Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Sorry to break the news but smooth, glowy, flawless skin doesn’t come easy. Gasp, right? But think about it for a moment. How do you sculpt a kick-ass body? By working out relentlessly and eating with discipline. How do you get to the top of a corporate food chain? By putting in the hours and slogging over the details. How do you win a sporting event? By training every single day. How do you shine on the stage? By practising your spot over and over and over again.
So, how and why should having gorgeous skin be any different? Yes, there are 5-minute cures and 60-second makeup tricks that will do the job (many of which has been spoken about on this blog as well) but these are either temporary cover-ups or part of an overall routine. Lemon juice will give you a blemish-free complexion and honey will put the glow back but not if you use them haphazardly, as and when the mood dawns. To really work, these small and big things need to be done on a regular basis – and for at least over a period of 28 days (the time our skin takes to renew itself).
Nobody knows this better than our supermodels – those catwalk queens who manage to stay so annoyingly radiant despite their jet setting, chain smoking, zero-sleep lifestyle. With the advent of hi-def televisions and camera phones that pop up everywhere, having bad skin covered up with inch-deep makeup is no longer an alternative. Then how do they manage? Through a regular regime that works day in and day out to keep their complexion crystal clear. No, it doesn’t take just 5 minutes out of a day. But then neither is it something that you and I can’t happily work into our lives. And itwill give you super-sexy skin. For keeps. Take a look.


On the very first day at most agencies, models get the skin lecture. Salient points? Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse. And do it according to your skin type or you’ll end up with an irritated complexion. Dry skin? Never use hot water or tap water to wash your face (only mineral will do, dahlin’). Oily skin? Avoid heavy cleansing creams and alcohol-based toners. Also, don’t an exfoliant cleanser every day as it’ll scratch your face. And no matter how much Champagne you have glugged down, take off every scrap of makeup at night.
Do the models listen? Jessica Gomes: “I cleanse my face and moisturize every morning and again at night. I also take off all my makeup at the end of the day, no matter what, and exfoliate twice a week.” Then there is Candice Swanepoel: “I’m pretty neurotic about keeping my skin clean. In the morning I wash with rosewater and use a rich moisturizer and sunscreen every day.”


It stands to reason that a model would know exactly how skin treated with the latest must-have innovation looks without Photoshop. So they stick to the basics, eschewing the latest and “greatest” in favour of the truly tried and tested. Top of the list is choosing a good frills-free moisturiser that locks in the moisture without being greasy or clogging the pores.


Even though supermodels can afford the most expensive treatments, they also know that regular at-home upkeep is just as important. Which means they are pretty happy whipping up their own all-natural beauty recipes. Miranda Kerr has been known to wax eloquent about rose hip oil: “I use it as an intensive nourishing face treatment, to remove eye makeup, as a cuticle treatment. And I add a few drops to my face cream every night to wake up with a brighter complexion.” Zoe Saldana buys an aloe vera leaf from Trader Joe’s, peels it and puts the juice on post-sun skin.
Then there is Scarlet Johansson, who has a natural remedy for every skin ailment. One of her staples is Manuka honey: “Steam your face to open the pores, then take a spoonful of honey and apply it directly to the skin, leaving it for 10-15 minutes. Once you wash it off, there will be an amazing glow and your skin shall be super-soft. The honey will also pull out all the impurities.” She also believes in the power of raw lemons: “When my skin is dull or has some red spots, I bring out raw lemons and dab on the juice on my face. You can either dilute the juice with water if it’s too stingy, or you can apply it directly. If you have a big event, do this every night before you go to bed for the five nights leading up to it and your skin will be so much brighter. It’s amazing!”


Supermodels know that even the best diets don’t give our skin all the nutrition it needs. So, they treat their complexions with supplement top-ups. These boost the skin’s structure and improve its ability to hold water – vital for a glowing, spot-free complexion. As Jessica Gomes explains, “My secret to beautiful skin is eating a healthy diet, with lots of fruits and vegetables. I also eat a lot of fish for the high omega-3 content and take fish oil supplements to help keep my hair shiny and my skin glowing. And I drink lots of water!” Miranda Kerr, in the meantime, loves the multi-nutrient benefits of coconut oil: “I take 4 teaspoons of coconut oil every day, either on my salads, in my cooking or in my green tea. I will not go a day without coconut oil.”


