Friday, 26 July 2013

Ashes to Ashes: A Colour Guide for the Blushing Bride

Ashes to Ashes: A Colour Guide for the Blushing Bride:   Badhai Ho! You have set your wedding date! Now all you have to do is get the invitations done, choose the décor, theme, venue, budg...

A Colour Guide for the Blushing Bride

Badhai Ho! You have set your wedding date! Now all you have to do is get the invitations done, choose the décor, theme, venue, budget, clothing, wedding party, other functions etc etc etc. A bit overwhelming isn’t it? Don’t worry with the help of wedding planners, eager relatives and helpful friends you guys will be all set.

And I’m here to give you a little help with your D-Day styling. Over the time that I have been a bridal makeup artist, I have seen how colour plays an important role in bridal styling and venue décor as well. I take this extra step with my bridal clients during our trial to make sure she will glow on her wedding day.

*Remember if there is a colour that you love and it makes you happy then go all out and choose it.
Here what I want to achieve is simply to help you make a more educated decision. Your wedding day is probably going to be the day you are photographed the most and with different gadgets. You will have professional still photography, candid, video, camera phones and digi Cams and the dreaded flash photography. And both of you want to look glorious in all those pictures.  

Choosing the right colour for your bridal attire is the key to great styling. Your makeup, décor and hairstyle can then be based on what you’re wearing.  For my reception I had the entire venue in pink as the colour highlighted my best features and made me glow and hey why not have more of it then. My husband had a lovely pink pocket square for our church ceremony to tie into our colour theme of pink and silver, and at the reception he had a lovely tie dye Dupatta with hints of pink to go with his champagne silver Sherwani. 

How did we decide on colours? Well I simply went to a store for bridal outfits and chose a variety of wedding outfits to try on. I had it in my head that I wanted an outfit in blue, making it unique. But when I held the outfit against me and wrapped the Dupatta around my head, I realised, Gaakk! It made me look older. After about an hour of trying different colours on I realised the ones that made me look every bit a blushing bride were onion pink, peach and champagne (Silvery gold). It was also clear to me that I had to look at different shades of colours to zero in on the perfect one. I tried hot pink and pastel pink and it didn’t look as good on me as the onion pink did. This means you can wear your favourite colour on your wedding day; you just have to choose the right shade for yourself.

While choosing “your” colour, its best to think about how it will translate on male attire as well, in case you want to do the matchy matchy thing, like we did. My husband loved the pink idea because I loved it (I know, I’m a lucky lucky girl). We added the silvery gold colours as it complemented both are skin tones.
Ideally your bridal designer will help you with choice of colours, but it’s always nice to do some homework before your go in for the design appointment.

If you don’t already know what colours look good on you, a great way is to do what I did, just walk into a store and start putting things on and see how they look. Here I’ll give you tips so that it won’t take you an hour and avoid any too late nasty surprises.

 What you want to look for is;

1)      Do these colours make my skin glow or wash me out? i.e. make me look pale

2)      Does this colour enhance my assets (eyes, skin tone etc.) or enhance my little imperfections (pimple marks, pigmentation etc.)?

3)      How does my body look in this colour?

4)      How will my husband, wedding party, venue décor, invitations look with accents of this colour?

And once you understand your skin tone it will help you short list some colours to start with.

If you already know if you’re a cool skin tone (i.e. more pink) or if you’re a warm skin tone (i.e. more yellow) then half your work is done but if you don’t, follow some of the steps below.

1)      Put on Silver and Gold jewellery one at a time and see which one complements your skin tone better?

2)      You can put on WHITE outfit and an OFF white outfit and decide which one give you a better glow?

3)      And at last, step out in natural light and check your inner wrists. Are your veins blue or green?

Now if your answers were Silver , White and Blue, then you are a cool tone. Cool skin tones look great in bluish reds, mauves  would be ideal.

And if your answers were Gold, Off White and Green, then obviously you’re a warm tone.  For you Peachy Pinks , yellowish greens, olive green, earthy colours would be best.  
The Colour Theory Wheel

So let me reiterate, you can choose whatever colour you please, however choose the shade that suits your skin tone and fulfils all the requirements above. Because once you choose the right shade, everything falls into place. From Makeup to décor and lighting becomes easier. And you will glow on your wedding day.

