An Autobiographical Top Shelf

This post is done in the style of Into The Gloss’s Top Shelf feature, which I’ve been obsessed with for about five years now.  So basically, I’m pretending I’m being interviewed by Emily Weiss on all the products I love, in my own home, complete with “professional” photos/selfies.  Fake it ’till you make it, right?

My routine is hard to explain briefly.  I’ll say this, though- I am not low maintenance when I don’t have to be.  There’s no shame in that.  I’m addicted to haircare, skincare, makeup, all that, but I really don’t afford myself much time to enjoy it on a daily basis.  I either want to spend an hour getting ready just the way I like, or I want to be out the door in five minutes.  All or nothing.  It’s part of how I appreciate beauty- I hate doing any of it halfheartedly.  One of my least favorite things is when I try to quickly wiggle on some mascara in the morning on the way to work and then it turns out all sloppy and incomplete by my standards.  It’s not worth it.  I’d rather bite the bullet and go bare.

SKINCARE

So, what I do depends on the day.  If I have time, I start from the bottom layer and work up, though I try to make the skincare thing happen every day.  I typically begin with a serum, and I’ve decided Caudalie’s S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum is the best.  I tried Shiseido’s Ultimune, but I like Caudalie’s better for the money.  It feels so fresh on my skin, sometimes I forget to put on moisturizer afterwards.  It’s been hard to pin down a great moisturizer for me because I’m always looking for something natural, but effective and with SPF that doesn’t leave a weird residue.  I’ve been using Origins A Perfect World Moisturizer these past couple months.  It smells amazing and has SPF 25.  I’ve also like Desert Essence’s Daily Essential Defense Moisturizer from Sprout’s or Whole Foods, but it wouldn’t absorb well when it was hot out so I continued my hunt.  When I checked out Origins, the lady helping me gave me a quick facial and she talked me into the toner from the same line.  I haven’t used toner in forever because I feel it’s unnecessary and drying, but this stuff felt tingly and actually left my skin moisturized.  There’s a lot of white tea in it.  We’ll see if I keep it up.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

For face wash, I alternate between Origins and Desert Essence, which is entirely made of oils and some castile soap.  It sounds basic, but there’s a ton of random stuff in it like bladderwrack extract and goldenseal root extract that I hadn’t even heard of before using it.  For a night cream, I’ve been using Acure’s for a couple years and it’s really rich with lavender and chamomile.  It’s very calming.  I think they sell it at Target now, but it’s been at Whole Foods forever.  For zits, I’m pretty faithful to Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion.  My husband loves it too.  I try to just leave zits alone for the most part these days; I find that doing anything to try and “heal” them just aggravates them or doesn’t quicken their disappearance.  Sometimes I’ll do a mask if I’m just watching Netflix late at night.  I’ll use Lancome’s Hydra Intense Masque.  It’s super cooling and smells amazing; I love putting on some I Love Lucy and having a late-night snack when I do a mask.  Best ritual ever!  I’ll also use Origins’ Clear Improvement charcoal mask for porous areas; the lady who gave me the facial at Origins gave it to me for free!  I like face wipes too, and my favorite are the Yes To Cucumbers kind.  I can’t tell you how many packs of those my mom has jammed into my Christmas stocking over the years.  I buy them in bulk at Target.

The one thing that’s still sort of a mystery to me is eye cream.  I like ones that are cooling and depuffing, and I like rollerball kinds best because they’re more sanitary than dabbing your finger into a jar of cream and then putting it on your eye.  Simple Skincare makes a good one, as does First Aid Beauty, but I don’t know.  I’m just not there yet.

