Lush gets emotional about makeup

Until now they have done it with the most gorgeously delectable scents. And textures. And “good” ingredients. I don’t know about you but there have been many, many times that I have found myself reaching for a grapefruit-laced Happy Hippy Shower Gel to banish the blahs or a patchouli-infused Karma Soap to help me focus. So, I was beyond excited with Emotional Brilliance – Lush’s brand new makeup line, which besides looking gorgeous also reflects the brand’s core philosophy of using natural ingredients, minimal preservatives and no-tolerance policy towards animal testing.

Play the colour game

I, for one, completely get how a beauty product is ’emotional’: wearing red lipstick makes me feel more courageous, pastel pink eye shadow is reserved for those times when I am in “pretty and feminine” mode and a deep slash of black eye liner brings out my inner wild child. That’s because certain colours have the capacity to make us feel a certain way. And it’s not hocus pocus – this is a concept that’s firmly rooted in science. This is what Lush has drawn upon for Emotional Brilliance, working with renowned Strategic Behavioral Therapist Lady Kennedy, who specializes in changing people’s behaviour and attitudes.

lush, makeup, emotional brilliance, color, colour, colour therapy

This is how it works: walk into a Lush store and spin the colour wheel (or you can do it online), picking the first three hues you are drawn to – not your favourite colour but those that stand out to you immediately. All the colours have words attached to them and the order you pick them matters as well. The first colour chosen is meant to represent a strength or weakness in your life; the second represents a subconscious need; the third is your talent and what you will need to achieve the subconscious need. Lush believes that if you wear these colours, you truly wear the word. Maybe this sounds a little crazy, but I like the idea that wearing a bold blue liner named “Control” can help me have a stress-free day. Placebo effect? Perhaps! But I am all for bright make-up when in need of a pick-me-up in any case!

lush, makeup, emotional brilliance, color, colour, colour therapy

100% handmade goodness

Well! That’s cool! But to me what’s even cooler is the fact that Lush has managed to put together a complete, highly pigmented colour collection made almost entirely from natural ingredients. For example, the Translucent Face Powder lists talc, mica, jojoba oil, iron oxides and CI77947 as the ingredients – not the main ingredients, the only ingredients.

Then there is the packaging, which is enough to bring a smile to my face all on it’s own. The cute, vintage-y glass bottles are in equal parts utilitarian and earth-friendly. The clear glass allows you to easily see the colour, while also being superbly recyclable. AND the black caps are actually made from recycled Lush pots. So, full marks on the eco-cred!

Lush Liquid Lips

lush, makeup, emotional brilliance, color, colour, colour therapy

First stop: the liquid lip colours, which to me are the best part of this product line. As per my colour wheel suggestion, I power up with Power (sorry for the pun) – a shimmery reddish-orange that goes on like whipped butter. It applies well, feels weightless on the lips and is intensively moisturising (it’s packed with organic jojoba oil, candelilla wax and rose wax) without being slippery. The pigmentation is amazing – one swipe gives full opaque coverage though you can soften the effect by layering it with a lip balm. The wear time is also pretty decent (I got about four hours) though you need to remember that this is not a stain, so it’s not fair to expect all-day durability.

lush, makeup, emotional brilliance, color, colour, colour therapy

Lush Cream Eyeshadows 

The bright yellow Lifted also goes on easily with the sponge-tip applicator. However, like any cream shadow, it creases pretty quickly on bare lids – so you will get on best with a primer. It dries quickly, completely setting in less than a minute (one needs to blend fast!) but once on, it lasts literally through the day.

lush, makeup, emotional brilliance, color, colour, colour therapy

lush, makeup, emotional brilliance, color, colour, colour therapy

An added bonus: the base contains a soothing combination of rose petal infusion, almond and jojoba oils, and cupuacu butter, all of which have amazing skincare benefits for the eye area.

