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The Long Good-Bye

Dear readers,

It’s been a long time coming– Jolie Asie is nearing its end. My life has changed, and so have my interests and commitments. I have been honored to have the opportunity to provide you with the information and advice you sought on my blog. I hope that in at least some small way, Jolie Asie has been able to make your life a little more beautiful.

UPDATE (12/11/13): Based on the feedback I’ve received from my readers, I have decided to postpone deleting the blog indefinitely. It may happen one day, but for now, it will remain. Please keep in mind I will no longer be answering requests for makeup breakdowns and the like.

Thank you for your love, support, and the insightful questions and comments you’ve left for me at Jolie Asie. It’s been fun!

Yours,

Meg

Shine on, Miss America!

image courtesy vanity fair

Congratulations to Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri! You are gorgeous in the skin you’re in!

Remember– the key to beautiful skin is brightening, not lightening.

Want to join the conversation about Nina’s win and the Indian beauty ideal? Read on, and leave me your thoughts!

Miss America Nina Davuluri: Too ‘Indian’ to ever be Miss India

15 People Who Don’t Realize That #MissAmerica Is In Fact…American

[Stephen] Colbert Loses It Over Twitter’s Racist Reaction To Indian Miss America

Miss America and the Indian Beauty Myth

image courtesy syracus

New York Lust

Well, I’ve been shamelessly absent from the blogosphere, save for responding to your excellent questions and comments on JA. I’m leaving New York City in less than two weeks, and I’d like to share a few of my favorite experiences and– because this is a beauty blog, after all– my top beauty find of the summer.

laduree

Rose petal macarons at Laduree

lebain

Party at Le Bain at the Standard– hot tub in a night club!

maisonpremiere

Oysters Happy Hour at Maison Premiere in Brooklyn

metopera

Swan Lake Ballet at the Met Opera House– enchanting!

nightout

Friends make New York City great <3

phantomoftheopera

Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic Theater

photoshoot

Finance and fashion on Wall Street

public

Brunch at Michelin star-winner PUBLIC

spiderman

Stumbled upon the filming of Spiderman 2!

Bollywoodtinis at Mint

Bollywoodtinis at Mint

I have absolutely had the time of my life in NYC and encourage all of you girls to take the opportunity to live or visit here if you ever have the chance! What do you think of the Big Apple? Share your experiences with me!

lust

Now…

If you’re a desi girl at heart like I am, you will fall head over heels for my top beauty find of the summer: Lush’s “Lust” Solid Perfume.

“Lust” is what some perfume experts call a “dirty jasmine” scent– I’d call it “dirty, sexy, sweet”. Lush’s “unashamedly carnal jasmine” goes on strong (almost to the point of headache-inducing), and fades to a sweet, seductive scent that hugs the skin. Before I bought it I consulted two girl friends– both Indian– and they were equally as in love with it as I. Although I do still like very much the scent of Disney’s “A Whole New World”, it was too delicate and mild for loud, sensory-overload New York. “A Whole New World” is for a lady, and “Lust” is for a woman. And right now, that works for me.

Running into Hrithik

Hi ladies! As I mentioned earlier, I’ve moved to New York City for the summer, and I’m loving it! Life in NYC is crazy, breakneck, and beautiful, so I hardly have any time to think, let alone blog. But I had to share this with you– I was out tonight for a late dinner and ran into Hrithik Roshan and Arjun Rampal at Buddakan in Chelsea Market!

Hrithik Roshan and Meg

For those of you who are wondering, Hrithik is very sweet and absolutely as gorgeous in real life as he is on camera.

<3

Rest in Peace, Jiah Khan

image courtesy twitter

The incomparably beautiful Nafisa Khan– also known as Jiah Khan– who debuted opposite Amitabh Bachchan in Nishabd, has passed away. I had the chance to interact with her briefly after posting a makeup breakdown of her look in the film, and she was very sweet. A talented young woman, she is gone from the industry and the world too soon.

