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Updated: July 24, 2013 19:35 IST

Lip service

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Pump up the volume: For the perfect pout
Pump up the volume: For the perfect pout

If you are carrying three-year old sticky lipstick in your cool tote, trash it girl! Thanks to the beauty revolution there is a whole new world of make up waiting to be tried out, writes Radhika Sangam

Does your make-up pouch still have that ratty old kajal pencil that is impossible to sharpen, a half-melted lipstick from three years ago and a cotton hanky? If that’s what’s rattling around next to your Blackberry in your nice, expensive leather handbag, it’s time to upgrade!

First things first – if it’s more than three years old, throw it out. Most cosmetics have a shelf-life of about two to three years, and the dust, heat and humidity of the Indian climate doesn’t do make-up any favours.

When you’re building up your collection of make-up, always start from the base. A good foundation is essential, even if you only intend to use it for special occasions. Loose face powder and a round brush are the new substitutes for the powder compact. Cream-based foundations need to be the consistency of moisturizer, so steer clear of formulations that feel like outmoded face-gloop. FYI: Talcum powder is for your underarms, not your face! Unless you want to look like a grey zombie, what you need is a foundation which matches your skin tone.

There’s no shortage of brands in the market, so try everything till you get the colour closest to your skin-tone. If you’re allergic to normal make-up, go for products marked ‘hypoallergenic’ or ‘for sensitive skins’.

Whether you want to play up your eyes or maximize your pout, there’s something out there for everyone. Liquid eye-liners are passé (sorry, girls!). So toss out those bottles! Stock up on precision eye-pencils, or regular eye-pencils and a smudging eye-brush for a softer look. Oh, and don’t even think about dabbing red lipstick on your eyelids – that sort of thing went out with vanishing cream, and it really doesn’t fool anyone! Substitute cream-based eye-shadow in beige, salmon or biscuit hues. A cream eye-shadow is much easier to work than its traditional, but much trickier counterpart, the powder eye-shadow.

Rimming your entire eye with a thick layer of kajal can make it look like you’re trying too hard. Instead, brush your lashes with a lengthening or thickening mascara to get the same wow effect without being so obvious. Or, open up your eyes ever so discreetly, with a coating of clear mascara.

Prefer lip-colour to eye-stuff? With regular lipsticks, you tend to get too much product on your mouth, creating that artificial ‘painted’ look and sticky feel that puts off so many first-time users. Liquid lip-colours give you glossy lips and help control the intensity of the colour. Coloured or shimmery lip-balms are a milder version, adding just that little bit of oomph for a really downplayed look. Lipstick crayons are excellent, particularly if you favour a matté look. They also give you a lot of control, and are especially great for darker shades like red and maroon, which tend to bleed.

Fanning wet nails and retouching your manicure every two days is for the divas of yesterday! If you’re buying nail paint, make it quick-drying and chip-resistant. There’s an enormous range of nail colours out there. Steer clear of the eighties-vintage pearly pink. Opt for shades of toffee or caramel, brick orange or rust red. If you’re feeling adventurous, a dark blue, a bright green or a deep burgundy are some excellent of-the-moment shades to sport, even on super-short nails.

Life’s way too short to struggle with archaic cosmetics. The beauty revolution is here, throwing out fresh finds every day. So now’s the time to give your make-up a facelift!

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