Fairytales, badaam (almonds), sandalwood and neem leaves… that’s what my childhood memories are made of. And oil, lots and lots of oil – kewra for summers and mustard for winters – because, for our grandmothers, the answer to every beauty problem sat on the kitchen shelf. And then we grew up, became more cynical. The besan and malai went the way of the fairytale – hauntingly exotic, but not quite believable. The fact that most of these traditional recipes were messy and time consuming did not help matters in the 21st century, as prettily packaged, ready-to-wear lotions and potions tempted with scientifically proven claims and ease of use.
But today as Western science itself dips into India’s kitchen shelf heritage – turmeric is cropping up in sunscreens while saffron is used in illuminators – maybe its time to look at it afresh. Do these age old recipes really work? Is it all just magic? And can you fulfil your wish for beautiful skin and lush hair by dipping into the past? These are the questions I am trying to answer through Sandalwood & Jasmine – a blog that delves into traditional Indian beauty secrets and makes them relevant to contemporary urban women across the world.
I myself belong to the generation of 30-something Indian women who straddle both realities – we are urban and cosmopolitan, we love roaming the globe for cutting edge La Prairie serums and haute new MAC lipsticks, we love clubbing and partying, have demanding careers, are no strangers to mini skirts and hard drinks, and prize our independance above everything else.
However, come wedding or festival-time and I bet you that most of us will go through a sea change. We automatically discard our jeans-and-T-Shirt wardrobes for saris, lehangas and glass bangles. We turn to our traditions, to our mehndi, kaajal and sindoor, and actually enjoy following age-old practises (or most of them) that are only now being validated by science. And that’s what I love about being an Indian: The fact that two such diametrically opposite streams can co-exist for me. Its a rare thing to have the best of various worlds – touch wood!
So, keep reading… and keep writing to me about what you want to read! My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Hoping to hear from you!
IN A NUTSHELL
What are your beauty credentials? I have worked in the beauty industry for 12 years now – writing, shooting, assisting brands with product development and helping international brands find the right positioning in India. My last three jobs have been Managing Editor-Vogue India, Beauty Director-Marie Claire India and Beauty Editor-Cosmopolitan India, through which I have met, worked and studied with some of the world’s top skin experts (like Dr. Olivier Courtin-Clarins, Ole Henriksen, Dr. Jamuna Pai…), hair stylists (Andrew Barton, Kaanta Motwani, Trevor Sorbie, Charles Worthington, Guy Kremer…) makeup artistes (Laura Mercier, Gucci Westman, Pat McGrath, Tom Pecheux, Subhash Vagal, Mickey Contractor…) and photographers (Mario Testino, Helmut Newton, Steven Meisel, Annie Leibovitz, Patrick Demarchelier, Atul Kasbekar, Dabboo Ratnani…).
If my brand wants you to feature or review a product or service, how do we go about it? Just mail me on email@example.com with the product details and I will get back to you on whether it fits into the blog’s profile. If it does, we will discuss further logistics, like samples for review, pix, expert opinions and so on. There is no fees for reviews or placements – you will never see anything I don’t actually like in the blog for the sake of a buck.
How can we partner with your blog? Promotions, interviews, giveaways… the list is endless. Please contact me for details at firstname.lastname@example.org