|Nadya at her Mehndhi|
Brides to Be – A Complete Beauty Regime
I made it a point to stick to natural stuff as much as possible for long-term results and to curb any side effects of chemicals, which could be disastrous pre-wedding. I took no facials, bleaches or chemical peels in this entire phase. Nor did I invest in any super-expensive high-end products, rather I resorted to home-made, natural products mainly and worked on my diet. The result was that the day I had my services (pre-wedding mani-pedi-waxing-facial package) at Natasha, the lady doing my services said you have baby skin and you don’t need facials at all! This boosted my confidence no-end.
|Nadya on her wedding day|
So lets start with my most sought-after regimen – the skin and hair-care routine:
I am a minimalist when it comes to makeup, and before my wedding, for about 6 months, I gave up using makeup entirely. There were two reasons for this – first I wanted to stay away from any of the chemical based products as much as possible and secondly, I wanted to look completely different once I became a bride, hence stayed sans makeup as much as possible.
So my day started with:
|Nadya’s Face Wash|
Cleansing: My skin is dry therefore I use cream based face washes/cleansers (if you have oily skin, you should use gel based cleansers). I tried a lot of local and high-end face washes but somehow I was never completely satisfied by any of the ones I tried. Some gave a stretchy feeling after wash, some caused pimples after few weeks and some just sucked all the moisture out of my skin. One day I randomly picked Himalaya Herbals Face Wash from Naheed, the cream one, having the least expectations from it but wow! It has become my regular face wash now. It kept my skin super soft/no stretchy feeling and never caused any break outs – the only two requirements I have from a face wash and it fulfilled both. The moisture is retained and my skin feels and looks supple.
Toning: I switched using between Nivea Daily Essentials refreshing toner and L’Oreal White Perfect toner and I loved both of these.
Moisturizing: I used L’Oreal White Perfect day cream as my moisturizer. Since I have super dry skin, essential oils work well for me. I add one drop of Argan Oil in my moisturizer and then apply all over face and neck. This is my ‘light up your skin’ oil, just apply it and TADAA, the glow comes instantly! This also improved my skin texture immensely! It can work wonders in reducing lines under eyes or around mouth and keep skin looking well nourished.
1. Tomato Face Mask:
This is the face mask I used to apply daily while getting my Ubtan done. (Brides traditionally get a fully-body massage with a traditional herbal paste “Ubtan” in the days preceding their wedding – see part B for more details of my Ubtan routine) The mask consists of tomato paste and 1/4th teaspoon honey. Take 3-4 slices of tomato and squeeze out the juice. Next mash the pulp into the juice with your fingers until you have a slightly chunky mixture. Add the honey and apply all over face and neck. Place chilled cucumber slices on eyes and lie down till the entire massage was done The key is to relax, loosen your body and take deep breathe and FORGET everything for a few minutes, just calm your senses! This mask worked wonders for me – instantly brightened my face, and the glow would last forever. It helped reducing a few dark spots I had and left skin super soft and supple.
|This gramflour and tumeric Face Mask is like magic|
2. Gramflour (Besan) Face Mask:
I used to apply this face mask every 4 days. This mask consists of 1 teaspoon gram flour (besan), 1 teaspoon milk, 3 drops honey and a pinch of turmeric. Girls! If any one of you wants an angelic bright complexion, this is for you! Try it and know for yourself. This will work as a natural bleach for your complexion, will even out your skin, maintain the moisture in your skin and will give you such baby soft skin you won’t be able to help touching it again and again.
I used St.Ives apricot scrub twice a week. This is such an amazing scrub. Works super effectively and easy on the pocket too!
For eye soothing and de-puffing, I used to apply grated potato for 15 minutes every day. The way to do this is:
Cut potato slices, grate it, take iced water and soak the grated pieces in it and refrigerate for a couple of minutes so they become colder.Lie down and put the grated pieces all over and under your eyes. After 15 minutes wash off with the same water.
