7 Beauty Secrets To Steal From India, The Middle East, and Beyond
There’s something about learning beauty secrets from other cultures that makes our heartbeat quicken, which is why we’re sharing 7 beauty secrets to steal from the far East. We’ve already established that Asia is light years ahead of the U.S. when it comes to skincare technologies and innovations—but what about an area of the world where beauty secrets are passed down through generations, lovingly shared by mothers to their daughters? We’re talking about South Asian countries like India, Pakistan, and even areas of the Middle East. There, beauty rituals are more about understanding the importance of ancient, natural-based rituals that have withstood the test of time—because they work.
“Ever since I was very little, I remember my mother encouraging me to use natural things at home,” celeb makeup artist Kirin Bhatty says (she’s worked with everyone from Jessica Paré to Alessandra Ambrosio). “Of course, as a kid, all I wanted were the chemical-laden things my friends had—but now, as a makeup artist, everything has come full circle.” We asked asked if she could share these natural-minded beauty secrets, and lucky for us, she was happy to divulge.
Below are seven beauty secrets you should definitely steal…
#1: Rose water
“To this day, I always have rosewater in my [makeup] kit, as well as in my personal makeup bag,” Bhatty says. “I use it on [my clients’] skin by spraying it from a spray bottle, as well as on myself, as a toner, applied with a cotton ball at home.” She swears by its refreshing, softening, brightening, and toning effects. “Also, it smells amazing,” she raves. “It was something that the princesses and queens used way, way back.” She says there’s no need for fancy formulas—a simple, inexpensive bottle from any market will do the trick. Another tip? She says to keep it in your fridge, to heighten the soothing effect.
“Turmeric is amazing,” Bhatty says. Specifically, she mentions the skin benefits it delivers when used in a traditional homemade mask called Uptan or Ubtan. “You can use this mask at any time of the year, but it’s deeply rooted in Indian and Pakistani wedding tradition, as part of the beauty rituals for brides-to-be,” she says. “Before a woman gets married, the women closest to her will make this concoction and apply it to her face and body—it’s a cure-all that encourages skin clearing, brightening, and softening.” Click here for her secret recipe.
#3: Coconut Oil
When it comes to oils, Bhatty is a fan—but she didn’t used to be. “I hated oils as a kid—I just wanted to feel like everyone else!” she says. “But now, as an adult, I appreciate them, and am so grateful to my mom for making them a part of my beauty routine.” The oil she still swears by? Coconut. “Nowadays, it’s everywhere—but back in the day, it wasn’t,” she says. “Every other weekend, my mom would scoop out a chunk of coconut oil in her hands and warm it up by rubbing it in her palms. Then, she’d apply it to my hair and scalp and comb it through, and then I’d sit in the sun for about an hour to let it soak in.” The result? Long, thick, shiny, locks. “To this day, my hair routine is super simple,” Bhatty says. “I credit coconut oil to my hair’s health, length, and shine.” (Click here for even more ways to incorporate coconut oil in your beauty routine!)