How to look like a Bond girl

From the moment Ursula Andress emerged from the ocean in 1962’s Dr. No, we’ve admired and envied the Bond girls – each one as charismatic and startling as the last. And though the actresses may have changed over five decades, the Bond girl beauty formula remains the same: flawless skin, a perfect pout, glossy locks and seductive eyes. So, to mark the film franchise’s 50th anniversary, here is a guide to achieving classic Bond girl glamour in just a few easy steps.

bond-girlsGolden Skin

No Bond girl worth her salt would be caught with less than flawless skin that’s the perfect accessory for lighting up the screen… sometimes literally! Shirley Eaton, who played Jill Masterson in 1964’s Goldfinger, is one of the most iconic Bond girls despite having a screen presence of hardly five minutes – mainly thanks to the gold paint that dresses her skin in the powerful death scene. While head-to-toe gold may not be an achievable look, why not take a cue and use an illuminating formula like Oskia’s Get Up & Glow or Jemma Kidd’s Make Up Dewy Glow All Over Radiance Creme for instantly radiant skin?

For Your Eyes Only

The ideal Bond girl’s eye makeup looks natural yet sophisticated. And the best way to achieve that is by using a lengthening mascara like Benefit’s They’re Real! or L’Oreal’s Waterproof Lash Out Extra Extending Mascara. As for the eyeshadow, most Bond girls are particularly partial to a lightly smoky eye, so get hold of the MAC Carine Roitfeld Jungle Camouflage Full Face Kitpronto. Oh! And remember that the ideal 007 girl’s eyebrows must be perfectly defined, so keep the Make Up Forever Brow Seal close at hand!

Lipstick Never Dies

One of the key qualities any Bond girl needs is a killer pout, with red lips being favoured by Sophie Marceau (Elektra King), Eva Green (Vesper Lynd) and Talisa Soto (Lupe Lamora) and many others. Check out this post to on how to get the ultimate red lip!

Green-as-Bond-GirlA Body to Live & Let Die For

Of course, all Bond girls show off their deliriously hot bods in sexy bikinis and a shimmery golden tan. James Harknett from Sienna X tanned the Skyfall cast and gave the down-low on getting the look: first, you need to exfoliate with a body scrub to remove any traces of dead skin. Once you’ve applied your self-tanner, top off with Sienna X Radiance Body Balm to highlight your best assets with a luminous shine.

Dr. No Split Ends

When it comes to hair, Bond girls can be blonde (Britt Ekland), brunette (Olga Kurylenko) or redheads (Gemma Arterton) but in terms of length the pixie cut seen on Halle Berry is more of a rarity, with voluminous tumbling tresses tending to be the norm. And the secret to achieving this look is to go easy on the hairspray. You want touchable, free-flowing hair that’s begging for Mr. Bond to spontaneously grab and mess up. After you’ve styled your hair, gently work in the John Frieda Frizz Ease Secret Agent Flawless Finishing Crème with your fingers for a sleek, shiny finish.

Now you’re all set for your next mission: finding 007. Which Bond girl will you be channeling?

Why is breast cancer ‘pink’?

This month, the world glows pink with the “light of hope” that was first lit by Evelyn Lauder 12 years ago. New national and international landmarks such as Mumbai’s Bandra-Worli Sea Link and Dubai’s Burj al Arab join established stalwarts like New York’s Empire State Building and Belgium’s Amsterdam Bridge to remind women about the need for annual breast cancer checkups, thereby saving millions of lives across the globe.

But why pink? And while we are at it, why is breast cancer denoted by a ribbon? Rather than, say, a white flag? Where did the pink ribbon come from, where is it going and what has it meant along the way?

'Think pink!' at the Niagara Falls
‘Think pink!’ at the Niagara Falls

It began with yellow oak trees

Back in the 19th century, when the US Cavalry Soldiers traditionally wore a yellow scarf around their neck, one would see whole villages of women tying yellow ribbons in their hair to signify their devotion to a sweetheart away at war. There was even a traditional folk song that went ‘Round Her Neck She Wears a Yeller Ribbon, which later inspired the John Wayne movie She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.

