Team P&B loves exchanging notes with fellow beauty enthusiasts. We know you do too ! So today, we’re sharing some gyaan and exciting new products we discovered.

The Low Down

Who : Vasudha Rai

Profession : Columnist for The Hindu, Founder of V Beauty and certified yoga teacher

Instagram : @vasudha.rai

Vasudha says, “I actually wanted to be a painter, and got accepted into College of Art, Delhi. It is such a strange story – towards the end of my first year I met with a terrible accident, where I injured my head quite badly (my head is still a bit indented). I lost my memory for a few days, but worse than that, I lost complete interest in painting. After college one of my friends told me that there was an opening for a beauty writer in Cosmopolitan. I was already writing for a website and another publication, so this really felt like the ideal fit for me. That was way back in 2002, now more than 15 years later, I’m delighted to be a part of the beauty industry, which is more ‘me’ than being a painter.

I was always into beauty – especially makeup. I was always sketching, doodling, and playing with my mother’s makeup. Even as a kid my favourite pass-time was to catch hold of my mother or granny whenever they were free and do up their faces. Then as a teenager, I would steal my mother’s makeup kit while she would be taking a nap and would love to recreate all the looks I’d see in magazines and television. At the age of 12 I learnt how to use eyeshadow, contour my cheeks with blush, apply lipstick – all things that my mother was mortified about. Now, looking back it all makes sense.

Image via – I dress for the applause

My skin type – Combination, with a tendency for hormonal breakouts

AM skincare routine – I begin my day by spraying some good quality rosewater into my eyes to refresh them (Purearth’s Wild Rose Himalayan Mist). My granny always said that rose water makes your eye whites brighter and I agree. I then do my pranayama and meditation (which is essential for that inner glow). I wash my face with a balmy cleanser – these days its the Oskia Renaissance Cleanser – so that I don’t dry out my skin. After that I use the Pixi Glow Tonic to as a toner, followed by Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic and Retinol Brightening Solution. I’ve been using some form of vitamin C for years and I find that has kept my skin free of pigmentation. If I need, then I’ll add a moisturiser (my favourite is Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream), and definitely some sunscreen (Dr Sheth’s Basic Brightening Sunscreen).

Image via – Hidden Harmony World

PM Routine – If I’ve been out for an event I like to use a good makeup removing balm (Clinique Take the Day Off Balm) with The Body Shop Luxury Face Flannel to vacuum every last bit of makeup very gently. I like to use some sort of acids at least thrice a week at night. I find that mild chemical peels (with AHAs, BHAs or lactic acid), really help clean out my pores. I don’t like scrubs, and this ensures that I don’t need scrubs to exfoliate. These days I’m alternating between Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel and Dr Jart Micro Milk Peel. On days that I’m not using these peels I use the Pixi Glow Tonic, which also contains 5% glycolic acid. I wait for a few minutes and then apply the Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic and Retinol Brightening Solution again at night, followed by a moisturiser if required. I usually apply the same moisturiser under my eyes.

Image via – Explore our way

Before a big event – I love laser facials because I feel that they deliver immediate and long term results. So I get either a laser rejuvenation or an anti-pigmentation laser once every two months. Sooner, if I have a big event. I usually take a package of six lasers which turns out to be far more economical. Also, I love face masks but not sheet masks because I feel like they only hydrate and do nothing else. My favourite masks are Purearth’s Mitti, which helps improve your skin in the long term, Dermalogica Multivitamin Face Mask, which gives you an instant glow, and Chantecaille Jasmine & Lily Healing Face Mask when my skin gets red and reactive.

Hair and Body Wellness – I don’t eat junk food, I drink at least three litres of water everyday, I don’t like the taste of coffee and prefer tea instead. All these habits contribute to good skin. But that said I don’t diet either. I don’t skip any meals and stick to normal Indian food, instead of going for fads. The only thing I do is avoid wheat and dairy, which has helped me tremendously. I also do yoga at least five times a week – nothing too hardcore like handstands because I don’t believe in burning myself, but just a solid, regular practice that keeps me healthy. I also love oiling my hair. This is a tradition we’ve all forgotten about, but just oiling your hair can make it thicker and shinier. My favourite is the Kama Brigandi Hair Oil. I also like to use Superna Trikha’s Hot Henna on my hair instead of hair colour. I’ll get a few highlights once in a while, but I prefer to stay away from full hair colour. My mother has severe hair colour allergy, so I know how harmful it can be.

Image via – The beauty lookbook

Makeup Favourites – I love makeup. Some of my favourites are: Guerlain Terracotta Bronzer in Brunettes #3 for the most beautiful sun kissed glow. Chanel Vitalumiere Compact Doucer – I just use this in place of foundation and it gives the most natural, clear skinned finish. All shades of Dior Lip Glow – it’s the most hydrating lip balm that leaves behind a beautiful stain. Le Volume De Chanel Mascara is my absolute favourite for thick, chunky lashes. I love red lipsticks, my favourites are: Tatcha Kyoto Red Silk Lipstick, Cle de Peau Extra Rich Lipstick in 311, Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Raven, and of course M.A.C Lipstick in Ruby Woo. In brown/nude lipsticks my favourites are Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in Angelique, Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lipstick in Coral, and Bobbi Brown Lipstick in Brown. I recently got the Victoria Beckham x Estee Lauder Eye Ink in Black Myrrh and this sooty, shimmery black eyeshadow is currently my favourite. Among highlighters my current favourite is the Hourglass Illume Sheer Color Trio, which has the most beautiful cream highlighter, peach blush, and bronzer. In my opinion Hourglass can do no wrong.”

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