Happy weekend! I wanted to give you all an update on the new products I’ve been using– some of which I’m very excited about!

image courtesy beaute zine

Disney’s Jasmine Collection: A Whole New World Rollerball Perfume

I ran into Sephora today to buy a concealer and was stopped in my tracks by the Princess Jasmine Disney Collection (a collaboration between Sephora and Disney that includes eyeshadows, liner, nailpolishes, body shimmer, and perfume). As a former aspiring Disney Princess (I auditioned once! It was incredibly fun!), I knew I had to check out these products. The makeup seemed a little kiddie or totally unnecessary for me, but the rollerball perfume called “A Whole New World” had me at one sniff.

image courtesy sephora

“Make your own magic…”

It’s a honey-and-fruits-sweet, feminine, oriental floral. I love warm fragrances with gardenia, vanilla, or both, so I was immediately drawn to this. Pretty much snatched it up right away. The rollerball is actually a perfumed oil (base of sweet almond oil), suggestive of Jasmine’s exotic persona. The scent is also available as an Eau de Parfum Spray, but I preferred the fragrance (and price) of the rollerball. The staying power is okay; the scent doesn’t disperse far from your skin, so wearing it is a very personal experience. It makes me feel beautiful.

Silk Naturals Ultimate Luxury Treatment Powder

image courtesy silk naturalsSilk Naturals, an independent organic cosmetics company I recently gushed about here, makes an amazing translucent powder that I usually wear on no-makeup days to keep me from looking moisturizer-greasy. The description on SN’s website does the powder full justice, so I’ll let them do the talking:

Silk, Pearls, Roses, and Vitamin C… Ultimate Luxury Powder is made from the absolute most luxurious, wonderful ingredients direct from Mother Nature. This was originally designed as a night treatment powder- and it’s superb for that, but it’s also a great primer and finishing powder. Pearls contain calcium and lots of amino acids that condition your skin and make it feel soft and smooth. It’s almost completely matte, and smells slightly like roses.

Ingredients: Mica and Magnesium Myrsistate, Pearl Powder, Pure Silk Powder, Zinc Oxide, L-Ascorbyl Palmitate, Rose Petals, Allantoin, Silica

Silk! Pearls! Roses! Vitamin C! This is a face powder for the gods.

Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Liner

image courtesy revlonOkay, I’m not ‘goo goo ga ga’ for this one. I wanted an alternative to MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack because my gel liner brush is starting to fray, and so the precision of my cat eye has been suffering.

However, despite solid reviews around the web for this liquid liner, I find that it tends to flake quite obviously during the day. I do appreciate how blackety-black it is, though.

Liquid liners in general are much less forgiving than gel liners– the slightest quiver of hand and you get an amateurish shaky line, which no amount of eyelash curling and mascara can really hide. I will tough it out as I practice my liquid lining skills, but expect to ultimately return to my trusty gel liner.

image courtesy silk naturals

Silk Naturals Mineral Foundation

I have positive-to-mixed feelings about the Silk Naturals All-Purpose Mineral Foundation, of which I have been using a sample recently. It might just be that the grass is always greener on the other side. Here’s my breakdown of the foundation’s pros and cons:

Pros

  • Unique color matching system that works for all seasons: This is the kicker– you mix the foundation color yourself! Can you believe it, how awesome is that?! When you order a sample of the foundation from SN (for a mere $4), they send you a scoop with a little baggie of white powder (the base) and several little baggies of colored powders (see above). Each of the little baggies is a different color shade (e.g. warm gold for golden undertones, buttery gold for yellow undertones, olive for neutral undertones, ebony for pink undertones, etc.). You can post a picture of yourself on the Silk Naturals Forum and an expert will recommend a formula for you– the expert had helpful advice for me (she approximated that I was one scoop of olive powder mixed with 8-10 scoops of white powder; my true ratio is 1.75 olive to 9 white). The right color match for you will look a little light when you apply it, and within 10-15 minutes will settle into the correct shade. It took me about 5 tries at mixing the formula to get my perfect match. If I get a little tan during the summer, or turn pale during the winter, I can adjust the formula myself with the powders, so this awesome foundation matches me year-round!
  • Fantastic skin-safe, very natural (vegan) ingredient list
  • Suitable for dry skin types, silica-free
  • SPF-free, meaning no white cast in camera flash
  • Very inexpensive

