I have decided that I’m going to keep my blog organized, so from now on I will be posting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. You are free to send me questions, comments, photographs, short stories or poems and I will be happy to put them up here (need not be fashion related obviously). You can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
As summer looms large ahead, I thought that it would be nice to share some personal beauty treatments, tips and products for the coming summer(that’s likely to be one of the worst ever). Some are for the summer, others can be used the whole year through.
For me, the most important thing is my hair. I try to keep it as clean and frizz free as possible and I’m a huge believer in using hair oil. I oil my hair and wash it at least thrice a week, and I feel that that way the natural oils are intact for a few days but also that it rejuvenates with every oil/shampoo wash.I think oiling one’s hair is important for any person regardless of weather or hair type. An American friend of mine said that she felt her hair had become softer after she started applying oil (this was while she was in India). I use Himalaya shampoo, and I don’t believe in using conditioner. I feel that it makes my hair even more rough than it originally was, and that it robs it of its natural shine and moisture.
I have tried quite a few shampoos that are available in the Indian market, like L’Oreal, Tresemme, Sunsilk, Herbal Essence and Dove. I didn’t like most of them because I felt that they didn’t suit my hair type, (even though they advertised that they did) and the few that I did like, the effect wore off after a few months. However I felt that Herbal Essence has been one of the best, but now I’ve started to use Himalaya. It’s good to change one’s shampoo every few months so that the scalp/hair doesn’t become used to one product and also if the product has too many chemicals, the risk of damaging the hair is less.
I’ve found that for me, the tips of my hair are the driest, so I apply a little bit of oil (preferably not coconut oil because it smells) to the tips when it’s still wet. This keeps it moist but not oily as the water/oil combination prevents it from becoming so.
To give my hair a more refined, obedient look (it always defies me) I use L’Oreal Paris’ Anti-frizz Serum Smooth Intense for Dry, Frizzy Rebellious hair (my hair to a tee). It’s works wonders for my hair and gives it a set look.
When I first moved to Bangalore, the water had adverse effects on my hair, causing it to fall more often than not, so I bought L’Oreal Paris’ Fall Repair 3X which is a leave in tonic. To be honest I don’t know if it helped or not because I became too lazy to apply it in the first place. But I’ve heard good reviews of the product.
I’m someone who loves experimenting with my hair, be it cut or colour, and because of this I have to be more careful. Colouring hair often is unhealthy and can cause hair loss, hair damage, split ends, etc. unless you manage it well. I would suggest don’t colour your hair more than 2 times a year, because the colour lasts for a good 2-4 months, unless your hair grows really fast. I have premature greying of hair, so I started when I was pretty young, but now I’ve become aware of the long-term consequences and don’t do it as often as I used to. I even bleached the tips of my hair blonde last year, and will put up another post on bleaching hair at home, safely and how to maintain it.
For greying, one can also use henna but I prefer to colour my hair because I like the uniformity of colour as opposed to the occasional gold/red streaks. It’s available in most stores nowadays, and very easy to prepare and apply at home.
In cold weather, (especially Bangalore weather) where the days can be pretty dry and pollution filled, I’ve found that applying cold cream removes the dryness but protects my skin from the humidity, dust and pollution (this is only if its applied in moderate amounts, using too much can result in one of those cold cream ads where everything sticks to your face, particularly pollution). One way to ensure that you don’t use a lot of cream is by applying five dots of cream each on your forehead, nose, either cheek and chin, then massage it into your skin. Also, take one fingertip’s worth of cream, not more, not less. I use Pond’s cold cream.
Never apply cream on your face at night, because this is the time that your facial skin can actually breathe, and doing so will result in clogging of the pores. Wash your face thrice a day, once in the morning after you wake up, once after you come home from college/work/school and once before you go to bed. I use soap for my face only once a day, after I get home from class. And this is because the soaps that I use are handmade, natural soaps from Fab India. But otherwise face wash can substitute regular soap, but just once a day, for regular skin like mine. Those of you who have sensitive skin/acne/pimples should use creams/soaps/face wash as suggested by your dermatologist.
