I will be the first to tell you I wasn't always appreciative of my Pakistani heritage and its rich and beautiful culture. As a first-generation Pakistani-American kid who was born and raised in Sugar Land, TX, I was often confused when my family had a different way of doing things than some of my other friends. For example, if there was a dinner party on Friday night, I had to come home from school and change into traditional Pakistani clothes — I couldn't leave on my favorite jeans. I never understood why my parents drank at least six cups of chai tea daily. And in particular, I was puzzled by the beauty rituals of my family.
My mom, grandma (Ammi), and great-grandma (Amma) passed on their beauty tips and tricks to me so I could take advantage of them, but for years, I did so hesitantly. I often thought to myself, "Why can't we just go to Target or Sephora like everyone else?" As I started growing up, though, I became fascinated. I remember being in awe at the stories my grandma would tell me as she whipped up a lip scrub or a face mask. I started realizing how many generations before me had made the same recipes we still use today, and I formed a new respect for my own identity and where I came from. Now, I'm grateful to have serious love and appreciation for my culture.
For me, the best part of these tips and tricks is that they have been passed down in my family. But others will love that most of the recipes are simple and made with affordable ingredients from your pantry. Read on to discover a few of the lessons I've learned from my very own Pakistani beauty queens — my amma, ammi and mama!