HAIR

My hair stylist knows I’m a major product addict.  The funniest thing has been when I’ve asked him about products from lines that he uses before they’re even out yet or before he’s heard about them!  I read about hair stuff in magazines and then I want to go out and try it.  New hair products are what I get most excited about, so I’ve tried a lot but I can finally say I have favorites.  I wash my hair every three or four days, and I alternate between two shampoos.  I’ve been using Rahua’s shampoo for over three years now, and it’s pricey but I feel absolutely no guilt using or purchasing it because it’s so natural.  There’s really no soap in it.  It’s another product made up mostly of oils.  I’ll use another shampoo every other wash, typically an Aveda one like their Color Conserve or Dry Remedy.  I’ll try anything for conditioner.  I’ve been obsessed with conditioners since my late teens because I was always trying to find ones that would make my hair grow or repair it, but I don’t really believe conditioner does that anymore.  I’ve used one from Davines for a long time called Momo; I love it.  I’ll also ask for Kerastase samples from my friend who works at a L’Oreal salon because I can’t afford Kerastase, but their deep conditioners have the craziest reputations so I’m always desperate to try them.  I also like Alterna, mostly their treatments from their Caviar line.  They’re good for when I want to grow my hair out.  I use Unite’s 7 Seconds Leave-In Conditioner to detangle with a wide-tooth comb after I wash, but I think I like Bumble and Bumble’s Prep spray better for this.  I’ll go back to it after I run out of the Unite.  The Prep spray has hops and rosemary, the latter of which is good for lice prevention.  I work around kids, and lice is one of those things that you can’t really avoid if you’re in that environment.  It’s part of life, so you just have to do what you can.  Tea tree oil works well for this too, by the way.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

For styling, I’m a sucker for anything to do with texture.  Living Proof’s Instant Texture Mist is great for giving that pliable “chunk” feel that I love for hair, and I also like Bumble And Bumble’s stylers like their Dryspun Finish and Cityswept Finish.  If it mattifies, gives texture, or extends a blowout, I’ll try it.  Anything for the second- or third-day hair look.  I like Oribe’s Apres Beach Wave And Shine Hairspray too, though my hair does “beachy” really well on it’s own.  I love Oribe’s products for their scent.  And the best dry shampoo in the world is Klorane’s, hands down.  The non-aerosol kind has stretched out so much time between washes for me.  It can make your scalp itchy if you put too much on and don’t brush it out, but it’s still the best.  The drugstore kinds suck.  If I want a smooth or blown-out look I’ll use R&Co’s Jackpot Styling Creme.  The scent is intense but it stretches out my hair beautifully, and the effect lasts around three days.

I got into the R&Co stuff because my salon started carrying it.  I go to Salon 9 in Orange, and I’ve been going to Justin Kamm for nearly ten years!  He’s a genius.  He teaches workshops and is part of the cutting team for Davines.  We finally, FINALLY cut my hair past my shoulders just this weekend.  I’ve always had my hair long or mid-length, because I love long hair and I love playing with it.  I miss topknots and ponytails and long waves, but the bob that Justin gave me feels so right.  It’s good to do at least once, and I’m surprised at how comfortable I feel with it.  I feel reeeeeally French.  And the best part is, all those texture products work so well with this cut.  I still put a bit of wave in it with my Hot Tools iron, but roughing it up with some kind of product gives it that grit that I’m always after.

image3

MAKEUP

Makeup is tricky.  I’ve tried a ton, but over the years I’ve come to find that I’m actually really picky and haven’t tried quite as much as other people (which is encouraging).  Makeup is expensive, and I take forever to run out of anything so buying too much is a really wasteful choice for me.  I don’t use primer much, but I like BeneFit’s The Porefessional when I do makeup for brides.  It feels silky.  I like to use Clarins’ Beauty Flash Balm on myself and then immediately put on powder or foundation once it absorbs.  I prefer this to primer.  It sort of gives skin a brightening effect.  For foundation, I love Bare Minerals’ Original SPF Foundation because it still leaves a glow.  I don’t like a matte skin finish; I’m all about dewy skin and mattified hair.  The opposite feels too Vegas or Miss America for me.  If I want a liquid foundation, Lancome’s Teint Miracle is nice but I still haven’t landed on a favorite.  I just don’t think I like liquid foundation.  I even have a BB Cream that I like but I just don’t use it too often.  You can’t escape the feeling of liquid makeup on your face, which I hate.  I immediately want to take it off.  Concealer is nearly always Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Eclat in Luminous Vanilla.  I used to hate it, and I’m not sure why.  It’s the most lightweight formula I can find that still gives coverage.  However, I’m not too concerned anymore with getting rid of dark circles anymore because for some reason, I like them now.  They seem to give a touch of character.  A heavy concealer under the eyes looks too finished for me.  You need that bit of wear in your face.

