss at the end of the day. Wipe it off gently with a wet cotton ball; never rub them vigorously to remove make-up.

Avoid sharing lip cosmetic and balms with others as your saliva gets transferred on them when you lick them with your tongue.

Bridal make-up trend — smokey eyes

Smokey eyes are usually associated with evening parties but the latest trend is brides opting for this bold look. Paris-based freelance make-up artist Sanni Sorma talks about this trend and more that brides are asking for these days. 
What are brides asking for this season? 
This spring there are more and more brides asking for a smokey eye look. They want to create drama and a sexy smokey eye is easy to carry off no matter what your colouring is. I am seeing a lot of photos of Eva Mendes, Jessica Alba and Kim Kardashian as inspiration photos from the brides. 

Do trends change much each year?  
Yes and no. There will always be the classic bridal fresh faced look — ‘like you but better’ — but mini trends do come and go. Last year I got asked to do a lot of red lips, tricky if you intend to kiss the groom!
How close to the day do brides-to-be make up their minds on their look?
Sometimes months in advance and sometimes they are still not sure when I arrive. We often email back and forth leading up to the wedding with photos of looks she likes. 

What’s your top tip for a stress-free wedding day when it comes to hair and make-up?
Have a trial if you can. Sometimes it’s also great to visit a few department store make-up counters and just try a few different looks — you might be surprised of what a subtle change can do. It’s good to wake up confident on your wedding day knowing that at least your make-up and hair will look great even if the weather does not cooperate. 

What’s the strangest/funniest request you’ve had for a wedding look?
I haven’t had any strange requests but you do learn to do things outside your own remit. Tightening corsets, helping shoes on, fixing bouquets and tour guiding all happen, sometimes all in the same wedding. 

If you too want to go for the smokey eye look, here are steps to do it yourself. 
  • First, apply a thin coat of eye primer. It helps to make eye make-up last longer. Start from the eyelids all the way up under your eyebrow.
  • Choose the lightest shade of eyeshadow and apply it evenly on your eyelids.
  • Then move onto a darker shade. Work at the top of your lid by using your finger to blend it evenly.
  • Next, apply a dark eyeliner for the top lids. Blend it into the bottom lids for a smoky look. 
  • Finish the look by applying a eyelash volumising mascara. You could also curl your lashes if you wish.

Get that perfect smile with the right lip colour

A perfect smile can get you many admirers instantly! Not only does it make your face more appealing but also adds a warmth to your personality. With the right make-up and some tips, you can certainly aim to get the perfect toothy grin. 
Tips to get your smile right

Don’t show too much teeth: While displaying your pearly whites is good, too much of them can put off people. When you smile, make sure your upper set of teeth are visible but don’t open your entire mouth at once. Many people have a half, lop-sided smile. It may look good on some but see how you look before you ape it. 
Smile from your eyes: If you are faking it, people will know. In order to get a lovely grin, let your eyes too emote your happiness. Greeting people with a warm smile will always earn you brownie points in their books. Smiling with your lips with a deadpan expression in your eyes is the wrong way to go about it. Also, shutting your eyes completely when smiling doesn’t look good. Try to keep them open but don’t stare at the same time. A slight head tilt will make your smile look more natural. 

Practise it to perfect it: If looking at your pictures makes you cringe, practise the way you pose and smile in front of the mirror. You can try different variations or even take pictures to help you understand what looks best on you. Though a natural smile will always look better, you can certainly make sure that you are more confident in your photos. The camera can make many people conscious so remember the look you practised and try to get the same when you pose. 

Pouting isn’t for everyone: If Angie can do it, so can I! Unfortunately, that isn’t the truth. Some people have naturally pouty lips which makes it easier for them to perfect the sexy pout. Though it looks smouldering, it can look very weird and even funny if you don’t get it right. Your face will look uncomfortable and tensed if you try too hard to pout, definitely not a happy picture.

Make-up tips 
The right make-up can make your face look more attractive. In order to perfect your smile, you need to pay attention to your lips and let the face make-up be more subtle. Hues like pinks and reds go well with most skintones and also divert all the attention to your lips. Many lipstick shades though they look good, can make your teeth look yellowish. In order to avoid this, choose from the following lip colours to get that perfect smile. 

Pale pink: Instead of blah nudes that make teeth look more yellow, pick brightening shimmery pinks, says Marissa Nemes, a make-up artist in Miami.

Sheer pink: A hydrating, see-through gloss with a hint of a berry (versus orange-y versions like coral) counteracts subtle yellowing.

Light pink: Bolder than sheer glosses, these matte rose shades have just the right blue undertone to minimise yellowish tinges on teeth.

Bright pink: Whether bubble gum or fuchsia, these electric blue-based colours dramatically brighten, says Edward Cruz, a New York-based make-up artist.

Bright red: Bold, opaque reds can make teeth appear up to two shades whiter, Nemes says. Apply two layers straight from the tube for a more intense effect.

Deep red: It’s little surprise that the classic femme fatale colour creates the ultimate sexy smile. Apply with your finger for a lasting stain-like finish.

Are you ready for two-toned lips?

 Two toned lipstick

The recently concluded couture week saw two-toned lips as a major runway trend. Both Christian Dior and Giambattista Valli had models wearing two-toned lips with an au naturel look. We ask some of our experts if Indian women can pull them off.
Trend du jour
Stafford Braganza, national make-up artist, Lancôme India says, ‘The trend for two-toned, ombre lips as seen at Kenneth Cole has taken the beauty industry by storm. Tone on Tone, a blend of different textures or just playing with matte and satin finishes was hot on this seasons fashion runways. From textured lips at Lanvin to neon lips at Christian Dior to red lips stained in the middle with a merlot hued lip color that effectively amplified pouts at Anju Modi’s and as seen at Masaba, pick two blindingly bright colors that are complementary and use it to complement each tone on either lips.’

