5 desi tips to get gorgeous naturally

When it comes to health, having some kind of exercise routine as a part of your life is essential. But what people forget is that what you eat is just as important. But have you ever wondered how your kitchen can provide you with more than just nutrition. As a yoga exponent, I often understand that while practicing yoga might be important, my kitchen offers me a number of opportunities to improve my health quotient. Here are five things that you can use from your kitchen to help you become healthier:

Tip#1: Make your own ghee: This way you know there are no additives, fragrance, artificial colouring or additives in it. Since it’s home-made, you can rely on the fact that your ghee is free of preservatives and has been made hygienically.

Tip#2: Once you make the ghee, use it to make your own kajal: Homemade kajal is recommended in Ayurveda. Most people I know use kajal more than any other cosmetic. The advantage of making it yourself, is that you know it won’t harm your eyes (in fact, according to Ayurveda, will keep your eyes clean, make your eyesight better and make your eye lashes longer) or cause any allergies. Again, you’ll know that there are absolutely no preservatives in the product and that it’s been made hygienically. I started making my own kajal two years ago. At first I felt it was a cumbersome process, but I soon realized it’s actually very simple. Here is how you can make it:

woman in kitchen

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Soak a medium size piece of cotton in mustard oil overnight. You can also use ghee, camphor or almond oil.

The next morning make a wick using this cotton ball. You can choose to put ajwain and neem inside the wick.

Take a diya (I used an earthenware diya. You can use a silver or copper vessel if you don’t have one handy)

Cover the flame with a bowl and let the soot on the inside of the bowl.

Once the wick has burned out, collect the soot in a small box.

You can apply this powder on the inner surface of your eyes either with your finger or use a small brush to apply it. The best part about this kajal is that it is smudge proof and great for the eyes.

Tip#3: Use besan and haldi once a week to cleanse your skin: If you use it consistently for a few months you’ll start noticing your skin becoming clearer and healthier. Just remember to go easy on the haldi. The idea is to cleanse and not to colour. I generally use this mixture over a weekend, when I’m sure I’ll have the time for a leisurely bath. Put some besan in a cup and add just a pinch of turmeric. You can choose either rose water or milk to make a paste of this. Mix it well, and apply this on your face. Allow it to stay till it dries out and then wash it off, gently scrubbing as you go.

Tip#4: Massage your face with fresh malai: Packed with immense potential to moisturise even the most dried out parts of skin, malai has been known for ages as the best all-natural moisturiser. All you need to do is apply it on your face and leave it on for about 20 minutes and then wash it off. Nothing beats the glow you get after you have used it. While you’re at it, you may want to use the malai on your elbows and heels as well! Better than any moisturiser in the market and 100% natural!

Tip#5: Look no further than your kitchen for hair products: Use locally sourced edible oil (like mustard or coconut oil) on your hair. Cosmetics aisles are filled with great smelling oils in pretty bottles. These oils promise many benefits as well. However, look at the ingredients list on these bottles and give a thought to the purity of the product. When it comes to your body (internal and external) go for the wholesome and pure option. Is the oil in that pretty bottle good enough to eat? Probably not.Then it’s not good enough for your luscious tresses.

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Sunshine as addictive as heroin?

If the many media reports are to be believed: "Sunshine can be addictive like heroin." The claim comes via a study published in Cell based on an experiment carried out on mice at Harvard Medical School. Researchers found that ultraviolet light exposure leads to elevated endorphin levels - the body's own 'feel good' internal morphine - that mice experience withdrawal effects after exposure and that chronic ultraviolet light exposure causes dependency and 'addiction-like' behaviour.

Although the study was carried out on animals, the authors speculated that their findings may help to explain why we love lying in the sun and that in addition to topping up our tans, sunbathing may be the most natural way to satisfy our cravings for a 'sunshine fix' in the same way that drug addicts yearn for their drug of choice.

