Elegance lesson

10:30 AM

One thing I came to notice pretty fast is how elegant indian women are, regardless of their social satus.
They will take great care in looking the best they can, and accessorize a lot. I haven't seen a woman wearing no jewelry yet, be it gold, or cheaper materials. Most south India women also wear jasmine in their hair and make up is a must for working women as well as housewives. They also indulge themselves in a number of of cosmetic rituals, at home and at the beauty parlour.

It took me a little time to go on the girly thing bandwagon though. Mostly because for a number of years I've been used to go sans makeup and jewelry at work. Being an upholsterer and interior decorator I was working in a dusty workshop with all kind of tools that jewelry could have gotten  stuck in and nice dresses would have been stained and damaged. However, way back in Highschool, I used to have an obssession with painting my nails and bracelets. It was just a matter of time before I came back to them again. 

I started by dressing nice, and that is not difficult to do in India if you wear a salwaar suits, those come in all shapes, colors and patterns and finding one that doesn't fit is a hard thing really. Then I started focusing on my feet taking care to make my shoes match with the outfit I was wearing (a thing I would never ever have done in Switzerland).
Noticing that women have a huge thing with hair (the one on the head...other hairs are a big no no) I tried to make my limp thin dry hair look better. Hair oil is what ewverybody around here swear by, I tried it, but coconut oil simply doesnt agree with my super thin hair and I ended up looking dirty for days despite shampooing everyday. That is the one Indian beauty ritual I really can't keep up with.

At this point I've been living in India for a year and haven't visited a beauty parlour yet. For the simple reason that for me such a place was for haircut only, and I was in the process of letting mine grow to be able to fix a boo boo my hairstylist back in Switzerland did. I also was not so sure about the saftey of letting my thin hair under an Indian sissor. When I reached Bangalore in January my hair was critically long, shapeless and required a trim. So, I went to a fancy beauty parlour, discovering that it was crowded with women coming in for maincures, pedicures, facial hair removal, leg waxing and facials (I had no idea all this could be done where one goes for a hair cut!). A few week later a friend told me I should try eyebrows threading, which consist of twisting a thread to pluck hair and give a beautiful shape. Once I gave it a try I was addicted.

It was also the time I started working, and make up, jewelry and nice hair became part of my routine. When my mom came to visit me it reached a new peak, I took them the the beauty parlour mostly because my sis had a hair crisis that required a professional oil therapy and trimming, in the meantime my mom and I spoiled ourselves silly with a manirucre, a pedicure and face clean-up...The pedicure was a bliss and I found out I actually had pretty feet which lead to me having to buy new shoes to frame them nicely.

Bangles came next, Indian women wear them a lot, they come in all colors and designs, to match the outfit and I still keep building my collection. I simply cannot go without them, buying them is an experience in itself when you are shown all kind of things and having a guy at your service, patiently displaying new models, mixing and matching them to your taste.
One of my friends found it wierd to see me without earrings so now it's my latest addition to the elegant Indian style...what will be next?


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