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Archive for the ‘skincare’ Category

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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image courtesy Flickr

Hi all! Hope you managed to weather through winter without too much struggle. I went into a bit of a blogging hibernation, but the sun is shining, and Jolie Asie is back in action.

I recently read a book that I HIGHLY recommend: The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder. Kimberly is a celebrity nutritionist whose clients include Drew Barrymore, Hillary Duff, Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, and Fergie. The Beauty Detox Solution is an amazing read and has really changed the way I understand how the food I eat is impacting my body– and it’s lead to a total overhaul of my diet. This one’s a life-changer that I will be writing a number of posts on. Request it from your local library today.

This first post on Kimberly’s beauty wisdom is her fascinating look at how our body is designed and why it makes sense for us to pursue a vegetarian diet, or at least, minimize the amount of animal protein we consume.

“The gorilla,” she says, “is a natural vegetarian [that] gets all its protein, vitamin and mineral needs from its plant-based diet and is in fact the strongest animal on earth, pound for pound.” The same goes for elephants, the hippo, the rhinoceros, and the buffalo– all plant eaters, who derive all their protein needs from the amino acids (building blocks of protein), in plants. Here’s an excerpt from Kim’s book on the topic:

One of the best ways to figure out where we belong is to look at the animal kingdom. The human body is most closely related to that of primates: monkeys, chimps, and gorillas. Our genetic makeup is more similar to that of chimpanzees than to that of any other species on the planet, with an estimated 99.4 percent of our DNA sequence shared.

image courtesy Google Images

Look down at your hands. Don’t they look similar to monkeys’ hands? Look at your nails, flexible fingers and opposable thumbs. Now grind your teeth back and forth. You’ll find that our teeth, like monkeys’, are flattened (except the front canines, which can be used to help open up the harder shells of some fruits). Our back molars are appropriate for grinding plants for easy digestion.

Carnivorous animals, like the tiger, for example, have short inflexible “fingers,” which are really protrusions to push out and retract claws. These claws are needed to rip into the flesh of their prey. The tiger and other carnivores have sharp fangs: even their back molars are sharp and pointed, perfect for hunting and eating raw meat. Without these claws and sharp teeth, it would be impossible for the tiger to feast on its prey. Our hands, teeth and bodies simply aren’t designed for hunting and devouring animals in the same way; we have to use tools, weapons and utensils instead.

image courtesy Save the Tiger Fund

Okay, so we look different. But it turns out that our digestive tract is built differently, as well. The human liver, for instance, has a low tolerance for uric acid, a by-product of digesting animal protein. In contrast, the liver of the carnivorous tiger contains uricase, which is an enzyme used to break down uric acid. This enzyme gives the carnivorous tiger’s liver about fifteen times the capacity to break down uric acid from animal protein than a human liver has.

Not only are our livers designed to digest plant foods, but our stomachs are, too. The stomach juices of the tiger and other carnivores have a very high concentration of acid. This high concentration of acid helps to quickly and efficiently break down the high concentration of proteins that make up the carnivore’s diet. Humans’ stomach acid, on the other hand, is much less concentrated. Carnivores’ stomach acid is at least ten times more concentrated, and some researchers believe it could be many times more concentrated than that.

And what is true in the liver and stomach is true in the rest of the digestive tract. The human intestine is extremely complex, and at around thirty feet, it is about twelve times as long as our torso. (The gorilla also has a long intestine–about eight to twelve times its torso length.) It is designed to be long so there is adequate time to absorb the minerals and nutrients of fruits and plant matter, which quickly break down and move through our bodies much faster than animal protein does. The carnivorous tiger, on the other hand, has a short intestine– only about three times the length of its torso. Its intestinal tract is designed for quickly getting rid of the acidic waste matter that is the by-product of animal protein….

Your long intestinal tract is simply not designed to process large amounts of meat. When you put large amounts of heavy animal protein in your long intestine, the protein just hobbles along as best it can, which isn’t very fast, since it has to pass through the winding corridors of so many feet of intestine. Because it takes so long in that hot environment, it can start to putrefy, or in other words, rot, causing unhealthy bacterial growth and toxicity. There is no other way to put it: waste from digested animal products is meant to exit the body quickly, as it does in a carnivore’s body, not linger in your long digestive tract.

Digesting protein creates all sorts of by-products in the body, like purines, uric acid and ammonia, all of which create acidity in the body. These toxins are absorbed into our bloodstream through the colon and circulate all around our bodies. When our blood is clogged with toxins, it can’t transport as many beautifying minerals, and these toxins can age and clog the skin cells of our faces.

