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Archive for the ‘eyes’ Category

Tonight I’m covering a very popular topic– and perhaps the most important one for every Indian woman to learn about. Concealing under eye darkness.

Well, ladies. We’ve all got it. It’s here to stay. Under eye darkness is hugely prevalent among South Asian women; it’s a result of bone structure and genetics.

Though it’s impossible to get rid of completely, there are some tips and tricks that can help reduce the appearance of under eye darkness:

  • Almond oil. Using your ring finger, gently massage almond oil around your eyes (from the outside-in under the eyes and from the inside-out on the lids and brow area) after thoroughly removing your makeup every night.
  • Drink lots of water. Stay hydrated; it’ll help keep your skin plump and dewy. If you are dehydrated, your under eye circles or hollows will only look darker and will take on a papery consistency.
  • Facial exercises. It makes sense, right? You exercise your body to keep it fit and to encourage blood circulation… do the same for your face!
  • Eat healthy, take your multivitamins. Darkness around the eyes could be a sign of vitamin or mineral deficiency. Eating well will also keep your energy levels up, which is crucial for bright eyes and glowing skin.
  • Sleep well. Well-rested eyes are happy eyes!
  • Do not spend too much time staring at the computer/TV. If you have to work at a desk for long hours, look away; focus your eyes on something far away from you at least once every 30 minutes (to relax the eyes).
  • Use an eye creamif you feel like it works. I’m skeptical about eye creams– I think they’re a marketing gimmick for the most part– but since they are very popular among celebrities and dermatologists, maybe there’s something to it. As for my own personal experience, I’ve found that a light smear of Vaseline (petroleum jelly) under my eyes at night made my under eye hollows much less apparent the next day (superficial water retention)… but I recommend doing this only on occasion, as mineral oil can clog pores.
  • Don’t be sad about it. Do NOT use fairness creams; they could cause terrible damage to your eyes. Accept your under eye darkness… remember, your favorite Bollywood stars, from actress Rani Mukherjee to Sonam Kapoor, all have under eye darkness, and use makeup to hide it! You’re not alone!

Those are just a few ways you can try to lighten the skin under or around your eyes. But for many girls, these home remedies are simply not enough. That’s when we turn to concealer.

First of all- identify the problem. If you are an Indian, there is a fair chance that what you have are not under eye circles at all, but under eye hollows.

Kareena Kapoor rocking the under eye hollows!

Under eye hollows, as modeled by Bebo above, are extremely common for South Asian women; it’s a skull shape thing. It’s most noticeable on those of us with close-set eyes. Nothing can dramatically alter the hollows apart from plastic surgery. The undereye area is sort of indented and deep-set, and although the skin itself might not necessarily be terribly dark, the shape of the hollow creates a shadowy darkness that can be very difficult to lighten.

So what to do?

Cream concealer. 

I recommend the amazing MAC Studio Finish Concealer SPF 35. It’s an opaque concealer, meaning it’s equipped to handle any concealing task you throw at it. Another benefit is that MAC concealers come in a wide range of shades, meaning there will be a match for everyone. (For reference, I use the NC 35 concealer on my NC 40-42 skin.) Go for a concealer that either matches your skin color or is one shade lighter.

As for liquid concealers… meh. I’ve tried both kinds and have always preferred cream concealers for their lasting power and their opacity. Liquid concealers are best suited for girls who need lighter coverage on under eye circles. Pair a liquid concealer with a brightening powder (Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder in #2) to set it for longer-lasting results. Brightening powders are said to help reduce the appearance of under eye hollows.

The key to concealing well is LAYERING. Don’t try and gob it on all at once. Using a clean finger, apply a very, very thin layer by dabbing and pressing gently. Do it again. And again, if needed, until the darkness is covered. Applying your under eye concealer in thin layers will help prevent creasing, caking, and overapplying. The heat generated from your finger will help melt and blend the concealer into your skin in a way that a brush can not, giving it a more natural appearance.

