Beauty

By Kate Harvie

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Shalini Vadhera, Author, Celebrity Makeup Artist, and founder of Global Goddess Beauty

It’s fairly safe to say that for the last 50 years, the beauty industry in this country has focused on Caucasians and lighter skin tones. Our nation is constantly becoming more diverse, and products need to adjust to meet the needs of the marketplace. Happily, with the introduction of Shalini Vadhera’s Global Goddess Beauty, the glamour, tradition, and rituals from other nations join with superior ingredients and formulations to enhance every woman’s “beauty pantry.”

Shalini Vadhera was born in Santa Barbara, California and grew up in San Diego. The child of Indian parents, she spent her childhood visiting India and Africa, seeing family and friends. It was during these trips that Vadhera first became aware of the tricks and techniques used by women around the world to feel and look their best. Speaking with me from Los Angeles, she told me a story of standing in line with her cousins, awaiting a scalp massage with lush coconut oil from their grandmother.

From her family and her extensive travels, Vadhera unearthed a “treasure chest of beauty secrets.” She has applied these secrets to her new line of products, Global Goddess, which launched in Sephora and on QVC in April. This month St. Martin’s Press will publish her book, Passport to Beauty – it’s an enlightening and exciting volume filled with beauty advice and tales from her travels.

While Vadhera earned a degree in international business, she worked as a makeup artist on NBC’s “The Tonight Show.” This job lead to numerous positions in and multiple appearances as a multicultural beauty expert, including CBS’s “The Early Show.” She has also worked as a spokesperson and global beauty authority for Revlon, Lola, and Olay, to name a few. Her vast celebrity client roster and includes Tyson Beckford, Brooke Burke, Simon Cowell, Ty Pennington, and the cast of “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

Global Goddess Beauty distinguishes itself by addressing multicultural cosmetics needs with products that simplify and celebrate daily beauty rituals. Vadhera employs rarely used ingredients that are organic, technologically advanced, and authentic to a region or culture.

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Take her Coconut Revitalizing Hair Treatment with Amla ($45): Indian women have, for generations, rubbed rich coconut oil into their hair to make it shiny, strong and to stimulate growth. With the added benefits of rejuvenating Amla Extract, volumizing and shine-imparting Henna, protective Grapeseed Oil, and moisturizing Avocado Oil, this treatment has single-handedly brought my over-processed, supremely damaged hair back to life. I will forever be indebted to Vadhera ‘s grandma – thank you!

For makeup, Vadhera wanted to offer a complexion option for the women who fall in between the shades available in traditional foundations.

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Her Complexion Perfection Duo ($40) comes in ten shades, five of which have an olive undertone. This cream-to-powder foundation is full of skin-nourishing ingredients. Illippe Butter from Africa and Tahitian Monoi Oil soften and heal the skin, while Neem from India softens and smoothes. The concealer contains Thai Lemongrass, which tightens and lifts the skin, Rose Carnina Fruit Extract, which nourishes, and soothing Chamomile. The products dry to a natural-looking matte finish, while still hydrating the skin. To get the maximum benefit from the foundation, try the Upgrade Complexion Primer ($35), a liquid silk first step that not only extends the wear of your foundation, but nourishes skin with antioxidants Vitamins A and E. This primer contains very little mica, which is great for oilier skin, and the silicone base seals in skin’s natural moisture, also making it suitable for dryer skin.

A collection that celebrates beauty from around the world wouldn’t be complete without a travel brush set. The Jet Setter Mini Tool Case ($45) is a collection of five professional brushes:

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a blush brush, an eyeshadow blending brush, a crease brush, an angle eyebrow brush, and a lip brush that can double as a concealer brush. For small brushes, these are remarkably well-made and possess quality bristles made of goat, pony, and taklon. The case itself is made of beautiful, luxurious saffron or fuchsia sari fabric.

Talking with Vadhera, I asked her for some tips that all women around the world could embrace to look and feel their best. Her suggestions were to (1) have a positive attitude, (2) always curl your eyelashes, (3) moisturize your skin, even if it’s oily and (4) exfoliate regularly. She embodies the notion of ritual, whether it’s practicing yoga, drinking water with lemon, or massaging her scalp with coconut oil like her grandmother showed her. For those of you who love to travel, Vadhera’s must-visit spots include Rajastan and Jaipur, India (to see the palaces) and the floating market located three hours north of Bangkok, Thailand.

Her cosmetic line also includes an eye palette, lip glosses, bronzer, and a travel makeup pouch, and no product costs more than $45. While the women who use Global Goddess Beauty products may be from different countries and cultures, what’s universal is that these women will always want to look and feel good.

Learn more about Shalini Vadhera and view her work at http://www.shalinivadhera.com, which receives 1.5 million hits each month. You can also tune into her show, “Yummy Mummy” on the Discovery Health Channel.

Global Goddess products are available on http://www.sephora.com and will soon be available on QVC. For those in the greater NYC area, Sephora SoHo and Sephora Times Square sell Global Goddess.

Originally published May 2006
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