This chapter goes on to discuss more health issues caused by body acidity and toxins. It’s an engrossing and thought-provoking read, and the book provides persuasive dietary and lifestyle recommendations for increasing energy and vitality, eating for beauty and detoxing. I’ll write more on these subjects soon.

‘Til then!

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image courtesy google images

I’ve had requests from readers to write a post about how to get ride of acne, cure whiteheads and prevent blackheads, and generally promote even-toned, pimple-free skin. If you’ve struggled with acne, like many of us have, you know it’s a frustrating, mind-boggling, and seemingly never-ending process.

Bumps and zits are not just a problem for puberty-stricken teenagers– they’re following us from our teens into our twenties, thirties and beyond. While there is no magic cure for everyone, there are a number of potential causes and useful cures you should be aware of if you are fighting breakouts.

Buckle up and let’s go for an anti-acne ride!

image courtesy google imagesHormones: By my estimate, it’s more than likely your acne is caused by hormonal imbalances. A great option to consider for re-balancing your hormone levels is low-dose birth control pills (e.g. ortho tricyclin). You’ll need to talk to your doctor about this, but hormonal birth control is a very common treatment for mild to moderate acne. I highly recommend considering this option, as it can be a very effective solution. Additional benefits of the pill include milder, less painful periods and plumper breasts; possible negative side effects include depressive symptoms in the first few months of use and possible water retention or weight gain.

image courtesy gourmet sleuth

Soy: Soy can be an unsuspected culprit behind your greatest skin woes. My recommendation, after having both positive and very negative experiences with soy milk consumption over the course of many years, is to avoid soy. I do not recommend consuming soy products (e.g. soy milk, tofu, veggie burgers) if you have acne– particularly if you find that you are sensitive to the estrogenic effects of soy. Hormonal swings related to soy consumption lead to breakouts and/or painful, heavy periods. The idea is to keep your hormones at a normal, regulated level (which can be done with the help of hormonal birth control); consuming estrogenic foods (soy) will cause your hormone levels to be inconsistent from one day to the next, which can result in acne.

Unfortunately for us, soy crops up even in the least-suspected of places (chewing gum, chocolate, salad dressings, hair detangling sprays, and more), so if you’re trying to be extra cautious, you’re going to have to start reading ingredient labels. I put conscious avoidance of soy so high on this list because it is a primary suspect in the “acne is a modern disease” argument. Our ancestors didn’t have to dodge estrogenic soy lecithin in their chewing gum. Our ancestors didn’t have chewing gum. Just a thought.

image courtesy google images

Diet and exercise: This one is a no-brainer and has already been discussed in great detail on Jolie Asie. Eat healthily, consume as little sugar and alcohol as you reasonably can, exercise in moderation, drink plenty of water. Consume a daily multivitamin and fish oil capsules (rich in Omega-3). Make sure that none of the foods you are consuming are giving you an allergic reaction in the form of acne (i.e. do you have a gluten allergy? Or a dairy allergy?). The manifestation of acne is a way for your largest organ– your skin– to tell you that something internal’s maybe not quite right.

Also, building on the previous point, avoid dairy and meat products that have been produced from animals that are being fed growth hormones. If you are trying to minimize traces of hormones in your cow’s milk, choose skim milk over full-fat milk (hormones reside in fat).

image courtesy google images

Skincare products: I think we tend to place too much importance on the impact our skin care products will have (for better or for worse) on our skin. Seek skin health from within, not from without. However– be sure that you’re not using products that are causing or aggravating your skin problems. Be wary of allergens (e.g. essential oils), overly drying ingredients or formulations (e.g. bar soaps, alcohol-based toners), and unnecessary chemicals (e.g. fragrances). Opt for physical sunblocks (with zinc oxide) as opposed to chemical sunscreens. Also avoid parabens, phthalates, and sulfates when possible. And of course, wash your skin thoroughly morning and night, taking care to remove all traces of makeup every time.

image courtesy google imagesFor those with blocked or clogged pores, an over-the-counter product with a small dosage of retinol (Vitamin A), benozyl peroxide, or a BHA (a beta-hydroxy acid like salicylic acid) may help with healthy cell regeneration and exfoliation. Exfoliate your body regularly with an exfoliating scrub or loofah to prevent a buildup of dead skin cells (which can lead to bacne, or dark spots on the upper back).

