Artificial embellishments can only hide your flaws or enhance your looks superficially. Today, women spend so much time and money going in for cosmetic changes, but end up ruining their body, skin and hair. However, it’s never too late! Naturally Beautiful will help you pamper yourself with simple recipes and patio’s made from nature’s bounty. Make beauty care a part of your daily regime. The best part is that you need not look any further than your own kitchen to discover perfect means of having a radiant face, lustrous hair and flawless skin-so that you feel naturally beautiful.
Ambika Manchanda began her journalistic career three decades ago with The Times of India. Today she has more than a thousand articles published both in Hindi and English and has also authored several books.
Naturally Beautiful came as an inspiration from her daughters who loved to try out new beauty recipes made from ingredients that came from the rich and diverse natural habitat of India.
Beauty is not the special shape of the eyebrows, the length of the hair, a tiny waist or dainty U feet. It is more a way of expressing yourself, enhancing your physical assets and improving upon your drawbacks. Beauty is different things to different people. As the world changes, so do beauty concepts. How did black suddenly become beautiful? And lately, how is it that Indian women have taken all the top honours at the world beauty scene? Suddenly the world has woken up to the fact that beauty is not about looks, or colour, or about how to make up your face. It is much more than that. Its about being comfortable with one’s own body. Its about health and vitality. And most of all, it’s about the knowledge that I am beautiful, because I feel beautiful inside.
Being beautiful is all about lifestyle. Not the way society columns depict wannabes. Its about doing the right things, eating the right foods, and having a fitness and beauty regimen. To do the right things, one has to know what to do. This book takes a major step in that direction. It tells you how you too can be beautiful, with simple and effective directions. The remedies could well take you back on a nostalgia trip. We go back to nature and its bounty. It’s a fresh look at grandma’s recipes, and the kitchen. A plethora of beauty aids and treatments; easy to make and simple to use. And the results? Wait and see.
Oriental women from China and India as well as those from ancient Egypt were superbly skilled in the art of repairing the ravages of time. They made lavish use of flowers, herbs and resins for making applications and potions that made their skin glow The ancient art of make-up, face care, and beautifying the body were far more elaborate and advanced than today.
Shringar, or adornment, was considered almost a ritual for a bride. Traditionally and even today, at Hindu marriages the bride receives a beauty box from her husband. Today, synthetic mass manufactured vanity cases have replaced the ancient, adorably carved wooden chests or metal cases, once used by brides. Even the contents are mass products: a cream, a lipstick, a powder, and eyeliner and so on.. .as much as the purse permits. But in ancient times, the beauty box itself was a work of art. Much care was put into it and it was filled with all possible items for a woman’s personal adornment. Glass or carved bottles of attar (extracts or perfumes) of roses, jasmine, moral and many other flowers, containers of kohl for the eyes, others even more intricately carved or shaped containing abler (power) or missy (a herb) to redden the lips were lovingly put into the make-up chest.
Today women all over the world are using henna to disguise white hair and turn it to a reddish brown shade. In ancient times henna has been used not only to enliven the hair but also to adorn the palms of the hands and feet and even colour the nails.
Teenagers today eagerly buy the latest anti-acne and ant pimple creams at exorbitant prices, little realizing that the cure for these ills exists in their own kitchens! Women in India have used sandalwood for centuries for this very purpose. It has strong antiseptic qualities and softens the skin. Similarly, women in most eastern countries have used “chikni mitti” or Fuller’s earth, mixed with rose water. This is also popularly known as “Cleopatra’s Pack” in the west. It helps to tighten the skin, and is the basis on which facemasks are marketed.
Women in ancient times were very particular about removing unwanted hair. Thus ash from incense sticks was used to get rid of them. Lemon juice and sugar mix was also used regularly for this purpose. Today, women go to beauty parlors for “waxing”. Nothing changes. The future goes way back. Centuries back.
Women in India have always used herbs, fruits and flowers to beautify themselves, to adorn and enhance their good points. We do indeed have a wealth of knowledge as far as herbal and natural beauty aids are concerned. In fact beauty and make-up ritual in ancient times was more elaborate and state of the art than even today.
Exquisitely designed boxes and containers were used to store beauty aids. Historic evidence reveals that there was an intense desire for personal culture and body care. For instance, hair-drying pins of metal with intricately carved bases having devices for creating rhythmic sounds were used while drying the hair. These were very popular in South India. Among other objects of ancient toiletry articles, one can find slender bottles carved with tiny mirrors. Kankavat is containers for a certain red pigment, used as binds to mark the forehead. These containers had different forms like peacocks, musical instruments, elephants, swans, or mango.
Even the foot scrubbers found among ancient pieces were imaginatively made. These artifacts had a hollow shape and were fitted with tiny metal balls that made a rhythmic sound when used. Some other exquisitely shaped were containers for Missi, a herb to redden the lips; others contained different dyes to adorn the forehead. Carved boxes containing A beer were also included. A beer is a powder made from sandalwood, aloe, rose petals and a few grains of civet. These were powdered in a mortar to a very fine power.
Thus the ancient art of makeup and adornment finds no comparison today. In this jet age of instant cures, we look backwards to the glorious days when it was difficult to find an ordinary face, when women made it a point to look extraordinary.
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