Around her hair she wore a yellow ribbon
She wore it in the springtime
In the merry month of May
And if you ask her why the heck she wore it
She wore it for her soldier who was far far away

Nobody knows the exact origins of these words but they have existed in various versions for almost 400 years now – reaching their zenith in 1973’s Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree by Irwin Levine and L. Russell Brown, written at the end of the Vietnam War.

breast cancer, pink ribbon, think pink, lit up in pink, Estee Lauder, Evelyn Lauder, global illumination
Penne and Bruce Laingen with the yellow ribbon Mrs. Laingen tied around the oak tree in her front yard in 1979

Then came 1979, the year that Penney Laingen, wife of a hostage in Iran, was inspired by the song to tie yellow ribbons around trees in her front yard. Millions of yellow ribbons sprouted up across the country in solidarity. For the first time, ribbon became medium, ribbon became message. That was step one.

Then came red

The second major step was taken 11 years later, when AIDS activists looked at the yellow ribbons that dotted the landscape for soldiers fighting the Gulf War and said, “What about something for our boys dying here at home?” So, the ribbon became bright red — “because it’s the colour of passion” — and was sent on the Tony awards stage, prominently pinned to the chest of actor Jeremy Irons.

breast cancer, pink ribbon, think pink, lit up in pink, Estee Lauder, Evelyn Lauder, global illumination

Ribbons had arrived. Almost overnight, every charitable cause had to have one. In fact, they quickly became so ubiquitous that The New York Times declared 1992 “The Year of the Ribbon”.

The stage was set for the breast cancer ribbon.

How pink got into the cancer business

The very first breast cancer ribbon was actually not pink. It was peach. And it was the brainchild of a 68-year-old Charlotte Haley, the granddaughter, sister and mother of women who had battled breast cancer (the disease is often genetic). These peach-coloured loops were handmade in her dining room and handed out along with a card asking women to campaign for higher funding towards breast cancer prevention. In the meantime, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation had been handing out bright pink visors to breast cancer survivors running in its Race for the Cure since 1990. These were, however, just mere stepping stones. To really reach its true potential, there had to be a unanimous symbol for breast cancer worldwide and then there needed to be a situation in which this symbol was the event.

breast cancer, pink ribbon, think pink, lit up in pink, Estee Lauder, Evelyn Lauder, global illuminationThe situation came soon enough.  In 1992, Alexandra Penney, Editor-in-Chief of Self, had an inspiration while designing the magazine’s annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month issue: create a ribbon and enlist Estée Lauder, the cosmetics giant that had fronted previous breast cancer initiatives, to distribute it in New York City stores. Breast cancer survivor Evelyn Lauder, daughter-in-law of Estée Lauder, went one better: she promised to put the ribbon on cosmetics counters across the country. The colour, as yet, was undecided.

Then they heard about Haley and called. “We said, ‘We want to go in with you on this, we’ll give you national attention, there’s nothing in it for us,” Penney explained in an interview, years later. “She wanted nothing to do with us. Said we were too commercial. We didn’t want to crowd her but we really wanted to do a ribbon.”

So, they chose pink. Almost randomly. Because, sometimes, semiotic symbols are born simply by chance or accident.

Think pink!

In the Fall of 1992, Estée Lauder handed out 1.5 million ribbons, each accompanied by a card describing a proper breast self-exam. They also collected over 200,000 pink ribbon petitions urging the government to push for increased funding for research.

The pink ribbon had arrived.

In 1993, Pink Ribbon petitions were delivered by Evelyn Lauder and Alexandra Penney to First Lady Hillary Clinton at The White House, urging government support for breast cancer awareness. Subsequently, President Bill Clinton signed a proclamation naming October 19th as ‘National Mammography Day’.

breast cancer, pink ribbon, think pink, lit up in pink, Estee Lauder, Evelyn Lauder, global illumination
Evelyn Lauder, Alexandra Penney and Hillary Clinton during the launch of a Pink Ribbon Campaign

Jumping on the bandwagon

Then Avon jumped into the fold. About two inches long, the original Avon pink ribbon (issued in 1993) was a formidable piece of jewellery – half pink enamel and half gold cast, winced in the middle by a flowering gold rose. In it’s first two years, the pin raised US$10 million.

Later that year, Estée Lauder introduced a heart-shaped compact with an enameled pink ribbon design, whose profits would go to its Breast Cancer Research Fund. The Susan G. Komen Foundation started offering a pink rhinestone brooch. Carolee Jewelry created one with a female runner in midstride, flowing ribbon in hand. Teddy bears, sports clothes, credit cards, bed linen, perfumes… name it and there was a version of the original Estée Lauder pink ribbon to match!

breast cancer, pink ribbon, think pink, lit up in pink, Estee Lauder, Evelyn Lauder, global illumination
Evelyn Lauder with some of her Breast Cancer Awareness products

But it was not all about publicity and profits. Between 1991 and 1996, federal funding for breast cancer research increased nearly fourfold to over $550 million. And after increasing for more than two decades, breast cancer incidence rates began dropping  from 2002 onwards. That’s not all: according to the American Cancer Society, the percentage of women getting annual mammograms and clinical breast exams has more than doubled over the last decade. Most importantly, it wasn’t just in the USA – the movement was worldwide and so were the results.

