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Martha Stewart Weddings

Martha Stewart Weddings suggest you plan a visit to Shobha to get perfect brows starting at least 3 months before your big day!

[Repost] Shobha Bridal Camp by District Weddings

shobha bridal camp by district weddingsWe strive to provide #hairlesshappiness on a daily basis for a wide variety of moments and memories, especially(!) the ‘I do’s’ and ‘happily ever afters’. Our Shobha Bridal Plan is the ultimate bridal beauty guide to whipping your brows, body, and bikini into shape while counting down to your big day! And we’ve added a major beauty component that will extend your hairless happiness on your wedding day, well past your newlywed years; you don’t want to miss this tip (check it out at the bottom of this post)!

The District Weddings “Shobha Bridal Camp” blog post shares our pro-tips on how to get ready for your big day when it comes to hair removal, and it touches on our commitment to furthering the lives of South Asian women and children with Shobha’s Home for Girls and Women. Make sure to head on over to www.districtweddings.com to check out our bridal boot camp break down.

For all things Shobha, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @myshobha

Smack In The Middle of Wedding Season

As another summer rolls around, we are once again smack dab in the middle of wedding season. Whether you are always a bridesmaid or finally a bride, make sure to set up your Shobha bikini wax & brow threading appointment for that special day. Let us pamper you before you say I do! Prior to your wedded bliss, you can also carry around our Shobha® Rosewater Freshening Cloths while you dress, flower & venue shop to keep yourself cool under pressure.

Can’t make it to one of our three salons? Purchase the Shobha® Sugaring Kit for at-home de-hairment.

Faux Glow Wedding Day Prep

I’m getting married!

Since I see more of our NYC office interior during winter than the coast of St. Barts, I’m going to have to get creative – Snooki style – if I want a sun kissed glow for my February wedding. I’m going with a well-planned spray tan!

Here’s how I’m gonna do it…

6 months before wedding:

  • Exfoliate
  • Regular hair removal routine
  • Use Ingrown Relief Lotion for any bumps or ingrowns
  • Moisturize with coconut oil (my skin seems to be very sensitive & this stuff seems to work the best for – plus you can always cook with it and it smells delish too!)

2 months before wedding:

  • Trial spray tan to figure out the right shade/formula.

2 weeks before the big day:

  • Let the hair grow wild -it’ll be February so I’ll need the extra warmth!
  • Schedule waxing/sugaring & threading appointments

Week of the wedding:

  • Have the Shobha® specialists wax/sugar my legs, bikini, & arms
  • Thread brows & upper lip
  • Use Rosewater Calming Gel for any irritated or red areas day after wax
  • 48 hours of rest is best: no steam rooms or sex

48 hours after wax:

  • Get my glow on – spray tan here we come!

Then this well-groomed bronzy babe will be ready to tie the knot!

Xo- Veronica

Time Out New York | Style Passport India: Where to Find Indian Shops and Salons in NYC

The 33rd annual India Day Parade (fianynjct.org, Aug 18 at noon; starts at Madison Ave and 38th St) isn’t the only way to celebrate India’s Independence Day. Find authentic Indian home decor at Roberta Roller Rabbit and Layla’s new location inside ABC Carpet & Home, experience threading at Shobha, and adorn yourself with baubles from Satya Jewelry and Tejani.

Dress Shoppe II

A decidedly vintage vibe pervades this folksy clothing emporium, opened by Purushottam Goyal in 1978. Committed to stocking all things handmade, Goyal visits his native India approximately twice a year, traveling to far-flung villages (some without electricity) in states such as West Bengal and Gujarat to add to his labyrinthian selection of hand-woven fabrics. His store is crammed with traditional classics, including 1940s silk saris ($300–$700) spun entirely from pure-silver threads, and brocaded tunic tops ($35–$55). Serious collectors can make an appointment to check out Goyal’s range of antique dupattas ($300–$10,000), or scarves that are essential to many South Asian outfits, including the ubiquitous salwar kameez. For a more contemporary look, sift through the collection of billowy organic-cotton yoga pants ($20) or cotton kurtas etched with chikan embroidery ($35–$45). In a back corner, you’ll also find a shelf of men’s mojaris($35) or formal slip-on leather shoes, finished with tiny mirrors and ornate thread work. (212-533-4568)