NARS Bronzer in Laguna is pretty standard, and I’ll try almost any blush.  NARS has the best ones.  I’ve liked their creme formula in Lokoum for a long time but I think it’s discontinued.  Their other powder shades are bonkers; I love Exhibit A and Liberte.  MAC has a gorgeous one from their Mineralize line called Warm Soul.  It super pretty for everyday, but mineral blush on top of mineral powder it can make your skin look funny.  I like it on bare skin.  MAC’s Plum Foolery is also good; I wore it for my wedding day and my mom wears it, too.  I have a couple Chanel blushes too, but I hate to admit that I bought them because they were honestly just too expensive and frankly, MAC and NARS make better ones.  The Chanel ones have perfume in them.  You feel glamorous putting them on, but they’re a murderous, stupid splurge.  Spend that kind of money on groceries or not at all, for God’s sake.

Eye makeup is a journey for me.  I take forever to decide what I’m going to do with my eyes.  Eyeshadow feels like such a commitment, which is probably why I wear it the least out of anything.  It’s takes me a lot of time and concentration, and I always need to put shadow primer on if I’m going to do it because it makes such an undeniable difference.  I think I like purple shadows on myself best.  It’s just enough of an interesting color to feel special, and it does wonders for brown eyes.  MAC’s Sketch and Embark are good.  I bought the Embark because it’s the closest thing I could find that matches this special edition Victoria’s Secret eyeshadow I have.  Christian Siriano from Project Runway did a collection for them a long time ago and it included this eyeshadow that is literally perfect.  It’s matte, smooth, has amazing concentration, and is this deep purple-brown shade called Royalty that, of course, ended with the collection.  I’m going through it really slowly, but I love using it for smokey eyes.  A lot of that stuff with a ton of MAC’s kohl liner in Feline, and boosh- I feel like Catwoman.  If I’m really going for it I’ll use Urban Decay’s eye pencil in Vice, too, and smudge it out.  The best is when a smokey eye looks sweaty and sparkly, like a hazy night at Studio 54 in 1978. This pencil does that.  Oh and my mascara is pretty much exclusively CoverGirl.  I swear, theirs are the best.

Lips are simple.  I do very little, unless it’s something like a red lip.  I like lip colors that look like just a bit of something, because I usually like to focus on my eyes.  A lot of times it’s just a few swipes of Burt’s Bees.  Everything I like tends to be pinky-nude.  I’ve liked Dior’s Addict lipstick in Tulle, L’Oreal’s Colour Riche Balm in Nourishing Nude, and Yves Saint Laurent’s Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain in Nude Provocateur.  I guess I gravitate toward balm stains, or gloss balms, or all those hybrid formulas we see these days.  Nothing too lipstick-y.  An exception would be NARS’ lip pencils.  Those are brilliant.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Oh!  I almost forgot about brows.  I use one thing- CK One’s Brow Pencil and Gel Duo in Crafty Raven.  I like thick, groomed eyebrows, but I hate how many rules and standards there are with them these days.  They have to be perfectly shaped, tapered, filled in, not too thin, all that.  I’m not into it, and same goes for the contouring craze.  It’s just too much, too Kim with all the banana powder and shading and all that.  I’m not into tricks that transform your face into another face, though it’s cool that it can be done.  I like to look like myself, but with a bit of a wink I guess.  That’s the best for me, at least.  xo, MR

Advertisements

The Best of 2013!!!

How does one introduce a post like this?  I have a theory that you really shouldn’t even try, so I’ll just go with this- the following consists of my favorite and most significant beauty moments of 2013.  Some involve me, some don’t.  But this is what made the year fun, exciting, and especially peaceful when it came to beauty and all that it involves.  Enioy!

