For as long as she can remember, Bhumika Thakkar has been careful to take care of her skin and hair, and has had a long love affair with beauty products.
"Makeup is an addiction, you want to hoard more and more -- nothing is enough once you are in love with the colors," says Bhumika, who's a Chartered Accountant by profession.
To share her love of all things beauty, the Mumbai, India resident started her blog, New Love - Makeup, where she offers product reviews, skincare tips and style inspiration.
Here, she discusses her blog as well as her skin and hair care routine, and offers advice on all-natural skincare beauty remedies. Read on:
Tell us about New Love - Makeup. When and why did you start your site?
I started New Love - Makeup in September 2010. I was searching something online and stumbled on one blog and saw two to three other blogs through that. Soon I was hooked.
I've always loved skincare, makeup and all things pretty. I was trying out a few products and thought I should share the reviews of them and also share some of the skincare tips, etc. that I personally use and work great for me so that others can benefit from it. And there it was, the start of my blog. Then it went on and on till today, and I hope forever.
What do you love about beauty and style in your hometown of Mumbai?
Mumbai is a humid city. One tends to sweat a lot, so minimalism is the key here. Light, flowy fabrics and easy, casual styles are what most people are into. It's the same when it comes to makeup; just a hint of kohl and lip balm/lip gloss is what people sport on an everyday basis. At weddings/events, you see people decked up nice.
What's your daily skincare routine consist of?
I cleanse my skin well with a good pH-balanced facial wash twice a day, followed by a moisturizer in the day or a serum/night cream at night. I remove my makeup first if I am wearing any. I also use an under eye cream. Also, a face scrub/mask once a week.
What do you do when you're really trying to pamper your skin?
If my skin is feeling very parched or dry, I would pamper it with a good cleanser and scrub at first, and then apply a nice mask followed by a good rich cream. I also love using my serums with essential oils at night.
What do you look for in a quality skincare product? What do you avoid?
I look for natural ingredients and essential oils to be in a good percentage in the formulation and avoid too many silicones, parabens, etc.
What have been some of the most frustrating skincare issues you've had, and how have you combated them?
Acne scars are the most frustrating skincare issue because they take a lot of time to fade on my skin. Exfoliating regularly and using acne and acne spot reducing products helps with combating them - especially products that contain sulfur, tea, tree oil, etc.
What about your hair? How do you keep your tresses looking healthy and beautiful?
Regularly washing and conditioning them keeps my tresses clean and healthy. Deep conditioning once a week and using serums after every wash helps keep them moisturized and frizz free. Also, I try to avoid heat tools, and always use a heat protectant spray when I am using heat even occasionally.
What are some of your favorite all-natural ingredients that you like to use to care for your hair and/or skin?
Curd is an excellent all-natural ingredient for the skin. The lactic acid in it acts as a natural bleach, which helps remove tan and even moisturizes the skin. The same goes for honey. I also love using Vitamin E capsules' oil overnight which helps in fading spots and scars, and it is great for under eye circles too. Extra virgin pure almond oil also works amazingly well for dark circles.
For hair, a combination of oils like coconut, sesame, almond, etc. and oiling my hair one to two times a week while giving it a good massage (which helps in circulation too) works for me.
What are your favorite DIY home beauty treatments?
A paste of gram flour, lemon juice, and a pinch of turmeric is excellent for the skin. I also love using sandalwood powder and Fuller's earth mix as a face mask. If I am feeling lazy, I would use curd or honey as mentioned above. Hot oil massage works beautifully for my hair. I also use an ayurvedic hair mask once every two to three weeks for the hair.