Hello Sari

This minuscule gem is ideal for the uninitiated Indian-wedding guest. Owner Kris Jensen, a freelance photo stylist who opened the boutique nearly 12 years ago, sources a range of affordable, iridescent women’s garments ($20–$98) from the Anarkali Bazaar—a 200-year-old Pakistani marketplace that’s one of the oldest in South Asia—as well as the northwestern Indian desert state of Rajasthan, famous for its painstaking tie-dyeing techniques. Exuberant bandhani prints, as the festive dots are known, light up Jensen’s shop and are featured in a range of candy-colored saris ($85) and crushed-silk scarves ($45). For embellishments, there are glass bangles ($10) and vibrant bindis ($5). The pièce de résistance, however, is a stack of oversize silk shawls ($98)—perfect as wintertime wraps, table runners or even wall hangings. Mention TONY for 10 percent off all purchases through September 15. (212-274-0791)

Pratima Spa

Clay walls, cork-and-bamboo floors and recycled South Asian artifacts, including a door that was foraged from an old Indian temple, make up this healing sanctuary’s eco-friendly interiors. The services are tailor-made by urban guru and ayurvedic physician Dr. Pratima Raichur, and rooted in a wellness philosophy that’s more than 5,000 years old. Indulge in some age-old pampering, such as herbal body exfoliations (60mins $105); full-body massages (60mins $115) that utilize a unique cocktail of seven essential oils; and languid milk, saffron and rose facials (60mins $115). To really up the luxury factor, splurge on a two-hour Samadhi experience ($382), complete with a four-handed massage—that’s two therapists—a nurturing scalp treatment and an ancient ritual in which herbal oil is poured over the proverbial “third eye,” or forehead. Mention TONY for 10 percent off all full-price services through August 31. (212-581-8136, pratimaspa.com)

Shobha

Founder and CEO Shobha Tummala’s formidable hair-removal empire—now four locations strong—traces its roots to a single chair that she rented at Sam Wong’s Soho salon in 2001. The savvy electrical engineer turned entrepreneur was first exposed to the concept of all-natural beauty as a child in Hyderabad, India, where her grandparents whipped up sandalwood-and-lentil soaps and hibiscus hair conditioners. It’s why her rosewater-scented salon—offering a mix of gentle threading ($11–$112), waxing ($24–$266) and sugaring treatments ($11–$290) that work on de-fuzzing your face and body—takes a strictly organic approach, even swapping baby powder (typically dusted on skin pretreatment) for a harmless, talc-free version ($7). For the manscaping enthusiast, there’s a comprehensive trimming menu, tackling problem areas such as the back ($37–$79) and bottom ($24–$53), while ladies can opt for bikini-line maintenance ($24–$66). Before you leave, grab an ingrown-hair kit ($48) that includes freshening towels, exfoliating cloths and lotion to ward off icky bumps. Mention TONY at the Financial District location for 20 percent off all services through September 15 (first-time clients only). myshobha.com

Satya Jewelry

A serene, yogini-like sensibility permeates practically every piece in this ethereal jewelry collection, which incorporates semiprecious stones, sterling silver and 24-karat-gold plating. The 11-year-old label—which means “truth” in Sanskrit—is the brainchild of best friends Satya Scainetti and Beth Torstrick Ward. Choose from a variety of subtle and shimmery pieces, including cherry-quartz necklaces featuring golden Ganesha pendants ($138), dangly bezel pearl and gold-plated brass earrings ($98) or beaded mala necklaces ($148–$258), showcasing stones such as blue topaz and onyx. Satya’s latest line was inspired by a cluster of especially vocal peacocks Scainetti encountered while engaging in morning yoga during a recent trip to north India. Their influence is most apparent in milky agate-and-gold cuffs ($128), crafted to resemble feathers. Mention TONY for 25 percent off all purchases through August 29. satyajewelry.com

Tejani

Channel your inner Bollywood starlet at this sparkling boutique, festooned with plush ottomans and chandeliers. Urvi Tejani (her last name means “bright” in Hindi) launched the brand in 2004, specializing in affordable, statement-making bridal bling designed by Mumbai artisans. Look for triple-drop chandelier earrings ($150) set in folds of cubic zirconia and shiny towers of cultured-pearl-and-crystal bangles ($375). The store’s front section is devoted to Tejani’s more casual collection of everyday accessories with ethnic flair, such as imitation polki, or uncut diamond, earrings ($75) and rhinestone-studded evening bags ($45–$90). Mention TONY for 30 percent off all purchases (excluding sale items) through August 31. (212-354-3144, tejani.com)

