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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!

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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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I’ve just come back from a long stay with my great-aunt (whose Ayurvedic skincare tips I shared here)– and this meant spending many enjoyable hours glued to Indian soap operas on channels Star Plus, Sony Entertainment Television, and Zee TV. Tonight I’ll share with you how to recreate looks worn by most of the heroines in these shows!

FACE

It’s an unspoken rule of daytime dramas around the world: go heavy on the foundation! To get the Hindi serial actress look, use MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation in a shade the suits you and layer, layer, layer. This particular foundation will function as a concealer, heavy-coverage foundation, and mattifying powder in one. Soap actresses don’t tend to wear dewy makeup; the pancake look means totally matte and completely flawless all the way.

EYES

Keep the eye makeup simple and sweet. Sweep a matte light or medium brown eyeshadow over the lids. Line the upper lashline and upper and lower waterlines with a brown eye pencil. If desired, lightly line the brown eye pencil along the lower lashline as well.

CHEEKS

Opt for feminine shades in pinks and plums, like MAC Powder Blushes in Pink Swoon and Breath of Plum. You can also use a matte bronzer (or powder a few shades darker than your skintone) to contour your cheekbones and nose, if desired.

LIPS

The heroines’ lipsticks are soft and ultimately feminine. Use whatever variation of the color pink suits your fancy; you’ll often see brown-pinks, medium pinks, nude pinks, and bright pinks on the actresses. Lipsticks to try include MAC Lipsticks in Twig, Half N Half, Modesty, Sweetie, Fast Play, Viva Glam V, and Chatterbox.

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“Less is more.”

Countless celebrities from around the world– including India– quote this tip as their number one secret to beautiful skin and makeup. Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif, Amrita Arora, Ayesha Takia… you name her, she’s said it! But what does it really mean?

“The lesser you meddle with your skin, the less it meddles with you.” – Juhi Chawla, former Miss India and Bollywood actress

This may seem like strange advice coming from a beauty blog– but it’s the sort of advice your mother and your doctor would give you– the sort of advice you might be tempted to ignore in the face of so many exciting, snazzy, and beautifully-packaged beauty products out there. Which of us hasn’t rushed out to get a new cream or soap or scrub when the one we got just a few weeks ago caused us to break out?

But your skin wasn’t designed to NEED witch hazel, or green tea extract, or a collagen serum, or salicylic acid. It was designed to need the vitamins and minerals you get from a healthy, balanced diet, water, and protection from harsh weather conditions.

That’s pretty much it!

“The less I do to my skin, the better.” – Sonali Bendre, Indian actress, model, and television host

Ultimately our reason for using skincare and makeup products is to have flawless, healthy-looking skin, right? But what if our experimentation with all these products is actually contributing to the problem? It can be almost impossible at times to pinpoint exactly which ingredient in which of the countless products we are using on our faces might be causing our problems. The solution?

Go back to the basics.

Another well-known skincare mantra is “CTM”: cleanse-tone-moisturize. I say we can do better than that. Let’s get it down to “CM”: cleanse-moisturize. Not sure what to use? Use the gentlest products you can find–those that are developed for sensitive skin or for a baby’s skin. Look for products that are fragrance-free.

Ditch the toner— it’s just another product with ingredients that are bound to confuse your skin more than help it! If you’re using toner to mop up the last remains of your makeup, you’re using it for the wrong reason… your makeup should have been removed entirely during the “C” (cleanse) step. Try double-cleansing at night to ensure you have removed all the makeup, sweat and dirt that has accumulated on your skin throughout the day before going to bed.

Think carefully about the rest of your routine as well. How about exfoliator? Your skin knows how to naturally slough off dead skin cells in the right time. Maybe it’s best to let it do its job instead of risking disturbing your skin’s natural equilibrium (and potentially causing small tears in your skin or encouraging an overproduction of sebum)! There’s even a theory that exfoliating the skin accelerates the aging process because it forces the cells to reproduce at a faster rate than they would naturally, eventually causing them to “die”! Oh no!

As for makeup– we all know the less makeup you wear, the better for your skin’s health. No makeup on Earth can match the radiance of natural skin– it merely serves to mimic it. Use concealer, not foundation, to hide flaws. Then begin eliminating or minimizing from there by asking yourself some honest questions. For example: do you need to apply powder on your entire face, or just shine spots (e.g. nose, chin)? Do your dark eyelashes need mascara? (Often just a go with an eyelash curler will suffice for Indian women!) What each woman needs or doesn’t need is unique to her, so take a good hard look at your makeup bag.

For those of us who love makeup and skincare products (and if you’re reading this blog, I know you do!) it takes self-control and discipline to re-learn how to go back to the basics. But it’s worth it– for your wallet, for the health and youth of your skin, and for your self-confidence… because you’ll know what everyone is seeing is the real you!

Hide your imperfections, highlight your assets, and let your natural beauty shine through!

