Young women today have almost forgotten the concept of pampering themselves before their big day. There is a reason behind all beauty related rituals for brides to be. Solah shringar or the beautifying rituals, one for every part of her body, has been customary with brides since time immemorial. Plan out your skin and hair care routine at least two months in advance.
Most Indian weddings have a lot of importance associated with the feet and therefore the feet are adorned with intricate designs of henna and beautiful ankles but if you’re going to have cracked feet and yellow nails, I’m afraid its going to be quite a disaster.
Go in for regular pedicures well in advance so that you have a spring to your step and at home massage the feet with sesame seed oil every night to keep them soft and protected from cracks, if you have a hectic lifestyle soak your feet in the following recipe: You need ½ a tub of warm water, ¼ cup sesame oil, 2 tsp sandalwood oil, 2 tsp milk powder, 2 tsp oatmeal, 1 tsp powdered camphor. After soaking your feet in this for about 10 minutes scrub feet with pumice stone on which you have taken the oatmeal.
Avoid nail polish on both hands and feet for at least four weeks before the wedding so that you can let your nails breathe as well as prevent them from becoming yellow. Apply almond oil onto the hands every night before sleeping and twice a week apply the following: One melted candle, 4 tsp sesame oil, 4 tsp sandal oil, 2 tsp milk. When this has mixed well in a saucepan, paint it on the hands with a broad dye brush and leave on until it solidifies, be careful that you do not apply the wax on too hot otherwise you could end up burning yourself. Once it has solidified peel off the wax…
You if don’t follow the once a week massage routine than start to add ¼ cup of olive oil in your bucket of water and use as a last rinse after you have used soap. Most people do not realize the importance of the ‘hidden parts’ or rather neglected parts —breasts, buttocks, back and neck but I think that these are vital parts.
Exfoliate these areas with a scrub made from powdered almond, walnuts and china clay, mixed together with milk and sandalwood oil. Use a back brush and also scrub the buttocks, inner thighs, elbows and knees. This will smoothen out the skin and also prevent it from building up any dead surface skin.
Clean, tone and moisturize your skin regularly and above all know your skin type and before starting any treatment. Scrubbing must always be done in rotating movements but very gently. If you have dark under eye circles and late nights are a constant with you, massage your eyes with pure almond oil (mixed with an equal quantity of coconut oil and a few drops of lemon juice). Leave this on for about an hour and wipe off with a moist cotton wool pad dipped in milk. Follow this for two weeks. Add a lot of greens to your diet and drink at least 10 glasses of water everyday.
Oil your hair regularly with almond oil or a bhringraj oil that works wonders for the scalp and hair. Always steam your hair afterwards and use henna for that extra bounce and shine. If you don’t like tint that comes with henna then use the following a hair pack: —2 eggs, 2 tsp shikakai powder, 2 tsp amla powder, 2 tsp reetha powder, 2 tsp powdered fenugreek.
Mix it all up and apply from the roots to the hair ends. Leave it on for half an hour and wash off with a mild shampoo, once a week. If you have dry hair after shampooing, rinse out the hair with a litre of water to which you have added one tsp of honey. If you have oily hair, use beer after shampoo and rinse.
(Suparna Trikha is a beauty expert, specialising in herbal and organic cosmetic products. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org )