Again, just relax, loosen your body and take deep breaths and FORGET everything for a few minutes, just calm your senses!
|Ubtan from Saeed Ghani|
The most religiously followed ritual for brides-to-be through the ages is application of Ubtan. There are many different types of Ubtan available and their ingredients vary greatly. I bought Saeed Ghani Ubtan and had my masseur apply it all over. She would come weekly or twice weekly at the start (6 months before my wedding) but once there were only 2.5 months left she would come daily to apply the Ubtan. The Ubtan mixture included Ubtan, sandalwood powder (Saeed Ghani), chambeli oil and milk. My masseur would apply it all over my body and massage gently. Meanwhile I used to apply the above mentioned tomato mask on face.
After the Ubtan was rubbed off, she would apply olive oil mixed with almond oil – equal parts – and massage all over my body. This helped in talking off any ubtan residue and soothed dry patches if any.
After I was done with massage, I would wait half n’ hour then take shower. After showering, I would add few drops of oil (olive oil or almond oil) in a mug with water and pour all over so the skin remains soft. I never rub my face or body with towel – I just pat dry. I would then apply body butter all over.
C. Foot care
|A weekly foot soak is great for keeping your feet soft and smooth.|
We often tend to skip taking care of our feet as part of our beauty regime. I used to my treat my feet to the following weekly therapy:
Take luke warm water, add shampoo and soak your feet for a good 20-25 minutes. Then wrap them in a towel . Once dry, apply thick layer of petroleum jelly and wear socks (even in summers, yes!) for about half n’ hour.
|Turn your foot soak into a mini spa experience by taking it out to a secluded corner of the garden|
D. Night Time Routine:
Before going to bed, I used to make sure I cleansed my face thoroughly to remove any dirt traces. Milk is the best cleanser I have ever used, trust me. Its natural properties can never match any inorganic product. I used to dip a cotton ball in milk and gently rub all over the face to cleanse thoroughly. Afterwards I would wash my face with my usual face wash. Once air dried (no towel drying) I would apply the following night time mask.
Mix one tablespoon milk, 2 drops honey and 2 drops lemon. (At times I would add a pinch of sandalwood powder too) Using my middle and ring finger, I would gently massage all over my face and neck, specifically around eyes and mouth. Leaving it for 20 minutes and rinsed of with cold water. The lactic acid in milk helps diminish dark spots, improves complexion and this masks helps curb pimples too.
After that, I would apply my night moisturizer, I used Loreal White Perfect Night cream (face and neck, never forget your neck while taking care of your face).
Finally, I would take few drops of Almond oil on my palm and using ring finger, gently pat it under and over the eyes. This is miracle oil for dark circles and puffiness. This will take away all the tiredness around eyes and leave eyes fresh looking and de-stressed.
On my lips, I would apply 1/4th teaspoon milk cream with one drop of glycerin. This will bring natural pink tone to your lips, heal dark lips, eliminate chapping and leave with you with totally hydrated lips.
Later, I would apply glycerin and rose water mixture on my feet and hands so they remain soft and to heal any dry patches overnight.
E. Hair Care Regime:
Oiling: Add 5 drops of Argan oil in Almond oil and apply one hour before washing hair. I wash my hair thrice a week only.
Straightening/ Coloring treatment:
There were 2 hair masks I used alternately
1. Yoghurt hair mask
This mask restored the softness of my hair keeping them healthy looking. This helps tremendously in controlling oily scalp so if any one of you gets oily hair, this should be your HG mask!