And while the pink ribbon was essentially an Estée Lauder creation, the company had no qualms about letting it be used by thousands of brands worldwide to create products that would increase awareness about breast cancer and bring in money for the cause.

Because that, after all, is the only thing that matters.

Weaving in the blue

In 1996, the pink and blue ribbon was designed by Nancy Nick, president and founder of the John W. Nick Foundation to bring awareness that “Men Get Breast Cancer Too!”. Later, a blue stone was added to the Estée Lauder Jeweled Pink Ribbon Pin to represent the 1% of all breast cancer cases that are diagnosed in men.

breast cancer, pink ribbon, think pink, lit up in pink, Estee Lauder, Evelyn Lauder, global illumination
The original Estée Lauder Dream compact now also sports a blue ribbon to represent the 1% of men who are affected by breast cancer

The light of hope

By the year 2000, Evelyn Lauder knew that someone had to start going further than pink ribbons. So, she launched the Global Landmark Illuminations Initiative to focus further attention on the importance of breast health and early detection. In its first year, 26 landmarks in 22 countries were lit in bright pink lights, including New York’s Empire State Building, Sydney’s Opera House and Italy’s Tower of Pisa.

breast cancer, pink ribbon, think pink, lit up in pink, Estee Lauder, Evelyn Lauder, global illumination
The Empire State Building glows pink

By 2010, 38 global historic landmarks had joined the project, including Esterházy Castle (Austria), Niagara Falls (Canada), Zappeion (Greece), Taj Mahal Palace Hotel (India) and The Peninsula Hotel (Hong Kong). Pink had gone global and the BCA Campaign set a Guinness World Record entitled ‘Most Landmarks Illuminated for a Cause in 24 Hours’.

To date, over over 600 landmarks have been illuminated across 70 countries. And even though a few detractors question the effectiveness of this campaign, the fact remains that Estée Lauder has managed to link the colour pink with breast cancer so effectively that worldwide, when you see a pink-hued building looming on the horizon, it makes you pause. And think. And maybe take that life saving mammography test.

And that, in the truest sense is the achievement of ‘pink’ and the women who brought this lethal disease – which affects everyone yet was spoken about by none due to social and cultural constraints – into the global limelight. With every single woman (or man) who defeats breast cancer, the campaign gains a victory. So, go and visit the part of your city that has become a beacon for this glowing cause. Pause for a minute and think of all those who have gone before. And then take that test. TODAY.

Will you?

Get the Look: Priyanka Chopra in Teri Meri Kahaani (1960: Rukhsar)

In the space of half a century, India had changed almost beyond recognition. Teri Meri Kahaani looks at the first half of the 1960s, which was the era of non-conformity, rebellion and youth. It was also the era of colours for Bollywood, with black & white movies getting rapidly phased out. Films – especially those anchored by Mumtaz, Saira Banu, Asha Parekh, Sharmila Tagore, Dev Anand and Shashi Kapoor – were a major influence on fashion and Bollywood actresses were the sexiest ever!

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Hence, it is fitting that Priyanka consulted Saira Banu to get the part right, while Manish turned to Asha Parekh. The first aspect they discovered: there was a certain properness about the 60s in India, tehzeeb (manners) were important, the clothes were sharp and formal. This was the time of the stylish short kameez with churidaar pyjamas and fitted saris in shimmering, sparkling hues. Add to this the beehives, the Sharmila Tagore hair, the winged tip cat’s eye makeup and what you had were young, stylish, women who were contemporary and yet retained a uniquely Indian charisma.

On the makeup front, the deep red lips of the ’40s and ’50s were no longer fashionable. With the addition of titanium to their lipsticks, Max Factor were bringing out pastel pearly-pink shades. These soon caught on with young girls who initially wore the colours because they were acceptable to parents but the trend stuck and spread. Instead, big, dramatic eyes became the ultimate fashion ploy: winged liner was everywhere (just as it is now, in the summer of 2012!) and mascara became a vital component; preferably so thickly applied that the lashes clumped together in spikes.

