Archive for the ‘beauty’ Category

When everybody is struggling to get a perfect figure by diet and visits to gym, I have often wondered how do these celebs maintain their stunning figure. Here are some which I found recently.

Megan Fox

Megan Fox

There must be easier ways to stay in shape than slugging back vinegar. Surely? Not according to Transformers beauty Megan Fox. “It’s just water and raw apple cider vinegar, and it cleans out your system,” says Fox. As simple (and revolting) as it sounds the medical community seem baffled as to what the benefits really are despite Fox insisting it is great for limiting water retention.

As with all of the diets in this gallery, we advise you to consult a doctor, qualified nutritionist or dietician before trying this diet yourself.

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston’s career has been defined by her haircuts. From iconic bobs to dramatic reinventions, every change has been front page news for tabloid magazines all over the world. Just as popular has been a fascination about what diet Aniston is on at any given time. Despite flirtations with the baby food diet and cucumber diets, Aniston seems to be a regular devotee of the Atkins diet. When the New Atkins Diet was published in 2010 Aniston was reported to be one of the most high-profile celebrity fans. New Atkins is a more relaxed version of the carb-centric diet that advises small portions of brown rice and pasta but still permits healthy proteins such as grilled chicken or seafood.

Reese Witherspoon

How celebrities slim down to their regulation size so quickly after having a baby is one of life’s great mysteries. Perhaps they’re looking no further than the kitchen cupboards. Reese Witherspoon is rumoured to have tried the baby food diet to stay trim. The plan is to replace your usual breakfast and dinner with up to 14 jars of baby food instead. These should be eaten throughout the day and a full meal taken at evening. An average jar of baby food contains less than 100 calories and thus represents a significant reduction on a plate of fried meats for breakfast. The diet is the brainchild of fitness guru Tracy Anderson, who is credited for sculpting the bodies of Madonna, Jennifer Aniston and Lady Ga Ga.

Drew Barrymore

A cup of coffee just to get you out of bed in the morning and a can of cola to give you an afternoon pick-me-up could actually be helping you lose weight as well. Drew Barrymore is one of a legion of celebrities said to be regular Diet Coke guzzlers. Obviously the caffeine diet only works as part of a controlled food and exercise regime, but we reckon it could work in two ways. Firstly a slurp of diet coke might be just enough to stave off sugary cravings when your sweet tooth needs a fix. Also caffeine is known to increase the body’s metabolism so a coffee before a trip to the gym might help you burn more fat during a workout. The key step here, of course, being the trip to the gym. A full bottle of Coke before a Charlie’s Angels marathon, however, isn’t going to do anybody any favours.

Sarah Michelle Gellar

More than good genes keep Sarah Michelle Gellar buff. She has a strict regimen of exercise and wellbeing. But when she needs a big push for a special occasion, Gellar is known to favour the cabbage soup diet. This is a one week intensive diet rather than a lifelong commitment to a new way of eating. As the name suggests it involves chugging back as much cabbage soup as you need to fill up your stomach, A few carefully selected vegetables and light grilled meats are allowed as the week passes. As a short term solution, it is reported to be effective in losing up to 10 pounds in a single week. How much of that is in escaped gasses we are not sure…

Kate Moss

Never in the history of paparazzidom has there been a photograph of Kate Moss looking fat. Even when she was pregnant. A professional model for more than half of her life Moss typifies the modeling world and the target body of many dieters all over the world. Known as much for drug scandals and rock star behaviour it should come as no surprise that she is a fan of detoxing. She has been photographed many times leaving the office of Dr Nish Joshi in London. Often labeled ‘Doctor Detox’ Joshi is an herbal practitioner and celebrity diet consultant to Moss, Patsy Kensit and Geri Halliwell. Kate Moss followed Joshi’s plan after the birth of her first daughter. The diet recommends avoiding sugary and ‘toxic’ foods such as wheat, dairy, citrus fruits and alcohol.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Like the baby food and cabbage soup diets, but with added taste, the fruit juice diet centres around swigging back mouthfuls of good stuff rather than stuffing in mouthfuls of boiled sweets and jam sandwiches. Gwyneth Paltrow tried a three week blast of the fruit juice diet back in 2009 and felt immediate benefits. “I feel pure and happy and much lighter,” the actress boasted to newsletter subscribers. “I dropped the extra pounds that I had gained during a majorly fun and delicious ‘relax and enjoy life phase’ about a month ago.” The trick is to make sure this is not a liquid-only diet. Fresh fruit juices and protein-rich smoothies should be a meal replacement for breakfast and lunch and a healthy evening meal should also be taken daily.