Yes, these famous faces work hard and party harder, often going without sleep or living off cigarettes and junk food. But they also know that every misstep needs to be balanced out with ultra-clean living. So they make amends at every opportunity to stave off the cumulative damage. Case in point? Jessica Gomes: “I pretty much eat whatever I want but if I’ve had a few biscuits or I’ve splurged on a hot chocolate, I might walk down the road to do my grocery shopping or to meet a friend, rather than drive or catch the train.” And then there is Karlie Kloss: “I love to make just really yummy, clean, boring protein shakes with chocolate protein powder, almond milk, and banana or blackberries.”


When you work with the world’s top make-up artists, you get to know a few tricks of the trade. Like the one touted by Scarlet Johansson: “If you plan to be out all night or eating dinner, bring a lip pencil with you to reshape and color in your lips, then throw a gloss on top. Otherwise, if you try to reapply lipstick in a dark bathroom, the shape just gets weirder and weirder.” Or by Erin Heatherton: “I learnt that you can change your whole face with just different concealers in different places. Like opening up your eye by putting the lighter concealer in the middle, making it lighter under your eyebrows, making it lighter on your cheekbones and contouring underneath.”
My fave, though, comes from Gisele Bundchen: “If you’re wearing smoky eye makeup, a little beige or gold pencil on the inner eye corners will open up the area, but you only want to do it if the shadow is really dark. Otherwise, light pencil makes your eyes look too far apart, like a fish.”
Do you have a regular skincare routine? Or are you more of a slap-dash kind of girl? Will you be making any changes after reading this post?

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Today, I met a friend who hasn’t bought a lipstick in 6 years. 6 years! As someone who probably buys 6 lipsticks a WEEK, this was almost impossible for me to comprehend. In fact, a lipstick is my desert island product… the one thing I cannot live without beauty-wise! Feeling low and looking drab? Swipe on a luscious red lipstick. Want to channel instant sophistication? Pencil in lips with a nude hue. Need to look pulled together in a hurry? A quick dab of pink will do the trick. How does one manage without this essential makeup accessory?
But what about the lipsticks that dry out your pout, asks one friend (I have been calling around frantically asking everyone whether it’s just me or do they all love their lipstick as well?). Or when it has a tendency to get on your teeth, asks another. And what if there is no mirror in sight for re-application? Or you don’t have a stead hand to paint within the lines neatly? Or they make your upper lip sweat? Or come off on everything? Or… or… or… ugh! I had no idea so many people had so many problems with lipstick.
And that’s when the penny dropped: this is the reason so many beauty brands are launching innovative color-gloss-balm hybrids that leave a wash of color without being overwhelming, come in easy-to-apply forms so you don’t need a mirror, provide hydration and have a shiny yet lightweight finish. I heard someone refer to them as “the training wheels for lipstick” and it seems pretty spot-on. Except that these formulas are so cool that they might just fill in the space for lipstick in your beauty arsenal, whether you actually like lipstick or not!


#CliniqueDidItFirst. The brand actually launched its first Chubby stick in the ’90s (who remembers the originals?). However, it’s the 2011 version that set the market ablaze, launching a whole slew of me-too products by other brands. My favorite, though, is the Chubby Stick Intense that came out last year, which combines the good-for-you benefits of a lip balm with the ease and convenience of a pencil. $16 / INR 1,025


The Just Bitten is a rarity: a stain that has good staying power but doesn’t make lips feel like sandpaper. It’s not very moisturising but at the same time won’t dry out your lips. And because it’s a stain, the deeper shades are perfect for creating full-on drama. The color stays on for a good 4-5 hours and even when it starts wearing off there is a pretty stain that’s left behind. The effect is quite matte, however, so you may want to layer with a clear gloss for a glossy finish. $8 / INR 600


