Thursday, August 21, 2014

Step by Step Guide to Perfect Eyebrows: Miss Kerala 2014

Step 1: Evaluate your brows, you want both sets of brows to end up looking symmetrical. I have thin brows that need to be filled and defined with a powder or brow gel.

Step 2: Brush out brows.

Step 3: Pluck stray hairs.

Step 4: Trim any unruly strands.

Step 5: To fill in brows: place brush from the corner of your nose, to the inner tear duct and line straight up. This is where your brows should start.

Step 6: The arch, or highest point, of your brow should be from the corner of your nose to the outer edge of your pupil straight up.

Step 7: The outer corner of your brow should be from the edge of your nose straight up to the outer corner of your eye.

Step 8: Using these landmarks, use a brow gel, or powder to fill in gaps.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Day to Day Haircair! Part 2: Miss Kerala Pageant 2014

Styling my hair is must for me, or else it will  end up drying like a big frizzy mess!  I, like most other women, used straighteners in the past to achieve stick straight hair. ( Why is it we always want the type of hair we don't have!) However, the damage of straighteners- no matter what brand can be detrimental to the health of your hair. Such high temperatures and direct heat destroy the fibers of your hair. So, as a solution I learned how to perfect my blow drying technique, along with using great heat defending products!

Must have products for the prefect  at- home blow dry:

1. Blow dryer: Use one with a quick drying time to prevent extended heat exposure. One with ionic technology is preferable as it helps eliminate frizz. Use an attachment to target heat- this is especially useful when trying to create body at the roots. Try the Conair Infinity Pro for a great but affordable option.
2. Round brush: My recommendation is to use a boar bristle brush. Personally I use a mixed brush- boar and nylon bristle to help distribute hair oil, reduce time to finish blow drying, and style my hair like I want.

3. Protect, Protect, Protect! Always protect your hair before heat styling.
If you want to splurge on a great heat protector: try Kerastase Resistance Ciment Thermique Heat-Activated Reconstructor Milk. 
For a great day to day protector: try It's a 10! Miracle leave in product.
And, for a cheap alternative, try Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Heat defense Leave - In treatment.

4. Add shine! This is especially important in humid weather or on rainy days to protect all your hard work.
My favorite products to use include Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Moroccan Oil Treatment or L'Oreal Smooth Intense Frizz Taming Serum.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Day to Day Haircair! Part 1: Miss Kerala Pageant 2014

For those not blessed with thick, silky, hassle free hair... hair care and styling takes a good deal of time and effort. These product recommendations are things I have been using religiously for the past 3-5 years. They consistently get great reviews all over the Internet and are a great value for what they do. Remember, the cost of a product does not necessarily mean that it works better. Here are my tips for healthy yet well styled hair!

1. Try to go as many days as possible between washings. I used to wash my hair everyday- horrible idea! I noticed that when switching to every other day or every 2 days, my hair has become less dry, color jobs last longer, and it looks healthier overall.

2. Use a gentle, high quality shampoo. For my course but fairly thin hair, I recommend Redkin All Soft Shampoo. I have tried almost every drugstore shampoo- Pantene, Garnier, Loreal and this Shampoo is the only one that consistently gives me results. It provides moisture without weighing down strands, does not  strip my hair color, and leaves my hair more manageable.
3. Only apply Shampoo to the roots.  There is no need to directly apply shampoo to the ends of hair. Only the scalp needs to be cleaned. 

4. Use a clarifying Shampoo around once a month. Any shampoo you use, along with styling products will cause build up in your hair. Build up will make your tresses dull and weight them down. A good clarifying shampoo will remove buildup so that any product you use will work like new again. My favorite one is Neutrogena Anti- Residue Shampoo. 

5. Condition and rinse hair in cold water. There are some great conditioners that don't cost a fortune. For the past 5 years I have been using Aussie Moist Conditioner.

Just like shampoo only needs to be applied to the root, conditioner should be applied everywhere but at the roots. 

6. Use a deep conditioning treatment about once a month. Especially with heat styling, deep conditioning is a must. 
Click here for my post on Aussie 3 Minute Miracle. 

7. Never brush your hair in the shower!  Hair should be treated like fine silk. When it is wet, it is most vulnerable to breakage, so brushing hair could lead to it snapping and breaking.

Part II to come soon...

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Teaming up with Miss Kerala India Pageant 2014!