Reading the findings of this study took me back to 1998, when I appeared as a 'behavioural addiction expert' on a daytime BBC television show alongside people who said they were addicted to tanning (dubbed by the researchers on the programme as 'tanorexia'). I have to admit that none of the case studies on the show appeared to be addicted to tanning - at least based on my six behavioural addiction criteria: salience (being the most important and preoccupying activity in the person's life), mood modifying, tolerance, withdrawal, conflict and relapse. But it did at least alert me to the fact that some people thought sunbathing and tanning were addictive.

On the show, people likened their excessive tanning to nicotine addiction, and there certainly appeared to be some similarities between the people interviewed and nicotine addiction, in the sense that the 'tanorexics' knew they were significantly increasing their chances of getting skin cancer as a direct result of their risky behaviour but felt they were unable to stop doing it, which you could argue is very similar to smoking despite knowing the health warnings.


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Since then, tanorexia has become a topic for scientific investigation. A 2005 study published in the Archives of Dermatology claimed that a quarter of the sample of 145 'sun worshippers' would qualify as having a substance-related disorder if ultraviolet light was classed as the substance they craved. The paper also reported that frequent tanners experienced a "loss of control" over their tanning schedule and displayed a pattern of addiction similar to smokers and alcoholics.

A 2006 study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, reported that frequent tanners (those who tanned eight to 15 times a month) who took naltrexone, an endorphin blocker normally used to treat drug addictions, significantly reduced the amount of time spent tanning compared with a control group of light tanners.

Two years later, a study published in the American Journal of Health Behaviour reported that 27 per cent of 400 surveyed students were classified as "tanning dependent." The authors claimed that those classed as being tanning dependent had a number of similarities to substance users, including a higher prevalence among youths; an initial perception that the behaviour was image-enhancing; high health risks and disregard for warnings about those risks; and the activity being mood-enhancing.

A just-published study in the American Journal of Health Promotion surveyed 306 female students and classed 25 per cent of the respondents as "tanning dependent" based upon a self-devised tanning-dependence questionnaire.

But the problem with this and most of the psychological research on tanorexia is that almost all of it is carried out on relatively small convenience samples using self-reporting and non-psychometrically validated 'tanning addiction' measurement scales.

Although some studies suggest that some of my addiction criteria appear to have been met, I have yet to be convinced that any of the published studies show that all of them have been met. In short, empirical research evidence demonstrating a genuine addiction to tanning that encompasses all the known and expected physical and psychological consequences of addiction has yet to be proven.

A makeup masterclass with Lorde's makeup artist Amber D

Lorde's makeup artist, Amber D, shared stories and tips in Auckland this week, giving guests behind-the-scenes access to the glamour and grind of life on the road.

Alongside celebrity meetings, including watching Beyonce and Jay Z embrace Lorde, she joked that the American mega star followed her performance at the Grammy's by again "opening for Lorde," at the Brits.

Constant travel had its funny sides with makeup touch-ups before flights landed bemusing the mostly middle-aged men who populated business class who often didn't know who the 17-year-old chart-topper was. Amber D also said dealing with a teenaged attention span meant her makeups were becoming ever quicker. She had to contend with a bobbing head, distracted by Instagram and the likes, meaning precise eyeliner application might end up accidentally extending into a cat's eye. "'You will be Amy Winehouse soon', I say."

The pair also joke about the label Lorde is sometimes landed with, due to her liking for wearing black and purple lips.

"I always call her teen goth and she hates it, cos she isn't really." But wearing black lace Tom Ford at the Brits she certainly channelled the "perfect goth" with a darker than normal lip, however, contrary to some reports it wasn't black and she never used white face paint, it was just that Ella Yelich-O'Connor was naturally pale.

The Lorde look three ways, on models Rhiannon, Amberly and Kendall at the M.A.C x Lorde master class. Picture / Janetta Mackay

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The international fashion for wearing a darker purple or red toned lip definitely has a lot to do with Lorde, says Amber D. Sales of dark lipsticks are up. "We, at M.A.C call it the Lorde effect."

"It's so crazy at the shows in the States, might be about 5000 people in the crowd and half of them will be wearing a dark lip."

