Nothing looks as sensuous on a woman as a well draped saree. Most people believe that saree suits all body types and looks great on women of all ages. It's true, but only to a certain extent!
The whole truth is that the mid-riff-baring, curve-hugging saree makes for a striking and eye-catching outfit. If draped well, it shows off a woman's curves to perfection. On the other hand, if it is not styled well, it looks quite drab.
For this reason, wearing saree calls for special attention to aspects like skin-care, grooming and fitness. Why? Because, in a saree, many of the, otherwise hidden, body areas are exposed.
These include -
- Neck and Back
- Shoulders, if you wear a shoulder-baring trendy blouse
- Even your face and hands, not to forget your pretty feet, are in focus
- Well, for overall fitness, a tauter mid-riff, flab-free back and toned arms, you need to increase your exercising efforts. Get going with ab-crunches and bicep curls, if you wish to look leaner and meaner in your sarees.
- To reduce the flab around the mid-riff, increase cardio and aerobic work-outs. Also, perform Yogic breathing techniques like Kapal Bhati. Lift light weights to get rid of pesky love handles and muffin tops. Side stretches and leg lifts are great for getting a well-defined waist-line.
- Better fitness levels also translate to better posture. And, you would surely know that a great posture can translate to a majestic saree look.
- Enhanced fitness levels lead to better sugar metabolism and blood circulation. This improves skin texture and clears up break-outs, patchy skin and dark spots. So, trundle on, even if you haven't exercised properly in years!
- Awed by your favourite celebrity's saree style? Well, notice how more than their ensemble, their astute and sharp grooming, styling and make-up differentiates them from the crowd.
- You too can't afford to be slack on these aspects, in this day and age - and certainly not in a saree. Clear skin, clean nails, hair-free arms (and back, if required) and shiny tresses - go a long way in helping you put together a wonderful look.
- Hairy tales - Waxed arms are non-negotiable (unless, your blouse is full-sleeved, you must stick to this fundamental aspect). Sarees are elegant apparels, and hairy arms surely take away a lady's grace. Get your back waxed or bleached professionally too, if you have prominent body hair on back area. Same goes for your décolletage. Visible hair on your stomach and torso should, ideally, be removed too.
- Manicure and Pedicure - Neat, pampered nails, feet and hands can take your overall saree look from mediocre to suave. Paint your nails in a colour complementing your saree.
- Going Back-less? Or Sleeve-less? - Back-less and sleeve-less blouses call for extra grooming on the revealed spots. Fresh, hair-free under-arms and arms are a MUST! Get your back scrubbed and polished too, preferably to score a neat, shining look in a low-back blouse.
Dry, Dull Skin!
- Dry, flaky skin may not instantly be visible to you, but such troublesome spots instantly come under the scanner in a revealing outfit. Thus, don't forget to moisturize your bared areas, when donning a saree.
- Mid-riff, arms, hands, back, neck and décolletage (and your face) must be supple and moisturized well. Don't forget to gently rub in sunscreen too, if stepping out in sun.
- Pesky dry spots - Elbows should be the first on this list! Many women go to lengths to stylize and plan their look, but forget about this little detail. This can completely spoil your efforts and styling. Since you can't see your back yourself, you may end up neglecting it too. Don't!
*Plush Skin Tip - Eat plenty of good-fats, take Vitamin E supplements and ask your doctor to prescribe skin and hair vitamins. Cod Liver oil, Fish Oil and Flax-seed oil may also be consumed as supplements for great skin. [DO NOT FORGET TO GET A CLEARANCE FROM YOUR DOCTOR OR CHECK FOR ALLERGIES, before starting any medicinal herbs, special diets or supplements.] Aloe Vera gel is great for tackling dryness and dullness, and so is Ghee (clarified butter). You may also apply aloe gel on your skin, if you are not allergic to it.
Great Skin Matters...
Many women forget to care for their arms, neck, back and feet as nicely as they do for their face. They may get regular facials, but back polishing or manicures may not feature high on their beauty routines. Well, you can't afford to do that, if you love wearing sarees. Can you? Here are a few other 'musts' for great skin... everywhere -
- Eat a balanced diet, exercise and lead a good lifestyle to get rid of skin issues.
- Always use good quality toiletries and cosmetics.