Lush Eyeliners

lush, makeup, emotional brilliance, color, colour, colour therapyThe bright, shimmery teal Motivation is made with the same base as the cream eyeshadows, which means that it’s pretty blend-able and incredibly long-lasting (think heavy rain-shower and not one smudge!). Plus, the bottles hold 8g of product – normally liquid eyeliner is 2g – making them good value for money! However, at least for me and my clumsy hands, the quaint dropper handle makes the liner brush a little tricky to control, so I skip it and use my trusty Tom Ford instead.

lush, makeup, emotional brilliance, color, colour, colour therapy

Lush Skin Tints

Another product I am impressed with is the skin tint, which is designed to be mixed in with a Colour Supplement or moisturiser. However, it can also be used as a skin primer or a tinted base with its combination of simmered oats, almond and jojoba oils, cocoa butter and orange flower water that help remove unwanted shine while nourishing the skin.

lush, makeup, emotional brilliance, color, colour, colour therapy

I especially like Charisma, a bronze hue that leaves you with a nice, glowing complexion (almost like Chanel’s Soleil Tan de Chanel) and is perfect for contouring or warming up the skin.

lush, makeup, emotional brilliance, color, colour, colour therapy

Feeling Younger – an iridescent pink highlighter that’s pretty similar to MAC’s Strobe Cream – contains a “magic orange” pigment, which makes skin look bright and glow-y. It can be used as a highlighter on the brow bone and eyelid to really open up the eye; on the cheekbone for a youthful glow; or on the décolletage for a sexy shimmer.

Lush Translucent Powder

lush, makeup, emotional brilliance, color, colour, colour therapy

This, actually, is my least favourite product in the collection. Technically, the translucent light-reflecting face powder can be used over foundation to set it in place and create a shine-free finish or on its own to even out skin tone… however, I found it a bit too chalky and difficult to blend, so would deem it skippable. However, it does have the merit of containing absolutely no preservatives or mineral oils, making it a good bet for those with super-sensitive skin.

lush, makeup, emotional brilliance, color, colour, colour therapy

Lush Eyes Right Mascara

With only one preservative (most mascaras on the market contain between 4-6), this gentle mascara can be worn even by those with the most sensitive of eyes. It’s packed with wheatgrass to condition and nourish the lashes, along with Japan and Carnauba wax to help it remain completely clump- and smudge-free. The end result is a set of really fluttery and naturally full looking lashes – those aspiring to spidery ones should look elsewhere.

lush, makeup, emotional brilliance, color, colour, colour therapy

All in all, it’s a pretty solid collection. Does it catch your fancy? What colours are you drawn to? And which ones influence your mood the most? Do tell!

6 super-weird beauty tricks that work wonders

When you have been backstage at enough red carpet affairs and fashion shows, nothing surprises any longer. Putting cellulite cream on the face? But naturally! Getting into a bubble bath after making up your face for a party? Of course! Using Pepto-Bismol as a face mask? Duh! Here are some of the staple beauty shortcuts that I have personally seen in operation over and over again. And each one of them delivers fab results!

bathGet steamy to set your makeup

It sounds counterintuitive but almost every celeb I have met swears by the ritual of applying makeup and then stepping into a hot bath for 10 minutes (no bathtub? Stand near a hot shower!). The steam sets makeup, while the mega-dose of moisture makes skin look plump, fresh and dewy.

Dodge a double chin

Want to get rid of a pudgy chin in a jiffy? Rub a caffeine-rich cellulite cream along the entire jawline. How does it work? Caffeine, being a diuretic, will suck out all excess fluids and reduce puffiness. The effect will only be noticeable for three or four hours but that’s long enough to parade around a party or get through a hot date. Just make sure this stuff goes nowhere near your eyes!

pepto-facialA Pepto-Bismol facial

A tablespoon of the anti-acid Pepto-Bismol (or Gelusil or Digene) not only takes care of your insides before an anxiety-provoking event, it can also save skin. That’s because it contains bismuth subsalicylate – an antibacterial active agent that’s very similar to salicylic acid. So, smooth on some Pepto-Bismol onto your face, let it dry for 20 minutes, then rinse with plain water to help tighten skin, shrink pores and dry out zits. However, it  dries out the skin so use occasionally and not a substitute for a daily acne regimen!

Erase the acne

Have you noticed that celebs never look cakey on the red carpet? That’s not because they always have perfect skin – it’s just that they know how to banish even the reddest zit instantly. Instead of piling on concealer, they dab the spots with nasal spray and Visine (Clear Eyes and All Clear work just as well) eye drops. These contain vasoconstrictors, which shrink blood vessels, thereby taking away the redness and bringing down inflammation – the effect is akin to that of a topical steroid.

