Beauty lies in the eyes of a beholder! How true this statement is as definition of beauty differs from person to person. We often here the term ‘natural beauty’; and what does this mean? It actually relates to the unadulterated beauty of a person. It is a woman without make-up.

Today, beauty has touched artificial levels. There are fewer and fewer people satisfied with how they look. The result being they opt for cosmetic surgery or then a closet full of beauty products. Very few women can be seen without layers of cream and make-up.

Beautifying the face with make-up is actually not a new concept. When you read Classical English literature you come across phrases like, ‘The lady is busy painting on her mask’. In fact one of the earliest finds of make-up was in the relics of the Indus Valley Civilization, where archaeologists found lipsticks and eye make-up.

In fact, make-up and other beauty products are regarded as an essential as the form a kind of a cocoon over the face, shielding it from the pollution and harmful rays of the sun. Sunscreens in fact is a must have for every age group. Even most lipsticks manufactured have moisturizers that prevent the lips from drying and cracking. Cosmetics such as rouge and eye-shadow do enhance one’s beauty if applied correctly.

However, beauty is defined as plastic when one goes for surgeries to correct the lips, nose, raise the cheekbone, plastic surgery, etc. Glamour queens in the modeling and acting industry, across the globe, have popularized these surgeries. While such ‘beauty enhancing’ methods do bring about magical results, they do have their own side effects. Many precautions are to be taken. It would not be going too far to say that life is not the same after a nose job.

While make-up and cosmetic surgeries enhance the face, there are other beautifying methods for the rest of the body such as silicon implantation for breasts, liposuction to reduce fat, colored lens for the eyes, hair color, body piercing and body tattooing, the list goes on and on…

How far can one go towards reaching the pinnacle of beauty depends on one’s desire. But then, Cleopatra was a beauty like none other and at an age when there were no provisions for artificial beauty enhancements. So, when going for any beauty rectifying therapy ask your mirror… How beautiful am I? ~ editor Karishma Bajaj. Copyright©

Beauty Category editors : Annie Zaidi, Sakina Kadiwala, Karishma Bajaj, F. Peris, M. Coutinho,


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From time immemorial, women have all over the world have yearned for smooth, flawless skin with no fuzz at all.Over the years, and in the more recent times, technology has helped make this a reality.  However, the word ‘permanent’ when it comes to hair removal appears to be a misnomer, because one finds that in this case ‘permanent’ does not mean forever!

For the purpose of definition – ‘permanent’ could mean anything that could last a few weeks, months or even a year.

What most of the permanent hair removal systems really offer is hair reduction, which lessens over time.  Most hair removal systems work towards the complete destruction of a hair follicle’s ability to grow hair yet again.

For those looking for permanent hair removal, the market offers a number of methods which are not quite 100%.  You could probably take a look at some of these options.

– Electrolysis has been proved to be clinically safe and effective.  It is a method where a hair-like metal probe is inserted into a hair follicle (ensuring the skin does not puncture) and an electric current is delivered to it through the probe.  It thus causes damage to the areas that generate hair.  The only disadvantage with this method is that it can be painful. Tedious and expensive.

– Laser hair removal is a method through which light is delivered at a specified wavelength from a hand piece into the skin. It targets the pigment in the hair and causes damage to the hair follicle while sparing the surrounding tissue.  This method is considered safe if properly executed.  The re-growth is usually lighter in color or finer in texture.  However, this method too can be expensive, painful and requires eye protection.

– Flash lamps/ Intense Pulsed Light is a process by which filtered light is delivered from a hand piece into the skin and causes damage to a hair follicle.  It has delivered fairly successful results, but has been found to be ineffective on unpigmented hair, and even on red and blonde hairs.

Added to that, improper treatment can cause burns, skin discoloration, which can last several months or result in patch/grid-like re-growth. The other hair removal methods are electric tweezers, photo epilators, and transcutaneous hair removal ways in which to acquire that smooth silky feeling even for a short duration.

The French Manicure is world famous with the influence spilling in India as well. It’s a neat way to groom your nails that is a hot favorite due its prim and healthy look.

The reason why this manicure is a rage amongst women is due its feminine and classy style. So what exactly is a French manicure and what is the procedure?

French manicure is a style of shaping the nails and painting them with pink and white paint.

The nails are basically shaped oval to soften the edges and are painted with a light pink coat whereas the tips are painted with a thin edged coat of bright white nail paint. One needs to be careful that the white edge is not too thick, which kills the authentic look.

Overall, the manicure gives a super-natural look and apt for all types of occasions, be it professional or social. Getting a manicure at a salon is the best way to achieve the proper look, but its very much possible to try it at home too. Though it takes some time, practice and patience to get it right, it’s worth the effort if you want to save the money.

Here’s how you do the French manicure:

French manicure Requirements:

·A mild pink nail paint
·A white shade
·French manicure kit available at a beauty store
·Nail polish remover
·Warm water

French manicure Process:

Soak a cotton ball in nail polish remover and remove the old paint if any.

Wash your hand thoroughly and soak in lukewarm water for a few minutes.