Get the look
‘Lancôme Gloss In Love has been designed to be used alone or to be worn with Rouge In Love lipstick to create a magnifying glass effect which amplifies the pigments and the intensity of the lipstick. For ombre lips, create a two-toned kiss by applying an undercoat of 200 Just Strass, Gloss In Love to boost your lipstick’s colour. Then apply a lighter, more luminous shade like 361MPink Bonbon Rouge In Love lipstick to the lower lip and contrast with 183NBe My Date on the upper lip.’

Colour blocked style
Virginia Holmes, make-up artist at Fat Mu says, ‘Two toned lips are usually seen in either a colour blocked style which can be quite out there for everyday wear but great for party wear or in a more wearable petal stained look which is a more gradual two tone effect. To achieve a two toned petal stained effect start by using a lighter lipstick or stain all over the lips and then a darker one on the center fading out. For a great two tone look go for lip shades like pinks and orange. Depending on the situation you can rock this look in a pretty fresh way or in a fierce fashion style.’

How to enhance your eyes with fake eyelashes

Dramatic eyelashes are back in vogue. Though most models and celebrities use fake lashes to make their eyes look more appealing, especially for photo shoots, even you can experiment with your eyelash and try on different looks. 
‘Though dramatic eyelashes are in trend this season, you don’t want to end up looking like you are attending a Halloween party. There are some tips that can help you select the best dramatic lashes for your eyes. Remember, the motive is to add more beauty to your eyes and not scare away people.

How to wear fake lashes
Putting on the lashes can be tricky for a first-timer.  Here is Lisa’s step-by-step guide.
In order to put on the lashes properly, get a tweezer, an eyelash adhesive and fake lashes. First, measure the lash and if the width is longer than your natural eye line, trim it.
Next, curl your natural lashes with the help on an eyelash curler. Now hold the fake ones from the centre with the help of a tweezer and apply the adhesive on the edges. Leave it for 30-45 seconds to dry.
Now bring the fake lash closer to your lash line and start sticking it from the centre towards the edges and inner corners. Make sure there isn’t any gap left and it sits perfectly on your eye line.  
Press both the lashes together to make it look natural. Finish the look with mascara.

Day look
If you have very thin lashes which you would like to enhance yet retain the natural look, you should pick fake lashes which are less dramatic. ‘Fake lashes come in different varieties. Choose one which has thin and short hair to maintain a natural finish.
‘The other option is to choose extensions which can be fixed on the corners of your eyes. This blends with your existing lashes, giving a fuller yet natural look.

Evening look
For a dramatic effect, Lisa advises choosing thick and lengthy lashes. Black looks sultry and works wonders in bringing out your eyes. If it is a costume party, you can experiment with other colours as well.

If your eyelashes are thick and long already, you can simply make them more prominent with the help of an eyelash curler and volumising mascara.

Eyelash colouring
After eyebrow tinting, colouring eyelashes is also another trend which is gaining popularity. It is basically changing the colour of one’s lashes which stays on at least for a few months. Though it is safe and can be done at home, it is time-consuming and requires you to dye the lashes with care without any of it going into the eye. Hence, it is best to get it done from a professional who has the expertise and the right tools required to colour your lashes the right way.

Apart from these looks, you can find various other patterns and designs of lashes such as feathered ones, zig-zag pattern, multi-coloured, etc. Though these are mostly seen on the ramp, you can try them out if you like, but remember they are pretty dramatic and may not suit everyone unless it is a costume party.

5 most iconic make-up trends

In recent history there have been some really iconic beauty trends. It is a fact that some trends come and go, and then come back again. It shows that beauty trends are as cyclical as fashion. According to a study conducted by Superdrug, a beauty and health retailer, it was revealed that one in five women has copied an iconic look from a celebrity and nearly half said famous faces were where make-up trends originated from. Keeping this in mind, following are 5 iconic beauty trends that emerged from the survey. 

Bold red lips
 Actress Marilyn Monroe’s bold red lips have been voted the most iconic beauty trend of all time, with the sultry smoky eye following closely behind. Monroe sported the striking bright pout during the 1950s and 1960s, but most famously in her 1955 film ‘The Seven Year Itch’. Her look was later copied by musician Robert Palmer’s backing singers in the 1980s video ‘Addicted to Love’ and is favoured these days by celebrities like Gwen Stefani, Paloma Faith and Rita Ora .
Here are a few tips to wear the bold red lip colour :
  • It’s important to look for the right shade of red so that it complements your skin colour.
  • Using a lipliner is a must, it defines your lips making it easier to fill in with the lip colour.
  • Make sure that the rest of your make-up remains subtle, since red is bold enough.
  • The colour of the dress should also be kept in mind before applying the red lip colour.
Smokey eyes

The second most iconic beauty look was the classic dark smoky eyes as loved by  socialite Kim Kardashian and Cheryl Cole. Here’s a step-by-step guide to do smokey eyes and glam up your look
  • First, apply a thin coat of eye primer. It helps to make eye make-up last longer. Start from the eyelids all the way up under your eyebrow.
  • Choose the lightest shade of eyeshadow and apply it evenly on your eyelids.
  • Then move onto a darker shade. Work at the top of your lid by using your finger to blend it evenly.
  • Next, apply a dark eyeliner for the top lids. Blend it into the bottom lids for a smoky look. 
  • Finish the look by applying a eyelash volumising mascara. You could also curl your lashes if you wish.
 False lashes
 False lashes, which first gained popularity in the 1960s and are a must-have look even today, now worn daily by the likes of TV personality Sam Faiers, landed in third spot. How to do it:
  • All you need is an eyelash glue, eyelash curler and mascara to get the perfect eyelashes.
  • Selecting the right size and length of the fake eyelash is mandatory.
  • Apply glue on the fake lashes and then place it on your real lashes. They will stick to it and then apply mascara to further enhance them.
 Fake tan
The genuine looking fake tan bronzed effect that designer Victoria Beckham has mastered was fourth. This is quite popular with other Hollywood and now Bollywood celebs as well who like to look a bit darker than their real skin tone. It highlights their features prominently. Here are some tips to apply it:
  • There are fake tan parlours and as well as kits available. You can make use of them.
  • You can also buy bronzers matching your skin tone and apply them on your shoulders, cheekbones, etc 
  • Make sure you dab them properly for the desired effect.
 Heavy eyeliner 