 

#1  Hitting my hair stride.

Last year, as regular readers know, I cut my hair into a blunt long-ish bob and colored it a deep, ashier shade of brown.  I did it as an inaugural celebration of autumn, but the problem is  … autumn ends.  And having dark, ashy hair during winter just did not suit my mood.  In fact, I’m not entirely sure when it will suit me.  I came to the conclusion in 2013 that I am a brunette with spackles of light, and my hair, at this point in my life, is meant to be long.

Growing it out has been a fun, exciting exercise in patience.  There has been many a “good hair selfie” (at least according to my taste), but it’s just been too fun documenting the growth of it.  I’ve used my favorite hydrating and restorative conditioners by Davines and Sachajuan along with my trusty Rahua shampoo just twice a week for extra health insurance.  Little scalp massages, just enough protein, and plenty of moisture have allowed me to avoid the dreaded in-between phase of uncertainty, accompanied by a desperation to just cut it.  It’s been a long journey, and I’m gunning for one to two more inches, but whew … I think we’re just about there.  And you have to understand, I know the hair fixation has probably been a bit much for you readers, but this has been a long process of really choosing to like my own hair.  I’ve always been okay with my skin, and I’m decently handy when it comes to makeup, but when it has come to hair, I had always wanted anyone’s but my own.  I feel that within the past year or so, I can finally say that’s no longer the case (even if I’m crazy about everyone else’s hair, still).

securedownload

 

#2  This person existing

Lupita+Nyong+o+12+Years+Slave+Premieres+London+Ar39rsZ-_Vmx

I don’t know where this person came from, what she was doing before 2013, or how she managed to fly under the radar for this long, but Lupita Nyong’O is Thee. New. Thing.  Her role in Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years A Slave managed to catapult her into the spotlight literally overnight, and once I laid eyes on her, all I could say was OHHHH MYYY GAWWWDDDD THE MAKEUPZZZZZZ!!!  Whatever makeup artist that took hold of this girl before her first appearance (or who knows … maybe she did it all on her own?) seriously put their foot down and must’ve said, “GO BRIGHT OR GO HOME.”    Lupita’s makeup has been nothing short of showstopping in nearly every picture I’ve seen of her (and I seriously pee my pants just thinking about awards season).  You know those ridiculously obnoxious, acidic shades of NARS eyeshadow or MakeUpForEver lipsticks or Illamasqua blush that have made you wonder who could wear this and why is this here?  Lupita Nyong’O, ladies and gentlemen.  That’s who, and that’s why.

Lupita Nyong'o+Miu+Miu+12+Years+A+Slave+Premiere+4

 

#3  Finally making peace with this haircut

Premiere Of Lionsgate's "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" - Arrivals

You may recall that last year, I was somewhat traumatized by the amount of hair-choppage that had been occurring among celebrities.  I felt frustration over seeing girls with long locks deciding to go the way of the pixie.  Of course, this had much to do with the fact that I felt I could no longer identify with them, as I so strongly identify with longer hair.  However, this year presented me with a few challenges involving liking and enjoying people that aren’t like me.  What a bloody novel idea, right?  So anyhow, the lessons and growth within these challenges trickled down to even the most seemingly meaningless things, like the acceptance of short haircuts on celebrities.  So when Jennifer Lawrence chopped her locks this past November, I made the conscious decision to like it.  Get over the fact that you’ll probably never do it yourself; a damned haircut on someone else doesn’t have anything to do with you.  Lessening one’s focus on oneself enables you to actually enjoy others, to actually be happy for them.  And so this is why I like Jennifer’s haircut.  Because honestly, it looks good and I just need to shut up.