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I’m baaaack! After an incredible trip to Europe, I’ve come home to find Jolie Asie has reached an huge milestone- a quarter of a million views! Thank you for your views and your love ladies!

Now for you, I have a special treat: a look into the makeup and skincare products used in the Harry Potter movie series! I had the amazing opportunity to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London last week, and I was tickled pink to see the products used by the makeup artists on the actors (e.g. Emma Watson, Tom Felton) on display! Thinking of y’all, I got some snaps! Let’s check it out.

Click on the image for a larger version

From this image I can detect:

  • Nivea lip balm
  • MAC eye kohl
  • MAC makeup brushes
  • MAC powder blushes
  • MAC matte
  • Laura Mercier Secret Camoflauge concealer
  • Dermalogica multi-active toner
  • MAC face and body foundation

Other products include powders from Lancome, and other skincare products from Dermalogica and La Prairie. Don’t miss the box containing Daniel Radcliffe’s scar on the left :).

Click on the image for a larger version

In skincare, we have Clarins, Dermalogica, La Prairie and Simple.

Click on the image for a larger version

And in haircare, we’ve got bobby pins in every color, fake tattoos, L’Oreal Professional hair care products, and what looks like a Bed Head product as well.

Being a Potterphile, I LOVED the Studio, and would recommend it to any HP fan in or travelling to the U.K.! There you can drink butterbeer, fly on a broomstick over the Thames, hop on the Knight Bus, walk through the Great Hall and down Diagon Alley, and more!

What do you think? Would you like to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour?

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Hi Jolies! I am travelling to Europe soon for a long vacation, so I had to leave you with an extra-special post. This one was requested by my cousin, who is looking to invest in a new set of makeup brushes. And it’s a wise choice! Having the right makeup brushes can really make a difference in how smoothly and accurately you are able to apply your makeup… though value varies on the brush and its use. If you’re shopping on a budget or don’t know where to start, begin by investing in your *face* brushes collection, then move on to *eye* brushes.

My splurge brushes are from MAC Cosmetics and Makeup Forever; my slightly less fancy brushes are from Clinique and Estee Lauder. Another great option for budget makeup brushes is Sonia Kashuk (available at Target). You can really tell a brush’s quality by the softness of its hair, how well it maintains its shape (no bent hairs), and its longevity.

So what are the makeup brushes every girl must have?

FACE

MAC 187 Duo Fibre Brush ($42): for use with liquid or cream foundations

This one’s a special one, because it HAS to be used with a particular technique: stippling. Basically it involves dotting the foundation onto your face evenly, then swirling and buffing it in. The stippling method (there are many great tutorials of this on YouTube) is the best I’ve found for applying liquid or cream foundations, because you don’t end up overapplying or with those unattractive foundation lines on your jawline/neck. You’ll get a smooth and natural finish.

MAC 182 Buffer Brush ($49.50) (a Kabuki brush): for use with powders

Kabuki brushes are huge, fluffy, soft brushes that are excellent for buffing on translucent, sheer, or colored powders. Great for light coverage all over the face.

MAC 116 Blush Brush ($34): for use with blush/bronzer

Self-explanatory. A blush brush can be used with face powders, including blusher and bronzer.

Concealer brush: for applying concealer

I personally prefer to use my ring finger to apply concealer, as the warmth from your hand helps to blend the concealer into your skin. However, if you wish to use a brush for concealer, try Benefit’s concealer brush (favored by Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic) or even the MAC 190 Foundation brush, which has been used by Bollywood makeup artist Mickey Contractor for applying concealer over a large area.

You are an artist, and these are your brushes!

EYES

MAC 266 Small Angle Brush ($19.50): for applying gel eyeliner

An angle brush is necessary for applying gel eyeliner (which I recommend in nearly every makeup breakdown). If you haven’t brought gel eyeliner into your life, honey it’s time! Don’t use a cheapy brush on this one, as they can be too pointy or scratchy and cause more harm than good.

MAC 217 Blending Brush ($22.50) and MAC 219 Pencil Brush ($24.50): for creating a smoky eye look

You can be slightly more flexible with eyeshadow brushes, as much of the art is in the technique, but if you’re looking for a good starting place, the 217 and 219 will be helpful.

LIPS

Lip brush: for applying lip color (lipstick, lipstain, lipgloss, etc.)

Poke around your mom’s drawers for a lip brush that came as a Clinique or Estee Lauder GWP, or grab one from the drugstore– cuz this baby is gonna get washed frequently!

This is one of my less frequently used brushes, but is definitely worth having for applying a tricky dark lipstick, like a red or very deep plum.

And those are the makeup brushes E.G.M.H! Remember to keep them clean and dry, and wash them periodically with a little Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and water. Neglect could not only damage the brushes (and therefore your wallet) but also your skin! Treat your brushes well and they will last you years and years.

Do you have any brushes you just can’t live without? Let me know!

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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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