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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Star Style: Amel Larrieux Shares Her Beauty Secrets

Amel Larrieux has a look as eclectic and ethereal as her voice. The neo-soul singer's smoky eyes and thick tresses are her trademarks along with a unique sense of style. It's as hard to pigeon-hole her style as it is her music. Half of the former duo Groove Theory and break-out solo artist with the soulful Infinite Possibilities.

Her creative spirit, passion for music and self-defined sense of beauty come from the same place, within…and she shares it with the world.

"We all have different ideas of what is beautiful," Larrieux says. "It's not just what is on the outside, the way your hair flows a certain way or the color of your eyes. It's what you have on the inside that makes you like no other person. That is beautiful."

Amel on Skin
"I use Cetaphil on my skin as a cleanser. I've used it for years," Larrieux confides. "My grandmother looked 70 when she was 90 and she swore by Noxema and Vaseline, and sometimes I fall back on them too."

Larrieux says she has very sensitive skin prone to dryness and breakouts. She uses a product that her husband, Laru, found during a recent facial: Murad Perfecting Day Cream SPF 15. "It works well for both of us."

Larrieux also uses Essential Element's Joie de Lavender body lotion. "It's organic and very healing. The lavender smoothes my skin and doesn't break me out and it calms me before bed."

Amel on Hair
"I wear my hair natural and I have to stay on top of it. I am very much into lubricating my hair. I use different hair oils and pomades and I only wash my hair every two to three weeks," Larriex says.

One of her favorite hair products is.... Monoi de Tahiti, a coconut oil with coconut extract directly from Tahiti, which she uses to oil her hair and scalp. She also uses Indian hemp as a pomade.

Larrieux has a hair care routine that she recommends for women with natural curly, wavy, and/or frizzy hair. She encourages them not to wash their hair too much. When you do wash, use a hot oil treatment once a month. She also swears by using a leave-in conditioner like Nexxus Humectress, her favorite. She says it's great for the thickest of thick hair.

"I try not to use the word nappy because I don't like the word nappy," she says. "I think we can look for ways to redefine our hair."

Larrieux also likes to use Pro-Line's coconut oil, which she finds light enough to use in her hair of several different grades. She also uses a pomade that her grandmother used, Clairol's Vitapointe Creme Hairdress and Conditioner.

After washing her hair at night, she oils her scalp, puts a bit of oil on her hair, then sections and braids her hair in two, four, sometimes six braids. She says the process protects and sets the hair. In the morning she takes out the braids and runs her fingers though her hair to create a wavy effect.

"It's as simple as that," she says. "When I go to shoots I tell the stylists not to touch my hair because it is the way I like it."
Amel's Favorite Make-up Trick
"I like kohl under the eyes for that smoky look. You can look punky, like you are from the 1920's, or like a desert dweller. That's the kind of look I like."

Amel on the Go
"I don't go anywhere without my Evian mister. I spray it over my face five to six times a day. I spray it in my hair to get tangles out of my hair. It's much gentler than tap water.

Monoi de Tahiti. It's so fragrant. It makes you smell like an island girl.

I never leave home without concealer and Smith's Rosebud Salve. It's the best lip balm ever. It smells like my mom. She always smelled like tea rose and you can even use it on your elbows and feet."

Larrieux says an eyelash curler comes in handy too.

"It's good to carry anything that gives what you have a little umph, whether that's an eyelash curler or something that smells nice."

Amel on Beauty Eating Habits
"I believe my outer beauty suffers when I don't take care of my inner self," Larrieux says. "I drink tons of water even when I don't want to because I feel I suffer so much if I don't. I don't eat red meat. I'll do it if I'm craving iron in my diet, so once in a while I'll have a steak. I eat lots of proteins and drink soy milk"

Amel on Beauty Fitness
"I run two miles on the treadmill everyday. I took ballet for 12 years so I do barre work everyday. It helps to elongate my muscles and helps with flexibility."


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