2020 in review: The year that was

Glowing up in 2020

“As the world shut down, I took solace in pots, tubes, oils, creams, powders and tools. I see beauty routines as a direct connection within, grounding and calming with every stroke.”   | Photo Credit: Tabitazn

When the country locked down on March 25, few could imagine that we would be fighting the pandemic till the year’s end. Call it research, vanity or a coping mechanism, but for me 2020 has been all about self-care. As the world shut down, I took solace in pots, tubes, oils, creams, powders and tools. I see beauty routines as a direct connection within, grounding and calming with every stroke. As a family, we faced illness, death, injury and unpredictability, but our wellness rituals remained unchanged. We saw them as the ultimate personal investment.

Having saved money on clothes and eating out, I spent lavishly on skincare. Day and night creams and cleansers for my retired General father, who now refuses to wear an AM moisturiser in the PM. Mother stopped dyeing her hair, (it had become a chore in the lockdown) but she didn’t enjoy going white. So I worked to elevate her skin with face massage, organic sunscreen (Coola), rosehip oil (Purearth) and eye cream (iS Clinical).

As for me, I swung from plant-based skincare to actives so potent they could burn your skin. I mixed kasturi manjal with red sandalwood, orange peel, honey and rose water to create a daily cleanser and mask. I also discovered the power of Tretinoin and how it can transform your skin even when applied as short contact. I sandwiched massages between active ingredients and DIYs, and followed the 10-10-10 technique created by Paayal Mahajan, the founder of Essential Body Couture Skincare, to which I added the last five moves of the Tanaka face massage to smooth and tighten my skin.

I added a sprinkling of gua sha, acquiring not one but two tools along the way. I found that ordering from Beauty Heroes and The Boxwalla is best to feed beauty obsessions. They deliver to India for a small charge, without excessive duty — but there are exceptions to this rule.

Though it may seem that I created an awful lot of waste, the opposite is true. 2020 is the year I stopped accepting PR gifts. From receiving three to four packages a day, I now receive as many in a month. Not only have I reduced both waste and the pressure from brands to post about them but, more importantly, I’ve become reacquainted with the value of money. It is easy to lose track of costs when everything is for free.

All summer, I also gained deep insights about wellness from the health and beauty experts I interviewed for my ‘Holistic Healing’ podcast with RedFM. Dr Gunvant Yeola, principal of the DY Patil Institute of Ayurveda, taught me that massaging sesame oil on the knees (15 minutes each) helps prevent and reduce knee pain and stiffness. Dr Joel Kahn, who is also known as ‘America’s Healthy Heart Doctor’, told me that one of the best tests for cardiac health is a CT scan of the heart. And macrobiotic nutritionist, chef and health-book author, Shonali Sabherwal, says that vitamin D is best taken sub-lingually (under the tongue) as drops.

Collaborating with others has been a source of meaningful, human contact in what could have otherwise been a year of solitude. I hosted and participated in several Insta Lives and webinars, and have generally been more productive and visible — even more than 2018, the year I launched my debut book. I’m now working on part two of the Micro Beauty Awards with Aishwarya Subramanyam, former editor of Elle and current hell-raiser on the ’gram. The first edition, featuring skincare recommendations from reliable beauty influencers, was so successful that we’re doing a make-up edition on Christmas. We only did it because we were bored, but this is more proof that beauty isn’t just gratifying, but also has the potential to unite people.

And what about 2021? I like to believe the online chatter, which claims that just like we had the roaring ’20s right after the First World War and Spanish Flu, we will again recover. If history indeed repeats itself, I expect some decadence and the opportunity to finally flaunt the results of my 2020 rituals.

Vasudha’s top 10 in 2020

Vedagiri Kasturi Manjal ₹490 on vedagiriherbals.com

Kama Moringa Oil ₹1,450 on kamaayurveda.com

iS Clinical Youth Eye Complex DM @isclinical_india

Wabi Sabi Dalmatian Quartz Gua Sha ₹3,000 (approx) on shop.beauty-heroes.com

Maya Chia The Super Couple Ultra Luxe Face Oil ₹6,000 (approx) on shop.beauty-heroes.com

Suparna Trikha Hot Henna DM @suparnatrikha on Instagram

Laneige Watery Sun Cream ₹1,650 on nykaa.com

Palmer’s Raw Shea Hand Cream ₹295 on nykaa.com

Vedagiri Neelibhringadi Hair oil ₹650 on vedagiriherbals.com

Retino A Micro.04% (only to be used after consulting a dermatologist).

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 6:41:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fashion/glowing-up-in-2020/article33419795.ece

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