Christina Aguilera

Thousands of years of Chinese tradition and the recommendation from washboard-stomached gym bunnies have put countless celebrities onto the benefits of drinking green tea. High in oxidants and actively combative towards free radicals green tea is even thought to combat the effects of aging skin. Christina Aguilera is known to be a fan and used green tea as part of a complex weight loss program after the birth of her child.

Lilly Allen

For some stars losing weight is as easy as going to sleep at night, others have to work harder. For Lilly Allen it is a combination of the two. Allen credits her slim figure to the work of hypnotherapist Susan Hepburn. Under a hypnotic trance, urges can be diminished and the desire to eat fattening foods is tamed. No doubt you’ve heard of people giving up smoking thanks to hypnotherapy and hypno-diets work in the same way. Lily Allen tried the novel idea and became an instant convert.

Kylie Minogue

Pocket-sized Kylie Minogue seems to have the same figure now that she did 20 years ago. We can’t all be so lucky but her well known love of the GI diet is a signpost that anybody could follow. The glycaemic index is a measure of the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. It is also a handy go-to-guide of which foods you should and should not eat if you want to look like Kylie Minogue. (We’re expressly talking to you here ladies), Basically eggs, lean meats, oily fish and low fat dairy are all OK.

Victoria Beckham

Before she even left the Spice Girls, Mrs Beckham has been plagued by rumours that she suffers from eating disorders. She vehemently denies these claims instead crediting her slim waist to good dieting. “I eat really healthy. I love Japanese food, lots of fish, any sort of fish, any sort of vegetable, lots of fruit, that kind of thing,” she told Gordon Ramsay in a radio interview. A traditional Japanese diet consists of rice, vegetables, steamed fish and soy and the country has the highest life expectancy in the world so perhaps there is something in it.

Charlize Theron

If the idea of bingeing on cabbages or going under hypnosis is enough to make you want to crack open a box of chocolates, do not fear there are more sensible options at hand. Charlize Theron puts her enduring appeal down to eating small portions regularly and keeping up a strict exercise regime. “If I fancy a burger, rather than deprive myself I’ll have a quarter of one,” the presumably hungry star told Now Magazine. “I’m careful to eat a healthy balance of foods, but I eat six small meals a day,” she added in a recent interview.

Nicole Scherzinger

Former Pussycat Doll, Nicole Scherzinger is another celebrity that claims to be a regular grazer of six meals a day. She revealed to Star Magazine that whenever her schedule gets more hectic she will always switch to a six small meals a day plan. Scherzinger also admits to a love of chocolate, maple syrup and crumpets but they might not be the secret to her curvy figure. Psychologically a small and often regime can be easier than complete abstinence.

Beyonce Knowles

A diet does not have to mean eating like an image-conscious rabbit for a month. Beyonce prepared for her role in Dreamgirls by trying the maple syrup diet. The technique helped her lose more than 20 pounds in less than a fortnight and has been famous ever since. If you think you can live on little more than maple syrup, cayenne pepper and lemon juice for a fortnight then you too could look this bootylicious. But considering the diet revolves around shots of liquid with close to zero nutritional benefit extreme caution is advised if you want to get this look.

