Category Archives: Guest Post

Birchbox’s Deepica Mutyala on Beauty Tricks for Indian Women

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At the ripe age of 16, Texas native and now beauty maven Deepica Mutyala had set a goal—that she would move to New York City and ignite her dream of working in the beauty industry. And that’s exactly what this University of Texas, Austin graduate achieved. After stints with companies like L’Oréal USA and L Brands on Victoria’s Secret PINK, Deepica now works as a Senior Manager in Brand Development at Birchbox in NYC. Getting makeovers by Beyonce’s make-up artist (!) and being exposed to the biggest brands in the beauty biz is all part of typical work day for this gal (sounds terrible, right?).

We caught up with this makeup maverick for a quick tete-a-tete on the best beauty trends for Indian women, common mistakes, must-have products and more! Pssst…she even threw in some cool insider trade secrets!

Luxemi: What are the most common beauty mistakes Indian women make when dressing in traditional wear?

Deepica Mutyala: I don’t think there should be any rules with makeup. It should be about your mood and how you feel whether you’re in Indian or western clothes.  Indian girls tend to stick to red lipsticks as their go-to with Indian ensembles but mix it up and have fun, I say! You can completely change the way your outfit looks by just changing your hair and makeup, thus allowing you to repeat that sari at the third wedding of the season (that is, of course, if you haven’t already discovered the beauty of Luxemi!).

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What are the latest beauty trends that will lend themselves beautifully to Indian wear?

  • Plum lips and bold brows! I especially love plum lips with white Indian outfits and I am definitely not a believer in the ‘no white after Labor Day’ rule.

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  • Braids: I don’t think Indian girls play with braids enough because they fear that it’ll look too traditional. But there are so many ways to experiment with them. My current favorite is a voluminous messy fishtail. It’s a great way to stand out in a room full of straightened or curled hair.

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  • Contouring: Contouring is still having its moment and lends itself perfectly to Indian wear. Who doesn’t want defined cheekbones and glowing skin, right?

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 5 must-have beauty products a desi girl’s kit ought to have?

  • A brow pencil: You know how threading your eyebrows completely changes the look of your face? Filling your brows lends the same effect! It’s a product most Indian women don’t realize they need (because they already have dark, thick brows) but can’t live without once they see the difference it makes.
  • A bold lipstick: I am loving plum lipstick right now. A classic, high pigment plum that I love is M.A.C Cosmetics’ Rebel, but if you’re looking for a light berry shade, I recommend the Cynthia Rowley Beauty creamy lip stain in Dahlia. It’s layerable, so you can add coats for intensity and personal preference.

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  • Concealer: I think if you surveyed all Indian women and asked them what their number one beauty concern is, we would say dark under eye circles. Since I battle this problem too, I like using a heavier concealer that also has brightening properties. My current favorite is the Vasanti Instant Pick Me Up Color Correcting Illuminator in shade CC 4. It has the glowing effects that everyone loves from YSL’s Touche Eclat with the coverage power of M.A.C Cosmetics’ concealers—the best of both worlds!

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  • Highlighter/Illuminator: If you want radiant skin, I have two tips: drink tons of water and find a killer highlighter. I especially love the way highlighter looks when I’m in Indian clothes. You can instantly tell the difference in pictures when you do and don’t wear it. I use a cream highlighter because I have dry skin. My current favorite is the Bio Brightening Stick from W3LL PEOPLE. The stick format makes it really easy to apply.

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  • Beautyblender: I’ve never met a makeup artist who didn’t have a beautyblender in their kit. The difference in how your makeup applies is unreal with/without it. It’s especially helpful when you’re contouring to blend with zero streakage. I can’t go back to using any brush again now. Make sure to wet the brush to where it doubles in size before using.

Indian celebrities who nail desi-dressing makeup according to you?

I love the versatility of Deepika Padukone’s beauty looks. She always mixes it up, from dramatic smoky eyes/bold lips to more subtle natural glows. She also gives me major brow envy.

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It’s also really exciting to see Mindy Kaling’s makeup looks evolve. I love that she’s not afraid to experiment with different looks across both fashion and beauty and you can tell she’s having fun with it.

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Insider beauty tricks you’d like to share with us?