And completing the top five iconic looks was heavy eyeliner, a look popularised by ‘Twiggy’ in the 1960s and is still as relevant today as it was then. Some tips: 
  • If you would prefer to enhance your eyes and keep the rest of your face understated, eyeliner is one item you should keep as a staple in your make-up kit.
  • If you don’t wear eyeshadow, your eyes can still stand out with the help of eyeliner, especially if you apply it in a heavier fashion.

Have you tried gluten-free make-up?

With more and more people becoming aware about gluten-free products which exclude ingredients like wheat, barely and rye from their dishes, many cosmetic brands too have joined the ranks to offer gluten-free make-up. Is this just a passing trend to profit from people suffering from celiac disease, or a a required norm which means gluten even in lotions and make-up can cause an allergy. We find out the answers. 
For those suffering from celiac disease, there’s typically no cure but eliminating gluten — a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye as well as many common food additives. Most food brands today have realised the need for gluten-free foods and stock a wide variety of products for customers. However, experts believe that making dietary changes isn’t enough. Gluten is present in the make-up and toiletries most of us regularly use. While some feel these beauty products are not an issue unless they’re accidentally eaten (like we often do with lipsticks), others feel they’re best avoided altogether.

From lipstick and gloss to mouthwash and toothpaste, they can all trigger a reaction in people with celiac disease. Keeping this in mind, cosmetic brands have become more diligent in listing ingredients. Those like Maybelline, offer a list of ingredients, while others like BareMinerals, Nars, Smashbox, generally specify which of their products are gluten-free.
A big business
Virginia Holmes, co-owner and co-founder Fat Mu Make-Up says currently people are becoming much more aware of new products and also if they are intolerant to ingredients like gluten, which has led to a demand for gluten-free and ‘healthier’ make-up in general. ‘There are certain companies that ensure all their products really are gluten-free. In fact, gluten-free beauty products are a big business abroad. 

The tricky part, however, she says is knowing what’s in a product. ‘It’s not just make-up, but shampoos, toothpaste, mouthwash, body creams and of course food that can contain gluten. L’Oreal has created a long list of ingredients for the consumer so if you really want to be precise about what you buy then you can take it every time you shop. However, the problem comes when cosmetics manufacturers don’t even know where their raw ingredients come from. For example, much of the vitamin E used in cosmetics is derived from wheat, which contains gluten.’

Possibility of a reaction
Gluten-free cosmetics are a requirement for patients suffering from celiac disease says Dr Shefali Trasi-Nerurkar, MD Dermatology, Trasi’s Clinic. ‘There are chances that whenever these patients come in contact with products containing gluten, an allergic rash can flare up. However, there is still a debate amongst experts, as some feel that the gluten content in cosmetics is too small to trigger a reaction,’ says she. Gluten generally used in make-up and toiletries acts as a binder to help the ingredients stick together and to add moisture to products through gluten-derived oils. ‘There is a good range of such products available in the markets abroad, but in India, many are still not aware of gluten-free cosmetics.’ 

Lipstick most popular cosmetic reveals survey

 neon bright lipsticks
A woman’s love affair with make-up has its highs and lows like any relationship, but it can never be a reason to get rid of cosmetic products. A staggering quarter of of those polled admitted to keeping some make-up items for up to 10 years, says a research. Also according to a glossy 40 per cent have admitted of not cleaning out their-make-up bags for over a year, with an additional one in 10 women being unable to recall the last time they ever gave their make-up bag a makeover, reports The survey was conducted by online grocery store Asda.
The study also reveals that while 80 per cent of women wear make-up, two out of five have never cleaned their make up brushes. Of those surveyed, almost half of women were not aware that mascara should be replaced every three to six months for hygiene reasons, along with eyeliner and powder. Make-up undoubtedly remains a girl’s best friend, the research further reveals that women on average have eight make-up products on the go at any one time. 

Lipstick is the most popular handbag staple with 71 per cent admitting it’s never far away from their grasp, followed by mascara with a pumped up 39 per cent of women stating this is always at their disposal for a quick volume boost. The brand also revealed that the majority of women’s make-up bags contain at least five ‘high street’ items and two prestige brands. ‘With so many women wearing make-up, it’s shocking how many gloss over the importance of keeping their make-up brushes clean,’ said Christina Dalton, beauty and toiletries expert at Asda.

Make-up – what is a primer?

Make-up can make or break your look. When done correctly, it can enhance your facial features but mess it up and you can end up looking tacky. Though there are several nuances involved in make-up, there are certain must-have cosmetics to get your the right look. One of them is primer.
While you may have heard of foundation, compact powder, blush, etc, the use of primer is not very well-known. But ask any skincare or make-up expert and they will tell you the importance of this often missed out cosmetic. We tell you what it really does to enhance your look.
A primer is a sheer liquid which is used even before you apply your base. It is quickly absorbed into your skin and lends evenness to it. According to celebrity cosmetologist Dr Dinyar Workingboxwalla, ‘Applying a primer between your skin and make-up helps make-up glide on smoothly, evenly, and stay put.’

Who needs a primer?
Everyone who applies any kind of make-up should use a primer. Even if you have oily skin, you should apply primer. This is because it will help make-up from entering your pores by forming a protective layer on it and also make for a smooth base to do the rest of the make-up. It can also help in controlling the oil and your make-up will stay on for a longer time.

