Monsoon make-up might seem like an oxymoron. It conjures up visions of foundation caked to your skin, attempting to mask the flakiness underneath, chapped lips ineffectively smeared with lipstick, clumpy mascara that almost glues your eyes shut.

This is not necessarily true, says Meeta Awatarmani, training manager of skin care brand Clarins.

While using make-up in the monsoon, one must be careful of the products used. Foundation should ideally be given a miss but in cases of emergency, make sure it is waterproof and touched up with loose powder so that it sets. Compacts with SPF and UV protection are a safer bet.

According to Meeta, the leading skin problem faced by Indian women is due to dehydration. “This is mainly due to their diet, lifestyle and the climate,” she says. “Hyderabad has a very dry climate. It’s important to take extra care.” Moisturizing is the first step in battling flaky or deadened skin.

Meeta says that make-up trends in India are still connected by the country’s cultural bonds. Women have always loved kohl. One eye-pencil can define your entire look – from a subdued day-look to a smokier finish at night. Indian women have also recently discovered the advantage of mascara. “Make sure it’s waterproof and your eyes will glow,” she says.

The golden rule that should not be broken is matching your lip-liner and lipstick. Choose a lipstick that is creamy and moisturizing. Use subtle shades during the day, and reds and maroons at night.

However, there are no real rules with respect to make-up trends. “Obviously they follow fashion, but it’s all about letting go and discovering yourself,” says Meeta. “You need to let your personality show.”

Gender bender

When it comes to grooming, men are not excluded. According to Anuradha, director of Anoo’s, a chain of beauty centres, “there are social pressures even for men to look their best. Beauty is no longer a female prerogative.”

Men too need some pampering not only to feel good but also to look it. Anuradha claims that services like threading eyebrows to make them look “strong and prominent” and facials are catching on amongst men. Pedicures are also important especially during the monsoons. “You balance your weight on your feet,” says Anuradha.

“Men need pedicures too, for relaxation and to improve blood circulation.” Men can also get streaks done to highlight their skin tone.

Though most prefer the rugged masculine look á la natural, options are always available. You never know when you might need a helping hand.

Keywords: monsoon make-up

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