Dior has taken the jumbo lip pencil and turned it into one of the coolest glosses I’ve ever seen. The texture is balmy and smooth, while feeling very moisturizing, leaving my lips soft even after the product wear off (2-3 hours). The pens are not hugely pigmented, instead adding a subtly tinted pop of color to balance out a statement eye or blush-heavy look. All the shades are quite shimmery and my favorite is Carioca, which is the perfect tropical coral for someone who loves a pop of orange yet doesn’t want to go screamingly bright with the color (me!). $26


This one’s gone rapidly from being a popular chapstick to becoming a cult product across the world. Buttery smooth, it’s made up of essential oils and reparative waxes that contain hefty doses of Vitamins A, C, E and SPF 15. It’s super-moisturising and slightly glossy, without being too high-shine. The color payoff is good but not so bright that it would look out of place at a Sunday brunch. Only issue? It doesn’t last for more than a couple of hours. $22


Baume in Love is terrific for women with pale lips. The color is pretty sheer but works beautifully to create a bitten-lip effect. However, if your lips are dark, all you may get is a sheer glossy effect so try before forking out the money. The consistency is that of a heavier, thicker balm that feels super-moisturising and maintains its subtle glossiness for almost an hour – which is pretty good for a lip balm. $26 / INR 1,650


 Maybelline’s Color Whisper is quite opaque and extremely buildable, especially where the darker shades are concerned. There are no heavy waxes or oils here, only “pure color pigment surrounded in weightless gel”, which gives lips a cool, refreshing feel. They have a sheen, rather than glossiness or shine and wear for a good 3-4 hours without fading away. Plus, the hydration quotient is quite high, though being gel-based, I feel the moisture mostly sits on the surface of my lips, and does not actually get absorbed. $7.49


Though my heart belongs to Tom Ford’s ultra-pigmented lipsticks, lately I am never without his Lip Color Shine in Ravenous – a completely decadent concoction of soja seed extract, Brazilian muramura butter and chamomilla flower oil among other rare ingredients. It glides on just like a stick of butter and you can actually feel it nourishing your lips. And even though the color is semi-transparent, the concentration of high quality pigments give it enough of a kick to add high doses of drama to your look. $48


This one’s more sheer than Tom Ford but works perfectly to complete a daytime look. I would look for something a tad more pigmented in the night, though. $34 / INR 2,000

Monday, 8 July 2013

As if getting rid of zits isn’t stressful enough, they often leave behind ugly dark spots that seem to take forever to go away. And while it’s a bit easier to conceal these post-acne marks in winter, with summer’s soaring temperatures and high humidity quotient creating the need for lighter make up, we need to banish those spots altogether. What do you say?
Time, then, to bring out these tried and tested recipes that bust post-acne marks, erase skin discoloration (including age spots and sun-related hyper-pigmentation) and leave skin looking gorgeously flawless!


This 2-in-1 mask and scrub delivers a powerful dose of skin lightening tannins, enzymes and Vitamin C to help even out skin tone and erase acne marks.
1. Puree 1 apple (that’s been peeled and cored) in a food processor.
2. Add the rind of 1/2 lemon and 2 tablespoons powdered milk or soy milk; blend until you have a smooth paste.
3. Apply all over the face, avoiding eye area. Leave for 15 minutes, then rinse off.
This can be store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


Apple cider vinegar not only provides naturally exfoliating AHAs, namely malic acid, but also a host of trace minerals and vitamins. Onion juice contains a whitening antioxidant called quercetin, which helps even out skin discolorations, spots, post-acne marks and minor scarring. Vitamin E helps heal scar tissue, while nourishing the skin.
1. Peel 1 onion and either blend it with a stick blender or juice with a juicer.
2. Combine with 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar in a glass bowl.
3. Gradually add 2 teaspoons of corn flour until you reach the consistency of a smooth paste.
4. Add 10 drops of Vitamin E oil and mix everything well.
5. Apply over cleansed face, avoiding eye area. Leave on for half an hour, then rinse. You can also use this mask overnight on troubled spots.
Store upto 1 month in a glass container in a cool, clean place.


