Beauty & the Brush

Naomi Campbell once famously said that she didn’t need plastic surgery because of her great genes.


Maria Saadat July 22, 2010

Naomi Campbell once famously said that she didn’t need plastic surgery because of her great genes, and the fact that well, “black don’t crack.” Most Pakistani women mistakenly believe the same; that their pigmented skin tone and the fabulous features of their mothers and grandmothers will save them from future crow’s feet.

While genetics do play a big part in how one ages, an important point many disregard is that the matriarchs of the 20th century did not lead the lives we do today. They were not exposed to the same chemicals in their food or the ever-diminishing ozone layer. They may have plucked, tweezed and primped, but didn’t pull all-nighters through college to attend raging parties till 4 am or fall asleep with their make-up on.

Women, we’re going to be honest. Being brown is not the panacea to aging. It may slow down the process slightly, but in this day and age, you have to take whatever measures you can to prevent yourself from appearing older than you are. If you are under the impression that leaving your eyeliner/mascara/foundation on when you get into bed isn’t a big deal, you are highly mistaken.

The chemicals in the make-up you use are drying and damaging, they don’t allow your skin to breathe, and they can and will cause premature wrinkling. If you desire skin like your grandmother’s, then you need to care for it just like she did, and an important step is investing in a first-rate eye makeup remover.

“Why can’t I just use face wash to remove my mascara?” Because most face washes contain harsh ingredients inappropriate for the delicate skin around your eyes. Also, as desis we are predisposed to reach for the darkest and strongest black liners. This means you need a remover that will work without having to rub and scrub the eye area (another cause of fine lines that should be avoided).

When purchasing an eye make-up remover, look out for a few key qualities. First, obtain a product that is right for your skin type, ie oily, dry, etc. An effective agent will remove cosmetics without tugging at your skin. Second, find a remover that is ophthalmologist tested - most of the big names are and will be sure to state as much on the label. Finally, if you wear contact lenses, be sure to buy an item that won’t irritate your vision.

A popular choice that is easily available at local stores is Pond’s Cold Cream, which contains a formula chock full of antioxidants and vitamins E and C. It’s what your mother and grandmother used - and it worked stupendously.

Many women prefer to use products like Vaseline, olive oil, and baby oil. These home solutions do indeed work well at removing makeup. But, be forewarned - Vaseline tends to leave the eye area feeling greasy, causing you to want to scrub the area clean and thereby defeating the idea of gentle removal. Similarly, oils can slip into the eyes and temporarily blur your vision, an annoying side effect.

Whatever item you choose, never rub remover into your lashes. Spread the product onto a cotton pad and then place it onto your lid. The product will work to dissolve the oils in your make-up. After a few seconds, gently swipe the pad away. If there are any remnants, repeat the process.

We realise carefully removing your eye make-up will add a few minutes to your bedtime routine. But, when you’re standing in front of the mirror years from now, we hope you’ll be inspecting your still-plump skin with pride.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2010.

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