If you have extreme dark circles, use a bright red or orange lipstick as a base under your eyes before applying concealer. The bright pigmentation of the lipstick evens out your skin tone. We work with celebrity makeup artist Daniel Martin at Birchbox and he mentioned that this is one of his favorite beauty tricks to use on Mindy Kaling. Major game changer!

Most people apply mascara outward going towards their ears to create a sort of cat eye look. But for a more wide-awake makeup look, apply your mascara inward. By re-directing the lashes this way, your eyes will pop and look more refreshed. I learned this trick from Mally Roncal who has been the go-to makeup artist for celebrities like Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez and now has her own beauty line called Mally Beauty. The products are all extremely brown-girl friendly (high pigments)!

Want more fun tips from Deepica? Follow her on Instagram @deepicam

What do you think of Deepica’s tips and tricks? Tell us in the comment box below!

Praachi Raniwala for Luxemi

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Filed under Beauty Secrets, Get the look, Guest Post, Hello From Luxemi, Hello From S&S, Indian Fashion 101, Indian-Inspired, Luxe Interviews, Luxe Ladies, Luxemi Inspiration, Luxemi Style, Style Secrets, Trend Update

Guest Post by Shaadi Belles: Get the Bollywood Looks You Love- For Less!

Editors Note: Luxefans, you’re in for a treat. We get a lot of requests asking us to re-create some of our favorite Bollywood looks and the amazing gals at Shaadi Belles have done just that.  Let us know which ones you love in the comments!

When planning for a wedding or any function, every girl looks to the red carpet and the runway for some style inspiration. But every girl also doesn’t have the ability to pay those red carpet and runway pricetags. So what’s a belle to do when she’s lusting after a must-have outfit but is stuck with a limited budget? We picked five of our favorite trends and are showing you how you can quickly and easily get the look you love while paying a whole lot less, thanks to the gorgeous collections at luxemi.

So Fresh and So Colorful

The fastest and easiest way to add a fresh and bright touch to a traditional lehenga is to add a dash of color. Think outside of the usual reds and maroons and look for outfits that incorporate hints of pinks, oranges, and yellows to make a stunning style statement. Parineeti Chopra walked the runway for Maheka Mirpuri’s “Khwab” collection in a sparkling orange and gold lehenga. The bright color added a fresh and glamorous twist to the traditional outfit that we love. You can create a similar look with this brocade lehenga available at luxemi—the bright pink dupatta adds that pop of color that we love. Don’t forget to add loads of gold accessories for even more sparkle!

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Neutral Nets

Want to add some subtle elegance to a sleek net saree? Choose a neutral-colored outfit for an elegant and timeless look. Neutrals pair gorgeously with gold embellishments for a perfect bit of sparkle to the toned-down shade. No one does neutrals better than Shehlaa Khan, and plenty of Bollywood’s leading ladies (including her BFF and muse, Sonam Kapoor) agree! Kajol once wore a stunning nude-colored Shehlaa by Shehla Khan saree covered with sparkling gold embroidery for a public appearance—a classic up-do and minimal jewelry were the perfect finishing touches. This gold-sequined saree available at luxemi is all you need to recreate this gorgeously classic look. Add a sleeveless blouse for a sleek and sexy take on the traditional drape.

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Graced in Lace

Lace sarees are one of our favorite new trends, especially in the warmer weather! The light fabric is the perfect way to add a quintessential feminine and romantic spin to any outfit, especially one as classic as a saree. Pastels and softer shades especially shine in lace—we are lusting after a light turquoise lace saree Deepika Padukone recently wore to a public appearance. The soft color turns even more elegant thanks to the lace fabric. Luxemi once again saves the day with this stunning purple chantilly lace saree. Keep the jewelry simple for a daytime function or add a statement necklace and earrings for a more formal event.

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Royalty in White

One of our favorite takes on the recent anarkali trend has been the growing popularity of angrakha-style dresses. Dating back to the Mughal era, angrakha tops feature a kurta top in which one side overlaps the other and is tied with an ornate tassel. The result is a look that is as regal as it is glamorous. Take your ode to royalty a notch higher by choosing a classic shade like white, the way Bipasha Basu did when she wore a stunning Armaan by Sunaina Puri white angrakha suit. The fitted top paved way for a flowing skirt that had this leading lady looking every part the royal. You can be the princess at any party in this white angrakha suit—gold or silver jewelry will each pair beautifully with this timeless shade, take your pick!