Lemon is a gentle skin whitener, brightener and a great exfoliating agent with antibacterial properties. Use this mask twice a week (not more) for best results.
1. Combine 2 tablespoons honey, the juice of 1/4 lemon and 1 tablespoon fine sea salt or fine brown sugar in a glass jar; mix well.
2. Apply the mixture on clean skin and gently massage using circular movements.
3. Leave to penetrate for 5 minutes, then rinse off with tepid water.
Store chilled in a glass container for up to 2 weeks.


Potato is rich in whitening enzymes, as well as Vitamin C, which helps lighten the complexion.Yogurt contains mildly exfoliating lactic acid.
1. Combine the juice of 1 raw potato, 1 tablespoon almond meal, 1 teaspoon olive oil and 3 tablespoons yogurt in a glass bowl; mix well.
2. Apply a generous layer to cleansed skin on your face, neck, chest and hands. Leave for 20 minutes and rinse off with tepid water.
This mask is best used on the day of preparation itself.
Do you suffer from post-acne marks? What’s your secret get-flawless technique?

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Red, watery eyes, runny nose, blotchy skin and chapped lips… having a cold isn’t nice; you not only feel awful but you don’t look too pretty either. But there’s no need to let a nasty chill wreak havoc with your looks (or your plans). Master these easy beauty tricks and face the world looking terrific despite the sniffles.


If the winter chill has left your complexion looking tired and pasty, use a gentle cleansing scrub to rev up circulation and make skin glow. Apply only on the non-irritated areas of your face and follow up with a hydrating, vitamin-rich moisturiser (like Dermalogica’s Multivitamin Power Concentrate – $40) to soothe soreness around the nose. Pale, sick faces sometimes need a bit of artificial health pumped into them – a sweep of blush will make you look sprightly and healthy. Try Maybelline’s Dream Bouncy Blush ($7.99).


Red and blotchy skin is a sure sign of an unhappy immune system. Use products that counter the redness, like Smashbox’s Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer ($38), then damp-sponge on a sheer liquid foundation to even out the skin tone. Bring out the skin brighteners like Stila’s One Step Illuminate ($36) and Guerlain’s Meteorite Powder ($58). Unlike many other makeup products, which contain titanium dioxide – a white substance that adds opacity (not what you want when you are tired), skin brighteners pack crushed rose quartz and mother-of-pearl, which reflect light to perk up your skin.


Brighten up those groggy eyes with over-the-counter eyedrops that will give them a good cleanse and tone down any redness. Caking concealer over dark circles will only emphasise them further, so dot some where your eye meets the bridge of your nose and gently blend outward. Opt for a lightweight concealer that’s one shade lighter than skin tone. Clinique’s Even Better Concealer ($43) is perfect for this. Follow with a light layer of loose powder. Make sleepy, tired eyes look bigger by running a white eyeliner – like MAC’s Eye Kohl in Fascinating ($12) – along the inside rim (the waterline). Concentrate eye makeup on upper lids, using khaki or gray-brown shadow to neutralise redness. Watery eyes can make your mascara run in nasty streaks. So, when colds strike, go waterproof. Try Estee Lauder’s Sumptuous Waterproof Mascara ($44).


Dry, cracked lips are painful and ugly things. Make them smooth with this old-school trick – brush your lips with a toothbrush smeared in Vaseline. This will buff off any loose skin and leave your lips soft and rosy.
For a more permanent solution, heal cracked or damaged lips with a super salve like Burt’s Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil ($12).
Finally, slick on a little lip gloss; lipsticks are usually to drying and hence avoidable during this time.