  • Creating the vintage look starts with a full coverage foundation – like Makeup Forever’s HD formulation. Put a primer underneath and use concealers where needed, especially in the under-eye area.
  • Use a finishing powder over your foundation to set and ensure it stays matte – MAC’s Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder does a great job.
  • Then comes the wing tip ‘Cat’s Eye’. For this you will need an angled makeup brush (like MAC #266) and a gel liner or a liquid liner – I can personally vouch for Makeup Forever’s Aqua Black Waterproof Cream Eye Shadow.
  • Start by figuring out where you want the wing tip to end on the outer corner of your eye. Use the end of your eyebrow as a guide for placement: the end of the tip should be in line with the end of your eyebrow.
  • Draw a line from the inner corner of your eye to the end of the tip, and fill in the space with the liner, getting right to the base of your lashes. In creating this line, you can either follow the shape of your eye, in which case the “wing” may be more pronounced, or you can take your liner in a fairly straight line to meet the tip. In this case, the line will be more dramatic. [Tip: Use a pencil to sketch out the line – they are more forgiving. When you are happy, with the shape, trace over it with the liquid liner or the gel liner.]
  • Ideally, leave the bottom lash bare. However, if that makes you seem washed out, just smudge a charcoal eye shadow close to the lash line.
  • Add two coats of black mascara on curled lashes.
  • Bring out a dusky pink blush for your cheeks.
  • Finish off with a nude or baby pink lipstick. I like MAC’s Hug Me and Chanels’ Rouge Allure in Confidentielle for this look.

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LG launches world’s first refrigerated cosmetics

Looking for skincare that’s 100% free of parabens, phenoxyethanol and any other kinds of preservatives yet is stable enough to have a long shelf life? LG – the famed Korean home appliances company – is all set to debut Frostine, the world’s ‘refrigerated 5℃ skincare’ collection. Known as ICEMETIC (ICE + CosMETIC), this new generation of refrigerated beauty goodies will also contain no colouring, no preservatives nor antiseptics, no fragrance, no heavy metals and will completely rely on temperature for product stabilisation.

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From Antarctica to the world

This is the first commercially available skincare collection that tackles the main problem for natural or preservative-free cosmetics: Ingredients such as oxygen and antioxidants are sensitive to heat and light, usually decomposing within a few days in the absence of chemical preservatives. LG joined hands with the Korea Polar Research Institute to solve this problem. The result? A new patented nontoxic antioxidant called Ramalin, which is based on the Antarctic Lichen.

This Antartic Lichen is found 2,500m below sea level, lives in extreme cold, dry and frugal conditions (–100°C) and has a microscopically slow growth rate of 1 cm every 100 years. Given its natural environment, the plant has undergone a number of adaptations that enables it to survive, including the ability to net photosynthesis while being frozen at temperatures as low as –20°C. It can also absorb water from snow and ice, while being able to survive long, unfavourable periods of drought in a dry and inactive state.

And that’s not all it does: Ramalin is scientifically proven to be 1.2 times more potent than ascorbic acid in scavenging free radicals and 1.25 times more potent than commercial kojic acid in tackling hyper-pigmentation.

The need for refrigeration

It’s not been an easy journey: LG has invested a lot of time and money on the development of Frostine, including the setting up of an entirely separate facility to prevent contamination and finding innovative ways of packaging and distribution (due to the need of maintaining low temperatures).

LG, refrigerated cosmetics, fridge, cosmetics, beauty, skincare, icematic, frostine, ramalinFrostine products are only activated at a low temperature and are best stored between 3℃ to 10℃ degrees. But you don’t need to invest in a special unit to store these products – the cosmetics are designed to fit conveniently into normal household refrigerators that are tuned to about 10℃ degrees. LG has designed a airless container that prevents the entry of food odours and keep the products clean and hygienic. The life expectancy of the products is around 6 weeks after the first use. If unopened, they can be kept in the fridge for about 6 months.

They will be released to the public in major departmental stores and online stores starting late May. So, stay tuned!

The Frostine product lineup

  • Toner (3 versions – fresh, moist and astringent-free)
  • Essence (5 versions – Nutritive, Calming & Comfort, Whitening, Pore Tightening, Lifting and Anti-swelling)
  • Cream (3 versions)
  • Eye Cream
  • Special Care Products (Masks, Oil Balm and so on)

What do you think? Will this define a new era in natural, preservative-free cosmetics? Or is it a flash-in-the-pan gimmick that will fizzle out once the initial excitement is over?