Makeup trend: Is matte lipstick the new black?

Lip glosses have had their moment and the next few months completely belong to matte lipstick. But fear not, the matte formulas of 2016 bear no resemblance to the chalky, dry lips of the 1990s. This time round, matte lipsticks are flattering, velvety and feel super-comfortable on the lips.

And while they might not be quite as easy to apply as a slick of gloss, matte lipsticks last longer, suit all skin tones and look super-gorgeous. This look is for girls who are all grown up!

Why matte lipstick rocks!

  • Matte lipsticks have more pigment than other formulas, which means strong colour straight from the bullet.
  • Matte lipstick lasts for ages and tends not to feather into creases around your mouth unlike a gloss or cream formula.
  • While there is a lot of pink gloss, matte lipstick comes in a medley of strong colours, ranging from berry pinks to scarlet reds to caramel browns and back again.
  • Matte lipstick is less girly than gloss and instantly creates a sophisticated aura.

matte lipstickHow to wear a matte lip

There is no room for sloppy application with matte lipstick. This one both draws and holds attention, so you have to apply it right.

  • The key to pulling off matte lipstick is to make sure it’s impactful. A neutral shade or one close to your skin tone can make you look sickly pale. Instead, opt for a strong pop of tangerine, red or fuchsia – especially since, like matte lipstick itself, they’re vintage-inspired and completely on-trend.
  • Skip the lip balm before applying a matte lipstick as it adds sheen, thereby diluting the effect. Instead use a lip primer – like MAC Prep + Prime for Lips – for hydration without the added shine.
  • Line your lips with a shade that matches your lipstick perfectly to avoid the dreaded, ’90s-inspired two-tone look. Even better, fill in your entire lips with the liner and then apply the lipstick on top.
  • For a softer look, fill your entire lip with liner, then pat lipstick on using your fingertip.
  • A matte lipstick usually takes longer to wear off around the outside of your lips (due to lack of moisture), so you’ll be tempted to re-apply. Don’t do that: since coats will only sit on top of each other, you’ll get an uneven look. Instead, wipe off the existing lipstick and then apply a fresh coat.
  • One single texture across your face looks dull and ageing, so contrast a matte lip with dewy foundation, highlighter on the cheeks, or shimmer on the eyes.

Convert any lipstick to matte

Rather than buying a new lipstick, simply matte out your current stock with translucent powder. It’s easy: after applying the lipstick, blot your lips with a tissue. Then use your fingertips to dab a translucent face powder on your lips to eliminate the shine.

For added effect, double up on the powder application in the centre of your lower lip – this play on centre sheen will create a more fashion forward pout.

The $7 cream that changed everything I knew about skincare

Have you ever abandoned a beauty product – or actually, any product – simply because it seems old fashioned? Like something your grandmom would use? Something your grandmom did use? And it’s cheap? And cheap plus old fashioned can hardly be the recipe for effectiveness, right?

Once again, I am rudely reminded of how we shortchange ourselves by following such superfluous logic. Seems the fact is that if something has stuck around for almost 70 years, without feeling the need to fancy itself up or change the formula an iota, it speaks volumes. Volumes about its efficacy and success.

That’s the story of Vicco Turmeric Skin Cream. An Ayurvedic skincare product I have grown up seeing on my grandmom’s dressing table, where it was placed by her mother. In fact, Vicco Turmeric Cream has been such an inherent part of most Indian households that it has to be embedded in the country’s genetic memory itself.

Which is why, growing up, I worked hard to stay away from this slightly ugly looking tube. Too simplistic to compete with the aisles of retinol- and bee-venom-laden skincare potions, Vicco Turmeric was an absolute no-no in my skincare arsenal. Till now.

Till I started reading rave reviews from across the world about this $7 product (in India, it’s actually $2!) and decided so much rave-making is worth a second chance.

vicco turmericA single, solitary tube was ordered from an extremely surprised aunt who was travelling from Mumbai and once I’d gotten used to the slightly sweetish fragrance of sandalwood – even my husband, who’s annoyingly finicky about sleep time scents, did not find it disruptive – and since then there’s been no looking back!

Seriously, my skin has never looked cleaner (just cleaner… can’t find another way to describe it) and both the acne and acne scars have seriously diminished. So have blackheads and facial hair. It’s also made everything more even toned, taut, firm and bouncy… happy skin, as I call it. Even my pores look smaller. Almost overnight. I. AM. NOT. EXAGGERATING.

In fact, I’ve now even switched it up from night time to day time as well, since it makes for the perfect BB cream and primer replacement. It simply sinks into the skin, leaving behind a golden glow and has superb oil control properties that just keep carrying on the grease-control from morning to night. Plus, it feels so cooling on the skin, making it a mandatory application during hot, humid summer days.

So, just what is it about this super-simple cream that’s turning it into the magical unicorn of skincare?