How to apply a primer?
After washing your face, apply a good moisturiser or sunscreen and then put little dots of the primer on your entire face and neck including the eyelids and under the eyes. Then gently massage it into your skin till it absorbs and you are left with a clean and smooth surface. You can now start with your base make-up.

Brands which offer a primer
Here are a few cosmetic brands which have a primer on offer:
  • Oriflame
  • The Body Shop
  • Revlon

Add shine to your hair in the monsoon with a vinegar rinse

Notice your hair looking limp and lifeless in the rainy season? Due to dampness and humidity, your hair can often lose its sheen and volume. Not to forget problems such as dandruff and itchy scalp which aggravate in this season. If you are looking for a remedy to bring back the gloss in your mane, look no further than your kitchen. 
A simple vinegar rinse is enough to get back the shine in your hair. To do this, mix just two tablespoons of vinegar in a cup of water. Use lukewarm water. Simply use this as a last rinse and leave your hair to dry. Vinegar has enzymes which will also kill bacteria on your scalp and provide relief from itchiness and dandruff. It will bring back the lost shine in your hair and add some volume too. So keep your hair looking lovely this monsoon.

Subtle genetic changes responsible for hair colour

Researchers have claimed that a molecule critical to stem cell function plays a major role in determining human hair color. The study describes for the first time the molecular basis for one of our most noticeable traits. It also outlines how tiny DNA changes can reverberate through our genome in ways that may affect evolution, migration and even human history.
David Kingsley , PhD, professor of developmental biology, said they’ve been trying to track down the genetic and molecular basis of naturally occurring traits – such as hair and skin pigmentation – in fish and humans to get insight into the general principles by which traits evolve. He said now the find that one of the most crucial signaling molecules in mammalian development also affects hair color. The researchers found that the blond hair commonly seen in Northern Europeans is caused by a single change in the DNA that regulates the expression of a gene that encodes a protein called KITLG, also known as stem cell factor.

This change affects how much KITLG is expressed in the hair follicles without changing how it’s expressed in the rest of the body. Introducing the change into normally brown-haired laboratory mice yields an animal with a decidedly lighter coat – not quite Norma Jeane to Marilyn Monroe, but significant nonetheless. The study shows that even small, tissue-specific changes in the expression of genes can have noticeable morphological effects. It also emphasizes how difficult it can be to clearly connect specific DNA changes with particular clinical or phenotypic outcomes. In this case, the change is subtle: A single nucleotide called an adenine is replaced by another called a guanine on human chromosome 12. The change occurs over 350,000 nucleotides away from the KITLG gene and only alters the amount of gene expression about 20 percent – a relatively tiny blip on a biological scale more often assessed in terms of gene expression being 100 percent “on” or “off.” The study has been published online in the journal Nature Genetics.

Have you tried the bronde hair colour yet?

Changing the colour of your hair with the season is trendy but you also need to choose a colour which suits your skin tone and does not look too artificial. Keeping this in mind, the bronde hair colour is back. A perfect shade between blonde and brunette that was first made popular back in 2007 by supermodel Gisele Bundchen, is back with a bang.
Jack Howard, international colour director at Neville Hair & Beauty and a colourist to icons including Poppy Delevingne, Donna Air, Kelly Brook, says that the new colour technique is making headlines at all red carpets and award ceremonies. ‘Bronde is a rage in LA and NYC (worn by the likes of Jessica Alba and Olivia Palermo)… known as the perfect combination of brown and blonde tones, bronde is perfect for dark-haired clients who want to try out a lighter colour, and can be warm, neutral or cool,’ quoted Howard as saying.
‘For years and years, anyone who was born with mousey hair has fought against it, either going blonde or switching all the way to brunette. Dark brunettes struggling with orange-toned highlights or too light pieces against their skin can now appear healthy and natural; the look that’s appealing to more and more A-listers,’ added the expert. One can easily attain the look with few easy steps.
‘The key to the perfect shade of bronde is to lighten hair by freehand painting pieces through the hair making sure that the colour is softer near the mid-section and thicker towards the ends and is even all the way through. ‘Just make sure you don’t have too much of a contrast between the roots and the highlighted ends. This colour is great for people who don’t want to completely take the plunge and go either way (full blonde or full brunette) and great for natural brunettes who want a little bit of lightness,’ said Howard. And if you are looking to colour your hair in a natural way, try colouring your hair your favourite shade with henna.
The good thing about this colour is that balances out your natural shade especially Indians who have naturally dark hair and experiment with lighter shades. This change will not look too drastic making it look trendy at the same time. Make sure you discuss which shade goes where with your hair stylist before the process.

How to choose the right hair colour

Even though the trend of hair colouring has been around for quite a few years now, people still opt for it. Every season, there are different shades which are in fashion and many people opt to change their hair colour based on such trends without knowing if it will suit them or not. Most of these trends are celeb-inspired but blindly following them can be a fashion disaster especially if it is a bold colour. The Indian hair texture and skin tone requires careful selection of hair colour, says Santosh Gahatraj, style director of hair at Lakme Absolute Salon.
From dark chocolate, umber, burgundy, smokey metallic to indigo, blue and even yellow, hair colours seem to be getting funkier every day. Celebrities – in Bollywood and Hollywood – have given the trend a fillip. But before you take a final call, think of your face structure, profession and personality.
‘For Indians’ hair texture, permanent colour is not advisable. Once the colour starts fading, it makes your hair texture dry and frizzy and the hair colour changes to brown or blonde. I would suggest try temporary colours or highlights for a soft trendy look,’ Gahatraj told IANS.

