Monday, January 30, 2012

Combat Swelling with a Frozen Metal Spoon

Ever woken up with swollen eyes, either due to fatigue or due to crying your eyes out? A quick fix to getting rid of that swelling is a frozen metal spoon!

Keep metal spoons in your freezer. When required, remove on and position the bowl of the spoon on swollen area of your face. Swelling should go down considerably!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pore Cleansing with Elmer's Glue

I recently read The Black Book of Hollywood Beauty Secrets by Kym Douglas and Cindy Pearlman. The book was an entertaining book that interviewed celebrities for their tips and tricks, along with their makeup artists.

Apart from a good read, the book suggested an easy way to clear your pores instead of using pore strips. According to the authors, if you use Elmer's Glue you can get the same effects as using a deep cleansing pore strip.

What do you need? Elmer's School Glue
What do you do? Apply a layer on your skin. Allow it to dry. Peel off.

I have to admit, when I first read that, it just sounded too good to be true. I immediately knew I had to try it because I have two blackheads--and I emphasize, exactly two individual blackheads--that just won't go away. And worse, they're not on my face. One is on my thigh and the other on my decollete.

I applied the glue, as instructed above, over and around my singular blackhead and to my pleasant surprise, it came out! I can't say that it won't come back, but it's nice to know that a simple white glue will do the trick!

I not only recommend trying the Elmer's trick before buying your next pack of pore strips, but also suggest checking out/purchasing The Black Book of Hollywood Beauty Secrets. Not everything is applicable to everyone, but you're bound to find some great tips!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Walnut Wonders: The Benefits of Eating Walnuts

My quest to keep wrinkles at bay has led me to consume a lot more walnuts and more regularly. 

Walnuts are a rich source of fatty acids and consume just one-fourth cup of walnuts can help you meet 95 percent of your daily omega-3 requirements. 

What's more, a new study from Penn State found that walnuts fights stress. Researchers asked subjects with high LDL cholesterol (a.k.a. “bad” cholesterol) to incorporate walnuts into their diets and found some pretty convincing evidence: In a matter of six weeks, subjects who incorporated walnuts in their diet had lower blood pressure in response to stressful situation and a lower resting blood pressure rate as well. 

That all said, walnuts are high in calories so the best way to reap the benefits without going overboard is to stick to a 1-ounce serving which would equate to a little under 200 calories. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cell Phone Acne

I recently (and by recently I mean 1.5 years ago) got an iPhone and ATT's dropped calls have been the bane of my existence, the pain in my ass and the zits on my face. The latter could be non-metaphorical!

Evidently, you should ideally clean your cell phone with antibacterial wipes every day (or at worst, once a week) in order to eliminate the bacteria on your phone that gives your face/cheek/chin acne.

When New Yorkers were asked by ABC what they thought was dirtier--a toilet seat, bottom sole of your shoe or your cell phone--the vast majority chose toilet seat. Reality? Your cell phone! In fact, your cell phone may have 18x more bacteria than a toilet handle!

It's estimated that half the phones in the world contain staph bacteria, which is responsible for spreading skin infections and meningitis. The germs come from your face and your hands.

Essentially, if you don't clean your cell's like you're rubbing a urinal on your face. Your call!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Numbing Brows For Grooming

Tweezing, waxing and threading are all painful experiences for me. So much so that I only manage to get my brows done twice or thrice a year. 

Threading is my method of choice for grooming my brows, but it's just oh so painful.

I always feel like I whine and moan a whole lot more about getting my brows done than the average girl. I like to blame my aversion to grooming my brows to my low tolerance threshold for pain.

Whatever it may be, I am always willing to execute any step that can potentially alleviate the pain that comes with primping my brows.

One super easy, cheap and efficient trick you can try is to numb your brows using a bag of frozen peas. It's pretty easy: Place a bag on your brow bone for two minutes to create a numbing effect.  

It really can be a bag of frozen anything; even a ziploc bag with ice. Just make sure not to directly apply ice to your brows because a wet brow is horrible for waxing/threading.

Content Source: In Style Magazine, May 2010
Image Source: Google Images, specifically here

Monday, January 16, 2012

Longterm Effects of High Heels

I LOVE wearing high heels. 

Even though my father was the one who encouraged my first purchase of heels (probably in a moment of weakness due to his growing concern over my lack of femininity), he never failed to point out that Winston Churchill's mother died of high heels and thus, emphasized how I should stop wearing them. 

Needless to say, within ten minutes of this article appearing on CNN, it was forwarded to my e-mail account with a little personalized note:
I told you heels are bad for you! Next time I come home, your heels better be destroyed or sold. Crazy Cow!
What daddy dearest forgot to do was READ the article. Here are the highlights:
  • Wearing two-inch heels (or higher) five or more days a week shrinks a woman's calf muscle fibers by 13 percent, on average. It also thickens her Achilles tendon -- which attaches the calf muscle to the heel -- by 22 percent.
  • For some habitual high-heel wearers, switching from stilettos to flats can be a shock.
  • Discomfort "will primarily occur in women wearing almost exclusively high-heeled shoes."
  • If you wear stiletto's, make sure to stretch to keep muscles and tendons strong.

Article Source: CNN Health
Image Source: FashionEtc

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tongue Cleaner

I always felt like an odd ball at school trips, sleepovers and other overnight occasions because along with might mouth wash, floss and brush, I carried a tongue cleaner.

It’s an upside down “U-shaped” metal device that you use to scrape your tongue, which eliminates bacteria and odor from your tongue. This was a key part of my dental routine because my parents had passed it on to me, and I guess it’s just something Indian people do.