Vicco Turmeric is a simple mix of turmeric extract and sandalwood oil in a beeswax base. But it’s the proportions that count: Unlike a lot of fancier products that list turmeric and sandalwood as key ingredients but have minuscule amounts lurking at the bottom of their formula, Vicco Turmeric does not believe in being miserly.

With 16% turmeric, it goes way beyond the definition of a mere cosmetic cream. That’s why, generations of Indian mothers swear by it for everything from acne to cuts, burns, insect bites and skin infections. In fact, it’s one of the very few products that are allowed to be manufactured under the Ayurvedic Drug License (it’s also FDA-approved), due to its holistic underpinning of traditional medicine.

Then, there’s also the fact that the potent properties of both turmeric and sandalwood are unsullied here by an alcohol base or chemical fillers, which end up doing more harm than good to your skin.

Traditional Ayurvedic way of grinding turmeric and sandalwood into a paste

Traditional Ayurvedic way of grinding turmeric and sandalwood into a paste

And if you’re really not a fan of sandalwood, or the smell is too strong for you, there’s Vicco Turmeric WSO – which translates as ‘Without Sandalwood Oil’. Though, why anyone would want to deprive themselves of the super skincare benefits of sandalwood, I simply cannot imagine! In fact, I personally adore the fragrance and find that it makes me feel relaxed and helps me sleep better.

Where to buy Vicco Turmeric Skin Cream

Even if you’re not travelling to India anytime soon (and don’t have any conveniently placed aunts either), don’t despair. Vicco Turmeric is available at most Indian stores across the world. Or you can grab it off Amazon.

It takes a minute or so to rub the thick mousse-like formula into your skin but a little goes a very long way. So, a single tube would easily last you about three months.

In fact, I’m coming across an increasing number of men (yes, not kidding!) who are ‘fessing up to using Vicco Turmeric as an aftershave balm. With superb results.

That’s quite a bang for your seven bucks, right?

Have you ever used Vicco Turmeric Skin Cream? What’s been your experience with it?

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?

10 genius ways to use Vaseline in your beauty routine (it’s not just for lips!)

Who says Vaseline is boring? Simple? Yes. Classic? Always. Cheap-as-chips and value for money? Absolutely. Boring? NEVER. And to underscore that point, the fourth limited edition of it’s cult status Lip Therapy comes dressed in striking black and gold, with a delicate honey flavour as an added bonus. Called Vaseline Queen Bee, it’s available till stocks last and is available to dress up your day for just $5. Want it much? You’ll have to run – not merely walk – as this one’s already selling out worldwide!

vaseline queen beeIncidentally, Vaseline is such a diverse product that you can use it for a whole range of things. You will see big tubs at literally every fashion week, photo shoot, red carpet event, dermatologist’s office and hair salon, hiding in plain sight.

Here are some of my favourite ways of working it, gleaned from picking the brains of leading beauty professionals over many, many years.

1. Vaseline as eye makeup remover: A dab of Vaseline can remove even the most stubborn mascara while soothing the eye area – just massage it in gently and wash off with warm water.

2. Vaseline as body scrub: Vaseline mixed with a handful of sea salt (or sand, if you are on the beach and want to make like the Brazilians) works as a great exfoliator.

3. Vaseline as lip scrub: Apply a thick layer of Vaseline to your lips and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Then scrub it off with an old (gentle) toothbrush for fabulously soft and smooth lips. Re-apply a thin layer to seal in moisture.

4. Vaseline as manicure mender: Dabbing a bit of Vaseline on the base of your nails will stop the colour from running onto the fingers.

5. Vaseline for shaving: Run out of shaving cream? Apply a thin layer of Vaseline and then shave. Don’t use water and remember to keep rinsing the razor as you go. It can be slightly greasy but will leave you with superbly soft and smooth skin.

vaseline uses6. Vaseline as highlighter: Professional makeup artists do this all the time, especially during catwalk shows – apply a very thin layer of Vaseline on cheeks and under the eyes for that dewy look.

7. Vaseline as cream blusher: Want a rosy flush? Mix vaseline with your lipstick to make your own cream blusher.

8. Vaseline as fragrance fixer: Applying a thin layer of vaseline on your wrist (and other pulse points) before spraying on perfume will make the scent last much longer.

9. Vaseline to protect skin from hair dye: Every hair colourist worth their name knows this one – you need to apply a layer of Vaseline around the hairline before colouring your hair. This not only prevents stains but also protects skin from the harsh chemicals in the dye.

10. Vaseline to seal split ends: While nothing can mend split ends, rubbing in some Vaseline can temporarily seal them, creating the illusion of sleek, damage-free hair.

Did you know that the first ever Vaseline Lip Therapy limited edition – Crème Brûlée, launched in 2011 – was the fastest selling product in Selfridges’ entire history?