How to select the right shade
Makeover expert Aashmeen Munjaal warns against aping celebrities blindly. ‘It’s obvious that you can’t opt for bold colours if you’re a professional. Texture of hair is another important factor as coloured hair highlights the texture even more.
‘If you have frizzy hair, colouring will highlight that frizzy texture to a larger extent,’ Munjaal told IANS.
There’s another factor – the hair length. ‘Streaks of bold colours will suit your long tresses but a full head will destroy your entire look,’ Munjaal added. At the same time, it is best not to ignore your skin tone as choosing a wrong hair colour can either make or break your look.
‘One should be comfortable with the colours one is selecting and most importantly select colours as per one’s skin tone and face structure. If your skin tone is dark, do not opt for dark, bold hues and go for highlights towards the bottom for your hair,’ advised Gahatraj.
For Indian skin tone, red and purple are the best shades to try apart from shades of brown. Colours like blue, green and olive are not meant for Indian skin tone and hence these should be avoided.
‘Those who have fair complexion can try spicy red, bluish fuchsia, sun-gold streaks or brownish blonde highlights. Those with wheatish complexion can go for shades of chocolate, copper brown, khaki brown and honey blonde.
‘Those with dusky complexion can try for coffee, caramel, charcoal grey or mahagony,’ said Munjaal.

Tips to keep in mind
‘Opting for bold colours is completely fine unless you can carry them well and ready to experiment with your looks. The bold colours can change your entire look in a few hours. If you are not confident about getting your hair coloured, try using hair extensions for a week or two so that you can get clarity for your desired look,’ said Munjaal.
Also, the process of colouring might make your hair hard and reduce the quality of your original colour. To avoid this, use colour protecting shampoo with conditioner.
And, yes, don’t forget a hair spa regime every 20 days.

How often should you colour your hair?
In case of a ‘global’ colour (entire hair being coloured) you can ‘refresh’ the hair colour every 4-6 months; till then doing a monthly touch-up is required if you want an even look overall. Remember,  hair colouring is a chemical treatment that changes your hair texture and its natural state so it doesn’t come without risks.

When should you avoid colouring your hair?
You have a medical scalp condition such as ringworms or excessive dandruff – chemicals in the hair colour may aggravate this problems. Instead, consult a dermatologist to find out if you can colour your hair at all.
You’ve had an allergic reaction to a hair product in the past. A common allergen in hair colours is called PDD (Paraphenylenediamine) that you might want to check for.
You have a serious hair fall problem. Hair colours are inherently strong and therefore may turn your hair even more brittle.

Essential shaving products and tips for acne-prone skin

Think only women suffer from an acne problem? Wrong! Many men have oily skin which means they too are prone to pimples. Though you can apply creams to subside acne, you could be inviting more of them by using wrong shaving products. Since men regularly shave their face, it becomes essential to choose products which do not add to this problem. 

 ‘Shaving does have its own benefits like keeping the pores clog-free but wrong shaving products can affect the skin, making it prone to acne problems. Razor bumps are formed when the hair grows within the skin, leading to a bump on the outside skin.’ 
If you too have acne-prone skin, you can make use of the following tips given by her and select shaving products that suit your skin:
  • A lubricating and non-irritating shaving gel will help in keeping the skin normal without irritation and acne.
  • You can go for products that contain benzoyl peroxide or any other antibiotic element that prevents acne formation or breakouts.
  • Cologne and alcohol based products irritate the skin. So avoid using aftershaves that contain these elements. Instead, go for a topical antibiotic lotion or gel or an oil-free moisturiser.
  • Shave the hair in the direction of the growth of the hair follicle.
Apart from shaving products, you should also make sure that you buy the right kind of sunscreen, moistruriser, etc.

How to exfoliate skin in the winter

Now that the winter season is upon us, it is important to change our tactics while dealing with skincare challenges, like dry skin.
Dermatologist Dr Chiranjiv Chhabra said that dry skin looks dull because it is caused by dead skin cells, and both need to be taken care of by exfoliating on a weekly basis.
While beauty expert, Shahnaz Hussain, suggested mixing honey and brown sugar into a paste to use as a scrub, as it exfoliates and moisturizes the skin, skin specialist Dr Rashmi Shetty said that rather than going for harsh scrubs, one should go for products that have natural exfoliating properties.
Shetty advised to apply the juice of a lemon and to keep it on for five minutes before washing off and in the case of tamarind, it’s pulp should be rubbed for a couple of minutes and dead cells will dissolve away. 

Moreover, Monsoon Salon India offers the goodness of Vitamin C in its Tamarind and Sugarcane scrub, which renews the skin by removing dead skin on the surface, making it ideal for even those with sensitive skin.

6 expert tips to keep your skin looking gorgeous in winter
Here are some skincare tips by Dr Manish Gautam, dermatologist at Sterling Wockhardt Hospital that will help keep your skin looking gorgeous in winter.

Drink lots of water: People tend to drink less water during winters but it is highly important to hydrate your skin from within. Carry a bottle of water with you whenever you step outside. Herbal tea is also a great remedy to moisturise your skin from within. Don’t leave your skin thirsty. Drink more water and help your skin retain its shine.

Bathe with lukewarm water: Winter is the time when your skin and hair need maximum attention. Though the idea of piping hot water is very tempting, stick to a lukewarm water bath every day. Make sure you use a mild non-drying soap or a moisturising soap to prevent your skin from getting dry and itchy.

Keep your skin moisturised: Choose a good, oil-based moisturiser to keep the skin moisturised and soft. Pay special attention to the exposed parts (and the most affected areas) like your hands, nails, feet and lips. Keep them well moisturised at all times. Use a lip balm to keep your lips soft and supple. Lip balm with SPF works better. Even those who have oily skin must use light moisturising lotions after cleansing to keep the skin soft

Use a good sunscreen: People like to enjoy the sun during winters but little do they know that exposure to the sun can harm their skin in winter too. Use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or more when you step out in the open. In fact, it should be a part of your daily routine throughout the year. Don’t say goodbye to your sunscreen just because summer is over. 