Heidi Klum

When we first heard about the New York Diet we got very excited. A fortnight of eating nothing but hot dogs, pizzas and really big apples sounds all right. It turns out, as Heidi Klum discovered to no doubt similar levels of disappointment, that the New York Diet involves none of the above and is actually the brainchild of celebrity trainer David Kirsch. The diet was devised for participants in the TV show Extreme Makeovers and is a strict low carb diet that eliminates alcohol, bread, sugar, dairy and even fruit. Kirsch has released a book on the plan that suggests a disciplined system of less than 900 calories per day.

Liz Hurley

Diets are, to many people, about compromise. Your body wants three meals a day and your wardrobe demands you give up food entirely. The compromise, for Liz Hurley at least, is to eat just one meal a day. The star admits to going to bed hungry but the results speak for themselves. Hurley lost four stone in the two years after the birth of her first child by eating just a dinner. If you plan a similar approach you’ll be pleased that the diet small print permits snacking throughout the day on bananas, raisins and light morsels.

Halle Berry

You don’t squeeze into a Catwoman outfit without being a) shameless or b) astonishingly trim. When she feels the need for dietary and fitness advice, Berry turns to celebrity fitness expert Harley Pasternak’s 5-factor diet. This is one of the few celebrity diets to include fitness tips as well as recipes. The idea is that there are five types of food that should be included in every meal: protein, fibre, healty carbs, healthy fat and a sugar-free beverage. What’s more you should eat five of these meals a day and each takes less than 5 minutes to prepare. Add to this the five 25 minute workouts per week and we’re already wondering if Halle Berry only does this diet because she has five letters in her first and last name.

Demi Moore

The Raw Food Diet does exactly what it says on the tin. And in Demi Moore’s case that is probably a tin of organic vegetables. Moore adheres to the diet after learning that many of the most important nutrients of food fruit and vegetables are destroyed by cooking. It is estimated that more than 90 per cent of the food an average person eats has been cooked at some stage but the raw ingredients could contribute to the youthful glow of the 49-year-old.

Cindy Crawford

Anybody who has ever struggled to stick to a diet should skip to the next image now. Supermodel Cindy Crawford puts her sensational looks down to regular snacking throughout the day. “I snack between breakfast and lunch and again at 4pm so that I am not starving by the time I sit down to eat dinner,” she says. Before you order yourself a box of donuts, however, you might want to check the definition of snacking. Fresh and dried fruit or perhaps a few uncooked vegetables are the usual limit.

Mel B

Whatever your diet goals you should stay healthy for yourself but also keep in mind mental wellbeing. Give yourself the occasional treat either as a reward or a break from the pressure of dieting. Mel B has repeatedly claimed not to follow any particular “fad diet”, preferring to hit the gym with a trainer and work out hard to keep her in scary shape. Despite this she is a healthy eater and works towards a treat once per week. “I call it ‘Sod it Sunday’. I have a roast with potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, gravy, stuffing and all sorts of yummy stuff,” says the mother-of-two.

Cheryl Cole

Newcastle-born talent show winner Cheryl Cole is planning an assault on the tough-to-crack American TV scene. She is also a fan of one of the strangest celebrity diets we’ve heard about in a long time. The ‘Eat Right 4 Your Type’ diet changes the food you should eat depending on your blood group. Blood type O, for example, should try and fill up on high protein foods while blood type A dieters should seek out more vegetbles and avoid red meats. Despite widespread scientific dismissals Cheryl is sticking to the diet after a recommendation from the highest possible source: her mum.

Penelope Cruz

Now here’s a formula we’ll be happy to try out: extra sleep. While other celebrities are pulling on their sneakers for a dawn jog Penelope Cruz prefers to sleep in, often for more than 12 hours a day. Obviously the act of sleeping cannot help you lose weight but there is considerable medical evidence to suggest that a good night’s sleep can change the way you look and feel. The production of hormones such as leptin and ghrelin are closely linked to both sleep and appetite so resting well could make a difference to how hungry you are in the morning.