 

#4  Going luxe with these babies

photo

This year was a year in which I chose to invest.  It probably wasn’t always necessary, but Sephora gift cards and some celebrity makeup inspiration will do that to you.  And honestly … I just love makeup.  It’s fun.  I’ll save on clothes, use the same laptop that I’ve had since 2007, but when it comes to beauty, I’m a sucker.  So what’ll happen is this- I’m an introvert in the sense that I tend to recharge with alone time.  On an afternoon where I’ll be feeling especially antsy, I’ll head off to Bloomingdale’s or some place like that and I’ll just wander through the beauty department (NK Space is particularly dangerous for me).  I’ll mess around with the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, play around with the Kevyn Aucoin, put some Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Foundation at the YSL counter, and try on the most expensive moisturizer I can find.  The SK-II “Try me” jars are especially exciting (at $250 per jar of “everyday” moisturizer).  Of course, I buy very, very little of it, but sometimes I’ll splurge.  These Dior 5-Couleurs Palettes are a couple of those splurges.  For the record, “Earth Reflection” is my favorite.  And they’re all seriously more fun than a box of kittens.  And if you know me, you know how I feel about boxes of kittens.

 

#5  Discovering this picture

tumblr_mg0hun2Lg91s25fbgo1_400

With all things being said about the acceptance of others’ hair, it’s still an admittedly good thing to find some true inspiration for your own.  For the longest time, all I could think about in terms of hair was Olivia Palermo, Olivia Palermo, and more Olivia Palermo.  Something about her hair seemed so wholly unattainable though, almost surreal.  I imagine that she gets blowouts every week, as many New York socialites do, and that kind of thing is just discouraging to us layfolk.  Comparing oneself with the privileged (or anyone, for that matter) can truly wreak havoc on your appreciation for what you have.  And so, I tried for a good while to give  up my Palermo obsession.  I had to really fight to love my own hair, you know?  And while on the road to recovery, I discovered this shot of Italian-French-Egyptian actress and model Elisa Sednaoui.  What struck me was the fact that I didn’t want her hair, but instead I felt that I sort of already had it.  Hers was just a little longer, but the texture, color, and thickness of it just seemed right on the spot.  Suddenly, I didn’t want someone else’s hair, but instead I was even more excited for my own.  Instead of comparison, this felt more like encouragement.

 

#6  Finally finding a home for my Hobbit feet

Fact: Mani-pedis give me anxiety.  I’m not kidding.  I can’t say I understand fully why, but there’s this- I have a fear of language barriers.  Real talk.  I get anxious when I fear that I won’t be able to understand someone, that the aesthetician won’t understand me, and that we’ll ultimately just have a shared, awkward experience full of silence and clinched teeth.  This has happened before during a nail service experience (or at least, it’s what I perceived to be happening, but it may just have been in my head which is so frequently the case).  When it comes to beauty services, be it massages, pedicures, or blowouts, I want the professional and I to feel comfortable.  Coming from the service industry, I get that the most fun, worthwhile interactions with customers are ones where you feel like you’re both human.  So consequently, I’ve avoided mani-pedis for fear of the awkward and for fear of looking like an idiot.

feet

The problem, however, is that my feet get kind of, um, janky.  See those remnants of polish?  This photo was taken in December, and that polish is from … the beginning of August.  Yeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh.  And I know I could take care of it myself, but honestly, I let it get to the point where my feet literally need to be left to the hands of trained professionals.  It’s bad.  And that right big toenail is really as jagged as it looks.  Like, Matterhorn kinds of jagged.  I mean, it’s easy to let your feet go in the autumn seasons because you’re wearing close-toed shoes and all, but sometimes, around late November, I worry that I’ll take my boots off and my feet will have sprouted bushes or something.  But the only place I’ve ever gone to have my nails taken care of is the place out by my parents’ home, just out of sheer fear of trying a new place.  However, on the day I took this photo, I decided something needed to happen now.

pedi

So where did I take my little Hobbit feet?  Oh, just the place right outside my apartment complex that’s literally steps away from my front door and that has awesome Yelp reviews.  Hi-Tek Nails, folks.  If I could slap a sticker on that place’s window that says “THE BRIGHT BLUSH SEAL OF APPROVAL!”, I would!  But that sticker would probably look more like a piece of masking tape with my writing on it.  Anyhow, the pro that helped me out that day is Christy (not sure how she spells it, so we’ll go with this).  She was amazing.  She was a human.  And I acted like a human.  We talked.  We laughed.  Like humans do.  I saw so many regulars coming in and out of the place with Christmas gifts for all the ladies working there; you can tell Hi-Tek has a loyal clientele.  And they were playing The Andy Griffith Show and Flipper on their TV!  I mean, can you imagine watching an episode of The Twilight Zone and getting a pedicure at the same time?!  That’s like, my heaven.

photo

Thanks, Hi-Tek!  I’ll be back, now that my Hobbit feet are out of their hole and on off on an extremely unexpected journey in some Birkenstocks.  And properly painted a glittery black.