- Don't forget to clean off make-up (even from neck, back etc.), before ending your day/ night.
- Avoid harsh sunlight. Cover up, when traveling or driving a two-wheeler.
- Pigmentation and dark spots worsen with age and hormonal imbalances. Arrest aging by leading a good lifestyle. Get yourself thoroughly checked, if you suspect a hormonal issue, including diabetes and hypo-thyroid.
- Dark lines and spots on neck, under-arms and back signal under-lying health issues, ranging from bad sugar metabolism to Hemoglobin deficiency. Be careful!
- Tackle insistent dull, dark spots on face, neck, arms, back or hands with expert care, based on a trusted dermatologist's and beautician's advice.
- If you suffer from arms/ back acne, and have deep, left-over spots, consider getting glycolic peels and laser done, but only if your physician and dermatologist suggest.
- Same goes for permanent hair removal. If that's on agenda, don't forget to take a trusted doctor or certified laser practitioner's advice. In such cases, price should be the least of your considerations.
*Plush Skin Tip - Reduce your carbohydrates' intake. Specifically, the consumption of wheat products and sugary/ fried foods should be curbed. See how this clears skin, within a few weeks. Meanwhile, don't forget to substitute with healthy alternatives like eggs, yogurt, gluten-free flours like Ragi and Chick-pea, veggies and fruits.
*Water Tip - Drink a suitable amount of water (as per your composition), through the day to keep your skin hydrated. Don't stick to the generally recommended glasses; your body may demand lesser or far more amount of water, basis its unique composition [and also as per the seasons]. Try drinking about 2-4 glasses of water on empty stomach, each morning. Besides other obvious benefits, this will also help you deal with skin allergies.
There are tons of home remedies for tackling relatively superficial or temporary skin issues, ranging from sun tan to prickly heat to dullness and dryness. Home remedies are also great for cleaning skin, removing stubborn dirt and reinstating skin's lost glow and moisture.
Many women routinely and effectively use home remedies to their advantage. However, they forget to use these on their entire body - generally focusing only on the face. Whatever 'face pack' you use, ensure turning it to a 'body pack' - focusing on exposed areas like back, décolletage, neck, back of ears, shoulders etc.
De-Tan - Apply cucumber juice, mixed with a few drops of lemon juice (if your skin is not too dry) to get rid of tan. Leave for at least 20 minutes. Mix curd with cucumber juice, egg white, chick pea flour and some lemon juice to make a heavy duty de-tan pack. Leave on for 25-30 minutes. Potato juice is great for reducing a bad tan. Aloe vera can tackle a sun burn effectively. If you have sun-burnt, flaky skin, apply slightly warmed (tepid) cow's ghee and leave overnight (Don't do this, if you have open pores, break-outs or acne).
Dark Spots - Potato juice is great for handling dark spots. You can also prepare a sugar scrub to get rid of dark elbows and ankles (or even back and neck). Take 2 teaspoons of sugar, add some honey and some drops of lemon juice. Using the lemon peel (of a cut lemon), apply this sugar mix to your trouble-spots. Rub gently till sugar dissolves completely. Leave on for 15 minutes. Repeat for a few days for best results. Milk, honey, egg white and cucumber juice mixed into a pack are great for dry and normal skins. Used tea-bags, rinsed in clear water and refrigerated for some time should be placed on eyes to tackle under-eye dark circles. Potato juice and cucumber juice too work well to lighten under-eye skin. Grated cucumber may be placed to cool down any irritation in eyes.
*Star Tip - Soak a few almonds, Charoli seeds (Chironji) and a tsp. of masoor dal (pink lentils) in milk overnight. In morning, make a fine paste and apply it to dried out, dark spots. You may add a pinch of turmeric powder too, if you are not going out immediately. Repeat for a few days. Works well on arms and back spots too!
Massage - Regularly massaging your skin is great for restoring moisture and adding a warm glow to your skin. Use mustard oil to massage your arms, legs, mid-riff, neck and your entire body, while bathing. You may also use coconut oil on problem area, or if your skin is too dry. Massage also enhances blood circulation, results of which will be visible on your glowing countenance and arms/ back pretty soon.
Follow the suggestions to flaunt a flawless look in your sarees, and see how the limelight courts you, wherever you go.