De-bloat with apple cider vinegar

Feeling like a bloated mess and nothing fits? Mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with half a glass of water and drink up! Within 30 minutes, the vinegar’s enzymes will slow down your gastric juice production and start flushing away the bloat.

Lash booster

Forget all those controversy-laden lash boosting concoctions – simply dab a bit of flax seed oil on your lash line every night. Flax seeds contain Omega-3, -6, and -9, along with B vitamins and lecithin to repair lash damage and stimulate their growth.

Holy & holistic: Discovering Ila skincare

Yesterday, I chanced upon a divinely gorgeous brand called Ila, which felt absolutely luxuriously fabulously blissful against my skin while calling upon ‘vibrational energies’ to soothe the senses. Developed a handful of years back by Denise Leicester, a Brit who came to India and fell in love with it’s culture, traditions and flowers, it offers up a sensual medley of fragrant floral and plant extracts, natural mineral oils and Himalayan salt crystals. The word ‘Ila’ comes from the Sanskrit word for ‘earth’ and there is a sacred place in northern India at the confluence of the Sarasvati and Drishdvati rivers known as Ilayaspada, which is considered to be extremely holy.In keeping with it’s name, the brand is devoted to the ancient practises that respect the sanctity of Mother Earth while calling upon it’s healing energies. According to the founder, “Everything in our products comes from a plant or mineral – nothing else.” But the brand goes even beyond the merely organic – ensuring an exceptionally high degree of purity in every ingredient. All the products are entirely free of synthetic chemicals and are crafted by sourcing the finest ingredients directly from local producers who cultivate and harvest the raw ingredients in harmony with nature.

For example, the Rose Damascena from India (below), which forms a core ingredient in many of the signature products, comes from a family that has been growing and distilling roses for many generations according to a centuries-old methods. The water is drawn by solar energy, then mixed with petals in copper vats and heated by natural fire-fuel. The spent petals are fed to the cows, completing a cycle that begins and ends with nature. The end result is a distillate of Rose Otto with a depth, a richness of scent that is so potent, I can smell the fragrance and feel it’s silken touch a full 12 hours after washing the Body Balm for Feeding Skin and Senses off my skin!

Similarly, the Argan Oil from Morocco (below) is made by a womans’ co-operative whose skills have been passed on down the Berber generations. It’s crushed, filtered and cold-pressed in the way it always has been, using many hands and just a few simple mechanical aids. The brand owners eschew middle-men, choosing instead to travel and handpick the “purest sources” by themselves, which lays the foundations for fair trade. The reason? “The purer the source and the process, the purer ila’s products will be and the more suffused with the earth’s natural healing energy.”

The products themselves are artisanal and hand-blended in an environment of peace and purity, accompanied by the rhythm of energy and balance-imbuing chants, in the English countryside. This is to imbue the finished holistic products with all the pure vibrational energies of nature that work in consonance with the therapeutic ingredients “to improve natural beauty through the health and vitality of our skin, to increase well-being through the transforming effects of energy healing, and to connect to a greater sense of inner serenity.”

The products have garnered a number of awards and are available at premium outlets across the world (including the Four Seasons Spa in Mumbai, which also offers up terrific spa rituals based around the same,  for the benefit of Indian connoisseurs). Prices normally start at approximately Rs. 2,000 (or 35 British pounds, depending on which part of the world you are based).

Lancôme Juicy Tubes B’Day Special

Lancôme’s iconic Juicy Tubes – the first-ever fruit-scented gloss in a tube – celebrates 10 hugely successful years this month. Their b’day treat to all of us? A limited edition version called Juicy Tubes 100% Natural Origin, whose glossy, punchy colours not only deliver a glam effect but also tone up your lips with honey-enriched hydration.

Lancôme also pays an ode to the environment with a special cover box made with an eco-friendly blend of recycled paper and cotton to compliment the organic delight inside. The fun graffiti on the tube itself is a creation by designer Yayoi Kusama who is a pioneer of the environmental art and known worldwide for her contemporary Japanese artworks. Happy b’day 🙂