Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Thursday, Nov 01, 2007

Metro Plus Chennai

Time to get ready

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

SHEILA KUMAR presents the ultimate checklist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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