A note on prescription medications from dermatologists: it’s my personal opinion that these medicines are too harsh on the skin and do not actually address the “cause” of acne, only the “symptoms”. They may provide an outwardly visible cure,  if you’re lucky, but I’m skeptical about the reasoning behind them and have some concerns about potential side effects, the least of which would be very dry skin and increased sun sensitivity. However! If all else has failed you and you trust your dermatologist to make the right decision for your skin, there’s no reason you shouldn’t consider this route as a viable option.

image courtesy beauty ology

Makeup products: Same rules apply for makeup. Additionally, wash your makeup brushes often with a makeup brush cleanser or baby shampoo. Be aware of whether or not your makeup has chemical sunscreens and/or fragrances in it, as these can cause breakouts in some. When possible, choose makeup that is hygienically packaged (i.e. in a squeeze or pump bottle as opposed to a pot).

image courtesy web md

Be aware of what’s coming in contact with your skin: Don’t. Touch. Your. Face. Like ever. The dirt, oil, and bacteria on your hands will be getting rubbed onto your skin.

Another important one, often forgotten or overlooked: wash your pillow case frequently. I like to rotate my pillow every night so as to use a fresh corner of the pillow when I sleep. Dead skin cells and grease can accumulate on the pillow case, and you could end up smooshing your face into all that for eight hours every night. Keep it clean!

Same goes for your hair– wash it regularly and (like the rule for skincare and makeup products) be sure your shampoo does not contain skin-irritating ingredients. Evidence your hair products may be breaking you out are pimples along the forehead (hairline) or jawline.

image courtesy google imagesConsider environmental factors: If you live in a very dry or cold climate, use a humidifier in your bedroom at night to prevent your skin from becoming too dry. Try and avoid taking too hot showers, as these can also dry out your skin. Be sure to select a cleanser that is not too drying and a moisturizer that can stand up to harsh winter weather or arid summers.

On the flipside, if you tend to have oily skin or live in a humid climate, do not try and dry out your skin too thoroughly, or else you might exacerbate the problem. Use a light, oil-free moisturizer– don’t skip out on it. Combination skin can be oily in the T-zone and dry around the corners of the mouth. Dry skin can bring on acne because the skin starts to overproduce sebum to make up for the dryness, which can lead to clogged pores.

image courtesy google images

Keep calm and carry on: Don’t freak out about your skin condition. Stress will only make it worse. Try and solve the problem in a meditated, well-paced, and thoughtful way. It’s tempting to grab your blackhead extractor and go crazy with it on a late night. Believe me, girls. I’ve been there. It doesn’t help. Relax, go through each of these steps, and do what you can to keep the stress levels low and the hormone levels in balance. “Do no harm” to your skin by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping your skin clean.

image courtesy google imagesAlso– don’t spend another dejected and envious minute starting at photos of celebrities and their impossibly perfect skin. Don’t forget these celebs are wearing professionally-applied makeup and that the movies they’re in are filmed in very careful lighting, and the photos they appear in are usually Photoshopped!

In general, cameras have a way of glazing over blemishes and imperfections– most photos and videos simply do not pick up on things that can be seen with the naked eye, so don’t trust what you see in the media (or on Facebook!) as being a 100% accurate representation of reality, no matter how close the camera is to the woman’s face.

Most importantly, stay positive! It will get better with time and care! In the meantime– a good concealer is your best friend. 🙂 Good luck!

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Dad’s ashy makeup problem solved with Indy’s HG cleanser.

A product is known as a “Holy Grail” when it embodies all the glorious beautifying qualities a consumer has long been searching for. It is often elusive, and has always been yearned for. Everyone’s Holy Grail is different.

It can be hard to choose the right face wash for you. After all, there’s so much to get right. Here’s my checklist of qualities to look for in a good cleanser:

