Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Published on: 11/2/07 6:06 AM

Feature: It`s Party Time!

It’s party time, from now till New Year!

A woman can drown in all the information on grooming, beauty aids, on looking good. Here’s to looking great in the festive season and what’s more, looking good for a long, long time after that, too.

A good skin care routine. Invest in expensive creams,  moisturisers. Check out your skin type and customise your skin care accordingly. Even if you use inexpensive, department store cleansers and cosmetics (all of quality, though, we earnestly hope), do not skimp on the stuff you put on your face. It shows, you see.

Eye cream. Too many of us skip the under-eye cream. Or use a dab of moisturiser in the area and hope it works. This is not done. You need to stock up on eye cream/gel and what’s more, you need to use it every night. Just a small drop will do but it has to be rubbed in very gently… the middle finger works well…and spread over the inner eye area, too.

Neck moisturising. Another area a lot of us neglect, the neck. There’s a whole page devoted to necks in Nora Ephron’s hilarious bestseller ‘I feel bad about my neck’… turkey necks, wrinkled necks, goose necks, saggy necks … you get the idea. And to think, most of our neck problems can be avoided by applying moisturiser — generously, and every day of your adult life — on the neck, and the nape of the neck, too.

Moisturise. Go scan the supermarket shelves. Read up on moisturisers. Experiment with quality stuff till you find your own special elixir. And then, use it morning and night. Yes, all your life.

Use sunscreen. For a country obsessed with the colour of our dermis, there are more people who do not apply sun protection fluid than do. Apart from the very real threat of skin cancer, you need to protect your skin from the harsh rays of our tropical sun. Apply SPF strength 30 at the least, apply it every two hours, and apply it at least half an hour before venturing out into the sun.

Do your brows. Too thick brows translate as unkempt. Too thin is a temperamental (and er, ageing) diva. Don’t pluck your brows at home, it can be fraught with disaster. Go to a salon, get the stray hairs plucked and keep the natural shape of the brow line. Just a wrong slant and you can end up looking either Satanical or depressed.

Blend till it hurts. As in make-up. Because we see people walking abroad with harsh spots of blush, lip liners shrieking, concealers under the eye gleaming scarily white. It’s clear they’ve forgotten the blend, blend again, and then, blend some more rule. When you apply your make-up, sit in front
of a good mirror, in the right kind of light, and blend that make-up in with your fingers or a damp sponge. Nothing must show, remember, just your face looking somehow mysteriously enhanced.

Less is always more. Forget the foundation, the heavy eyeliner, the iridescent eye shadow, the mauve lip liner. Do your face up concealing flaws with the artful use of some browner, playing up
assets with some highlighter. Add kohl, mascara and just the right shade of lipstick for day or night. Spray on some fragrance and you really are done.

Keep skin clean. As in, wash your face well, with the right kind of face wash or facial soap, twice a day. Give yourself a face mask every weekend. Don’t overload with goop. Let your skin breathe. Eat a lot of fruits, drink a lot of water. Unclogged skin is glowing skin.

Condition hair. When good old oil went out of the window, frizz came straight in. So okay, you don’t want to douse your tresses with sheets of coconut oil (yes you do, if you are a Mallu!) but then, you need to have conditioner handy. Either the rinse-out kind or the leave-in kind but something that will tame that hair and keep it glowing.

Keep heels soft and clean. You know that adage about a woman’s heels revealing her character? Well, we don’t know how true that is but we recommend you keep your heels soft, clean, free from those dreaded cracks you forever see on TV. Schedule a home pedicure at least once every few months,  it’s well worth the effort.

Sleep on your back. This is to allow proper blood circulation  and see that your spine is properly aligned, too. When you are on your back, you breathe deep and well, and your abdominal organs aren’t cramped. Train yourself to sleep this way.

This ran in THE HINDU of 1 Nov 2007.

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Sheila Kumar • November 2, 2007

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