Korean, Japanese and most South East Asian Women are blessed with the best skin and they are equally aggressive with the maintenance of their genetic gift. A year in Japan and two in Singapore taught me a lot about this 'Asian' skincare routine. The routine comprises of 10 steps... YES 10 STEPS done twice a day!! How impossible it could be for us when most of us are not able to follow the basic 3 step CTM (Cleansing-Toning-Moisturizing) routine! Skin care is made a significant part of daily routine from a very young age, while here we start thinking about our skin once we cross 30!!
Nevertheless, to educate ;) you all, let me tell you what this 10 step routine is
Makeup Removal- Cleanse- Exfoliate- Toner- Essence- Serum- Eye Cream- Moisturizer- Sun Protection/ Night Mask- Lip Balm
The significant part of this routine is Hydration, which plumps up the skin and makes it look younger. The other aspect is layering of products starting with lighter texture to heavier ones, which further aids in hydration.
Now, the important thing is how to incorporate this skin care routine in our life comfortably and believe me, it is not as difficult as it may sound. Let me share 5 significant steps that we can pick up from this routine along with some of my favorite products
1. Complete Makeup Removal- Most of us do not take off our makeup at night. This is one of the main reasons for skin breakouts and dullness. It is important to use an eye makeup remover to take off all traces of makeup from eyes. Use a q-tip to completely remove eye liner/kajal in between the lashes. I love L'oreal gentle eye and lip makeup remover and Maybelline Clean Express Total Clean Makeup Remover (Read my review here). After removing eye and lip makeup, one can use a cleansing milk/ cream/ water/ balm (as per your skin type) to take off makeup from the face. My current favorite here is Shu Uemura Ultime 8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil, which my husband got from Japan otherwise earlier I was using Bioderma Sensibio H2O, which is pretty good too.
2. Toning- Often considered to be least significant step in skin care but it cleans the traces of cleanser from the skin and refreshes it. It is a must do step for skin hydration. My favorite toners are Rose water from Kama Ayurveda, Moisture Spray from Cinema Secrets and Kiehl's Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence. You can always keep a bottle in your bag and can use as instant refresher during the day specially if you spend most of the day in Air conditioned environment.
3. Serum- Serum is something a lot of us are unsure of and don't know when and how to use it. I believe that serums are the magical portions that can change the way your skin is, drastically. These are basically light weight concentrates with loads of active ingredients, which penetrate easily into the skin and provide more intense treatment. These are loaded with hydrating agents and provide a boost of hydration to the skin. My favorites are The Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalizing Facial Oil and Shu Uemura Tsuya Skin Youthful Vita-glow Activator.
4. Sun Protection- This is usually the most neglected part of skin care routine. SPF of 15 is required daily indoors and outdoors. If you spend more time in sun, SPF of 35 is required and 50 for beaches and pools. I love to use Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Drytouch Sunblock 50.
5. Night Cream- Another skin care practice that is overlooked by most of us. Most of the women I've met always tell me that it is important for skin to breathe and hence nothing should be put on the skin at night. What I tell them is that the skin needs to repair and regenerate and our job is to provide the skin with nutrients that help this process. Night cream (also called Night Mask) is rich with skin regenerating ingredients. My favorite is Olay Regenerist Revitalising Night Cream Moisturiser.
Hope the post helps you to take your skincare game one level up and do share in comments if it makes any sense to you and motivates you to look after your skin.
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I believe by now, you know which red is the red for you. If you don't know yet... Please read here.
So once you know your red... you must be wondering why this post on how to wear red lipstick? Just take the lipstick and apply on your lips... but it isn't as simple as that.
Let's understand what are the challenges while applying red or any dark colored lipstick-
Hope this helps you all to rock Red Lipstick
Do share your views on your favorite red lipstick and if you have some interesting tips on application!
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As much as I love red on my nails, I am equally fond of red on my lips and in clothes and hair (Yes hair too! Will post some pics soon)
I have a huge stash of red lip colors, which I love wearing whenever possible but feel kinda sad when people specially my clients come and tell me that they don't like wearing red mostly because they think it is very loud, looks made up, not sure of which red and so on.
So, I came up with an idea of this series of post "Dare to wear Red" where I'll try to answer all the problem areas. And what could be a better day to talk about Lipsticks, other than the National Lipstick Day, that we are celebrating today! And moreover, M.A.C is offereing a lipstick free on purchase of two lip products. If you can't go to a M.A.C store, shop online on Nykaa
Red lips spell classy, dramatic, sexy and confident all the same time. But, most of us are hesitant to wear red lipstick, fearing that it makes us feel older, too dramatic or made up or over-the-top.