And that’s all there is to it! Hope this was helpful! Let me know all about your under eye concealing adventures. 🙂

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The Smoky Eye for Dummies

I kid you not– this is the most basic, EASIEST smoky eye in the history of the world. No eyeshadow involved! No confusing blending of colors! No wings, no cats, no falsies, no nonsense– just simple sultry sexiness.

MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer

Step one: Apply concealer to your undereyes. Be sure to get the sides of your nose if your eyes are close-set, and also the outer edges of the eyes (the skin near where your upper and lower lashes meet).

MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack

Step two: Using a black gel eyeliner, line your upper lashline. As thick or as thin as suits your eyes. Don’t wing out.

Estee Lauder Artist's Eye Pencil in 02 Softsmudge Brown

Step three: Using a brown eye pencil, line your lower lashline (not the waterline!). Line where your lashes are thickest– don’t line the innermost and outermost edges. This will give the effect of sooty, thick, dark lashes, without looking like you’ve been using an eyeliner to create the effect.

It will also make your eyes look big, wide, doe-like, even! when paired with mascara (see below). Yes that was me imitating the Pink Panther.

Christian Dior Diorshow Mascara

Step four: Curl lashes with an eyelash curler. Apply mascara to the upper lashes. Then apply mascara carefully but thoroughly to your lower lashes.

Enjoy your subtle, smoky (“smokey”?), smoldering eyes! This look is so appropriate for any time of day– at work, at school, at a party, the club, you name it! And so easy, right?

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Beauty is Fun: Eyelash Perming!

One of my favorite things about all things beauty is that there’s always something new to learn about or give a try!  Recently my friend Irene (shown below and interviewed here) went to a Browhaus in Shanghai where I got my eyebrows threaded for the first time and she got her eye lashes permed for the first time.

The whole process took around 30 minutes and was completely pain-free.  And now she has perfectly curled lashes all the time!  On most days she doesn’t use mascara and her lashes still look long and gorgeous.  Last saturday she put on a bit of mascara to go out and the results were dramatic and beautiful.

The perm will last about 4-6 weeks.  I think it’s perfect for girls who want a more natural lash look for day time and don’t like to wear much mascara.

On a related note, I really enjoyed my experience at Browhaus.  It’s a comfortable and well kept salon with skilled associates and very reasonable pricing.  I thought they did a great job threading my eye brows and, most importantly, they were very professional and hygienic about both mine and Irene’s procedures.  Check out there website to see if they have a location near you!  (They have many locations in Asia.)

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Julia Restoin Roitfeld is the beautiful daughter of former French Vogue Editor-in-Chief Carine Roitfeld, the face for Tom Ford’s Black Orchid perfume, and a recently-signed face of Lancome.  In an interview with one of my favorite blogs, Into The Gloss, she revealed that she darkens her eyebrows with mascara. 

She uses L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes in black, but you can use any mascara you have!  (We finally have a use for those tiny free mascara samples!)  I immediately tried this after I read her interview a few months ago and, now, I do it almost every day!  I use an old Lancome Hypnose that’s almost out, but you can really use anything.  Just brush off all the excess mascara on the rim of the tube and stroke following your hairs.  You’ll have immediately darker brows that look incredibly natural!

*Read the full interview here!

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Are you wondering how to look glamorous and pretty with your glasses? The key to mastering the look is to keep your eye makeup sharp and crisp; you still want your eyes to stand out and shine without looking sloppy. Because the attention is focused on your eyes when you’ve got specs on, keep your lip and face looks understated so as not to compete with your fashionable frames.

Take inspiration from Japanese model and actress Keiko Kitagawa. Line your lower waterline and upper and lower lashlines with a black eye pencil (MAC Eye Pencil in Ebony). Keep the lines slim and neat. Curl lashes and apply one coat of mascara; brush through your lashes to prevent any clumping!

To prevent crowding on your face, limit your use of blush; put only the smallest pop of peach color on the apples of your cheeks (MAC Powder Blush in Springsheen). Finish the look with a pretty peachy lipgloss (MAC Tinted Lipglass in Lychee Luxe).

