7 Fashion and Beauty "Tips" from Mindy Kaling's New Book

From the transformative magic of a spray tan to why your natural hair is worthless in Hollywood, Mindy Kaling dishes out another healthy helping of hilarious real talk—and we're eating it all up

Mindy Kaling is the friend you can seat next to anyone at your dinner party, the naughty aunt who will give you your first beer and teach you how to French kiss, the business mentor whose coffee you’d die to fetch. In fact, Mindy is so many kick-ass women all rolled into one, it’s hard to believe a young Kaling once thought she had to entice classmates with Skittles to talk to her—a tale she recounts in her new book, writing “Every kid wants approval but my desire to be well liked was central to my personality.” Stars, they really are just like us.

mindy kaling


Why Not me? (out now!) is Kaling’s second book and it’s full of spot-on observations, hilar advice and the good-natured skewering of the Hollywood machine that we’ve come to expect from our beloved BFF crush—including tons of wisdom on fashion and beauty. We rounded up some of her top observations on everything from the secrets to stellar posing to the most important thing she’s learned from Kim Kardashian.

On the “drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep” beauty myth: 
“One of the great things about women’s magazines is that they accept that drinking water and sitting quietly will make your breasts huge and lips plump to the size of two bratwursts.”

On waking up like this:  
Mindy credits her most dazzling glamourpuss moments to a team of “hair, makeup, costume, lighting, spackling and hoisting departments” (LOLs). “They all work hard, so all I have to do is show up in my sweatpants and zit cream and say the magic words: ‘Make me look gorgeous or you’re fired.'”

More Mindy: Read our October 2014 cover story

On how to pose for a pic: 
Broken-down doll posture, explained! “I am telling you, the key to looking gorgeous is to never sit up straight. It implies that you have not eaten enough to have the strength to sit like a regular person, which historically is sexy to everyone.”

On TV hair (hint: it’s 100% fake): 
“The first thing you need to know is that the hair on your head is worthless. The real trick to having gorgeous hair is quantity. To keep up with the trend, everyone uses extensions. And I mean everyone. The stenographer who doesn’t speak in that judge show you watch. The entire family getting a new house on Extreme Home Makeover, including the kids. Charlie Rose.”

On the allure of new clothes: 
“I’ve always loved clothes. Like any normal woman, I would see a dress, buy it, rip the tags off with my teeth, save the buttons for ten to twelve years in a drawer, and wear it to work.”

On making your arms appear thinner: 
“The most valuable thing I learned from Kim Kardashian is that your arm must never lie flat against your body.”

On the magic (and awkwardness) of spray tans: 
“It’s not about changing the colour, it’s about evening out the colour.” Duh, thank you Mindy! Also, about the process of having a near-stranger airbrush your naked body: “I get really focused on what we are chatting about so, in my mind, it seems like our conversation is the reason she is there, not because she needed to paint my boobs with a dye called ‘Chocolate Mama.'”

Mindy Kaling AuthorPhoto2015 credit Emily Shur-2

(Photo: Emily Shur)

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