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September 20, 2015

Confessions of a Beauty Junkie

Text by Nisha Jhangiani

Is following a beauty regimen a superficial waste of time or simply a way of preserving and enhancing the greatest gift you’ve ever received – you! There is a strong case for the latter

Hair wash and blow-dry.  French manicure. Tweezing. Paraffin pedicure. Oxygen facial. Colour and highlights. Trimming and shaping a layered haircut. Body wraps and oil massages. My monthly schedule reads like a frenzied loop of appointments and agendas, all designed to keep my hair, skin and nails at optimal vanity. I often ask myself this question though ­— do I live at the salon?

An errant grateful thought strikes: I’m reminded of the months I spent adding laser treatments to this already bursting-at-the-seams list, cursing the lengthy process of hair removal, only to finally reach a point where I am forever spared the archaic ritual comprising monthly sticky-wax-and-cloth-strips. Well worth the hours logged in, I say.

While others sweat it out at the gym every Tuesday and Friday evening, I’m locked in for a session to create bed-head waves. ‘Barbie’, as acquaintances have suggested, could well be my middle name. Additional shelves have been accommodated in my shower cubicle to hold my honey and sandalwood face pack, a Moroccan oil hair mask, an array of foot scrubs and an aromatic display of Neroli body oils. The three different under eye creams I’m meant to mix together and use on a nightly basis take centre stage so as not to be forgotten, God forbid.

There are many I notice around me, confident about their natural locks and compact-free faces, indifferent to the havoc that today’s pollution and stress will wreck on their visages. I bemusedly watch, sometimes almost envious of this alien-to-me nonchalance.

But I do draw my imaginary boundaries, all the same. Banging out ironed tresses with your self-help straightener? Great, if you can manage it, but do remember that moisturising serum is akin to oxygen in these situations. Baking in the sun on a beach without SPF? You may as well kiss goodbye to your skin in 10 years; there’s just no hope for you.

Maybe I overdo it with radiance capsules and Moringa powder shots every morning, in my bid to halt the ageing process without opting for anything invasive. For those who welcome the adage of greying and wrinkling gracefully, each to her own, wouldn’t you agree?

Honestly, I enjoy the whole shebang. There’s nothing more pampering for me than having someone meticulously wash my hair or cocoon me in a blanket of aloe vera and jasmine. A five-day fix at the Ananda Spa is the ultimate prize as far as I’m concerned. When my buffed and polished toenails are admired and commented upon, I happily pass on the contact of the pedicurist I have been religiously visiting for the past 20 years.

Women are such creatures of beauty after all. But beauty takes work and nurturing. I’m working very, very hard.

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