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I came across an article on Fashionista.com a while ago that really stuck with me and provided me with some helpful tips!  Fashionista was seeking to figure out whether or not it’s hygenic to apply eyeliner to the inner rims of your eyes (we’ll call them your waterlines).  I don’t usually line my waterline, but I know a ton of people who do this every day.  They asked an unnamed dermatologist and makeup artist Susmta Patel (of Clinique, Sheseido, and Bollywood fame) and came up with the following results (paraphrased by me for your easy reading!)

First things first, anytime your putting something in your waterline, you’re putting yourself at a higher risk of infection (makes sense, right?)  That being said, there are some pretty simple precautions you can take to bring that risk down. 

1.  Sharpen your pencil before every use to decrease the chances that bacteria might be hanging around.  If you don’t want to waste any product, I’d recommend spraying some alcohol on your pencil to kill the germs.  You can get a little spray bottle at target for around a dollar.  This also applies to non-pencil liners – keep your gel liner brush clean!

2.  Never share mascara or eye liner.  More people = more germs!

3.  Change your Mascara and eyeliner every 6 months.  Products have a shelf life and the longer you keep a product around the more icky stuff has a chance to get in and set up house. 

4. Be careful when going to professional makeup artists.  Ask them to sharpen their pencils and sanitize all their products and tools.  Have them use a disposable mascara wand or bring your own mascara.  You never know who else they’ve used their products on!  This also applies to stores like Sephora, be careful when you sample products!   In fact, after reading about this study, I never, ever sample stuff in store anymore.  Simply buy a new one, try it, and if you don’t like it, return it! 

 5.  When you line your waterline, use KOHL.  Kohl has been around forever and is incredibly safe!  Susmta Patel’s favorite kohl eyeliner is Dr. Hauschka’s Kajal, $17.95.  There are tons of great kohl options out there, so there’s no excuse to not switching to that for your rims! 

So, there you have it!  A few steps and you can continue wearing eyeliner on your waterline with fewer worries! 

*to read Fashionista’s full article, click here!

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You all have no doubt heard of the Shu Uemura eyelash curler, widely regarded as the best eyelash curler available.  And it’s true, this product really is the end all be all of eyelash curlers.

Why?

Well, it’s a very high quality product.  It’s made from durable steel and the joints are well-engineered so they won’t start to stick or become cumbersome after a year of use.  Also, the the top and bottom of the curler are well aligned and will provide a tight grip on your lashes every time.  More importantly, this is a well-designed tool.  It was developed with all eye shapes in mind.

When I first got mine a couple of years ago I compared it to my old Revlon on from the drug store.  What I saw was that the Shu Uemera one was wider across and rounded.  The Shu Uemura website explains that it’s curler’s “curved angle suits all eye shapes”.  Usually, I take descriptions like that worth a grain of salt, because hello the website’s purpose is to sell unsuspecting beauty nuts like us stuff, but I believe the Shu Uemura website.

Why?

Because, I use the Shu curler and I love it.  And Meg uses the Shu curler and loves it.  And let me tell you, you couldn’t find two pairs of eyes more different than ours.  If it works for both of us, it’ll work for you too!

Now you’re all totally pumped to buy this curler right?  But then you remember, “wait a minute … L’Oreal pulled Shu from the U.S. market a year ago”  and you feel like screaming “nooooo!” at your computer like the foiled villian at the end of a superhero movie.  Well, don’t be sad!  I’m here to save the day!  Shu Uemura has a website catering to all of us painfully deprived U.S. customers and you can order your very own curler for $19!  Plus, if you want to make a couple more purchases and bring your total to $50, they’ll ship to you for free.  I like their eye shadows and I love their cleansing oil, but that’s another post for another day.

Also, if you don’t like ordering stuff online, Nordstrom sells the curlers in store.  And of course all our non-U.S. based readers should have easy access to Shu products.  I’m currently in Shanghai, China and Shu Uemura has counters in many of the large shopping areas that I’ve been to!

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