 For further assistance for my lovely bride to-bes, here are some websites


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Homemade brush Cleanser Tried and Tested

Summer has set in. Giving us 30+ degrees heat, even at NIGHT!

In the Summer your Skin Care Products, Makeup & Makeup Brushes need special attention.

WHY? Cause they are near moisture in some form or shape, mostly from your face or body.
This attracts bacteria. Bacteria grows fastest in summer. And it's just good sense to cleanse your brushes.

There are different types of cleansing and cleansing products. Let me familiarize you with a few of them.

1. Deep Cleansing.
This involves giving your brushes a nice shampoo once a month. I do it more often as I am a makeup artist. This ensures that my clients are protected.

2. Cosmetic Sanitizer Mist
This wonder product not only can be used on your brushes but also on your makeup as well. For example this can be sprayed on directly on your compact, without damaging the products integrity and it ensures a clean product.

3. Spot Cleaning
This can be a spray or liquid that needs to be applied on a paper towel. Then simple swirl your brushes bristles on it gently. You will see your brush clean in no time. Most makeup artist use this product often, as we sometimes need to immediately use the same brush on a different product or different client. As you must have guessed from the title of this post, we're going to focus on this cleaning product.

Its vital that we use the best hygienic cleaning regimens for our makeup tools, as they touch our face, eyes and other sensitive areas.

I made this brush cleanser over 6 months ago and I swear by it. You also get over the counter cleansers, however I prefer the one I make at home. It not only cleans, but also nourishes my brushes. It takes 5 minutes to make. And the recipe creates about 100 ml which should last you at least 6 months even if you apply makeup everyday.

Take 1 cup (250ml) Bottled water and add it to a clean bowl.
1/4 cup 70% rubbing alcohol or (this is only my addition: 70% and above actual drinking alcohol. I use Vodka or Rum, which is around 75% alcohol) This sanitizes the brushes. Same logic as applying alcohol on a wound.
1/2 table spoon dish washing fluid. I use Prill. Dishwashing fluid because it gentle.
1/2 table spoon baby shampoo (I use Johnsons Baby shampoo No tears.)
1 table spoon leave in conditioner.

Add all the ingredients to the water in the bowl and stir gently ensuring it does not froth.

Once mixed well. Pour into a 100ml or more bottle and you can store this concoction forever.

To clean my brushes I apply a few drops of this on a paper towel and swirl the brushes on the wet spot.

I have tried this same recipe without the dishwashing fluid. It still does the job however not as fast as when the Dishwashing fluid was added.

Try it! You wont be disappointed. :-) Happy Cleansing.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

It's Smokey! It's Seductive

“The eyes are one of the most powerful tools a woman can have. With one look, she can relay the most intimate message. After the connection is made, words cease to exist. ”

Light Smokey Eye

One of the most seductive and exciting eyemakeup looks for a woman is the Smokey Eye! The range of colors , styles and products that one can use to create a beautiful smokey eye is endless.

In this post I will help on "How" to create a Smokey Eye and the range of colours you can use. This post is directed towards the Indian Skin tone, however most of the looks can look amazing on any skin tone.

Prepping your eye:
  1. Always cleanse your face before applying any makeup.
  2. Apply eye gel on your under eye as well as your eye lid to protect and nourish it.
  3. Apply a eyeshadow primer so that your eyemakeup stays the entire day and the colors are the truist. Apply primer on the lower lashline as well , if you're going to apply any eye makeup there.
Now that we have prepped your eyes lets start with the most generic steps to create a smokey eye.

Before you know what to apply, you should know where to apply it. Below is a beautiful picture by that explains the parts of an eye. This picture is a great reference for you to understand where the colours go.

