Mac Prep + Prime BB Compact


A BB cream is a moisturiser, sunscreen and foundation all rolled into one. Sounds great, right? It is, if you select the right product. I recently picked up the MAC Prep+Prime BB Compact and was sorely disappointed.

It’s a creamy formula in a compact form, and the problem with that is that is is not easy to apply. It comes with a sponge, and I feel like I need to really dig the sponge into the compact to get a decent amount of cream for coverage. I have read reviews in which it has been recommended that I use a foundation brush, but I’m not sure if doing so is going to help much. It applies best with fingers, but it takes a long time.

Being a tinted moisturiser, the coverage is very light, and it also seems like it doesn’t moisturise nearly well enough. I was told by the MAC sales assistant that I should apply it over a moisturiser, which is what I do now, but that seems to reduce the value of this product. If I wanted a separate moisturise, why on earth do I need to buy this? I could just as well have bought a foundation with SPF.

I have the MAC studio fix compact, which is fabulous! I had equally high expectations from this product, but was sorely disappointed. The colour, Medium Plus, is an exact match, which I’m happy about. So as of now I’m giving it a go.

The 30 SPF coverage is pretty good, but I feel like I’m never really applying enough product to get that much coverage. I also feel like most of the product just gets absorbed by the sponge, another reason why the SA told me to apply moisturiser first.

There is also a BB in the form of a tube, and I feel like that is what I should have gone in for. Anyhow, I’m just using this up until it gets over, and will not buy again.




Dark Armpits


Dark armpits are so annoying! We may not have a single hair over there, but it still looks as if there’s a stubble we haven’t gotten rid of. Ugh!

Underarms look dark not just because of the underlying hair that we can’t get rid off when shaving, but also because of the constant friction and rough treatment underarms are exposed to, like wearing tight polyester tops or sari blouses for instance. So what to do?

Shave with care

Indians have dark hair, and when we shave we only get rid of the surface hair. Hair just under the skin is still visible, and shows through, lending a dark tone to your underarms. Often this causes your armpits to look dark. Also, the abrasive action of using a razor on your armpits causes the skin to harden and darken. Apply a mild shaving cream before using a razor.

Try shaving at night so your freshly shaved skin has time to rejuvenate before being exposed to bacteria in the environment. Apply a calamine lotion to sooth skin after shaving, and if possible, increase the gap between shaves to give the skin a chance to absorb some of its natural oils.


Make sure the wax isn’t too hot. Follow up with lacto calamine to soothe skin. However, the problem with waxing is you need to wait for the hair to grow before you can wax again.

Don’t wear tight polyester clothing

It doesn’t let your skin breathe. Opt for pure cotton shirts during the day. If you must wear polyester, let it be loose around your armpits and wear it only for a short time.

Don’t be rough

Wash your underarms gently, don’t scrub with a pumice stone. Apply good quality, gentle deodorants.

Laser therapy

Laser is a great option. True, it doesn’t come cheap, especially if you factor multiple sessions. If price is an issue, then don’t go in for too many sessions. Even two sessions will drastically reduce hair growth. If you shave after that your armpits will not appear dark – especially if the darkness is due to underlying hair and not pigmentation. In addition, you can increase the gap between shaves.

Cucumber juice and lemon

Apply a mixture of cucumber and lemon juice to hair-free armpits. Wash off whenever convenient, or even the next day. In case your underarm skin has darkened, this will help lighten it.



Beauty Sleep

It’s not called Beauty Sleep for nothing. A good night’s sleep will help you look your best the next morning, so make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Your body needs the rest to recuperate and to function effectively the next day, and so does your skin.

Make sure you apply moisturiser religiously at night. Moisturiser is most effective when you are asleep, and your skin will soak in all the goodness. I apply a foot cream too, and haven’t seen dead skin on my feet in years.

Puffy, tired eyes? Black circles? Sleep will help, unless of course the dark circles are pigment-related.

Some of us like to have a drink before bed. Drinking just before going to sleep is not the best idea. If you must drink at night, do so a few hours before hitting the sack, as alcohol can interefere with the quality of sleep.

A good night’s rest is essential not just from a beauty point of view, but also from a health standpoint. When I delivered my baby, it seemed as though my memory had deteriorated. I was always forgetful, but after delivery my forgetfulness reached another level entirely. I’d go into a room to get something, and when I reached, I’d forget what I wanted. I’d give a shirt for dry-cleaning, and forget all about it. I googled it and found out that new mothers see a surge in absentmindedness because of lack of sleep. A crying baby wakes mommy up through the night, and mommy’s brain is not getting enough rest.

My daughter was constantly getting into fights at school. Her pediatrician told me to make her sleep a hour earlier. The fighting reduced substantially. Lack of sleep makes us irritable, so if you find yourself snapping at everyone, take a nap. Those frowns aren’t good for your forehead!

A power nap in the afternoon also has tremendous health benefits. Studies have shown that a short afternoon nap is good for the heart. Siestas are an ancient custom, that have only off late lost popularity because of growing demands on our time. If you are at home in the afternoons, make it a point to take a short nap, even if you get enough sleep at night.


Black is So Beautiful

Fairness creams should be banned and thrown off the face of this earth. Not only do they totally screw up your skin by using killer chemicals, they also promote insecurity, try to tell us that lighter skinned women are more beautiful, more marriageable and more successful than darker skinned women. While lighter skinned women are definitely NOT more beautiful or more successful, they are certainly considered more marriageable in certain communities.