Amber D, who is on secondment from her job as M.A.C senior artist for Oceania to tour with Lorde, explained that the basic Lorde look had evolved in their nine months together. She showed three versions on models. At the heart of all the looks is luminous skin, with the aim of the teen not looking overly made-up.

As with all artistry there's plenty of layering going on. For the Grammys, where Lorde appeared with witchy black fingers, Amber D explained that she simply painted black nail polish onto her fingertips over a gel polish and then after the performance removed the polish, leaving the gel, so Lorde's manicured hands could wrap prettily around the two awards she collected.

Asked by Viva if Lorde was likely to break out into a new look, Amber D said having established a signature style with dark lips for shows they would stick with that, albeit always varying colours a little.

When off Lorde duty, Ella Yelich-O'Connor generally did not wear a lot of makeup and was confident at applying her own basic everyday standby of Mineralize powder, and a little eyeliner. Lip-wise she had even been playing with a peachy orange shade for fun.


Prep step: Skin preparation is vital for making makeup seem minimal while guaranteeing it goes the distance. On a clean face and over lip balm and eye cream, apply primer before foundation.

M.A.C x Lorde eyeliner and lipstick, $40 each, available in stores from June 27.

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Amber D uses M.A.C Lightful Softening Lotion (a toner), Prep n Prime Vibrancy Eye to smooth the eye contour area and moisturising Lip Conditioner. For a luminous base she mixes Strobe Lotion with Natural Radiance Primer in Pink.

Face base: Foundation is applied lightly as needed, with a brush to polish over skin, followed by concealer to any facial areas requiring extra attention. Then a highlighter is used to brighten around the eyes, on the bridge of the nose and in the lip bow. Translucent loose powder is used sparingly on the T-zone, with a compact powder added if more coverage is needed, especially to disguise any breakouts. Coverage is greater for concerts and requires extra attention to blending for high-definition television appearances. A touch of blush adds a little colour and contour to cheeks.

Amber uses Mineralize Moisture Fluid Foundation (in the very light shade NC15), with a 188 brush, followed by Prep n Prime Highlighter in Radiant Rose and a professional concealer palette with six shades, then Prep n Prime Loose Powder and sometime also Mineralize Skin Finish, with So Sweet So Easy cream blush.

Eyes: Lorde's strong brows require little attention, other than a little gap filling and grooming.

Amber uses Penultimate Brow Pencil in Brown and Brow Set in Clear.

The standby eye base shade is a taupe tone that brings out her pale blue eyes. A cream shadow is used because it dries to a crease-proof finish and powder or even glitter can be layered over it. The base is taken a little under her wide-set eyes to help centre them. Sometimes a little jet-milled metallic powder shadow is applied to the centre of the lid for a slight wet-look shine, or a touch of pink highlighter. A fine tip liner is pressed into the lash line to create the impression of denser black lashes and sometimes extended for a subtle cat eye effect. A curler ensures lashes are lifted and then subtle mascara is applied.

Amber used Paint Pot in Groundwork as her regular eye base, then mixes up the accent shades, before applying Rapid Black Penultimate Black Liner and Everyday Extended Play mascara.

Lips: A deep purple toned pencil is the usual base to give depth to lipstick, even if the final colour varies from red to near black. Apply all over the lip and then sharpen the edge outline before applying lipstick with a wide flat concealer-style brush because this is quicker than fine one.

For performance, a little powder sets the lipstick, a trick that can be tried at home, but never apply directly to the lips as this will go gluggy and show. The trick is to take a single ply of tissue paper, and press the powder through this onto lips to create a matte effect.

Amber uses Vino lip pencil and favours the new Pure Heroine lipstick, which she says is shade between her other standbys: the more matte brighter purple Heroine and the darker Cyber shade. Ella especially likes Pure Heroine because its texture allows it to be pressed into lips as stain.

Finishing touch: Once the makeup is done, a little more highlighter is applied for extra luminosity, across the highest point of the cheekbone and the bridge of the nose and bow of lip.