Elle Macpherson

Anybody who has sweated over a workout with Elle ‘The Body’ Macpherson’s fitness DVDs needn’t have bothered. The secret to her stunning looks, as she approaches her sixth decade, is an appreciation of fish oil. Oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acid and, along with supplements, this is one of the secrets of the supermodel. Research from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota suggests that omega-3 encourages the body to burn fat and suppress appetite. Mmmm Mayo…

Hayden Panettiere

There is a reason why Hayden Panitierre is a half the size of most women. Not just because she is only 21 and very sporty – she also eats a quarter as much. “I will eat a quarter of my meal and then 20 minutes later I’ll eat the next quarter and let it sit,” says the heroically patient actress. This type of dieting has become known as portion control and is a method of compromising between the amount of food you want and what you actually need.

Kim Kardashian

Never known for her shy and retiring personality, Kim Kardashian tries to keep her diet struggles as public as possible. She is, after all, endorsed by QuickTrim diet supplements. This is a liquid diet that can cause rapid temporary weight loss but Kardashian’s body almost certainly owes as much to being put through its paces at the gym every day. Other, less well paid to be kind, dieters have pointed out it is difficult to lose weight lost in this way.

Catherine Zeta Jones

A diet regime that needs little introduction is the legendary Weightwatchers plan. Catherine Zeta Jones signed up for the program after the birth of her baby and is said to be pleased with the results. Known around the world and supported by many food manufacturers Weightwatchers emphasises a scientific approach to calorie counting and portion control. Regarded as a balanced diet rather than a fad option it is a serious option for long term health and fitness.

Britney Spears

Ditching sugar altogether was the first step in a dramatic body re-invention for Britney Spears. The sweet-toothed star was so concerned about diet relapses that she cut all forms of sugar from her diet. . “I don’t eat fruit or even fruit juice because of the sugar. I eat chicken, salmon, avocados and rice,” she told American OK magazine. It is rumoured that backing dancers on Britney’s latest tour were forced to sign contracts that forbade them from eating snacks in her presence.

Tyra Banks

When Tyra Banks was photographed looking considerably larger than her usual self in a 2007 paparazzi shot the reaction was incredible. Taunted by the press with headlines such as ‘America’s Next Top Waddle’ Tyra defended her figure and claimed to be as happy with her 160lb bulk as she was in her swimsuit modeling days. Despite this she shed 30 pounds over the course of the next two years and started the Get Your Shape in Shape movement. Tyra took the healthy route and lost weight gradually. “No radical diets, no shakes, no starvation,” was her mantra. Instead an emphasis on a high-fibre, low-carb diet without the pressure and target to lose large amounts of weight in just days is her top tip.

Jessica Alba

The 3-2-1 Baby Bulge Be Gone diet plan helped Jessica Alba shed more than 20 pounds in just eight weeks after giving birth. Her trainer, Ramona Braganza, came up with the plan that insists on three meals, two snacks and a minimum of one litre of water per day. Halle Berry tried the same diet after her baby and it is regarded as being popular with ambitious but realistic mothers.


Black Eye Peas singer Fergie piled on the pounds to play a larger lady in the film Nine. As soon as filming was completed, however, and the boys from the band were clamoring to get her back on stage and that meant a speed diet. Nutritionist to the stars put her on a double-helpings diet that saw her eating even more food. Thankfully, for fans of slim hip-hop singers, it was double helpings of vegetables with her evening meal. Just a few months and 17 pounds later the diet was declared a success.

Kim Catrall

What do you get if you cross the infamous Atkins diet with the equally hyperbolised GI diet? Probably something close to the South Beach Diet favoured by Kim Catrall. This eight-week diet identifies a series of stages with each getting progressively lenient. The crux of the diet comes with identifying the difference between “good and bad carbs” and “good and bad fats”. As with many celebrity diets the core foods of vegetables, lean meats and oily fish.