2. Egg hair mask
– One egg
– 1/2 cup of milk (take 1 cup if you have long hair, mine are shoulder length)
– A squeeze of lemon
– Two tablespoons of olive oil
Separate the egg whites and egg yolk. Beat the separated egg yolks. Add 1/2 cup of milk and two tablespoons of olive oil to the gooey egg mixture and mix well. Add a squeeze of a lemon to the mixture. Massage well into scalp, working from the roots to the hair ends, and let it sit for at least fifteen minutes. Cover with a shower cap
Using lukewarm or cold water, rinse very well and effectively, tackling all areas of your scalp to get rid of egg bits. Use a shampoo to make a final cleanse of your hair. This mask helped restoring my hair moisture and luster tremendously
F. Diet Plan:
Since I was skinny, (40kg) before I started my diet plan, my goal was to gain at least 8-10 kg before wedding. I wanted to have just the right amount of curves so I wouldn’t look “like a hanger” with such heavy bridals outfits on me. Also, certain amount of flesh is necessary on your face to look flattering in your pictures and videos. Most importantly, if you are on a heavier side of weighing scale, please, please never skip meals. You should NEVER starve yourself to lose weight as it will affect your face the most, making you look tired and wan. Plan your diet and add exercise to your daily routine to curtail your weight, paying attention to kick starting your metabolism.
Ok so for myself, I divided my 3 meals to a 6-7 meal diet that I used to consume every 1.5 – 2 hours. It went something like this:
1. Fried egg, cheese sandwich, whole milk with chocolate powder
2. 1 glass Ensure milk
3. In lunch I would eat any curry made at home with min 2 chapattis and lots of yogurt.
4. Banana and peanut butter smoothie with whipped cream (This will act like a catalyst to your weight gain diet)
5. 2 tuna sandwiches
6. In dinner – a serving of rice with regular curry plus one chapati
7. A glass of lukewarm milk
I also drank 1 glass of Apple juice daily, usually in the mornings. Every alternate day I would have fresh beetroot juice mix which included 1 beetroot, 1 apple, 1 carrot and half an orange. Girls! This juice was magic. It made my cheeks and lips pinkish red and I loved it plus it’s amazing for cleansing your kidneys and reducing of dark circles too. It’s a must for everyone.
Apart from this I made a jar of nuts – mixed peanuts, raisins, almonds, cashews and pistachios. I kept on munching these all the time as dry fruits help gain considerable weight and have amazing properties for reconstructing your skin. And viola, I touched my target weight by the end of December 2013
This was the first time I tried yoga and the amount of inner peace and calm it brought to me was remarkable. I practised some surya mudras for half an hour daily during evenings, which were health and beauty related mudras. You can search Surya Mudras online and choose as per your requirement and practice daily to see some incredible results.
H. Shopping routine:
This is not a problem that western brides have but shopping for your average desi wedding is like a marathon. Here are my top tips for those interminable trips to designers and bazaars:
– Every time I used to go out shopping, I used to take 1.5 liter water bottle with me to stay hydrated - I used to carry my jar of mixed nuts so I could munch on them whenever I got hunger pangs and avoid junk food (I used to fail at times though:) ) - And don’t forget your Sun Block ever!
I. *A few not- so-random tips*:
– Keep a bottle of rose water handy, spray all over your face every now and then throughout the day
– Keep a lip butter/Vaseline with you all the time and apply immediately when you feel your lips going dry
– Never forget a sun block before going out!
– Make sure to add one pulpy/squishy fruit to your diet daily, it’s a must, mind you!
– Become a “pani ka keera” (a water guzzler) Drink as much water as you can. Don’t just depend on highlighters, that internal glow is long lasting.
– Don’t over stress, remember Allah (SWT) has His angels at work all the time, there are things He handles Himself , we cannot do everything perfectly. There will be few glitches here and there which are just meant to be, so relax. A few months after wedding, when you’ll look back, you’ll just smile and be amazed how everything turned out perfectly and how you were stressing for no reason at all
– Practice SMILING! Yes that’s the key, I promise. Not just on your wedding day but practice early so you don’t have a forced smile on your D-day. Even when you are disgruntled over your dress fitting or makeup bookings or there’s a glitch in venue arrangements DONOT FRET, just SMILE! The moment you put a smile on your face even in stress, the happy hormones are activated in your brain and you actually get the same feeling as you would get when you are actually happy. This does work I swear, try it now!