Amber uses Pearl Cream Colour Base and sometimes sparingly adds a little Silver Dust loose powder highlighter blended out from the centre of the same areas.

Wondering How To Get Rid Of Dark Under Arms? Try These 3 Natural Remedies

I’ve been shaving under my arms for almost two decades and the Dove commercials are correct. I treat my underarms like shit; I don’t exfoliate, I shave dry, and I certainly don’t take any precautions for things like UV radiation or harmful rays from the sun. One would think I hated my underarms, but in my defense, I feel as if I have such a large area of body to cover in my beauty regimen that clearly something has to suffer. My underarms may be the part of my body that I pay the least attention to, but it’s also the part of my body that is less likely to be seen by the public…or so I thought.

I’m sure you feel me on this example: You shower and get dressed, only to find out that it’s going to be a tad bit hotter than you expected. So, you ditch that shirt you’re sure to get sweat stains in for a tank top. Then, of course, you grab a razor to quickly dry shave before running out the door. On one of these days, I caught my reflection and thought to myself, “Wait…I definitely shaved today, right” Right. It’s just the dark coloring of my underarms from years of shaving and never moisturizing that has given my pits a darker color than the rest of my body. The worst part? The darkness will only deepen with time making it harder to fix.

Turns out, although more prominent in darker skinned ladies, the dark underarm drama is not just specific to skin color. Loads of shavers out there are starting to fear that they’ll have to stop hailing cabs or limit elaborate dance moves if they don’t get that underarm game under control. Even Beyonce is no stranger to the dark underarm plague! Fortunately, I’ve got it covered now and these natural remedies will def up your confidence on the dance floor this summer.

Lemon Juice & Raw Honey

Mmmm, lemons. They freshen up tap water, act as a natural skin toner for your face, get rid of hiccups AND lighten underarms like a BOSS. Each day, take a lemon wedge and rub onto your underarms before bathing. Afterwards, use equal parts raw honey and lemon juice to put under your arms. The raw honey is great at eliminating dark spots and is an antibacterial that has a natural pH level of about 4.5 — something your underarms will thank you for in the long run by getting smoother. Add a moisturizer after you’ve rinsed your paste off to protect your underarms from UV radiation and keep that dryness at bay.


It seems that whenever I need one potato, I end up buying a dozen potatoes only to find them months later growing horrifying eyes all over their once clear skin. Fortunately, these potatoes that I’ve discovered in the back of my cabinet don’t have to go in the trash. Instead, slice those bad boys open for clear underarm skin. I recommend slicing the potato thick and rubbing directly under your arms daily — ones that are a little juicy works best, since potato juice is a natural skin lightener. Who’da thunk. Potatoes brighten dull skin and increase skin’s elasticity for smooth even skin tones. Do this daily for maximum results. Be sure to apply a moisturizer when you are taking your pits out into the world or you’ll be slicing potatoes for nothing.

Baking Soda

Now, this is my personal favorite method. I exfoliate my bikini line with baking soda to keep razor burn at an ultimate low, and it works to lighten underarms as well by removing dead skin cells.

Ready to start treating your underarms like real skin? Check out some great DIY natural deodorants on Wellness Mama’s website; don’t be scurred, nature can kill even the most advanced body odor!

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Shakira Covers 'Glam Belleza Latina,' Here Are 6 Things We Learned Her Beauty Regimen In The Story

That petite powerhouse and honest hip shaker known as Shakira covers the Summer 2014 issue of Glam Belleza Latina, with her golden waves filling the frame. The gorgeous Colombian, who just wrapped her stint as a coach on The Voice, indicating that she will not return for another round, loves being a mom, considers her Latin fans like friends, and views her boyfriend and baby daddy Gerard Pique as “the one.” In addition to all those Shakira fun life facts, the cover story also reveals quite a bit about Shakira’s beauty regimen, as well.