Cameron Diaz

It is tough to say it but you really do have to eat your age. While a young Cameron Diaz found it easy to scoff corn dogs and fizzy drinks the 38-year-old has had a diet transformation. Perhaps it is down to her dating one of America’s best known athletes, baseball player Alex Rodriguez. Fried foods were the first item off the menu for Diaz. ‘I’m off the fried foods. I’m very thoughtful about what I eat. If you’re gonna do heavy lifting, and you want to stay small, you have to watch what you eat,” she recently told Elle magazine.

Ferne Britton

If any of the previous diets seem a little bit too much like hard work then you can always consider the Fern Britton route. Despite giving numerous magazine articles putting her weight loss down to a fitness regime and healthy eating it is now accepted that much of her trimness was a direct result of gastric band surgery. Despite never having lied about her weight loss some fans were disappointed with Britton as they believed her slimming success had been attained without surgery. Gastric band surgery limits the capacity of the stomach and can curb hunger pains.

(Courtesy: Time Out)

Aroma therapy is the use of volatile plant oils, including essential oils, for psychological and physical well being. Although the term aroma therapy was not used until the 20th century, the foundations of aroma therapy dates back thousands of years. The use of essential oils in particular date back nearly one thousand years. Aroma therapy can be the holistic approach for day-today problems.

The Chinese were one of the first cultures to use aromatic plants for well-being. Their practices involved burning incense to help create harmony and balance. Later, the Egyptians invented a rudimentary distillation machine that allowed for the crude extraction of cedar wood oil. It is also thought by some that Persia and India may have also invented crude distillation machines, but very little is known.

The trend today is going back to nature. People prefer to use natural, safe and effective products for holistic health. The pure essences of aromatic plants have been valued for thousands of years for their health giving properties. Essential oils are one of the great untapped resources of the world. By taking essential oils into our lives we find a way to provide our family and home with the protection and pleasure they need without polluting ourselves or our environment with chemicals.

Oils of cedar wood, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and myrrh were used by the Egyptians to embalm the dead. When a tomb was opened in the early 20th century, traces of the herbs were discovered with intact portions of the body. The scent, although faint, was still apparent. Although the cedar wood that the Egyptians used was distilled by a crude distillation process, the other oils they used were most likely infused oils.

The Egyptians also used infused oils and herbal preparations for spiritual, medicinal, fragrant and cosmetic use. It is thought that the Egyptians coined the term perfume, from the Latin word per fumum, which translates as “through the smoke”.

Egyptian men of the time used fragrance as readily as the women. An interesting method that the men used to fragrance themselves was to place a solid cone of perfume on their heads. It would gradually melt and would cover them in fragrance.

The Greeks learned a great deal from the Egyptians, but Greek mythology apparently credits the gift and knowledge of perfumes to the gods. The Greeks also recognised the medicinal and aromatic benefits of plants. Hippocrates, commonly called the “father of medicine” practiced fumigations for both aromatic and medicinal benefit. A Greek perfumer by the name of Megallus created a perfume called megaleion. Megaleion included myrrh in a fatty-oil base and served several purposes: for its aroma, for its anti-inflammatory properties towards the skin and to heal wounds.

The Roman Empire built upon the knowledge of the Egyptians and Greeks. Discorides wrote a book called De Materia Medica that described the properties of approximately 500 plants. It is also reported that Discorides studied distillation. Distillation during this period, however, focused on extracting aromatic floral waters and not essential oils.

A major event for the distillation of essential oils came with the invention of a coiled cooling pipe in the 11th century. Persian by birth, Avicenna invented a coiled pipe which allowed the plant vapour and steam to cool down more effectively than previous distillers that used a straight cooling pipe. Avicenna’s contribution led to more focus on essential oils and their benefits. Essential oils in aroma therapy are composed of tiny molecules, which are mixed with a base oil/gel/lotion to trap its effectiveness. When the oil/gel/lotion is applied to the skin its molecules penetrate the skin and enter the blood stream. As these highly volatile aromatic essences evaporate they are also inhaled.