Friday, 5 July 2013

High heels instantly make you look (and feel) taller, thinner and sexier but they can hurt like crazy. So, would you take foot injections to make walking in heels easier? Me neither. Instead, try these simple tricks to strut down the street (or aisle, or nightclub, or bedroom…) without hurting yourself.And look good while you do it

A spritz of extra-hold hairspray on the soles of your heels will guarantee a slip-proof and catwalk-worthy walk every time. Other options: scratch the bottom of your soles with sandpaper or head out to the driveway and start scuffing.
This one comes courtesy of Camilla Morton, author of How to Walk in High Heels and A Year in High Heels: “Head to the supermarket, get a cart and go for a spin. As you stock up on groceries, use the cart for balance while your feet get used to the new high heel.” No department store in sight? When you buy a new pair of heels, walk up and down the stairs 10 times. Stairs are the most difficult thing, so if you can that, you can do everything else.
Could it be that the only thing standing between you and those stilettos is…a number two pencil?! Podiatrists suggest foot exercises to maximise heel comfort. Two to try: picking up pencils with your toes and rolling a ball back and forth under the ball of your foot. Strengthening those muscles will make a long strut feel far less torturous.
And finally, never wear the same pair of stilettos two days in a row. That’s because no two pairs of shoes are exactly the same. Each pair creates its own unique pressure points on your feet which, if worn two days in row, will begin to cause pain and discomfort. So wear, swap and repeat.

What about you? Do you already use any of these tips? What are your secret tricks for making high heels more comfortable? Share!
I have a pathological dislike of pain. Which is why my legs get shaved rather than waxed. And which is why they are usually sporting horrid-looking nicks, cuts and super-dry skin that no amount of Bliss Naked Body Butter or L’Occitane Ultra Rich Body Cream is able to transform into skirt-skimmingingly glowy gorgeousness!

Then I ran into a college friend who now lives in Russia and has legs like butter… no exaggeration. And being a great buddy, she bestowed upon me this Russian shaving oil recipe that’s been around for a few hundred years and apparently gives ultra-sexy skin every single time!

Plus, it’s super-simple: Pour 3 tablespoons of almond oil in a bowl. Add half a tablespoon each of wheat germ oil, canola oil and sesame oil then stir till everything is all mixed up. Slather onto legs and shave. Simple, right? And this has a long shelf life so you can make a larger batch and store in a pretty bottle (the pretty bottle won’t make it more efficient – it’s just my personal commandment). As for the razor – dunk it into a shot glass of vodka (this is Russian, remember?) for a couple of hours and it shall come out all clean and fresh, sans any oily traces!

I have tried this thrice and my legs are definitely looking much better. This week, I might even bare them in this thigh-skimming floaty chiffon-silk dress from Leaves of Grass. What do you think? Good for a chilled-out Sunday champagne brunch? Or should I keep it more chic and monochromatic with the Alice by Temperley number on the right? I need your help here!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Ever had one of those huge, deep, under-the-skin pimples that feel more like a tumor than a zit? The ones that make part of your face look swollen, hurt like hell and are almost impossible to conceal? Worse still, the ones that take forever to heal since the pore is clogged so deep below the skin surface that medication just doesn’t work on them? I got one of these stubborn monsters on my lip line a couple of months back and couldn’t even drain it because the pea-sized bump refused to develop a head. Which became a huge problem, especially since I had a humdinger of a royal event to attend last weekend and did not enjoy the thought of going with swollen, lopsided lips that made me look like a clown. A mentally challenged clown. So, it was time to dig deep and wide, looking for remedies… and here’s what I found by way of drawing out the pimple and making it subside.


It’s black, greasy and seriously stinky but there is nothing else in the world like this old homeopathic remedy to draw out a pimple or a boil. Along with zit-busting and anti-inflammatory agents like Phenol and Ichthammol (which has a hefty dose of Sulphur), Prid’s Drawing Salve also contains Arnica for bruising, Calendula for healing and Echinacea for its antiseptic qualities. Basically, you dab it onto the bump at night and cover it with a Band-aid. This ”draws the poison,” as they’d say in the old days. I did this for just one night and by morning the inflammation had gone down by about 60% and the pimple had formed a white head. Which I proceeded to pop and drain (yes, I know you are not supposed to squeeze a pimple but sometimes you just have to do it!). Seriously, all this in one night – after suffering for 2 months! And its a steal at $5.55!