Shakira is preternaturally stunning, so she has a fab base on which to build her look and her style. But her hips don’t lie and neither does she. Her beauty routines and perspectives are actually quite honest and super refreshing, since they allow for indulgences, aren’t too princess-y or precious, and are easy for her fans to emulate, because, well, who wouldn’t want to follow Shakira’s lead and tackle her tips for looking faboosh?

Take a look at the cover for a second. The pale pink, almost mod lip color works with her sun-smooched skin and the way the wavy layer covers one eye adds an air of mystery.

Check out the 6 most interesting tidbits I gleaned from her feature, then head over to the mag’s website for the rest of Shakira’s cover story.

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1. Shakira Prefers Light Hair Because She Is Not Trying to Be a Member of the Cullen Clan

Shakira likes lighter hair because it brightens her face and doesn’t present her as a goth or vampire-in-training like her formerly darker locks did. ”I like that blond hair gives a lot of light onstage and makes my face pop a little more,” she said. “The dark hair made me look more goth. And besides, how many blond Latinas are there in the world? Hello!” Point taken, Shak, even though we’re sure Edward Cullen would love to sink his teeth into your neck.

2. She Is Not a Slave to Diets, So Bring on the Food

Her off-tour eating routine and food philosophy? It’s totally simple. If she likes it, she eats it. Shakira said, “I don’t believe in depriving myself or being a slave to diets. I generally eat healthy, but I indulge too. And when I have to, for a video or a performance, I pull back a little. But it’s all about balance.” At least she has a team of trainers and managers to remind her when the pull back needs to occur.

3. She Remains Active When Not Touring, Too

While dancing onstage during a tour is “great for cardio and toning,” and is, in effect, like exercise cheating, Shakira isn’t a sloth when off the road. She stays active and it’s as though she tricks her brain, doing “things that feel like fun and not just a workout, so that I stay motivated. Tennis is my current favorite. ”

4. Latina Beauty Is All About Intangibles

Latina beauty is all about the intangible elements, save for one. “To me, it’s confident, passionate, and — of course — curvy,” Shak said. What’s that sound? Oh, just the melody line and hook for “Hips Don’t Lie.”

5. She Is Kind to Her Thirsty Hair

The singer uses serums with natural oils and sulfate-free shampoos to add moisture to her hair, which is prone to drying out due to all the processing she puts it through.

6. Her Beach Bag Essentials Are Not Shocking

“The highest SPF sunscreen I can find,” she admitted about what she totes in her beach bag. “I always avoid damage to my skin from the sun, and a good detangler for my hair. I also use a vitamin C serum before applying makeup to nourish my skin, along with lots of moisturizer. I also try to buy beauty products that have as few chemicals as possible.”

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Uzo Aduba: Red carpet is like prom

Uzo Aduba likes to reflect her "strong" personality with her clothing away from the camera.

Uzo Aduba likens red carpet events to dressing up for prom.

The Orange Is the New Black actress looks far from glamorous in her role as Suzanne 'Crazy Eyes' Warren, wearing prison overalls and sporting bags under her eyes.

In real life Uzo relishes the chance to doll herself up, and appreciates the hard work put into making her character look realistic for the circumstances.

Uzo Aduba: Red carpet is like prom

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"I like strong anything: strong choices, strong voices, strong make-up, strong looks, strong women. You know what I mean?" she revealed to Refinery29. "I like strong plus a noun - that's my thing. Red carpets are an opportunity to really dress up. It's like being able to go to the prom all over again.

"I like the collaboration [on the show] because there are so many different departments [collaborating], making the stuff. That is what theatre is. That's what Orange is. It takes a lot of us to come together and make a good thing."

Another iconic thing about her alter ego in the hit TV series is her Bantu knots hairstyle, which Rihanna recently replicated for the iHeartRadio Music Awards 2014 last month. Uzo loves the 'do herself, but not the effect it has away from the camera.

"I used to wear my hair in the Bantu knots. I was doing a show right before Orange, and I was wearing my hair like that and then I had the idea to wear it to the audition. I thought that since the show is set in prison anyway, the knots work, and I didn't think anything of it," she recalled. "I used to wear them [in real life], but I had to stop wearing them because that attention as Suzanne made me want to stop. I take them out when we finish shooting."