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Amaze in an Anarkali

 The anarkali trend is one that’s here to stay, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. This universally-flattering outfit looks good on nearly anyone, and designers can’t seem to get enough of this elegant look. The latest suits are deep in color and high on style—collared necklines, longer sleeves in sheer nets, and tons of embellished embroidery, are just some of the ways designers are taking this traditional outfit and adding a modern dose of glamour. You are guaranteed to see at least one stunning anarkali dress at nearly any Manish Malhotra runway show. His recent collections have showcased a rich color palette—including deep purples, blues, and pinks—paired with brocade borders and sheer long sleeves. For those of us that don’t have Manish available on speed-dial, this stunning brocade and aari-embroidery suit (bonus style points for that asymmetrical hemline!) available on luxemi does the trick when we want to channel our favorite Bollywood style guru.

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Need even more style inspiration? Head over to the Shaadi Belles image galleries and start searching, saving, and sharing!

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Filed under Celebrity Style, Get the look, Guest Post

Introducing Shaadi Belles: The premier platform for all your South Asian wedding inspiration

We already know that Luxemi is your go-to when it comes to finding the latest outfits and accessories for any special occasion. We also know that if you need a dose of the latest indian inspired fashion & trends, your first stop is always  The Luxe Report, right? But what if you’re confused about what you want to wear? We’ve all been there—a wedding or festival is on its way and the only thing you know about your outfit is that you want it to look F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S.  Now, imagine if you’re a bride-to-be. Talk about pressure, right? Well it doesn’t have to be! Introducing Shaadibelles, the premier platform for all your South Asian wedding inspiration.  It’s like Pinterest but specifically for South Asian Weddings. Pretty genius- at least we think so.

Here’s how it works: Register on ShaadiBelles.com and then cancel your plans for the rest of the day. We’re kidding…kind of. Their image galleries are chock-full of photos from real weddings, runway shows, the latest wedding trends, and so much more. You can search by color with their color palette, category, or just enter what you’re looking for in the search box. Whether you’re looking for ideas for your own wedding or you simply want inspiration on how to look your most stylish at the next wedding, their comprehensive image gallery has it all.

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The inspiration boards are key if you need a place to keep all your favorite images organized by event or category. Create your own favorite fashion boards and use it the next time you plan on buying or borrowing a new outfit from Luxemi!

What else can you find in the gallery? Everything! From real life brides on their wedding day…

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To the latest styles wedding styles on the runway..

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To show-stopping bridal jewelry and accessories..

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They have it all! Are you hooked yet? Don’t forget to check out the BelleBlog; you may just come away with beauty tips for your wedding day or a color scheme for your mendhi party! So the next time you plan on renting or buying from Luxemi, remember to first “search, save, and share” all of your South Asian inspiration with Shaadi Belles. Just make sure to cancel your dinner plans.

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Filed under Guest Post, Weddings

Not Your Mother’s Pearls: Meet The Mixtress

easy ways to infuse indian style into runway clothing wardrobe

Luxemi is excited to introduce our new guest blogger, The Mixtress. If you haven’t experienced her blog yet, get ready for The Mixtress’ unique take on Recessionista meets Fashionista. She’ll be sharing how to weave thrift shop finds with designer duds and of course, how to mix your Luxemi favorites with your favorite Western wear.

Pearls have traditionally represented the height of effortless chic, worn by style icons like Jacqueline Kennedy and Coco Chanel. You may have coveted them when you were eight-years-old and rummaging through your mother’s treasure trove, but nowadays, wearing pearls may seems like a “yawn” when you can wear a fashion-forward, chunky statement necklace. Unless you’re the head of a “type-A” sorority, pearls just aren’t part of your regular fashion repertoire—until now.

At Luxemi, where traditional and modern fusion is our expertise, we’ve resurrected your mommy’s pearls and given them new life. To add a touch of modern class to any outfit, try Luxemi’s Crescent Kundan Hanging Earrings ($88). They’ve got a pinch of bohemian, a dash of vintage, and just the right amount of eclectic glamour. Try rocking them with a demure top and an edgy pair of jeans for your Mother’s Day brunch and the world will truly be your oyster, though you might have to share them with Mom!