Images via Miss Kerala Facebook page and page of Miss Kerala 2012 Deepti Sati

Some exciting news to share with you all...this year I will be teaming up with the Miss Kerala 2014 pageant as a beauty adviser! The Miss Kerala pageant started in 1999 with it's first winner being Swapna Menon. It is hosted by Impresario Event Management India. The most recent winner is Deepti Sati, pictured above. Being 100% Malayalee, and obsessed with all things beauty- It is SO exciting to see how far the pageant has come especially with the most recent winner. Deepti Sati has a modern and edgy beauty that translates well throughout all of India. Her style seems to be on point- pulling off both modern and traditional clothing, hair with shine and body, and great skin. She has gone on to be a finalist in the fbb Femina Miss India 2014. Other winners have gone on to fashion, modeling, business, entrepreneurship etc. I think it's a great platform for women of Keralite decent. The perception that most Americans of Indian decent have is that the beauty and fashion hub of India is centered in the north and within Bollywood, but it is nice to see south India gaining a hold on this as well. 

The pageant has started plans for this year, so make sure to apply if you think you have what it takes!
I can't wait to share my beauty secrets and tips, catering to women with hair and skin like mine!

Please visit Miss Kerala's facebook page or website. 

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram as well!! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

How to fix dried out Mac Fluidline Gel Eyeliner!

OK.... I love my Mac Fluidline Gel Eyeliner to pieces. I have had it for probably 2 years now and I still have plenty of product left. I don't want to throw it out! I refuse to! So when the time had come that I had to come to terms with it being dried out, I was determined to make it usable again.

I called the MAC hotline to see if they had any suggestions. 1-800-866-6464 
They gave me no hope. They suggested I use the product from the corners and work my way in. Well.... too late for that. 

I tried to microwave the product... which helps temporarily, but then dries out again back  to it's original state. 

So then I thought... the best way to remove my backtrack liner at the end of the day is my beloved Jojoba oil...

Why not add a few drops and see if this works? I added 2 small drops, mixed the remaining product, and just like magic-- it looks like it's original state 2 years ago--- gel like, moist, and ready to be used again!
So thank you Trader Joe's for making such a versatile, amazing product.

Spotted: Celine Bag Replica!

The real deal....

Aldo Replica for about 60 bucks. Saw this bag in store over the weekend and couldn't believe how similar they looked! Not sure if this is something I would purchase as it seems especially trendy vs being a staple bag.

I also love my Tory Burch bags a little too much!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Good Stress vs Bad Stress

You may think.... well isn't all stress the same??? And that is far from the truth. Over the years I have realized that there is actually good stress and bad stress. The key is to figure out the difference between the two and make changes accordingly. While good stress can motivate you and energize you, bad stress can actually make you ill!!

What is stress? Stress is our body's way of responding to challenge. In the past, this is what kept us alive. The urge to find food, shelter, warmth, love etc. Now days we have different types of stressors- traffic, bills, exams, lack of sleep etc. Stress causes our sympathetic system to rev up. If a tiger walked into your living room, you better believe that your heart is going to start pumping vs. using your parasympathetic system which aids in things like digestion of food. Now while it is good to vary your heart rate throughout the day through things  like exercise, it is NOT good to be primary in the sympathetic system throughout the day. Your body is "tricked" into thinking that you do not have time for things like food digestion and extraction of nutrients from the food you have eaten, and instead is too busy doing things like pumping blood throughout your body. Your body is  tricked into thinking that there is no time for things like your immune system, and instead is pumping out cortisol. The result... you are more likely to get sick, more likely to get things like cancer, more likely to have high blood pressure, more likely to become obese, more likely to become depressed. At what point do you say... is it worth it? Stress can impact your mind, body, and soul. It can affect your nerves, muscles, hormones, and immunity.

When is stress good? We are all motivated by different things... and I believe that a little bit of stress is good. It is what drives many of us to-- study harder for an exam, clean up around the house, complete certain tasks, care for our loved ones, or accomplish a certain goal. It motivates to a certain extent. The problem becomes when we are overwhelmed with stress... when we place ourselves in a work, school , relationship, social situation that becomes so toxic and stressful that it makes us prone to things like early aging, illness, mental illness, causing our minds and bodies to in essence SHUT DOWN. We are likely to get things like chronic pains, depression, irritable bowl syndrome, hair loss, high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes, obesity, poor memory.

The key is to learn your tolerance for stress. Create a balanced life- one that involves time to eat home cooked healthy meals, exercise, relaxation techniques, time with family and friends, and work. That should be the ultimate goal in life... not money, fame, worldly possessions.

In my quest to find relaxation techniques of my own... I have learned about aromatherapy. Learning about about Western Medicine as an allopathic physician (MD), I realized that not all the answers exist. Drugs have side effects and while large pharma companies will gladly pay for research to support their drugs, no one will pay for such research on techniques that are not hugely profitable. It it is the reason why many of those with chronic pain feel like they have no options.

I can't wait to share my aromatherapy experience with you all in the near future!