  • Dermatologist-recommended: Self-explanatory.
  • Hypoallergenic: It does not contain ingredients that can cause an allergic reaction. Unfortunately, many “natural” or “green” skincare products contain essential oils and plant extracts that can cause allergic reactions in unsuspecting users. Keep this in mind when opting for “organic” skincare. A safe bet is to choose “oil-free” cleansers.
  • Suitable for sensitive skin: Same idea as above. I like to look for skincare and haircare products that advertise that they are “gentle as water” or are safe for babies and children. Means it’s going to be safe for me and you too!
  • Non-comedogenic: This one’s an important one for those who are acne-prone. This simply means that the product will NOT clog your pores. Clogged pores can lead to pimples (blackheads and whiteheads).
  • Fragrance-free and dye-free: Fragrances (perfumes, often listed as “parfum” on ingredient lists) and dyes are typically chemically-derived and have no place in cleansers; why expose your skin to unnecessary chemicals? But because these two are nearly impossible to escape in beauty products, it’s forgivable…
  • Paraben-free: Parabens are preservatives that have been shown to have estrogenic effects on girls and women; there is controversy around their usage, with cosmetic safety advocates pointing to studies showing parabens being found in breast cancer tissue; parabens may also be linked to early onset puberty in girls. While there is not enough known yet about these concerns for parabens to have been eliminated from beauty products, it’s worth being cognizant of them.
  • Soap-free: An ingredient in bar soaps that make them “soap” is actually comedogenic (clogs pores), and can dry your skin out immensely. I promise “using soap” is not a synonym for “cleaning”– soap-free cleansers will clean your skin as well or better!
  • Gimmick-free: Try to resist the temptation to fall for bells and whistles– unnecessary ingredients in your face wash, like salicylic acid (you’re washing it off right away anyway!). Special ingredients should be reserved for toners, serums, and/or moisturizers– products that will be on your skin for longer than a minute.
  • It has to be able to remove dirt, oil and makeup from your skin: It has to do the job you bought it to do, right? And if it can function as a sunscreen and makeup remover while it’s at it… super!
  • It should leave your skin feeling fresh

Whew! That’s a lot to ask for. Luckily I’ve found a cleanser that fits my criteria: Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash (available for less than $10 at your local drugstore). I found Purpose after cruising MakeupAlley.com, a product review website which you MUST visit if you haven’t already– I use MakeupAlley.com before buying any beauty product (they have reviews for just about every product, makeup, haircare and skincare, that you could think of). Purpose is one of the highest-rated and most-reviewed products under Cleansers on MakeupAlley, with 900 reviews and a 4.1/5 rating. I knew I had to check it out!

I have tried every type of cleanser, from bar soaps (including Dove) to schmancy cream cleansers from Sephora, to Shu Uemura cleansing oils, to Cetaphil (which I didn’t like at all, by the way– it now functions only as an in-shower shaving cream). Go for whatever type works best for you and leaves you feeling the most clean. I personally prefer that squeaky-clean feeling– and Purpose gives you that.

Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash comes in a very hygienic pump bottle; it’s a liquid-y gel that foams when you lather it between your hands. All you need to do is wet your face, lather, massage it in, and rinse thoroughly! I’ve found, to my surprise, that Purpose is able to remove my zinc oxide sunscreen, eye-makeup, and foundation without a struggle. If you need more hard-core sunblock/makeup removal, I recommend starting with an oil cleanser like MAC Cleanse Off Oil then following it up with Purpose (this is called the double-cleanse method, which I talk more about here).

I use Purpose morning and night. It hasn’t dried out my typically crocodile winter skin, nor has it caused me to break out. If you’re shopping for a no-fuss, do-no-harm face wash, this might be the one for you! Let me know what you think!

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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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Welcome back to Meg’s Kitchen! Today I’m sharing with you a recipe for a drink I have nearly every day for vitality, strength, energy, health– it’s literally like spinach for Popeye!

My Beautiful Skin Drink Recipe consists of only four ingredients:

  • Spinach (a few handfuls)
  • One tomato
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • Water, to taste
  • Optional: cilantro, salt, black pepper, cumin

That’s it! Blend it all in a small blender (NOT a juicer!) like the handy-dandy Magic Bullet. I promise you, the juice tastes SO much better than you think it does by the sound of it! It’s delicious! I’ve converted many a non-believer once they tried it. And because the spinach is blended, you can drink so much more of it than you would consume by eating a salad (which takes forever to chew anyway).

Vegetable juices are an amazing way to get part of your daily vegetable or fruit requirement out of the way with minimum time and hassle.

I drink my spinach juice about 5 times a week for clear and glowing skin. It also is an awesome energy booster, so it’s great to have as soon as you come home from work or school in the afternoon!

Tomatoes, rich in vitamins C and K, have anti-cancer benefits and support bone and cardiovascular health. The vitamin A in spinach is a powerful antioxidant, meaning it fights free radicals, keeping your skin (and the rest of your body) healthy and youthful. Because vitamin A is fat soluble, be sure to eat a small snack along with your spinach juice (a few dry roasted salted peanuts are a tasty option!)

Vegetable juices are hugely popular among celebrities ranging from actor Shahrukh Khan, to Hollywood actress Freida Pinto, to Bollywood legend Sridevi. Do try it and let me know what you think!

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