In India, where arranged marriages are still rampant, fair skin is considered an advantage in the so-called ‘marriage market’. This is because the older generation plays a large part in selecting their daughter-in-law, and needless to say, they have little else to go on other than the family reputation of the girl, and her looks – or more importantly – the colour of her skin. This is slowly changing, but in order for it to effect a change, girls with dark skin need to stop thinking of themselves as less beautiful than girls with light skin, because they are NOT!

If a dark skin girl considers herself less beautiful than someone with fair skin, this could also be due to the fact that a girl with fair skin considers herself beautiful, makes the most of her looks, wears make-up well and carries herself with confidence. On the other hand, a girl with dark skin may feel like she’s lost the battle and may not even make the initial effort beyond applying fairness creams. Her entire beauty regime may focus on looking lighter, and she may miss out on make-up that really suits her.

Celebrate your dark skin. That’s the secret to looking gorgeous.

A friend of mine stays away from many colours which she feels enhances her dark skin colour. That’s the worst thing you can do. If you have dark skin, show it off! Wear colours that make it stand out. Stay away from dull tones and wear bright shades. Turquiose, red, yellow, all look simply gorgeous on dark skin.

Never wear foundation that is lighter than your skin tone in an effort to look fair. Instead, wear foundation that is an exact match. Apply make-up that enhances your bone structure. Highlight your facial contours, apply eye-shadow, rouge, perhaps a touch of gold.

I had gone to the regional FRRO yesterday. I saw a dark-skinned African lady there. She blew me away, she was so gorgeous – far, far prettier than all the pale skinned, mossy hair firangs out there.

Dark or light skinned, you can look beautiful, and you know it. It’s all a mindset – and most of it is in your mind. Start thinking of yourself as gorgeous, because you ARE.

Foundation Fundas

Match foundation to your skin tone

Yesterday I had my kitty lunch. One by one the girls joined us at our table, and most greetings to me were followed by a “Looking so pretty today!” I must admit, I often run out of the house with minimal make-up, and although yesterday was no different, I knew just what got me those compliments. I had applied foundation.

When applying make-up many of us hesitate to apply foundation as we don’t want to look unnatural. Instead we focus on lipstick and eye makeup and leave our skin bare.

Foundation is the most important step in make-up application, so don’t skip it. Watch any make-up artist as she applies make-up. Most of her time will be spent on applying foundation and concealer, in an attempt to make the skin as flawless as possible.

Sure you look  lovely without make-up, but shine, blemishes, freckles, detract from looks. And if you can look better, why not! Include foundation in your regular make-up routine. Indian girls, obsessed with fair skin, often select a foundation that is lighter than their skin. Don’t do that! Get a colour that matches skin perfectly.

For a lighter application mix foundation with a little moisturizer and apply with fingers, but for a perfect finish use a foundation brush when applying liquid foundation.

Invest in the best brand you can afford. This is not a product to skimp on. Cheap foundations tend to look unnatural as they have undertones that don’t flatter the skin and often lend a chalky finish. In addition,  inexpensive ingredients can damage skin, leading to breakouts. On the other hand, good quality make-up benefits your skin by providing another layer of protection against the sun, dirt and pollution.

Mineral foundation

Applying a primer before your foundation helps it last longer and ensures even coverage with a flawless finish. I use Smashbox Photo Finish primer, which I love, along with Make Up Forever Matifying Foundation, for nights out. During the day I apply Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals SPF 15 foundation, which is a mineral foundation, comes in a powder form. I apply it with a kabuki brush. It’s perfect for the day, gives me light coverage along with added SPF protection, keeps my skin shine-free, and conceals most imperfections.

Hope does come In A Jar

My skincare products the past few months consisted of Aveeno face wash, Oily of Olay’s ProX with spf 30 (for the day), Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronising Complex  and Clinique’s Dramatically Different (for the night). I also tried Oil of Olay’s Regenerist but it caused me to break out, so now I use it on my neck at night.

I must admit, the past few months saw my skin going through a not-too-hot phase. So recently when a friend told me that my skin never looked as good as when I was using that cream – ‘hope and joy something?’ I shot off an email to DH who was in the US, asking him to take an afternoon off, go to Sephora, and pick up Hope in a Jar and Purity Made Simple. He did. And he got me the largest sizes!

Now I had never tried Purity Made Simple. What if I break out? What a waste. I did wish he had gotten me a smaller size but no way was I going to tell him that. So I started using it, and Oh My God, a week later, my skin looks like SATIN, I kid you not. Here’s my routine:

Wash face with Purity Made Simple. Leave on face for at least 2 minutes.

Wash off, apply Hope in a Jar, and let it sink in for 5 – 10 minutes.

Apply Neutrogena Ultra Sheer  sunscreen, SPF 55.

At night, wash with Purity Made Simple, leaving on for 2 minutes while brushing teeth.

Apply Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair – which is a serum and meant to be applied under any moisturiser.

And finally, Hope in a Jar again. Kinerase eye cream.

Did I tell you my skin looks awesome? 🙂

Pimple SOS

Never burst a pimple. If by chance you do happen to pop one, try this:

Gently squeeze out any blood.

Wash the area.

Squeeze a few drops of lemon onto a ball of cotton wool and dab on the spot. Leave the cotton on for around 10 minutes. The pimple will not leave a scar.