12 seriously strange skincare secrets the experts swear by (I kid you not!)

Having beautiful, glowing, flawless skin is not always about rigorous dermatological treatments or expensive products. Sometimes, simple goes a longer way and every skincare pro I’ve ever spoken to has sworn by at least a couple of kitchen shelf DIYs they call upon in their own life. Some of these secret rituals are merely curious, while others are downright bizarre. But they are all underlined by serious doses of skincare science and the experts promise they perform miracles. So, here you go!

skincare tips1. Do shots… with chlorophyll: Don’t really relish those green juices and salads seem too much of a bother? Just stock up on liquid chlorophyll. This most essential of plant nutrients detoxifies the body, oxygenates the skin, boosts tissue repair, steps up digestion and restores our acid-alkaline ratio to keep the complexion clean, healthy and glowing from the inside out. Added bonus: It works fast and tastes like mint.

2. Order the guac: Or just go straight for the avocados, which are loaded with healthy fats and phytonutrients that nourish skin from the inside out and bring back your glow.

3. Bring on the beer: Beer isn’t just good for your hair, it’s also a powerful skin ally. All those B vitamins, hops, saccharides and yeast help dissolve dead cells, balance pH levels and bust acne-causing bacteria. Simply mix together half a cup of beer with one egg white and slather on your face. Let the mask dry for 20 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. Now say hello to radiant, fresh skin.

4. Freeze up: Late night? Crying bout? Sun scorched? Beauty pros always keep a few sheet of aluminium foil in the freezer. Simply take one of the chilled sheets and put them on your face for a few minutes to de-puff, tighten pores and bring back the glow.

5. Eye it: If it’s your eyes that need the de-puffing and redness relief, pop some eye cream in the  icebox and apply to lids for turbo-charged results.

6. Tea time: Skin more irritated than puffy? Chill some green tea bags and gently press them onto the inflamed areas – the antioxidants will soothe a sore complexion.

7. Tropical treat: Another refrigerated treat for your skin? Pineapple juice. Freeze some fresh pineapple juice and then rub this “ice cube” over clean skin. Let the liquid dry on your face for 5-10 minutes, then rinse away with plain water. Pineapple’s natural enzymes exfoliate, improve hydration and boost elasticity. Hello, luminous skin!

8. Dairy goodness: Swap the hot water with freshly boiled milk while steaming your face for the ultimate skin detox. Simply boil the milk, pour into a bowl and let the vapours float over your face as you lean in under a towel. Milk is full of lactic acid, which will decongest the pores, leaving your skin beautifully clear.

beauty hacks9.  Hydrate NOW: Dewy, glowing skin equals hydrated skin and when you’re sorely lacking in the latter department, whip together an egg yolk and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Apply a generous layer of this mixture all over your face and leave on for 20 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water.

10. Acne Rx: Need to bring down the redness and inflammation of a pimple right NOW? Dab a  bit of Visine on the blemish. This won’t make your pimple smaller, but it will definitely look less obvious for a few hours.

11. Scrub-a-dub: To banish dry, cracked heels, mix a handful of sea salt with enough almond oil to make a thick paste. Use this to exfoliate your feet and toes; say hello to smooth, sandal-ready summer feet!

12. Thigh high: For legs that tend to rub or chafe in summer, apply deodorant to the insides of your thighs… this sounds weird but it works!

What’s the strangest beauty tip you’ve ever heard? And how did it work out for you?

Cult classic: 12 ways to use Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream

Just what is it about Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream that’s made it a cult staple in the bags of everyone from runway makeup artists and top fashion models to global beauty editors and Prince Harry? And yes, that’s the very same Prince Harry, of the British royal family fame. Apparently the world’s most eligible bachelor is armed with this potent cream while trekking in arctic conditions for the Walking With The Wounded Allied Challenge to the South Pole.

Back to the Eight Hour Cream, first let’s get one thing clear: this is actually a balm and not a cream. It doesn’t have the most advanced or high-tech stem cells (in fact, the core ingredients – petrolatum, beta-hydroxy and vitamin E – have remained unchanged since the 1930s), it’s not super-expensive (clocking in at $20) and it’s not pretty but it works. And works so well that a tube of this take-everywhere, use-for-everything work-horse is sold every 30 seconds. Which is a LOT of tubes! And there’s a reason for that: it’s really good.

And while there are an infinite number of ways to use this classic cream, here are 12 great ones.

elizabeth-arden-eight-hour-creamSkin saver

The cocktail of petrolatum, skin-soothing beta-hydroxy and anti-inflammatory vitamin E soothes, restores, calms and helps relieve minor skin irritations, including roughness, redness, chapped, cracked or dry skin. Perfect for protecting skin from drying winds, central heating and air conditioning… just add a dollop of Eight Hour Cream onto your hands, let it heat up, then apply it over the face and neck as a protective moisturiser!

Flight tool

Flying leaves your skin dull and dehydrated? Take a dime size amount of the Eight Hour Cream in the palms of your hands, warm it up by rubbing the hands together and pat onto face to boost skin’s in-flight moisture levels.

After-sun soother

With its legendary soothing and moisturizing benefits, it’s the ideal after-sun treatment to relieve minor sunburn and calm dry, irritated sun-exposed skin. 

Lip scrubber

Dab a bit of Eight Hour Cream on your lips, then gently scrub with an old toothbrush – goodbye flakes and chapped lips!