– MOST importantly, stay close to Allah (SWT). Pray regularly as it’s only Him who manages everything for us when we loose strength or find difficulties during the entire course of preparations. Offer 2 rakaat namaz-e-hajaat before leaving your house for salon on your wedding day. Pray that everything goes smoothly by His grace and you lead a blessed and successful life with your partner and be blessed with righteous offspring. Remember, as much as it’s important to make a memorable wedding, it’s more important to make a memorable marriage.
Phew! That’s it! Now I’m done writing this I’m quite flabbergasted myself that I followed this entire regimen quite religiously but trust me if you are dedicated you can do it! And this isn’t just for brides-to-be, any girl wanting to take care of herself, no matter when your wedding is, start from today, Things take time to show up actual results, so the earlier you start the better it is.
The writer – Nadya H. Sadiq is a fashion designer by profession and a beauty and makeup buff. She is equally passionate about writing, is a food junkie and loves taming pets. Follow her on Instagram at – http://instagram.com/NADYAHASAN
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How do I get in touch with the author?
Hye Amna, you can reach me at [email protected]
Which Argan oil did you use? Any specific brand?
This was Josie Maran Argan oil, purchased from Sephora.
Great !!! This is so phenomenal!!!That is very impressive information! I love it. You really did a super job with the Skin Care! I use to do buy online Skin Care as its time saving.
where did you buy the argan oil from?
This was Josie Maran Argan oil purchased from Sephora.
Great information. Thanks for providing us such a useful information. Keep up the good work and continue providing us more quality information from time to time. Fashion Beauty Tips
Hey, loved every bit of it. But what changes should i make if i have oily skin and bit of facial hair issue as well. The almond oil is AMAZING. Thank you so much for greaat information which is not available anywhere else. I didnt find anything close to this useful on internet. Thank you Nadyaa 😀
Looking forward to your reply.
Thank you for such amazing information. I didn’t find anything remotely close to this on internet. Nadya i just have one question, what do i alter the routine if i have oily skin and issue of facial hair. Looking forward to your reply.
thank you for proving us such amazing and useful information ,,keep it up 🙂
This is by far the best skin and hair care routine I’ve cone across. In fact it’s a holistic regimen! And when you mentioned that you weighed 40 kg, my immediate thought was that my alter ego wrote this 😛
I’ve been following most of the above routines diligently. I wanted to ask how should I use argan oil? Since a lot of shampoos are laden with SLS, SLES, parabens, etc so I’ve gone ‘No poo’ hence, I cannot use it while shampooing.
On an unrelated note, I loved Zindagi Gulzar Hai (I’m an Indian)
Take care 🙂
Loved the entire article till the end. My wedding is two months away and for last one month i have gone sans makeup and have stopped using any chemical on my skin. And results have been visible 🙂 I completely agree there is nothing more effective than natural kitchen ingredients for that healthy glow :))) Keep it up.
what is the desi name for argan oil – where do we find it in lahore
Karachist is amazing website and i always use this website to search any issue about beauty.
this was amazing, thank you so much for sharing it, but one thing I didnt find is how often should the hair masks be used, if anyone could help me out that would be great, thank you
Thank you so much for this amazing beauty regime, I have a question to as though, how often did you use the hair masks? Also, I love this beauty regime and it’s helping me a lot but I would like to give a suggestion to anyone else reading this post. Apply castor oil to the eye lashes daily as it Makes a huge difference in thickening and lengthening the eye lashes, I simply take a drop of castor oil, as it is a little thick in consistency and run it over my eyelashes with my eyes closed, some people like to apply it with eye liner or mascara wanf and apply directly to the roots of the eye lashes but from my experience it works great if the oil is on the roots and is also covering the hairs, very little oil is needed and it makes a huge difference, and there’s also the issue of teeth, either you can use a teeth whitening product or if you wish to take a natural and holistic approach, I would recommend oil pulling, thank you 🙂