Do not lick your lips: Winter is the season of chapped lips and licking them will make them more chapped. Instead, use a good lip balm, preferably which contains tea tree oil as it helps heal painful cracks.

Internal wellness: This continues to be a requirement all through the year as a healthy skin is a reflection of good inner health. One should continue to eat healthy, drink plenty of water and exercise regularly.

5 tips to prevent make-up from melting

The summer heat can make your make-up melt easily and too much make-up can clog pores and lead to skin infections. But here are a few tips which will help keep the make-up on without using too many cosmetics. Here are a few tips from Hollywood’s make-up artists.

Use eye pencil
Actress Amy Adams’ make-up artist Stephen Sollitto suggests skipping eyeshadow altogether in the summer time. So shun creams, pots and powders. Instead use waterproof pencils and shade in your whole lid.

Find a multipurpose product
Instead of layering onto your complexion, find a power foundation that has built-in SPF and is waterproof, says Sollitto. Actress Jennifer Garner’s make-up artist Fiona Stiles says if you must add hydration to your complexion, ‘skip moisturiser. Just use sunscreen.’

Primer for eyes
Stiles thinks using a face primer is ‘an unnecessary step’. However, if you do want to use eyeshadow she suggests first swiping on eye primer to prevent creases on the lids.

Go for bronzer
Actress Jaimie Alexander’s make-up pro Jeffrey Paul says apply self-tanner in areas you want to contour, like under the cheekbones. It soaks into the skin and won’t melt or rub off.

Less is more
Since you tend to sweat more during summers, make sure you do not apply too much of foundation. Keep it light. Keep tissues in your bag to wipe off the sweat and compact powder for a touch-up when needed. Even actress Jennifer Aniston admits she wears minimal make-up in summers in order to keep her skin fresh and healthy. She says, ‘If anything, I put a little concealer here and there, a little rose on my cheeks, dust with bronzer.’

6 expert tips to keep your skin looking gorgeous in winter

Winter is here and along with the cool breeze, it also brings along a few skin problems. People experience irritation, hardness and roughness of skin. Incidents of itchy skin due to dryness and contact allergies due to detergents and chemicals also increase in this season. Cold temperatures result in poor blood circulation and widened capillaries and as a result, the skin suffers.
But the cold alone isn’t responsible for this. The drop in humidity in addition to the use of heaters indoors also results in drying out the skin.

Drink lots of water: People tend to drink less water during winters but it is highly important to hydrate your skin from within. Carry a bottle of water with you whenever you step outside. Herbal tea is also a great remedy to moisturise your skin from within. Don’t leave your skin thirsty. Drink more water and help your skin retain its shine.

Bathe with lukewarm water: Winter is the time when your skin and hair need maximum attention. Though the idea of piping hot water is very tempting, stick to a lukewarm water bath every day. Make sure you use a mild non-drying soap or a moisturising soap to prevent your skin from getting dry and itchy.

Keep your skin moisturised: Choose a good, oil-based moisturiser to keep the skin moisturised and soft. Pay special attention to the exposed parts (and the most affected areas) like your hands, nails, feet and lips. Keep them well moisturised at all times. Use a lip balm to keep your lips soft and supple. Lip balm with SPF works better. Even those who have oily skin must use light moisturising lotions after cleansing to keep the skin soft. 

Use a good sunscreen: People like to enjoy the sun during winters but little do they know that exposure to the sun can harm their skin in winter too. Use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or more when you step out in the open. In fact, it should be a part of your daily routine throughout the year. Don’t say goodbye to your sunscreen just because summer is over. 

Do not lick your lips: Winter is the season of chapped lips and licking them will make them more chapped. Instead, use a good lip balm, preferably which contains tea tree oil as it helps heal painful cracks.

Internal wellness: This continues to be a requirement all through the year as a healthy skin is a reflection of good inner health. One should continue to eat healthy, drink plenty of water and exercise regularly.

Tips to choose the right skincare products for acne-prone skin

Who doesn’t want flawless, glowing skin? But that isn’t always possible. There are days when a sudden zit appears overnight and we try and conceal it as much as we can using different tactics. But some people suffer from a constant acne problem especially people who have oily skin are prone to it. In such a scenario, it becomes rather important that we keep a check on the kind of cosmetics we are using. Wrong products can worsen the condition leading to more acne. We bring to you a list of guidelines to help you choose the right cosmetics for your acne-prone skin. 
People who have acne-prone skin often assume that they do not need a moisturiser as their skin is already oily and applying moisturiser will further add to this leading to more acne. But this is a big myth which needs to be busted. Even acne-prone skin needs daily moisturisation especially if you are using prescription creams. A certified medical physician by American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine, ‘These treatment products contain skin-drying ingredients like benzoyl peroxide. A skin moisturiser will provide the needed moisture to the skin by subsiding the dryness and skin irritation.’

But you can’t just use any moisturiser, you need to get something which suits your skin and acne condition. ‘It should be light and should not clog skin pores so go for products that are labeled non-comedogenic. Products containing glycerin and hyaluronic acid are also good as they won’t irritate your skin or clog it and will also help in retaining the moisture of your skin, ’ she says.
But be wary of heavy creams with cocoa, butter, mineral oil, cold creams, etc as they are an open invitation to more acne. They aren’t suited for your skin and are best avoided.

Scrubs and face masks
According to dermatologists, scrubs do not provide much relief from existing acne. It is best to avoid expensive masks as well. All you need is a gentle and non-abrasive cleanser which suits your skin type. Exfoliating the skin should be done very gently as the acne could pop if you rub too hard. You can make face masks at home using natural ingredients like lime juice, honey, etc which won’t have any side-effects and will be easy on the pocket as well.