Want the complete look? Here’s where you can get it!

Crescent Kundan Hanging Earrings

$88- luxemi.com

Gold Bracelet Set with Black Accents

$38- luxemi.com

Pearl and Gold Harness (Coming soon!)

$28- luxemi.com.

Soul Cal Deluxe Ripped Skinny Jeans

$56republic.co.uk

Stella McCartney Lace top

$1,375net-a-porter.com

Prezzo Women’s 9906 Clutch

$87endless.com

Alaia Leather lace-up sandals

$1,565- net-a-porter.com

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Guest Post: New Year, New Rules!

At Luxemi, we’ve been thinking a lot about what we want for the new year. Amazing fashion, of course, but also about how to be better, and more thoughtful, with everything we do.  

We asked NY-based Health and Relationship Coach Kavita J. Patel to share her advice on how to consciously prepare for a new year.

The New Year brings with it new excitement and the possibility for so much. A whole year lies ahead of us, and with it comes a nice new clean slate. But if you are anything like me, that clean slate can feel overwhelming. I immediately get a strong urge to write all over it, and by the end of the year it just ends up needing to be wiped clean again.

Most people around this time ask, “So, what are your New Year’s resolutions?” My relationship with resolutions is mixed—kind of a love/hate thing going on. It’s a brand new, bright and clean year that I have to work with, but I can’t enjoy it even for a moment. I start writing on that empty slate about what I want to accomplish before I know exactly what I want to create for the New Year.

I like doing things consciously. I don’t like to create a resolution to exercise more just because that’s what other people say they are doing. It has to deeply resonate with me. So, I want to share with you my 7-step process to CONSCIOUSLY start your new year off with a bang. This will resonate with you especially if you also feel this love/hate thing happening with New Year’s resolutions.

1. First, get into a place that feels good for you in your home. It could be the kitchen table or your bed. Wherever it is, make sure you are comfortable and the area feels peaceful for you.

2. Softly close your eyes, and take 3 slow, deep breaths.

3. Get into a place of feeling centered, which means you feel a physical shift of dropping out of your head and back into your body. If you don’t feel this shift, you can simply focus on your breath as a way to get centered.

4. Take a moment to reflect on your past year and ask yourself out loud: “What were 3 accomplishments that I felt fan-freaking-tastic about in 2011?” Allow your thoughts to lead you to those accomplishments. Don’t force it—trust that they will come to you. If only 2 come or 1 come to you, that’s great too. (Feel free to ask these questions in your own words. Just make sure the core concept is included.)

5. Then, ask yourself out loud: “What were 3 areas in 2011 that I felt stuck and powerless? What were 3 areas that I really wanted something different and couldn’t quite have it?” Again, don’t force it. Allow your thoughts to lead the way, and if you need to take a deep breath because nothing is coming, do that.

6. Then, ask yourself out loud: “Now that I am in 2012 and the year lies ahead of me, and I can do what I want with it, what are 3 things that I REALLY want?” or “What are 3 things that I YEARN to create in 2012?”

7. Lastly, once you have finished and gotten clear on what you want, open your eyes, find your journal or a piece of paper and a pen, and write out the 3 things you WANT. It’s okay if you just came up with one or two. Write out how you are going to support yourself in making those 3 things happen. As women, we NEED support. You cannot do it all on your own, and if you think you can, ask yourself if you have been able to accomplish these things in the past all by yourself.
The answer is probably no, because you didn’t have the support. Take the fast track towards what you want—not the slow and bumpy one.

Know, as you follow this process, that CHANGE is good. If you are on a path to wanting happiness, love, and feeling great overall, then changing yourself is essential to get and create what you desire in life. You have a whole new year to do what you please, and you can make what you want come alive. Don’t let anyone tell you any differently. Here’s to another fabulous, fun, and happy new year.

 Kavita J. Patel is a relationship coach based in New York who creates love breakthroughs for women in her business, Outrageously Happy Relationships. She has been featured in Time Out New York and can be found at kavitajpatel.com or on twitter @kavitajpatel.

What what do you want to create for the new year? Let us know in comments below or @luxemi!

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Filed under Guest Post, Luxe Interviews, Luxemi Inspiration