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CMC's Fall II LA Fashion Market to begin from June 8

The Fall II/ Holiday Los Angeles Fashion Market will take place from Sunday - Wednesday, June, 8-11, 2014, at the California Market Center (CMC) on 9th and Main in Downtown LA. Show hours are from 9a-6p daily.

Although showrooms will be open starting Sunday of LA Fashion Market, SELECT Contemporary Tradeshow and TRANSIT Footwear & Accessories Show will run Monday - Wednesday, June 9-11, 2014. Show hours for SELECT will be 9a-5p, Monday and Tuesday, and 9A-4P on Wednesday. Hours for TRANSIT will be 10a-5p, Monday and Tuesday, and 10A-4p on Wednesday.

In addition to the well-established resources already at the CMC, many new lines and showrooms will be debuting this Market. These include: Sandra and Minnie, Red Wagon Baby, La Chic Embroidered Designs, Zigi Soho, London Trash, Ken Abbott, Emperia Handbags, Billy Narvida, YNTJ, Woon Sik Kim, Cooper 9, William Kim, Amethyst, Belford, Hail3y:23, Jana Sweaters, Halladay, Native Shoes, W5 Concepts, Klist, Sweet Rain Apparel, Skylton, Moss/Jang, Proper Brands Showroom, One Ten Sales, RadYo!, The Pothead Diaries, Wild Rose Apparel, Cool-G, Mila Designs and many more.

"As a former model, I have many memories of coming to the CMC to do showroom fittings and to meet clients," says Dustin Moss of new showroom Sweet Rain Apparel. "This was where I began working in LA, so it was a comfortable fit to want to return here to continue the process for the next generation. I'm looking forward to seeing how the LA Market has progressed over the years and am extremely happy to be part of the CMC."

Sweet Rain Apparel is just one of the several new showrooms opening on 5B. Showrooms featuring some of the best Young Contemporary lines in LA continue to emerge and transform 5B into a destination for this highly sought after category. Skylton, a denim line from France, who took part in last Market's Fre(n)sh Fashion Show, has opened their first showroom at the CMC. Also on 5B, Young Contemporary lines such as W5Concepts and KList represented by Karyn Kim have made the CMC their new home.

Running in conjunction with LA Fashion Market, SELECT Contemporary Tradeshow and TRANSIT Footwear & Accessories Show will introduce a wide variety of exhibiting brands. Monday - Wednesday, June 9-11, SELECT will be held in the Fashion Theater located in the Main Lobby, while TRANSIT will be held on the 13th Floor Penthouse.

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Over 85 fashion designers show at Fiji Fashion Week

More than 85 childrenswear, menswear and womenswear designers showcased their latest collections at the just held seventh edition of Fiji Fashion Week.

The catwalk event kicked off with an exclusive Resort Wear Design Show which featured haute couture resort collections from nearly 13 designers. Local design name Sonam Sapra opened the night with her print heavy Intimate Fiji collection, inspired from the beautiful third largest Fijian island Taveuni.

Salusalu by Robert Kennedy/FJFW

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In addition to Sapra’s nature influenced line, other names like Sarah Jane, Robert Verebasaga and Mere Shuster, Hupfield Hoarder, Lana Smith, Hanna Hering and Benjamin Schetrit and Failepou Peni also displayed their latest resortwear looks.

Famous home grown talent Robert Kennedy presented his Salusalu collection under the event’s Established Designers’ showcase. Infused with tropical vibes and 1960-esque Italian styles, the range included hooded caftans, capes and little dresses for women and stylish shirts for men.

Designer Michael Mausio’s Essence of the Pacific range featured an extremely elegant minimalistic line, comprised of tie-and-dye brown jeans and couture dresses, while fashion talent Rachel Fairfax staged a paradise like catwalk show with a muted and bold toned beach printed collection at the glamorous soiree.