Layla

Alayne Patrick first introduced her carefully curated selection of brightly toned textiles with the opening of her store in 2001. Earlier this month, her boutique shifted from its Boerum Hill digs to the mezzanine level of ABC Carpet & Home. Patrick, a West Coast transplant, was exposed to the Bay Area’s sizable Indian community from a young age and took regular trips to the subcontinent, drawn to the region’s deep history of craftsmanship—in particular, the intricate, pastel needlework from Kashmir (birthplace of the pashmina). She creates her house-label collection with the help of master craftsmen in India, including a treasure trove of towels ($8–$46)—in terrycloth, waffle piqué and hand-loom cotton, or khadi—silk-screened pillow covers ($175–$215) shot with metallic thread, hand-embroidered fine-wool throws ($425–$495) and earthy cotton quilts ($385). (212-473-3000, abchome.com)

Roberta Roller Rabbit

A piece of discarded Indian fabric served as the inspiration for U.K.-born designer Roberta Freymann’s whimsical lifestyle boutique, which opened in 2006. Prior to this, Freymann focused mainly on her namesake apparel and accessories brand—catering to the globe-trotting fashionista. At her second act, rustic hand-block prints created by artisans in Rajasthan are splattered on everything from canvas bolster pillows ($85) to cotton-voile shower curtains ($95). Freymann regularly combs antique stores in Jodhpur and Jaipur for design influences—it’s where she encountered the intricate paisley motif that became a feature on so many signature linens, including block-print tablecloths ($95–$110) and cotton duvet covers ($150). Harking back to India’s rich Mughal past, a delicate selection

Oprah Magazine | Which Beauty Products and Treatments Really Work?

Tag along with Val, Jenny, and Alessandra, our intrepid beauty editors, as they test products, treatments, and trends.

Thin Blue Lines: Sclerotherapy
A solution for leg veins.

All in all, I made out okay in the legs department. They’re long and slender (okay, more like skinny), and they get me where I need to go. But there are the veins. Fine reddish tangles around my ankles. A purple squiggle behind my knee. And among several unpleasant mementos of pregnancy (not including my son, of course), blue bruise-like clusters on my thighs. Which finally brought me to dermatologist Anne Chapas, MD. Her solution: a series of injections called sclerotherapy. Chapas painlessly threaded a hair-thin needle into each tiny offending vein. As she injected a glycerin solution, the vein would disappear—instantly. After 15 minutes, we were finished. I pulled on a pair of thick compression stockings and was told to keep them on for two weeks—except when exercising, showering, or sleeping. “The glycerin irritated the walls of your veins and closed them down; wearing the tights helps keep them from reopening,” said Chapas. I obeyed for four days, until an unseasonable warm spell made the tights unbearable. Three months later, I had a second treatment (most patients need at least two to three, at about $300 each). This time I stuck with the tights for almost a week, and the majority of those bothersome lines are gone. The once-dense clusters look like faint smudges, easily concealed with self-tanner. Based on my profile—a pale-skinned estrogen producer with veiny forebears—I’ll have new blue lines to contend with in a few years. But until then, I’ll be showing some pretty okay leg. —Jenny Bailly

Dramatic Twist: The John Barrett Salon Braid Bar
A menu of intricate hairstyles.

Actual conversation that recently occurred in the O magazine beauty department:

Jenny: “For the adventures story, why don’t we try the Braid Bar at the John Barrett Salon? You can choose from a menu of braided styles, and they’ll do it right on the spot!”
Alessandra (tossing her long, lustrous black hair): “I’ll try it!”

Val (tugging on a particularly short strand of her medium-length layered cut): “Ale’s no challenge; let’s see what they can do for me. Mwahahahaha!”

I took my sinister self over to the salon, where Kayley Pak, my stylist, seemed completely undaunted by my hair’s length and layers. After trying a few cornrows at my suggestion (and then—at my more urgent suggestion—removing them), Kayley teased the hair at the crown of my head, pulled it back, along with the hair on the sides, and began weaving a loose French braid, layers and all. She worked so quickly and expertly that she fashioned the complicated-looking confection you see (in the photo at left) in ten minutes (using about 30 bobby pins). Admiring her creation in a hand mirror, I felt very Downton Abbey: I assumed my most regal posture, accompanied (I thought) by an aristocratic grace born entirely of my high-class hairdo.

Sadly, I soon discovered the Downton Abbey effect worked only from behind. The moment I caught a glimpse of myself from the side, the braid magic stopped. My complexion had not assumed the milky glow of a woman whose face had profited from a lifetime of parasols, nor had my expression the cool authority of wealth. But wearing the braid did inspire an abundance of lovely compliments—enriching enough, in its way. ($45; johnbarrett.com) —Valerie Monroe

Design Within Reach: Nail Stickers
Do-it-yourself manicure art.