Lip protector

Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream makes an excellent lip treatment, healing quickly and leaving behind a soft shine and a light, glossy effect.

Cuticle comforter

The Eight Hour Cream also doubles up as a superb conditioning balm to soften rough, dry cuticles, keeping smooth, supple and beautifully manicured. Especially perfect for brutal winters!

Brow shiner

Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream is brilliant at keeping unruly brows in place, providing a bit of sheen and creating a perfectly defined arch that will stay in place all day. All it takes is a dab and a spoolie brush or wand to comb it through the eyebrows.

elizabeth-arden-eight-hour-cream-1Glow giver

Found in top makeup artists’ kits worldwide, this all-in-one beauty tool is perfect for adding a soft glow or a hint of red-carpet-ready sheen. For best effect, add a dab at the highest point of your cheekbones (post-foundation), or along the collar bone, knees and shins.

Eye opener

Want romantic looking eyes with a bit of shine? Take a touch of Eight Hour Cream on your fingertip and apply it into the center of the lid, over your eye shadow. This will really open up the eyes and give them a sheer, ethereal glow. You can also apply the product on bare skin at the highest point of the brow bone, right below the brow. This will create a subtle highlight, without the dated look of a shimmer.

Chic maker

‘Tis the season for some edgy sexiness and one of the easiest ways to incorporate it into your look is by mixing a bit of soft taupe or light gold eye shadow with Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream and brushing it through the brows. This will create a gorgeous ombre effect that’s very young Hollywood.

elizabeth-arden-eight-hour-cream-2Age concealer

Thicker patches of skin – like the elbows and knees – can get dry and ashy as you grow older, making them visible markers of your age. Counter by rubbing a small amount of Eight Hour Cream into these areas regularly!

Overnight healer

Massage Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream into your hands and feet before bed every night to heal even the roughest, driest skin while you sleep. Worried about your sheets? Don a pair of socks and cotton gloves.

Leg wear

This balm calms irritation, reduces redness and leaves legs super-smooth and silky-soft. Great as an après shave or après wax treatment. 

Hair help

Fried or frazzled hair? Rub a little of this classic cream into the dry areas – especially the ends – leave it on for half an hour, then wash with your regular shampoo.

If you’ve discovered other uses for Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream, do tell. Please.

How to dry nail polish QUICKLY!

With nails taking much of the beauty spotlight this season, a picture-perfect polish is truly crave-worthy. So, try this extremely popular backstage trick when you want to glam up but don’t have the time to sit around watching nail polish dry.

The colour is too much!Take a clean nail polish brush (I repurpose them from empty bottles, leaving them in acetone overnight to remove old polish) and gently layer on a thin coat of olive oil on each freshly painted nail. No brush available? Simply drip small drops of the oil onto the nails. This will speed up the drying process while also protecting your fresh manicure from accidental smudges.

Worked for you?

Deepika Padukone’s sizzling beauty secrets

On the modeling circuit, they say there is an era before and after Deepika Padukone. One of the very few Indian models who have successfully charmed all four mediums – print, television, the silver screen and the catwalk – Bollywood’s top ranking actress wears her celeb status with ease.

And what a status that is… not only does Deepika seem to be part of almost every single Bollywood movie that has topped the box office in the last two years, she’s all set to make waves in Hollywood as well, with Vin Diesel’s xXx: Return of Xander Cage. And even before this movie is released, the 30-year-old finds herself part of the top 10 in Forbes list of the world’s richest actresses.

However, she remains “strictly low-maintenance”, charting her own path through the style aisles, rather than chasing changing trends. Here she spills her uber-cool beauty secrets.

What have you learnt about beauty?

Don’t fidget with your skin – that means don’t overdo facials and other skincare rituals; exercise regularly; and stick to minimal makeup.

What’s your favourite feature?

I love my eyes. A lot of people say that I express a lot with just my eyes, without using any other part of my face or body. This is great in front of the camera but becomes dicey in real life!

How do you make the most of them?

I highlight them with mascara and put a little liner on the edges. The latter is necessary since I have big eyes. Else you can make them look really wonderful with just loads of mascara on the top and lower lashes.

Deepika Padukone in Bajirao Mastani

Deepika Padukone in Bajirao Mastani

And your least favourite feature?

My feet are huge and ugly! I am perpetually trying to camouflage them with flats and covered shoes. And I can barely find shoes my size.

A skincare basic?

Cleansing, toning and moisturizing every morning and religiously taking off all makeup at night. Skin needs to breathe and regenerate while you sleep and this can only happen when it’s absolutely clean.

What’s your hair care ritual?

A leave-in conditioner is essential because of the weather and pollution; plus I need a heat-resistant spray to minimize styling damage during shoots and fashion shows. Once in a while, I indulge in a good head massage.

Which are your favourite makeup hues?

I love pastels and very light pinks. During the day, it’s usually a very light liner with a pinkish blush and nude gloss. Night makeup tends to be a slightly more exaggerated version of the same but still remains very natural.

Deepika Padukone in Ram Leela

Deepika Padukone in Ram Leela

What kind of fragrance do you like?

I am not a fan of overly flowery or fruity fragrances. I prefer something with a unique edge, like Issey Miyake or Davidoff Cool Water.

What’s the best thing about makeup?

It’s great for making flaws vanish! Else how would we get through under eye circles, bad complexion days and pesky zits?

Excerpted from an interview I did for Marie Claire India