Sunscreen is an important part of any skincare regimen. Every kind of skin needs it. It not only protects against UVA and UVB rays but also creates a barrier against pollution, dust, etc. But for acne-prone skin, choose a non-greasy lotion which absorbs easily into the skin, in short, does not make it look too greasy.
Make sure it is a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 or above. You can buy water or gel based lotions too. Sunscreen with ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are good for acne-prone, sensitive skin.

Make-up cosmetics
If you are looking to cover blemishes and acne spots with make-up, make sure you select the right one as the chemicals in it can further cause skin irritation and lead to more acne. ‘Make sure the cosmetic does not suffocate the skin and block pores. Avoid greasy make-up. Cover up with natural and light make-up and make sure you remove every speck of it before going to sleep,’ advises Dr Neetu.
Here are some more points to keep in mind when you buy make-up for acne-prone skin:
  • Buy products which are non-comedogenic as they will prevent more breakouts.
  • Look for the ingredients used in the cosmetic. Water-based ones are better as they will not irritate the skin than oil based ones as they can cause more pimples. But the chances of bacteria is high in liquid cosmetics so try and stick to loose powders, compact, etc.
  • Keep the use of foundation to a minimum. You could also opt for a good BB cream instead.
  • Mineral make-up is also good for such skin. It contains ingredients like silica, titanium oxide, zinc oxide which are good for the skin and also helpful is soaking excess oil. 
  • If any product makes your skin itchy or causes redness, discontinue its usage.

A single genetic tweak responsible for hair colour changes!

Blondes have been both prized and mocked by people for their golden locks for ages. There is, however, nothing accidental about their tresses according to a new study, which shows blondes can thank a tiny genetic mutation – a single letter change from an A to a G among the 3 billion letter in the book of human DNA.
Therefore, it is now clear that: they do have something special in their genes. The new research reveals how a single genetic tweak is enough to create blond hair in people. ‘This particular genetic variation in humans is associated with blond hair, but it isn’t associated with eye colour or other pigmentation traits,’ said study leader David Kingsley, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Stanford University.
He said the research shows how a specific gene ‘switch’ might control colour changes in human characteristics.

Kingsley has spent much of his career studying a fish known as the three-spined stickleback in an effort to better understand evolution. His research uncovered a gene that affects the fishes’ pigmentation, and scientists decided to see if it has a similar effect in other species, like humans.

Turns out it does. ‘The very same gene that we found controlling skin colour in fish showed one of the strongest signatures of [gene] selection in different human populations around the world,’ Kingsley said.
In the new study, researchers found that a single letter of genetic code separates people with different hair colours. ‘The genetic mechanism that controls blond hair doesn’t alter the biology of any other part of the body,’ Kingsley said. ‘It’s a good example of a trait that’s skin deep — and only skin deep.’
‘Despite the challenges, we now clearly have the methods to link traits to particular DNA alterations,’ Kingsley said.

‘I think you will see a lot more of this type of study in the future, leading to a much better understanding of both the molecular basis of human diversity and of the susceptibility or resistance to many common diseases.’

Jennifer Aniston has the most influential hair in the world!

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Former ‘Friends’ star Jennifer Aniston is the envy of women for her desirable locks.
In a survey, conducted by hair growth and care brand Viviscal, it was revealed that over one-third of British women believe that Aniston has the most influential locks, reports
The research was done for National Good Hair Day, which was May 14.

Other celebrities that ranked high include Victoria Beckham, Kylie Minogue and Madonna. 
Meanwhile, stars such as Eva Longoria and Halle Berry have fallen out of favour. Only three percent of Britishers prefer Longoria’s long mane and Berry’s cropped style.

National Good Hair Day marks the official celebration of good hair. Richard Ward, celebrity hair stylist, offers advice to women who complain of thinning hair and damage due to styling.

‘Many women are initially unaware of the damage they can do to their hair through the over use of styling aids and tools, but shockingly when they do realise, one in six still refuse to stop. I make sure that I equip all of my clients with tips and advice on styling naturally and effectively, so that they feel comfortable in achieving a great look with minimal styling,’ said Ward.

‘I also recommend Viviscal supplements because they are scientifically proven to help make hair fuller, thicker and stronger,’ he added.
Source: IANS

7 easy home remedies to cure dandruff

Dandruff is a hair and scalp problem which is very common and is one of the most embarrassing hair conditions that one can face. It also leads to lower one’s self confidence eventually and in worst cases, constant itching can lead to acne.

There can be many causes of dandruff, but it mainly occurs due to growth of fungal infection on the scalp and is an infectious condition. The problem of dandruff can arise simply because of extreme exposure to heat and cold, or may be due to a complex problem like dermatitis. One might not be aware but problems like hormonal fluctuations, stress, neurological disorders can also lead to itchy, flaky scalp.

But, you need not to worry much as we bring to you seven easy home remedies to get rid of those pesky flakes. 

Lemon wash: Take peels of around 3-4 lemons and boil them in water. After the solution cools down, apply it on your hair and then rinse it off. Repeat this activity at least twice a week and see the change. You could also use lemons for skin problems like acne, blackheads, etc.

Fenugreek (methi) paste

Soak fenugreek seeds overnight in water and then make a fine paste out of it. Now, apply this paste for around 30 minutes on your scalp and then wash it off later. Repeat this procedure for at least four weeks. Methi also helps in beating other hair and skin problems like acne, hair fall, itchy scalp, etc. Read more about these beauty benefits of fenugreek here.

Aloe vera gel

Aloe vera contains antibacterial and anti-fungal properties which help a lot in keeping a check on dandruff. Take some aloe vera gel and apply it on your scalp for around 30 minutes. Later, wash your hair with some mild shampoo. Repeat this remedy at least twice a day to keep dandruff under check. Not just this, aloe vera also benefits your skin. You can make these aloe vera pastes which are beneficial to all skin types.