New nail stickers made with fine layers of real polish and a film of flexible adhesive let you doll up your fingertips in minutes—with no dry time. (I did this manicure at my desk without attracting undue attention. Which is to say…it’s an easy process.) My three favorites: Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips (shown here, $10; drugstores), Sephora Collection Nail Patch Art ($12; sephora.com), and Kiss Nail Dress Fashion Strips ($8; drugstores). Each kit includes either 16 or 28 nail polish strips—the Sally Hansen and Kiss sets also contain a mini nail file—and all work the same way. —Alessandra Foresto

Filler Up: Hyaluronic Acid Injections
Temporary wrinkle smoother.

I was scared. Why had I agreed to have filler injected into my face? Okay, full disclosure: I hadn’t just agreed. I’d actually suggested it. I disliked the fine lines around my lips (medical term: perioral wrinkles) and decided it was time to get rid of them, knowing that injections of a hyaluronic acid filler such as Restylane or Juvéderm can plump up fine lines with a risk only of minimal bruising. So one day when I was especially unfond of my perioral wrinkles (and feeling braver than usual), I phoned New York City plastic surgeon Haideh Hirmand, MD, for an appointment. Whip-smart, perfectionistic, and beautiful, the doctor parked me in a treatment room and began educating me on the mechanics of the procedure. She would use the filler Restylane because it has a high concentration of hyaluronic acid (which also helps the skin generate collagen) and because it’s the right consistency for the superfine needle she uses. (Average cost: $560.) The filler would work only on the deeper lines. Did I want her to fill them all? Yes, I said. But could she do that without making me look like a mallard? “We’ll start very conservatively,” she told me kindly. After numbing my upper lip with lidocaine cream and injecting the gums under my lip with novocaine (the lips, filled with nerve endings, are highly sensitive), Hirmand made the first injection. “See this?” she said encouragingly, pointing to the newly plumped-up line. “Almost no bruising and about a 70 percent improvement.” She filled in the other lines, showing me the results after each injection. Then she iced my lip and instructed me to keep icing it every half hour for several hours.

A week later, my upper lip—like a bumper that’s had the dings banged out of it—looks a lot smoother. The wrinkles will eventually deepen again, unless I stop kissing and slurping and pursing. Since there’s as much chance of that as there is the price of gasoline dropping to ten cents a gallon, I’ll probably be back for more filler in a year or so. —Valerie Monroe

Getting it Straight: Bumble and Bumble Concen-Straight Smoothing Treatment
An at-home de-frizzing system.

After tranquilizing my toddler one recent evening with seven readings of Good Night, Gorilla, I retired to my bathroom with Bumble and Bumble’s Concen-straight Smoothing Treatment ($45; bumbleandbumble.com), which claims to “smooth hair for manageability and frizz reduction for up to 30 shampoos.” Here’s how the night progressed:

7:30 Wash my hair. As directed, don’t condition.

7:40 Comb through my very tangled, unconditioned hair.

7:46 Saturate my wet hair with the straightening solution, from roots to ends. The smell—kind of sulfuric—isn’t pleasant, but it’s not totally noxious.

7:58 Start a 30-minute timer. I’m not supposed to touch my hair, pull it back, or tuck it behind my ears. (The straightener contains sodium metabisulfite, a chemical that breaks the bonds in the hair so it can be re-formed in a new shape—straight, if you keep it flat, or with weird kinks, if you pull it back.)

7:59 Try to ignore the nearly irresistible urge to tuck my hair behind my ears.

8:05 Inform my husband he’ll have to do the dishes because I can’t tuck my hair behind my ears.

8:20 Realize I was supposed to be combing my hair (to keep it straight) every five minutes. Comb my hair.

8:28 Get back in the shower to rinse out the solution.

8:45 Blow-dry my hair.

9:05 Start flatironing my hair, as directed, in one-inch sections.

9:25 Still flatironing. My hair is fine-ish, so the directions say I should go over each section two to three times (as opposed to seven to ten times for thicker, coarser hair).

9:45 Finally finished. Now I must wait at least 24 hours before shampooing and must not “pin, crimp, bind, or put behind ears until after first shampoo.”

Four weeks later: After that first shampoo, my hair was easier to style. It dried more quickly and smoothly. On rainy days, I didn’t have a halo of frizz. After the fifth wash, though, the results were wearing off. And after the tenth—about three weeks in—my hair was back to its old self. Would I do it again? In the hair-poofing dog days of summer—probably. The rest of the year? I’m not that patient. —Jenny Bailly

Lasting Impression: CryBaby
Mascara that stays put for two weeks.