Cons

  • Light-to-medium coverage: It’s not easy to transition from a MAC cream foundation to a loose powder foundation; you’re just not gonna get the kind of coverage you’re used to. So for me the light-to-medium coverage feels like a con right now, though it might turn out to be what I was looking for when I set out for a foundation that let my skin’s natural radiance and brightness shine through. (SN does offer a heavy coverage foundation, for those interested.)
  • Messy to apply: Loose powder in a small jar means some powder wasted floating to the floor or onto your counter when you’re trying to grab it with your brush.
  • Must be applied in even layers: Okay, here’s the thing. I think this is true for all mineral makeup foundations, so it’s not unique to SN: you must apply the same amount of powder evenly all over your face. With normal (not mineral) foundations, you can keep adding more and more to certain spots (over blemishes, around the nose) and it will simply give you more opaque coverage. Not so with mineral foundations. As you add more layers with mineral foundations, the color builds up and looks darker with each layer of coverage. This can be avoided if you are not treating the powder as a concealer. Which is a bummer, because it’s tempting to try that. But if you do, you’ll just end up looking muddy.

In all, I love this foundation for its great ingredients and the spectacular concept of mixing your PERFECT color match. Just make sure you have a reliable concealer to lean on too.

image courtesy google images

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage

I’ve been on the hunt for a full coverage opaque cream concealer– one free of parabens, bismuth oxychloride, and synthetic fragrance– to replace my MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer. I’ve loved the MAC pot concealer for many years, but my skin color has changed and I don’t get a good match with any of their shades, and I wanted to move away from MAC facial makeup products (which have a notorious reputation for causing breakouts). Plus, I don’t like concealers and foundations that have chemical sunscreens. I was excited to find the NARS stick concealer had what looked like an excellent ingredient list, provided decent coverage, and had a good color selection– but was bummed to learn it may contain bismuth oxychloride, a known skin irritant.

My search finally brought me to Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage, worn by Hollywood stars like Emma Watson and Kristen Stewart. It’s loved by those in the makeup business, and indeed, Secret Camouflage means businessThe product is used to cover dark spots and discoloration (the consistency is too thick and dry for the undereye area)– and cover it does. This stuff has the highest coverage of any concealer I’ve sampled. What I love about it is that it comes with two shades, one beige-toned and one peach-toned, that you mix together to get your perfect shade (can you tell I love customizability?). Most South Asian skintones will fall in the SC- 3 through 6 range; I am SC-5 (neutral undertones).

The only drawback of the product is the texture: it’s waxy and dry, making it a little tricky to learn how to use (I rub the product in the pan with my finger to warm it up; I’ve also heard giving it a blast with the hair dryer works well). Learning how to make it work for you takes practice. If not applied carefully, the concealer can look cakey on dry skin types. However, for creating flawless-looking skin (despite requiring some effort), I’m happy with this product!

I’m halfway done with grad school, and I’m getting ready to move to Manhattan for the summer. It’s the perfect time for me to take stock of my beauty regimen and appreciate the gems that I can always rely on to help me feel good and look great. These are a few of my favorite things.

image courtesy salada

Salada White Tea

It’s hard to find a pure white tea– most are sold mixed with peach, pomegranate, or some other fruit flavor– but when Salada white tea is in stock at my local grocery store, I hoard. Black tea and green tea are Drizella and Anastasia to white tea’s Cinderella. White tea is the healthiest of these three teas, all of which emerge from the same plant (Camellia sinensis). White tea has the highest antioxidant count, the least amount of caffeine, and the most delicate, refined flavor. A pale gold color, the tea smooths even the harshest water, giving it an almost satin texture. You’ll always find me toting a 16 oz thermos of white tea to class in the morning. Bliss.

image courtesy silk naturals

Silk Naturals Organic Lipsticks

It was a lucky day for me when I stumbled across a mention of Silk Naturals on MakeupAlley. Silk Naturals is a small natural cosmetics company based out of New York. I love, love their approach to cosmetics– all of their organic formulas contain a minimal amount of ingredients; their products are pure, clean, and mindbogglingly inexpensive. I have quite literally dumped ALL of my base makeup (foundations, powders, concealers) and lip makeup (lipsticks, lipstains, lipglosses) into a closed trunk next to my vanity. Move over, chemical-laden, over-priced mistakes! Now, the only makeup I’ll use on my face and my lips is Silk Naturals. I’ve also been sold on their skincare line, and love the Silk Naturals 2% BHA toner, which has proven excellent for fading dark marks.