 

#7  Teal eyeliner EVERYWHERE

nikki

Talk about a fast and easy way to change up your look.  I don’t know about you, but I saw teal eyeliner in every magazine, of seemingly every month, on almost every celebrity this past year.  We were adding it to our upper lids, our lower lids, or all around our eyes.  We were wearing it on more formal occasions, and on casual Saturdays.  We wore it as an edgy statement, or as a haphazard, last-minute add-on to spice up an everyday look.  And I loved it.

Alexa Chung At MOMA In New York 137195

I especially love that this shade seems to work well on everyone.  It’s so flattering, and it’s so unexpected.  There’s a girl that I work with who wears teal eyeliner almost every day, and I love that it’s the first thing I notice about her.  It’s like this extra little punch of personality in your look that feels so free-spirited.

Marion-Cotillard-Golden-Globe-Awards-2013-makeup

Even just the slightest touch of a darker shade of blue can work magic.  I love that the teal eyeliner is almost unnoticeable on Marion here, until you get a closeup look.  It’s like a hidden secret that just adds that extra half-inch to the whole package.  I can’t encourage you enough to give it a try, especially the next time you’re about to step out the door but still feeling blah.

 

#8  Reaching the end of my face makeup journey

skin

This is it.  This is the stuff.  I don’t really care about finding anything else.  I don’t wear all of this at once (obvi), and sometimes I only wear that little guy over there to the left (sunscreen/moisturizer), but mostly, I’m just happy with what you see here.  When I want to go the extra mile and give myself a little brightening mask, I reach for Clarins Beauty Flash Balm for a tightening and cooling effect.  I then immediately apply my loose BareMinerals if I’m going out and need a bit of coverage.  Sometimes, if I’m feeling a bit dry or want an extra glow-y look, I’ll mix Weleda’s Skin Food with Boscia’s B.B. Cream and forget the Aubrey moisturizer altogether (as the B.B. has SPF in it).  And typically I’ll apply my NARS Creamy Radiant concealer because my dark circles are pretty much Mordor kinds of dark (inherited from my dad’s side), but if I want something lighter in coverage and consistency I’ll go for the Yves Saint Laurent Touche’ Eclat, which I’ve also used as a highlighter.

And that’s it.  I don’t want any more searching.  I’m good.  My only skincare goal for 2014 is to add a serum into my regimen so I can start taking those first baby steps into the world of aging prevention and damage recovery (which for me comes in the form of dark spots and scars from years of picking zits).  But other than this, I’m done!  Achievement unlocked.

 

#9  Remember this person?  Yup.  She showed up to the Cannes Film Festival this year.  And you wanted to be her.

full-aishwarya-rai-eyes-1275912598

This, ladies and gents, is Aishwarya Rai.  She’s an Indian Bollywood queen with a huge fan-base, a former Miss World, and once cited by 60 Minutes as the “world’s most beautiful woman”.  Unless you’re a weirdo that’s only attracted to goldfish, it isn’t hard to see why.  The buzz about Miss Rai seemed to reach a peak in the mid-2000’s (from what I remember in the States).  But she then decided to go off and do the stupid, dum-dum thing called getting married and having a kid.  Ugh.  So not modern.  And then she stated that she wanted to take some time off from work so she could “simply enjoy motherhood”.  Um, excuse me?  What tomfoolery is THIS?!  You can’t take time off and ENJOY motherhood!!  That is giving away your independence!  You are MISS WORLD!!!  You get yo’ butt back to WEEERRRRK, Miss WORLD!!  No dumb baby should stop Miss WORLD from being Miss WORLD!!!!!

