Much ado about make-up!

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A DAB HERE AND THERE Choose the right products and learn the right method of application
A DAB HERE AND THERE Choose the right products and learn the right method of application

Make-up is worth it if you can remain dewy-complexioned and rosy-lipped long after the rest of the world has gone all sad and shabby, says APARNA KARTHIKEYAN

Everywhere we turn, exquisitely beautiful, painfully thin women smile at us from well-lit billboards, glossy magazines and newspapers; and they’re all suggesting — some with their luscious, glossy lips, others with their sultry, smoky eyes — that they are so sexy, so desirable only because they wear this particular crease-resistant eye-shadow and that seductively creamy lipstick. There is too much advice, too many instructions floating around on why and how to use make-up; there’s way too much being said about ‘miraculous’ cosmetics that will transform every ugly duckling into a beautiful swan (and way too little — if you ask us — about feeling good in one’s own skin).

And what, really, do you think ‘real’ woman do under these extremely umm, shall we say, compelling circumstances? Do they turn their back on the ‘miracle’, developed — or so we’re led to believe — by geeky scientists in high-security, underground vaults after a million years of testing? Of course not! They — poor, deluded souls — simply make a dash for the nearest cosmetic store, pick-up the much-hyped product, dab a little here, slap-on a little there, and tan-ta-da expect to look like a goddess! Ha! As if make-up can transform anybody!

Except, it apparently can...

The trick, they say, is to choose the right products, and learning the right method of application; a dab here, a line there goes beyond just camouflage… for make up, when applied well, makes you look spiffy and well-preserved. What they don’t say, however, is that make-up is actually about as complex and as baffling as rocket-science. No, really; if you’re a make-up virgin, you’ll simply be shocked that the following (mind-boggling) list of brushes (!) are must-haves in every make-up case — they include separate brushes for concealers, foundations, blushers and eye-shadows, while face-powders have their own large brushes… Oh, and evidently the slanted brush, lip brush and eyelash brush are also indispensable! And that’s just the brushes. The actual art of makeup calls for even more cunning! Just two lines into most articles that promise to de-mystify the whole make-up thingy, and you typically start wondering why they never taught you about eyelash curlers and foundations that offered ‘light to medium coverage’ at school!

Yet, wading through the fog of information is, in many ways, deeply rewarding. You learn, for instance, that face-paint is not just the preserve of people who need ‘help’ with their looks, or those that routinely face the arc-lights; that make-up is vastly different from a makeover, where every trace of the former person who existed under the name is expertly erased. Make-up, on the other hand, is just a quick, easy way to highlight your better features, and jazz up the rest. Did you know that a double-chin can be magically tucked-away if you used a darker foundation over it, or that a fat-nose made to appear a good deal thinner by two lines of the same on either side?

Given that cosmetics currently are at their subtlest — tinted moisturisers, sheer lip-glosses and the like ruling the roost — it’s especially simple to make the world believe that you are naturally gorgeous! (Another big plus if you learn all about make-up — you can always convince the make-up ‘experts’ who’re on hand to ‘do’ the bride’s face to go easy on the pancake. You can tell her, confidently, that looking ghastly up close is too big a price to pay for looking radiant on video!)

And once you’ve found the right foundation to suit your skin tone and type, and learnt ‘how to create drama using a few strokes with an eye-pencil’, all you need is five minutes every day to stun the world! Or, realistically, several five minutes…. Still, worth it, won’t you say, if you can remain dewy-complexioned, and rosy-lipped long after the rest of the world has gone all sad and shabby?


Get advice from a good cosmetics counter; most are usually only too willing to help.

When you start using make-up it depends not just on your age, but skin-type too.

Choose your ‘look’ with care; what looks gorgeous on the ramp – elaborate smoky-eyes and purple lipstick – may not necessarily flatter everybody.

Learn to tell apart the colours that suit Asian skin-

tones (which have a yellow undertone) from the ones

that compliment Western skin (with pink undertones).




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