The aroma then enters the body via millions of cells that line the nasal passages transmitting messages straight to the brain and working on the limbic system, which controls the major functions of the body. Essential oils enhance both your physical and psychological well-being. These oils are potentially powerful enough to activate the body’s own innate self-healing ability.

From the late 20th century and on into the 21st century, there is a growing resurgence to utilise more natural products including essential oils for therapeutic, cosmetic and aromatic benefit. The use of essential oils never ceased, but the scientific revolution minimised the popularity and use of essential oils in one’s everyday life. Today’s heightened awareness regarding the use of synthetics coupled with the increased availability of aroma therapy information within books and the Internet has refuelled the use of essential oils for therapeutic, cosmetic, fragrant and spiritual use.

Skin specialist at home

Posted: February 8, 2009 in beauty, science
Tags: , , ,

Though it looks like a thorny cactus, aloe vera belongs to the family of onion/lily. Distinguished by its thick fleshy lance-shaped leaves, this green plant is supposed to have mystical properties. Its botanical name is Aloe barbadensis miller. People even call it as the fragrant desert lily.


If we go by an Egyptian lore, then the gel from the aloe vera leaves was the secret ingredient that Cleopatra used for her skin and not the much-touted milk. In fact, the Egyptians use aloe vera for their embalming process since times immemorial.

The juice of the plant is sold across the world in health stores in the form of capsules and gels. The gel has 20 amino acids which the body needs as supplement for its wear and tear.

According to sources, eight of these amino acids have to be ingested and are not produced by the body itself. The gel oozes from the leaf when it is cut. As a beauty aid, the gel is used in lotions and creams for its moisturising and soothing effect. It is also used to treat burns and wounds. It has effectively been used internationally for radiation burns also. The natural gel is, in fact, the most effective and provides faster relief since the polysaccarides are destroyed during processing when heat is applied and enzymes are added in order to stabilise it. The gel also has amazing anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It is said to aid the immune system, cure constipation and also has its positive effect on the texture of the skin. The local practioners of Ayurvedic medicine use the yellow sap of the aloe as a cure for constipation. T aloe vera gel can also be used to ward off mosquitoes/insect bites by applying it on the skin, besides relieving sunburns and minor kitchen burns.

Use of the gel on the skin restores its elasticity to a great extent by its immense moisturising effect and rejuvenates the skin. When the flesh of the aloe is applied to the scalp, it deters hair loss and decreases dandruff.

home remedies

Posted: January 7, 2009 in beauty
Tags: , ,

Home remedies

No matter what the season or the weather, skin problems are a common phenomenon in our part of the world. Be it dryness or excessively oily skin; pimples, rash, sunburn or just a dull complexion, everyone needs help with some kind of skin problem at some point in their lives.

While seeking expert help for serious problems is always necessary, home remedies for treating minor skin problems work out less expensive and often, as effective as conventional medicines. Homemade remedies are generally harmless and rarely cause reactions or side effects and have been used since ages by our ancestors to cure common ailments. Here are some home remedies for treating day-to-day skin problems:

• Acne can be treated in a number of ways. Applying a paste of jamun seeds and water or neem leaves boiled in water can help prevent as well as cure acne. One can also work equal quantities of cinnamon powder, lemon juice and gram flour into a paste and apply to the face.

• To tighten pores, apply a paste made of lemon juice, tomato pulp and Ispaghol; leave on for 10 minutes and rinse with cold water.

• To treat corns, press crushed marigold flowers to them. An alternate method is bathing them frequently in an infusion of fenugreek seeds.

• To treat sunburn, apply a paste of baking soda or bicarbonate of soda and water. For all over relief from irritation, add two tablespoons of the paste to room temperature water and bathe with it.

• To remove dark shadows from beneath the eyes, apply the juice from freshly crushed mint leaves.

• To get rid of brown patches on skin, apply onion and betel leaf juice.

• For black spots and blemishes, apply a paste of crushed lemon rind mixed with milk.

• To treat pimples, add rose water to lemon juice and coconut oil, and apply.