Health & beauty

The Same 5 Q's We Ask Every Expert: Sarma Melngailis

Raw food guru Sarma Melngailis reveals her blowout obsession, why she skips manicures, and the best natural beauty product on Earth

Sarma MelngailisenlargeSarma Melngailis
Total Beauty: What's one bad beauty habit you can't seem to quit?

Sarma Melngailis: Getting my hair blown out and using curling irons too often. I know it's damaging my hair and making it look worse on days when I don't use a blow dryer or curling iron, but I can't help it. The salon I go to for blow dries is right downstairs from my office so I just take my laptop down with me and it's like a second office. If I do my hair myself, I go at it with the curling iron.

TB: What's one beauty splurge you make on a regular basis and think all women should, too?

Melngailis: Regular pedicures, if you can swing it. Even in the winter, I always feel better after a pedicure, usually in a bright pink color. Oddly, I hardly ever get manicures. I just don't have the patience or time and I only wear one coat of a very sheer pink color so it's easy to do my nails myself at my desk while on a call.

TB: What one product do you swear by?

Melngailis: Coconut oil! It's an amazingly healthy food product, and an all-purpose beauty product -- but it has to be only the very best kind, and definitely cold pressed. I keep a big jar in the kitchen and one in the bathroom. At room temperature it's the texture of soft butter. It's a perfect eye make-up remover, hair treatment, you can use it to shave your legs, and all over body lotion. I also put it on my face at night. (It's available on Melngailis's site, oneluckyduck.com.) For makeup, I also swear by anything and everything from rms beauty. Once you try it you don't want to use anything else.

TB: If you look back, what's one moment that changed your life?

Melngailis: It was my first time at a raw food restaurant. I sat there learning about it all thinking, why didn't anyone explain this to me earlier?. Then, a girl at the next table said, "I wish someone would open a cool raw food restaurant." And I had a strange moment of realization that my life had to go in that direction and that's exactly what I would do.

TB: If you were a nail polish, what color would you be, and what would you be called?

Melngailis: Light pink. And there's actually a light pink shade on the market by Essie called "Need A Vacation" ... that's definitely me!
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