Beetroot and ginger paste

Take some ginger and beetroot and grind them to make a fine paste. Now, apply this paste on your scalp every night and massage them well. Later, wash it off in morning.

Neem leaves paste

Take some neem leaves and boil them for 30 minutes. Now, crush them and make a paste. After this, apply this paste on your scalp for around an hour and then rinse it off later. You will notice that your hair look much healthier.  Read about other beauty benefits of neem too for your skin.

Tulsi and amla paste

Tulsi (basil) is known since eons for its healing properties. Take few tulsi leaves, make a paste of them and then mix this paste in amla powder. Apply this paste for around 30 minutes on your scalp and then wash your hair thoroughly. You will see that this remedy works wonders.


 Yes, reetha which is mainly used to wash hair is also a wonder home remedy when it comes to treating dandruff. You can either use reetha soap or one can also make a paste using reetha powder and apply it on your scalp. After two hours, wash it thoroughly with shampoo.

Home remedies to manage oily hair

If you’ve washed your hair just a day or two ago and already, it has developed a greasy texture that makes it appear lank and dull, you probably suffer from the problem of oily hair – a condition that is quite common in teens but may also affect adults. 
Oily hair is a result of excessive production of oil by the glands in the scalp because of several causes – heredity, hair that’s very fine in texture, hormonal fluctuations in the menstrual cycle or as a side effect in people who use androgenic hormones to bulk up body mass. Some people also develop oily hair if there is too much shampoo residue left over on the hair because of insufficient rinsing.
If you have oily hair, here are a few natural home remedies that could help you cope.

Lemon Juice
Lemon juice not only contains vital vitamins and minerals that promote healthy hair, it can also help keep excessive oiliness at bay. Squeeze out the juice from one small lemon, dilute it with a cup of water, mix well and apply to your scalp. Leave it on for a few minutes and then rinse with warm water and a mild shampoo. The lemon juice is also an effective way of getting rid of shampoo buildup on your hair.

 Tea Rinse
Tea contains an astringent substance called tannic acid; this helps to prevent the buildup of excessive oil on the scalp by tightening the pores. Dip a tea bag in some warm water and apply the resulting tea to your scalp. Leave on for a few minutes and then rinse out with a mild shampoo.

Baking Soda
When used in a highly diluted form, baking soda can help to curb oiliness in the hair. Mix about two to three tablespoons of baking soda into a litre of water. Apply to the hair and leave it on for 20 minutes, then rinse with a mild shampoo.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar also has an astringent effect that helps to reduce the oil buildup on hair. Dilute about one-fourth cup of apple cider vinegar to a litre of water; pour this liquid into a spray bottle and spray on your hair. Leave on for a few minutes and then rinse the vinegar out with some warm water.

Henna and Eggs
Break an egg and empty the contents into a bowl and mix in about 3 tablespoons of henna powder. Add in 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and mix everything together adding in a little warm water to give a pasty mass. Apply this to the hair; leave it on for about 2 hours and then rinse out completely before washing your hair with a mild shampoo. 

Home-made Shampoo
Often, oily hair may also be the result of a strong shampoo that does not get completely washed out and therefore, leaves residues on the hair, giving it an oily and dull appearance. In such cases, the best option is to use a mild shampoo or substitute a mixture of equal parts of shikakai and reetha powder that cleanse your hair without leaving any oiliness behind. Alternatively, you could make your own shampoo at home by mixing a tablespoon of lemon juice with a teaspoon of aloe vera gel. This shampoo will keep for about a week if you store it under refrigeration.

 Oil is a natural secretion of the scalp and plays a protective role in keeping hair healthy. However, there may be occasions when too much oil is secreted and this can make your hair look stringy and lifeless. If you find you need to keep washing your hair more than twice a week to keep it looking fresh, it’s time you made use of these home remedies to manage the oily hair.

Get dandruff-free hair with these home remedies

The stubborn white flakes on hair cause embarrassment without fail. Kiss goodbye to dandruff with some help from aspirin, natural oils and more.
Aspirin: Take two tablets of aspirin and crush them into a fine powder. Then add it to shampoo that you would use to wash your hair with. Once it’s in lather, let it remain in the hair for one to two minutes and then rinse. Then wash the hair again with normal shampoo in order to eliminate any powder that may remain. Aspirin contains salicylates, which is the active ingredient in dandruff shampoos that contain salicylic acid.

Natural oils: Oils like coconut, almond or olive can be used to keep the scalp moisturised and prevent dandruff. Simply warm up some oil in a bowl and apply with a scalp massage, ensuring that the entire scalp is covered. Wrap the hair and scalp in a towel and leave the oil on overnight. Then rinse the hair in the morning.

Vinegar: It can be used to keep your scalp from becoming flaky. After washing your hair, mix two cups of apple cider vinegar with two cups of cold water and use to rinse the shampoo from your hair. Alternatively, you could apply white vinegar to the scalp and leave it on overnight with a towel, and then wash out of the hair with regular shampoo the next day.

Baking soda: Replace your shampoo with baking soda for a few weeks; vigorously rub a handful of baking soda into the scalp and rinse thoroughly. Repeat as you would in your regular schedule of washing your hair.

Aloe vera gel: Aloe vera gel contains healing, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Applying fresh aloe vera gel on the scalp keeps dandruff at bay. Keep the gel on for 30 minutes. Wash your hair with an aloe vera based shampoo. 

Apple: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Well, it can keep your dandruff away too! It has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Make a paste with equal quantities of apple and orange and apply it on the scalp. Wash your hair after 20-30 minutes with a shampoo.

Curd: Curd (dahi) with its acidic and conditioning properties helps fight dandruff. Ferment a small amount of curd (enough to cover your scalp) for two days. Apply it and keep it for one hour. Wash it off with a mild shampoo. Do this at least twice a week.