The fact is that one can wear a red lip colour anytime in the day, for any occasion and with any skin tone; the trick is to find the shade which is ‘THE RED’ for you!
Find the Perfect Red
Finding the perfect red depends on your skin undertone and the intensity of your complexion.
Here’s a list of reds to go with your skin complexion:-
Next in this series- How to wear Red Lipstick! Keep a lookout!
What's your favorite Red Lipstick? Do share in comments
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Being a bigger size since time immemorial, hunting for decent plus size wear has been always on my mind. Apart from the local sellers, where you may or may not find your size or your choice, in the last 15 years or so, a lot of brands have come up with big sizes and quite a lot of them are pocket friendly too and may also give you option of Indian, Western and Indo Western wear.
Let's have a look at them
1. GIA by Westside
The most important reason I want to talk about this brand first is that this was the first brand I where I could find my size and am a Westside Loyalist since 2002. Gia as a brand has come up a long way since I first started wearing it. It is now called GIA Curves and most of the designs focus on enhancing your curves.
The size range is from XS (Size 14) to XXXL (Size 26) and you get tops, blouses, t-shirts, jeans, formal pants, skirts and almost everything. Most of the stuff is priced between ₹800-1500 with few exceptions.
Also in Westside, you may fit into some of their pretty ethnic stuff from Utsa, Verk and Zuba if you are my size or little smaller (I wear 20-22 of Gia and for ethnic brands, I fit into XL-XXL depending on the style)
Since I have never come back empty handed from GIA... I would like to give it 4.5/5
Like the Westside Facebook Page or Follow them on Instagram to keep an eye on their latest collection
Legendary designer Anita Dongre's Pret Western wear line gives a good variety for bigger sized girls too. The designs are based on needs of an Indian women and clothes are designed keeping in mind the comfort and lifestyle. You get dresses, shirts, tops and tunics, leggings, skirts, pants and so on. You may get upto size 18 (and sometimes even size 20) in most of their designs, though it may not be displayed, you can always check with the store assistants, they'll help you with sizes. Most of the stuff is in the range of ₹1500-3000, of course with a few exceptions.
I like AND for their interesting and flattering cuts. Though I fit into their size 18-20, I do not have all the design options open, yet I love to check out their collection when I am out for shopping. My rating would be 4/5.
Like the AND Facebook Page or follow AND on Instagram to know about their latest collection
You may also shop on AND website
3. Global Desi
Global Desi is the fusion wear brand from The House of Anita Dongre known for its boho-chic look. The designs combine the Indian colors, prints and textures to suit the wider audience globally. You get tunics, kurtas, jackets, suits and a variety of other styles. The sizes range from XS to XXL and price range is between ₹1500-3000 with few exceptions.
I love the brand for their unique designs and cuts. Again I fit mostly into XXL and if lucky then in XL . Again my rating would be 4/5.
Like Global Desi FB page and follow Global Desi on Instagram to check their latest arrivals. You can also shop on Global Desi Website.
4. Marks & Spencer
This UK originated department store caters to Indian market too. The clothes range from formals to semi formals to club wear and beach wear and lingerie too. I love to check out the store when I am looking for formals specially trousers, jackets or skirts. Also, we get nice dresses and tops in the bigger sizes. The sizes range from 8-16 and sometimes upto 20 and price are usually ₹1500 onwards.
I really like their formal wear collection and fit into size 18-20. I would rate it 3.5/5 as the price may be sometimes on the higher side.
Like Marks & Spencer India Facebook page to get latest updates. Check out Marks & Spencer India Website to find their stores near you.
Mustard is an Indian brand catering to ready to wear clothes for regular and plus size. They have both Indian and Western wear. The sizes range from -2(XS) to 7 (6XL) for both tops and bottoms. The average price ranges from ₹1000 to ₹2000 with few exceptions.Apart from Jeans, Trousers, Tops, Kurtas, Skirts, you also get Palazzos, Capris, Stoles and Dupattas too.
Sometimes I do not like the fabric or the design but whenever I visit the store, there will be atleast one piece that will catch my eyes and I'll get compliments whenever I wear that. I fit into their size 3-5 depending on the cut. I would rate it 3.5/5... that 0.5 extra for that one piece that I always find!
You may like Mustard Facebook page and follow Mustard on Instagram. You can also shop from Mustard Website.
That was the list of my favorite stores for plus size shopping. There are a lot of online stores that have come up but I am a bit hesitant to shop online mainly because of the fit as with different cuts and styles, I fit into different sizes and the other reason is that I hate to wait!!
So what are your favorite plus size brands? Do share in comments.
Signing off for now