Gently push the cuticles back in place for evenness.

File your nails in a curved shape using the nail filer, scissors etc.

With nail clippers, beauty scissors or a nail file, shape your nails evenly.

Apply one coat of the protective clear base to avoid damage or chipping

·Apply 2 coats of the white paint only on the tips, preferable with one long stroke instead of breaking it up
·After the white paint is completely dry, apply one coat of the pink colour over the entire nail for a natural finish. For a bolder look you can use 2 coats.
·Its advisable to apply one more coat of clear polish for protection.

Some caveats to consider while applying the coats:

Ensure that the previous coats are completely dried else it might cause the next coats to smudge. For best results, buy a French manicure kit which has all the ingredients already plus some fake nails that help you paint the tips accurately by placing these over your original nails at an appropriate position.

It is advisable to have long and healthy nails to don the French manicure. Professional nail art technicians definitely can value add to your manicure. E.g. they may use fake tips for you depending upon your choice. They will offer proper treatment in terms of conditioning and robusting before applying the paint.

You can adopt a crazy theme depending on the occasion or during the holidays when socializing is at its peak. Paint the tips yellow and orange or get a Diya painted for Diwali. Going to Goa? How about a light blue and green to go with the azure waters and the foliage? There are infinite designs and colour permutations you can adopt depending on your imagination. So let the French manicure get an Indian touch and awe-inspire your friends to go for a similar look.

French manicure Expenses.
Well, beauty has its price and it varies within different stylists. They can charge anything between Indian Rupees 250 to Rs. 1000 for various types of treatments. There are ‘nail bars’ or nail salons that specialize in nail art and treatments in major metros wherein you can enjoy the experience of nail art while sipping coffee, so obviously they will be a little exorbitant.

From a career point of view, nail technicians must be qualified but unfortunately there are few courses available in India. The other options are to join a nail parlour, which has qualified professionals or those who conduct nail art classes. One just needs to ensure the credibility of the lead person. Also, it would be a great advantage to be creative and inclined towards drawing / painting as the profession demands.

Thus with women being more outgoing nowadays on the home front or business front, nail trends and nail technicians are hip nowadays. The onset of exclusive nail salons has given an impetus to nail technicians s a profession and they can start about on their own too. You can go to you Fairy godmother and get a makeover for your nails now!

How to remove acrylic nails ?

If you have grown tired of your artificial nails and want to remove them for a change, there’s a process to it. To ensure that there is no damage to your natural nails, one must undergo the correct method with patience and good care.

You have an option of either getting it done professionally in a nail salon or try an at-home solution, which is not too difficult to do, but you must have sufficient time for it.

Also, you must know that there are different types of acrylic nails viz. EMA, MMA, fiberglass etc. The process to remove all of these is the same except the time taken is different for each.

First, let’s take a look at the at-home process:

Don’t ever try clipping the old acrylic nails. It can be quite painful and can cause damage. The best way is to use acetone and cuticle oil.

Here’s how it works
·Apply Vaseline on fingers and cuticles

·Take a bowl of acetone to soak your hands in it for a while. It’ better to use warm acetone than that at room temperature since it works faster on the nails. You can warm it by putting the acetone bowl in another bowl of hot water. Do not ever heat the acetone in a microwave or on the gas stove. Acetone is a highly inflammable chemical and can be quite hazardous.

·Cover the acetone bowl with a clean towel to avoid evaporation
·Keep the fingers in acetone for at least 15 minutes if it is warm and for about 30 minutes if it is at room temperature. Remember, the longer you keep it, the better since the acrylic will wear off easily and faster.
·Once the water becomes gummy, (which is the acrylic melting off), you can remove the rest of it by wiping it off with the towel dipped in acetone. Do not try to remove the acrylic before it is ready to peel off else it will begin to harden again and you will have to undergo the entire process again. An alternative method for acrylic nail removal is as under:

·Soak a cotton ball totally in acetone (preferably use real cotton and not synthetic)
·Apply lot of Vaseline or lotion on all fingers to condition them
·Put one such cotton ball on each finger and wrap it around slightly tight with tin foil
·Dip all fingers if paraffin thrice.

This is a safe method for creating heat and there’s no problem if the acetone gets into the paraffin.
·Once the acrylic begins melting, apply some pressure and try removing the remaining acrylic and using a nail brush clean the acetone off.

You can even wash you hands thoroughly to get rid of the acetone.
·Remove the rest of the acrylic using a tissue or cotton

So, that’s the at-home method for acrylic nail removal. Just ensure that you use acetone ingredients instead of non-acetone since the latter does not help in acrylic nail removal.

Also read the instructions properly if using a nail removal kit. Another way to quicken the process is to clip off the extra artificial nail.

Since acetone can dehydrate the skin, apply lots of Vaseline or lotion again to regain the moisture.

As mentioned earlier, you can even go to the nail salon but check on the rates before you decide to do that. The process might cost you anything between Indian rupees 250 to INR 500. The basic method they use is similar to the one used at home. The key is to soak the fingers a lot in acetone for best results.