lipsticks

The Silk Naturals vegan and organic lipsticks are special stand-out products. Ringing in at a mere $5.75 (compare to MAC’s $15 for a lipstick!), the Silk Naturals lipsticks are creamy, smooth, nicely pigmented, and come in great shades. I own Cayenne (a golden, orange-toned red), Bombshell (a vampy dark red), Fashionista (a light, slightly shimmery pink with coral undertones/MAC Cosmo dupe), Eternal (brownish pink/MAC Twig Dupe), and Sultry (berry pink/MAC Brick O La dupe). For Indian skintones, I particularly recommend Sultry– it’s incredibly wearable and totally gorgeous. Also pictured above is Black Dahlia, a blackish-coppery plum lipgloss.

Silk Naturals lipsticks perform better than any other lipstick I’ve used (Clinique, Estee Lauder, MAC, LORAC, the list goes on). They last well and when they do fade, they fade very evenly, and without causing peeling or caked lips. Best of all, they are a very natural formula, made of castor, jojoba, avocado, cranberry, raspberry, and passionfruit oils. And for a price lower than most drugstore lipsticks, you can afford to replace your chemical-laden lip colors with these beauties. Have I sold you yet?

image courtesy google images

Fish Oil

Celebs the world over swear by omega-3s for shining, soft hair. So does this beauty blogger. Ever since I started taking fish oil (two capsules a day; I keep them in the fridge for freshness), my hair has completely transformed, from a poofy, dry, wavy tangle to silky and smooth. I’ve talked about fish oil a lot on Jolie Asie, and for good reason. It gives results!

I’ve recently switched to a comparable alternative, krill oil, because research shows that the molecular structure of krill oil allows for better absorption by the body, and because most fish oils contain trace amounts of soy, which I like to avoid. Whether you choose cod liver oil, fish oil, flaxseed oil, or krill oil– try it. It’s great for your heart, your health, and your hair.

image courtesy blogspot

Maybelline Full N’ Soft Washable Mascara

This mascara is another find thanks to the ever-useful MakeupAlley; it’s one of the most highly-rated mascaras out there. I’ve found Full & Soft to be a most satisfactory alternative to the more costly Diorshow. It can be hard for Indian women with long lashes to find a good mascara that will enhance their lashes (as opposed to making them look spidery), and this is one of the rare few (sad to report, I was recently disappointed by Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes! mascara). And at $7.49, it’s fairly reasonably priced, too.

Be sure to get the regular version, not the waterproof– I’ve used both and, strangely, felt like the waterproof version was making my lashes shed, which did not happen with the washable version. As a general rule, I prefer to avoid waterproof formulas, as I like to be able to fully wash my makeup off at night without a struggle.

Always remember to curl your lashes in the morning, regardless of whether or not you wear mascara. It opens up your eyes and the curl gives you an instant boost of femininity, making the biggest difference in how you look!’

image courtesy google images

Spinach Juice

Maybe not so delicious sounding, but so important for glowing, clear skin and better energy. Whether you have it mixed with fruits like nutritionist to the stars Kimberly Snyder or with tomato and lemon juice, do your utmost to drink up your leafy greens every day. They are probably the most potent food you can consume for better skin health. ‘Nuff said.

image courtesy google images

Yes to Carrots Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15

My mom asked me to find her a moisturizer with sunscreen yesterday, and I instantly recommended her to try my Yes to Carrots moisturizer. After having done the research about chemical vs. physical sunscreens, checked with Cosmetics Cop Paula Begoun’s Beautypedia, and combed the market for a safe and natural SPF 15 formula that wasn’t too hard to wash off (many require special makeup removers or oil cleansers! Pshh!), I found Yes to Carrots.

I love this moisturizer. The vitamin-rich formula has great skin-soothing ingredients like aloe vera extract, organic carrots, and pumpkin seed extract, and the only sunscreen ingredient it uses is Zinc Oxide, which is a physical sunblocker that is the safest and most effective for protecting the skin against UVA and UVB rays. The formula is non-greasy and does not leave a whitish cast. I do like to use a moisturizer (L’Occitane Mom & Baby Cream) underneath because I have dry skin. If they stopped selling this sunscreen, I don’t know what I’d do!

And those are a few of my favorite things! Do we share favorites? Have I convinced you to try some of mine? Let me know what your beauty favorites are!

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