Always glad to add a shortcut to my makeup routine, I was intrigued by CryBaby—a waterproof, semipermanent mascara that’s supposed to last at least 14 days. Roni Mallis-Forgione, a technician at Pipino 57 salon in New York City, curled my lashes with a heated curler before painting on a thick gel solution that builds volume, followed by a black paste (an adhesive base and tiny synthetic fibers). Then a small humidifier blew a cool mist over my lashes to set the mascara. Done! Perfectly separated, ultrablack fringe. What a humongous difference tinted lashes make! ($35 to $75; crybabymascara.com for salons) —Alessandra Foresto

A Flash of Lightening: Glo Brilliant Personal Teeth Whitening Device
A smile-brightening gadget.

When I noticed, one overcast Saturday morning, that the luster of my teeth had likewise dimmed, it seemed the right moment to try the Glo Brilliant Personal Teeth Whitening Device ($275; sephora.com). Along with a hydrogen peroxide gel, it uses a mouthpiece (which is hooked up to a control you can wear around your neck) that combines heat and light to hasten the whitening process. Warning: After you charge the device but before you paint your teeth with the gel and chomp on the plastic mouthpiece, clear the room of animals and small children, who might be permanently scarred by the sight of your contorted, eerily glowing mouth. I almost scared myself. But it was worth it. I did four applications of the gel followed by eight minutes of the heat and light (total 32 minutes) three days in a row. And if my smile wasn’t quite as dazzling as a summer sunrise, it was bright enough to light up the room when my son and daughter-in-law dropped by for an unexpected visit. —Valerie Monroe

Hair-Free: Threading and Comfort Wax
Two ways to get smooth.

The beauty adventure I eagerly suggested for this story? Bravely testing out various types of massage. The beauty adventure I was assigned? Having my body hair ripped out by the roots. My first stop: Shobha, a threading salon near our Manhattan offices. Shashi, my designated threader, learned the ancient South Asian technique in her native India and assured me that removing the hair from my upper lip wouldn’t hurt much. Then she applied a benzocaine numbing cream on the area. (Just in case you’re sensitive, she said. Uh, okay.) After five minutes, she wiped off the cream and got to work. Holding one end of a long cotton thread in her teeth, she used her hands to loop and twist the string into a sort of lasso—rolling it over my skin so the twisted part caught each tiny hair. It felt simultaneously like a tickle, a scrape, and a sharp tug. Not an altogether pleasant sensation, but less painful (at least with the numbing cream) than my usual wax. Unlike waxing, however, the process wasn’t over in one fell riiiip; Shashi zipped the taut thread across my lip many times before achieving total smoothness. Still, I’m a convert. Here’s why: My skin was pink only for about five minutes afterward (compared with at least 30 when I wax), and is still hairless weeks later. ($10; myshobha.com for salons)

Next I headed to European Wax Center, a nationwide chain that removes hair with what they call Comfort Wax—which sounded about as plausible to me as “Jolly Dirge.” So imagine my delight when the aesthetician pulled the first piece of wax from my shin and the sensation was…comfortable. She didn’t use muslin or paper strips—just spread the wax on with a spatula and peeled it off with her fingers. Unlike other stripless waxes I’ve tried, this one stayed pliable. When I left, my legs weren’t red or sticky. Just smooth. Not exactly a massage—but not the fist-clenching experience I’d anticipated, either. I’ll be back more than once before summer’s over. ($60 for full leg; waxcenter.com for locations) —Jenny Bailly

Glow for It: St. Tropez Dark Tan Bronzing Mist
A sunless tint for deeper skin tones.

The worst that could happen? I’d wind up looking orange, or splotchy, or both. The best? I’d get glowy and flawless skin—exactly what Sophie Evans, a tanning specialist with St. Tropez, promised to give me with just a few sprays of her tanning gun. Sophie used the brand’s new dark formula, a liquid sunless tanner especially designed to give olive-to-dark skin tones like mine a vibrant richness that looks neither orange nor fake. After she sprayed me with two light coats, my skin looked just a little bit darker, but a lot more even and smooth. Hyperpigmentation spots left by mosquito bites, a couple of small childhood scars on my legs, and the tan lines I got on my last vacation—all invisible. Is it worth the $65 to $95 price tag? If I were going to a summer wedding in a short, strapless dress and wanted my skin to look absolutely flawless, you bet. (sttropeztan.com for salons) —Alessandra Foresto

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