The other thing that can reliably speed the healing time of a subterranean pimple is a hot compress. Dip a washcloth in water that’s as hot as your skin can stand. Fold it up and apply it to the pimple. As the outer folds of the washcloth start to cool, refold it so the warmer inside layers are exposed and reapply. After 10-15 minutes, when the washcloth has cooled off, run it under more hot water Keep doing this for as long as you’ve got time. The heat will draw bacteria to the surface and soften the pore. That way, the next step – a spot treatment with 2 percent salicylic acid plus a pain reliever like menthol – can penetrate deep down and zap the infection faster than would happen naturally, giving underlying tissues the opportunity to heal sans a scar.


Alternate hot compresses (as hot as you can stand without hurting yourself) and icy cold compresses on your pimple every 5-10 minutes until you see it develops a whitehead or begins to harden. The hot and cold compresses will expand and contract your pimple, helping to draw out the fluids and bring the infection to the surface.


A friend of mine swears by this recipe that’s been handed down from her grandmother: Crush half a tablespoon each of onion, garlic and ginger. Mix them together and apply this poultice on the spot, then cover with a Band-Aid. This should bring even the deepest cyst to a head in a few hours.


A warm tea bag placed directly over the pimple doesn’t just help bring the pimple to the surface but the tannins within – particularly in black tea – also help reduce inflammation.


Joey Green, author of Amazing Kitchen Cures recommends a dab of Kiwi White Liquid Shoe Polish to help dry out subterranean pimples and bring them to the surface. He also recommends dabbing on some Preparation H to shrink the spot.


If the pimple is bad enough and hasn’t formed a head, ask your dermatologist whether a cortisone shot is right for you. It stings but is a surefire way to shrink even a massive under-the-skin zit within 24 hours.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

We’ve all had them. No matter how well you maintain your beauty routine – and let’s face it, it can be erratic at times – nobody escapes a pre-party zit or hungover eyes. When I have a bad beauty day things go wrong, big style. My skin ages 10 years, my make-up only makes matters worse and my lips look as if I’ve spent two weeks in the Arctic. Forget bad hair days, this is a paper-bag day. Luckily, there’s plenty you can do to rescue a seemingly hopeless situation. Here’s how to cope when everything goes wrong.

Tress Rx

Frizzy locks? Rub a bit of conditioner on your hands and work it through to the ends to eliminate flyaway strands. In a pinch, a drop of ordinary hand cream will do.
Limp and lank strands? Put on a headband so that it lifts hair up off the face. Spray with a volumizer; wait 10 minutes and then remove band.
Greasy hair? Rub antibacterial gel over your hands then rake your fingers through the hair before you brush and blast it dry. The high alcohol content dissolves build-up in case of a a one-off emergency.

The tired face

Skimped on sleep? Looking washed out has to be one of the most depressing beauty dilemmas. To counter, skip the full face of makeup. When you’re tired, blood is circulated away from the skin to boost the major organs. This means your usual make-up will be too dark and scary. Instead, go for moisturiser, eye drops, a light brushing of face powder, lip gloss and, if possible, a pair of sunglasses.

Baggy eyes

Still carrying around the baggage of last night? Drink as much water as you can to flush out toxins. Then, gently pat either aloe vera gel or a green clay mask on the area under the eyes to draw out remaining impurities. Or use witch hazel – it’s wonderful at removing toxins but make sure you dilute it. Use two parts water and one part witch hazel on a cotton-wool pad.

Panda eyes

Global makeup authority Bobbi Brown has the cure: always apply your eye cream before your concealer. It will help the delicate skin in that area stay hydrated and make concealer go on more smoothly. She also suggests choosing a concealer one shade lighter than your foundation. Apply to the under-eye area up to the lower lash line and, most importantly, on the innermost corner. This is the most recessed area of the face and the darkest in appearance.

Acne attack

If you notice a spot developing, wrap an ice cube in a thin handkerchief then gently massage it over the blemish for 10-second intervals. Repeat the movement 10 times: it calms down the swelling and reduces redness. Follow it up with a formulation that contains 2% salicylic acid plus concealer for on-the-spot camouflage.

Unkissable lips

A really quick fix for lips, especially when you’ve forgotten your lip balm, is olive oil. It’s a terrific moisturiser and you can find it just about everywhere. Rub it into your lips, elbows, feet or anywhere that needs a little TLC.