The well-known clothing label Mena displayed its latest Pacific-inspired Return to Paradise line at the glitzy fashion event. Decorated with Tapa prints and flowers, the collection featured dresses with asymmetrical necklines, tunics, midis and sheaths for women as well as the traditional island printed Bula shirts for men.

Apart from the style studded runway parades, the Fijian soiree also hosted muumuu (loose Hawaiian dress), sulu jaba (Pacific girl’s or women’s clothing), and Indian women’s traditional attires salwar kameez and saree design competitions.

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Alexa Chung avoids pageant look

Alexa Chung doesn't want to look like a "beauty pageant child" so chooses to either highlight her eyes or lips with make-up.

Alexa Chung never wears heavy eye and lip make-up at the same time for fear of looking like a drag queen.

The British fashionista has become synonymous with laidback, effortless style and is often spotted on the front row at Fashion Week shows.

As well as being known for her chic fashion choices, Alexa's barely-there make-up is one of the former model's traits, and she reveals it's always been a conscious decision to only ever highlight one facial feature at a time.

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"When I'm wearing make-up, I choose between doing my eyes or mouth because I don't want to look like a beauty pageant child. I've got quite a strong face - if it's got too much on, I just look like a man in drag," she laughed.

Alexa has her own range with cosmetics brand Eyeko and has recently been announced as a collaborator with Nails Inc..

Despite her beauty credentials the 30-year-old star admits she doesn't own much make-up, but always has black eyeliner to hand to make sure her signature cat flick can be achieved.

"Because I have the luxury of having my make-up done frequently, I don't have a huge collection of products. But I am an avid wearer of eyeliner - I would say I'm wearing it 90 per cent of the time.

"Someone at a dinner recently asked me if it was tattooed on because they've never seen me without it, which I actually think would be wonderful... though I've gotten really good at doing it. I've done mine for so many years that I can just draw it on really quickly," she divulged.

She also confesses that her attitude to beauty has been shaped by her British upbringing, where Alexa claims people don't think it's "cool" to look like you've tried too hard.

"It's just not about being 'done.' We're into being clean, just not looking like you've made too much of an effort," she said.

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Female scooterists prefer fashion over safety

Fashion seems to have priority over safety for the new-age girls riding two-wheelers in Kashmir Valley.

Most of the young girls riding two-wheelers can be seen violating the most important traffic rule by not wearing crash helmets. A few riders told Kashmir Reader that helmet does not appear fashionable to them.

“The helmets that are available in markets for girls look so boring and dull. I have one, but I rarely use that. So, I prefer wearing my oversized glares in order to save myself from sun,” said Humaira (second name withheld).

Another teenage Scooty rider, Bushra says that helmet spoils her ‘neatly-kept’ hairdo. “My hair gets sweaty and it spoils my hairstyle. In addition, wearing a helmet looks so traditional. I prefer wearing a stole or a scarf to protect my hair from pollution,” said Bushra, a college student.

“I always carry a helmet with me just in case the traffic cops ask for. But I never wear it. I look weird in it,” said another college student Fatima.

What encourages these young violators is the ‘leniency’ shown towards them by the traffic police. As per Traffic Rules and regulations of Jammu and Kashmir, driving without a crash helmet is a punishable offence under Sections 129/177. However, the rules remain confined to the books.

While people outside the state are fined as high as Rs 3000 for not wearing a helmet, most of the women scooterists in the Valley are seen zooming past traffic cops.

However, Superintendent Police (Traffic) Srinagar, Haseeb-ur-Rehman said they are in the process of dealing with the violators. “We are taking suitable measures to overcome the problem. Last week we sent letters to some girls’ higher secondary schools. It was requested that a data be maintained about the number of girl students who use Scooty as a mode of transportation along with their parentage and address details.”

“In the second step, we will launch an awareness campaigns in these selected schools about the traffic rules and regulations. The third would be action based. If we still find girls violating the norms, they would be challaned,” Rehman told Kashmir Reader.

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