My body is so strange that I have my monthly ‘period pimple’ (pimple that comes and goes before my monthly visitor). Most of the times, it arrives and leaves without much hooha but sometimes I do have problems. For that I use Garnier’s Pure Extra Strong Pimple Control Pen. It works wonders for small pimples, white heads and black heads. I leave the gel on overnight and by morning the bomb of a pimple has been diffused (as are the whiteheads/blackheads that are easier to get rid of).
For facial hair (the dreaded part of every girl’s face) I use Anne French because my skin is pretty allergic and sensitive so this works best for me. For those of you who aren’t allergic/sensitive then Veet is also another option, though I should add that it’s a little too strong/harsh for upper lip hair, but works well for the arms and legs. I’m also highly allergic to wax, which is why I have to resort to using hair removal cream as opposed to waxing. And I simply don’t like the idea of threading, but do whatever makes you feel comfortable.
I am thankful to my parents and every other supernatural being out that who has blessed me with decent eyebrows. I haven’t had to get them done yet, but eyebrows (well shaped ones at that) can really change the way you look and are perceived. If the eyes are the windows to your soul, then the eyebrows are definitely the attractive curtains or at least the curtain rods that hold up the attractive curtains/blinds (pun not intended). So if you feel that your eyebrows need a good threading/tweaking then get it done ASAP. Or not, that’s up to you; no social pressure.
During the summer, I prefer to wear the minimum amount of makeup possible. It either melts/smudges/slides off or is wiped off while wiping sweat (unless you’re sitting in an air-conditioned atmosphere the whole day). I prefer eyeliner to kajal (kohl) as the chances of smudging are less. I wear lip balm and continuously apply and re-apply because chapped lips are the worst thing ever (mine end up bleeding if I smile too wide without lip-balm on). I use Bodyshop’s Vitamin E Lip Care SPF 15, and I love it. These are my two makeup essentials. But like I said, if you’re going to be in an air-conditioned atmosphere then the sky is the limit for your makeup choices.
Face packs are pretty great during the summer, or at any time really. My personal favourite is honey, sandalwood, curd and lime. Mix it well and apply it, keep it on for a few hours and when you wash it off, your skin is clearer, softer, cleaner and smoother. I love this homemade remedy, it beats any mass produced product full of chemicals or anything made in a beauty parlour, plus it’s so easy to make. I used to use it when I had lots of dark spots from pimples that I had burst on purpose, those are the toughest spots to get rid of (this was during my 10th and 12th board exams, so no wonder). It took time, but they eventually faded away.
I moisturise my skin every day after I have a shower in the morning, and I use Vaseline Healthy White SPF 24 (guys the Healthy White part is not because I’m obsessed with becoming fair, it’s because it has SPF 24; I’m completely against trying to be a skin tone lighter than what is naturally given to you, though fairness cream adverts disagree; anyway I digress). This is for my arms, legs and hands.
I just started using this product so it’ll take some time to see if it really protects my skin from the harsh rays of the sun.
I know that everyone’s always stressing on this, but DRINK LOTS OF WATER. It really is the best thing for your body, regardless of the weather.Hydration reflects on the skin, and I personally have felt that when I drink up to three liters a day, my skin looks healthier, more alive and less dry and sickly; especially my facial skin.
Carry a bottle of water with you, or if you know that there is someplace to get/buy water then that’s great too. I carry a bottle everyday to class and I can’t survive without it.
Fruits and Veggies: Eat lots of fruits. Who can resist eating fruits during the summer! That’s the only bearable part of it- the mango eating time of the year. Though eating too many mangoes causes ulcers and pimples (for me especially, I’ve learnt the hard way) I do it every summer regardless, so be careful, (because mangoes once consumed produce heat in the body that results in ulcers and pimples) . Fruits like watermelon are perfect for the summer, because they are high in water content, taste AWESOME and of course are high in Vitamin C which is good for the skin.
Vegetables like cucumber, lettuce and tomatoes are my favorites so I eat them all year round, but again they are essential for the summer because they make a mean salad, are light and easy to digest as opposed to a heavy meal which weighs heavier on your already exhausted summer-enduring body.
So that’s it for today, hope you guys benefited from this post. I know that we’re aware of most of the things in this post, but sometimes we need the idea to be reinforced to do something about it.
See you on Friday!