Turns out, it is better than brushing your tongue. If you know an Indian person, ask them to hit you up with a tongue cleaner, or check out some local Indian market and grocers. If all else fails, a pack of six tongue scrapers are sold for $22 at

You really have to try this to believe this. Once you do, there is no going back.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

DIY Mascara Remover

I was very skeptical to try this because I've always read that oil-free makeup removers were the way to go. Imagine my horror (and surprise) to hear that olive oil makes a good eye makeup remover. Yuck!

But one of my best friends insisted I try it and after a week of experimenting, it's safe to say I'm a convert! Not only does the thickest and the strongest mascara melt off upon contact with olive oil, but it also moisturizes your lids, under eye and lashes.

Lashes are, after all, hair and the benefits of olive oil on your hair apply to your lashes too. Or at least, that's the connection I'm making. 

The best way to apply this is to pour a little olive oil on a cotton ball and apply over eyelid as you would a makeup remover. It's best to experiment with the amount of olive oil until you find the right consistency--too much is messy causing the oil to enter your eyes and too little can make the cotton fibers stick to your lashes. 

Image via Google Images

Monday, January 9, 2012

Threading Vs. Waxing

I have been getting my eyebrows threaded at Indian beauty parlors since I was 15. My mom insisted it's better than waxing and not to mention, more often than not, it's cheaper too. I've never had to pay more than $7 (including tip) to get my brows threaded.

Wondering what is threading? Threading is a Persian technique of facial hair grooming--which is popular in South Asia and China as well--that involves using a twisted cotton string to individually remove brow/facial hair.

The thing is, I have had my brows waxed before and quite frankly, it's a lot less painful. Waxing involves getting all the pain in one shot. You put the wax on, apply the paper, and BAM. Yes, there's more pain that one time, but that's it--you're done. Threading, on the contrary, is like torture to me. It's uncomfortable for me to hold my eyelid tight and you can feel each and every hair being plucked.

Yet for some reason, South Asian women across the world significantly prefer threading over waxing (or any other form of brow grooming). 

When looking over the pros and cons list (see below), I'm not really sure there is any significant advantage to threading except for the price.


  • Lasts 2-3 weeks
  • Hair grows back finer and thinner
  • Optimal for removing ingrown hairs
  • Ideal for those with sensitive skin since threading does not come in direct contact with skin
  • Can result in nicks on your skin from accidentally cutting your skin
  • Because each hair is individually removed, it is more precise than waxing
  • Last 2-3 weeks
  • Hair grows back finer and thinner
  • May cause swelling or tenderness for 24 hours after waxing
  • Can burn skin if wax is too hot; danger of wax in eye area
  • Chemicals in wax may irritate those with sensitive skin
Geech Classics

Image Source: Google Images, specifically here

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Makeup Expiration Dates

I ashamed to admit I have makeup in my drawer from 8 years ago and while I want to throw it away because it's old, I also don't want to because they're not even close to being used! 

In my defense, this makeup is mostly eyeshadow, but still.

Everything has an expiration date and so does makeup! Check out this video from Good Housekeeping that talks about makeup expiration (specifically mascara and sunscreen):

Below are a list of beauty products, how long they last, and a little tidbit on why you shouldn't let them expire:

Mascara: 3 months
Liquid eyeliners: 3months
Pencil Eyeliners: 2 years
Cream Eye Shadows: 6 months
Powder Eye Shadows: 2 years

Lipstick: 2 years
Lipgloss: 2 years
Lipliner: 2 years (or more)

Liquid Face Makeup: 6 months
Face Powder: 2 years

Nail Polish: 1-2 years
Sunscreen: 6 months
Hair Products: 1 year
Perfume: 2 years (but can be longer)

Skin Care:"Acne creams and other over-the-counter products that contain drugs are FDA regulated and usually carry expiration dates. But cosmeceuticals (products claiming to have anti-aging and skin-changing benefits) are not regulated, and once they’ve been used, they shouldn’t be kept for more than six months — or, if they’re in pump bottles, a year"

I can only speak for myself when I say that I definitely don't follow all these little guidelines. But rest assured I am going to be more cautious of anything that goes near my eyes.

Information Source: Here and here

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Story of Cosmetics

If you needed another reason to start trying out some of the recipes in this blog, then The Story of Cosmetics should do the trip. It's is a short film by Free Range Studios, in partnership with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, that raises awareness to what is really in all the cosmetics and beauty products we indulge ourselves in for the sake of beauty.

And honestly, it's not a plug or a fear tactic to create readers for this blog! It's truly frightening to think of all the toxins we're slathering all over ourselves! I wear eye liner on a daily basis--and have worn it for the past ::gulp:: 8 years. I don't even want to begin to think about how many toxins have come near my eyes.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cherry Stained Lips: About the Blog

Last fall, I got to meet my grandmother after four years. At 93 years old, she has thickest, shiniest hair I have seen on a woman over 50, let alone in her 90's. It was a shameful moment to see that my hair, thanks to years of unrequested straightening, was thinner, coarser and in such horrible condition in comparison to hers.

I asked her what her secret was and she told me she put coconut oil in her hair. A piece of advice that Indian women have been shelling out for centuries, that I have heard numerous times over the years, and most importantly, a piece of advice I never took the time to implement in my daily routine.

Earlier this year, I decided to give this not-so-secretive advice a shot. Women all over South Asia have been lathering their hair with coconut oil, just like Italian women lather their hair with olive oil. After a few uses of oil, I noticed that I eliminated the need for conditioner.

All this got me thinking of whether my beauty regiment needs a makeover. If I can save money and use organic essential products to achieve the same results as the chemical infested conditioners and beauty products--then why not?

I did a little research and found that the average woman spends $50,000 on hair products alone in her life time. $50,000!!!

That's sort of the goal of this blog. I'm trying to find beauty tricks to eliminate unessential expenses, find recipes for "at home treatments" for my body/hair and to test & report what works and what doesn't.