If you don’t sense the sarcasm here, I can’t help you with life.  And I mean it.

So anyhow, post-baby Aishwayra chose to take some time off from Bollywood, and in the process of pregnancy and enjoying motherhood, proceeded to gain some weight.  Like most child-bearing humans.  But what happened then wasn’t so human- she received widespread criticism from her fans and the media for not losing her baby weight immediately and getting back to WERK.    A commenter on the Daily Mail claimed, “She is a Bollywood actress, and it is her duty to look good and fit.”  Another said, “She needs to learn from people like Victoria Beckham who are back to a size zero weeks after their delivery.”

Yup.  That happened.

So fast forward to the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, a couple years later.  Aishwayra had been invited to appear at the glitzed-out affair of international cinema royalty, and the pressure to show up in her former supermodel form was ON.  So how would she look?!   Like the skinny actress she was just BORN to be?!  Would that baby weight be totally gone?!

Aishwarya-Rai-In-Abu-Jani-and-Sandeep-Khosla-Blood-Ties-Cannes-Film-Festival-Premiere

Nope.  Oh sure, the baby weight wasn’t gone, but instead, she showed up looking like a FREAKING GODDESS WITH A TOTALLY NORMAL PERSON’S BODY.  BOOM.

See, this is what I’m talkin’ about.  She isn’t nearly as thin as in her earlier days, but can you seriously even argue that it matters?  I’ve never been so stunned by Ash as when I saw some of these photos of her at Cannes.  She’s glowing; she’s regal.  Her face, body, and hair are full, and it just looks divine.  And I’m sorry, but that face is just unbelievable.  I’m not comfortable with the word ‘exotic’ to describe a particular look, mostly because we can’t truly seem to define what exactly it means other than ‘you are a desirable, tan object hailing from the tropics’, and so to describe Ash’s beauty, I tend to favor the word ‘global’.  She’s full Indian, but her features appear as if to be a mix of all kinds of ethnicity.  She’s got that all-over-the-world look that’s so interesting and different.  Pretty fitting for Miss World, no?

Aishwarya-Rai-Rocks-Cannes-Film-Festival-2013-In-Elie-Saab2

Yeah, that right there is seriously your quintessential HATERS GONNA HATE face.  Eat your heart out, critics.  And you enjoy that baby, Miss Ash.  Treat yo’self 2013!

 

#10  Making peace with no makeup on weekdays.

I have no image for this because the last thing any of us needs is another selfie #nomakeup.  So I’ll just use my words for this one.  I used to whine and complain about not being able to get my fanny in gear to the point where I could put on a full face of makeup for work every morning.  But I’ve finally arrived at the point where I’m okay with saying that that’s just me.  Makeup is for weekends or when I have the time.  Makeup is for when I can enjoy it.  Makeup is not a necessity (though the concealer, eyebrows, and lip balm can’t really be compromised).  Makeup doesn’t have to happen everyday, and that’s what makes it special.  Nice, freshly-washed hair isn’t a necessity either.  Sometimes a topknot and sunscreen is all you can ask of a Monday.  Or Tuesday.  Or Wednesday.  Or Thursday.  Or Friday before 5:00PM.  And that’s okay.  Just enjoy it for what it is, and don’t be a slave to it.

And these, my friends, are my favorite moments in beauty for 2013.  It’s been a good, challenging year of acceptance and learning to enjoy the routines I have rather than ache and yearn for ones I don’t.  I’m not even compiling a “worst of” list this year because there’s wasn’t anything that got me too irked anyhow!  It’s been a great year, and let’s keep in up in the one to come.  xo, MR

P.S.  Oh, and a total bonus #11- Thanks to new editor in chief Eva Chen, Lucky Magazine is totally on the comeback trail.  Remember how last year I wrote an entire post about how terrible it had become?  A year-and-a-half later and I’m thinking just the opposite.  Can’t wait to resubscribe and see Zoe Saldana on the February cover!  Woohoo!