Stained teeth

If red wine and coffee have stained your teeth, avoid lipstick colours with orange, yellow or beige in the formulation. The key to making teeth look whiter is contrast. So, choose bright, true reds or reds with a blue base.

Nails not up to scratch

Get a little coconut oil or olive oil and mix it with salt and baking powder. Rub this mixture all over the hands, on the palms, up to the wrists and particularly on the nails. The oil acts as a moisturiser and the baking powder releases oxygen into the skin to plump out any fine lines and increase the circulation for healthier, luminous complexion. The salt acts as a gentle exfoliant for removing any dead skin and helps to ease the cuticles for more attractive nails.
Smelly, grungy feet

This one needs a 3-part solution:

Rather than removing chipped polish on your toes and starting again, it can be masked with a coat of darker colour. If you have a pearly eyeshadow that’s all broken up and is ready for the bin, break it down even further and mix it with a little moisturiser. Applying this to your feet will soften the skin and give you an instant sexy sheen. If you get smelly feet, crush fresh mint in a bowl of warm water. Submerging your feet will remove any unpleasant odours.

Streaky fake tan

Ah, the joys of the self-tan. For those who’ve been well and truly Tangoed, try these tips:
If it’s really disastrous, go swimming. Local pools are notorious for having lots of chlorine and this will bleach the tan and help it fade. If your hands are too dark, head for the kitchen and a cream cleanser. You’ll have a gleaming kitchen and your hands will have faded. But if it’s not too bad, just exfoliate really well and re-apply the tan. If you have darker knees and ankles, rub a little whitening toothpaste into the area using a circular motion. The toothpaste will gently exfoliate and the whitening agent will remove colour.

Monday, 1 July 2013

When you have been backstage at enough red carpet affairs and fashion shows, nothing surprises any longer. Putting cellulite cream on the face? But naturally! Getting into a bubble bath aftermaking up your face for a party? Of course! Using Pepto-Bismol as a face mask? D-uh! Here are some of the staple beauty shortcuts that I have personally seen in operation over and over again. And each one of them delivers fab results!


It sounds counterintuitive but almost every celeb I have met swears by the ritual of applying makeup and then stepping into a hot bath for 10 minutes (no bathtub? Stand near a hot shower!). The steam sets makeup, while the mega-dose of moisture makes skin look plump, fresh and dewy.
Want to get rid of a pudgy chin in a jiffy? Rub a caffeine-rich cellulite cream along the entire jawline. How does it work? Caffeine, being a diuretic, will suck out all excess fluids and reduce puffiness. The effect will only be noticeable for three or four hours but that’s long enough to parade around a party or get through a hot date. Just make sure this stuff goes nowhere near your eyes!


A tablespoon of the anti-acid Pepto-Bismol (or Gelusil or Digene) not only takes care of your insides before an anxiety-provoking event, it can also save skin. That’s because it contains bismuth subsalicylate – an antibacterial active agent that’s very similar to salicylic acid. So, smooth on some Pepto-Bismol onto your face, let it dry for 20 minutes and then rinse with plain water to help tighten skin, shrink pores and dry out zits. However, it also dries out the skin so use occasionally and not a substitute for a daily acne regimen!


Have you noticed that celebs never look cakey on the red carpet? That’s not because they always have perfect skin – it’s just that they know how to banish even the reddest zit instantly. Instead of piling on concealer, they dab the spots with nasal spray and Visine (Clear Eyes and All Clear work just as well) eye drops. These contain vasoconstrictors, which shrink blood vessels, thereby taking away the redness and bringing down inflammation – the effect is akin to that of a topical steroid.


Feeling like a bloated mess and nothing fits? Mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with half a glass of water and drink up! Within 30 minutes, the vinegar’s enzymes will slow down your gastric juice production and start flushing away the bloat.


Forget all those controversy-laden lash boosting concoctions – simply dab a bit of flax seed oil on your lash line every night. Flax seeds contain Omega-3, -6, and -9, along with B vitamins and lecithin to repair lash damage and stimulate their growth.
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