  1. Apply a natural skin tone colour from your upper lash line  on your eyelid till your brow bone. This helps make your eyes and even tone in color and also helps the next eyeshadow stick on.
Picture Courtesy :
Colours that would look amazing as a base eyeshadow colour are:
Mac : Girlie , All that Glitters, Brule, Arena, Tete-a-tint , Texture, Swish Chocolate, Woodwinked.
Choose a colour that is closest to your skin colour. You can go for different textures such as pearl , shimmer, wet etc depending on the look you want to create. These warm colours complement the Indian Skin tone which has a lot of yellow in it.
2. Apply a mid tone or even a brighter colour on your eyelid.
Choose a colour that is darker or brighter than your base colour. If your refer to the picture of the MAC Warm palette above, the colours Mulch, Smut and Satin taupe are perfect Lid colours to use.
Apply it only from the upper lash line on your eyelid, stopping a little lower than your eye crease. Colours such as Naked, Gest, All that Glitters, Honey Rust and Sable make great lid colours as well.
Picture Courtesy :
3. Now we start with the actual smokey part of our smokey eye. Choose a darker colour than your mid colour to apply to the outer V of your eyes.
picture courtesy:
The colours you should choose from the first 2 palettes are: Twinx, Espresso, Antiqued, Bronze, Sketch and Embark.
Start with a little product on your brusha nd apply in the outer V. You can continue to build it up to what you desire.
The above picture is how it should look after you have blended it in.

4. Now we will try some reverse blending. This technique is to add the darkest colour in the outer V to give it a smokier look. Here you would add black/ MAC Carbon by dotting it on and blending it into the dark brown colour u added in the outer V.

Now to finish your Smokey Eye!

5. Add a highlight colour to your inner V and Brow bone.

Highlight colour would be (fromt eh 2 palletes above , Brule , Shale, Arena, Phloof, Shroom, Dazzlelight,

All the shadows mentioned are MAC eyeshadows because its easier to get them in Mumbai.

Now lets venture out to different colour for smokey eye for the Indian skin tone.

1. The classic brown smokey eye.
2. Classic Brown with blue and green in the lower lashline
3. Gold and Teal smokey eye. I LOVE THIS ONE.
4. A grundgy brown smokey eye where you apply the brown eyeshadow on the entire lid and blend it out to the creaseline.

Glitter and Shimmer Smokey eye. Its the same concept however with shimmer colours. Looks amazing on indian skin tone as its staying true to the warm palette.

Beautiful pink and hot pink smokey eye. Complements the indian skin as it adds the much needed pink to our skin tone.

Once you have mastered the smokey eye, you can try something a little more advance. Here we use a silver metallic colour mid eyelid above and below and add grey and black. Its best to use a gel liner with a fine tip brush so you can get a precise shape towards the outter edge. It's winged out to add mroe shape to the eyes. This is a very dramatic look. However if you use silver or gold metallic eyeshadow it will complement the indian skin tone.

The fashionable classic smokey Eye on Adele.

A beautiful burgandy/maroon smokey eye. Again a colour that is unique and complements the Indian woman. This look is very seductive.
And last but not the least let me show you a smokey eye for the day.

Have a hot smokey day!


Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Foundation Routine that lasts you the entire day

A good foundation and blush routine can be the differentiating factor between a natural look and looking like Canio (the clown) form the opera "I Pagliacci."

In this blog post I want to focus on foundation , contouring and blush techniques for plus size women or women with round faces.

While I show you some failproof techniques, i'll also tell you what products work best (in my humble opinion).

So first lets talk about the 5 steps of prepping your face before applying your makeup.

1. Cleansing
2. Toning
3. Moisturising
4. Lip  balm
5. Sun screen

Once you're done with the above 5 steps, you should apply a face primer. This will help your foundation stay longer and give you a smooth surface to work on.

Some great face primers are:
MAC Prep + Prime

Benefit the Porefessional

Application technique: You take a little bit of the primer and dot it all over your face. In small circular motion gently rub it all over your face. Make sure it is evenly applied all over.

Foundation Routines: When choosing your foundation use the below mentioned steps.
1. Look at your face in the mirror. The lightest natural colour on your face is what you ideally would want to match the foundation with. You also want to the foundation to match the colour of your neck.
2. Take a little of the foundation and apply it to your forehead or cheek and see if it blends well.
3. Apply the foundation all over your face and set it with a powder. Usually the counter staff can help you with that. See how the foundation behaves on you for the next half hour and only when youre satisfied do you buy it. It takes foudnation 20 minutes to settle on your face.

After you have picked the perfect foundation. If it is a liquid foundation, you would want to shake it well and pump it to the back of your hand to heat it up with your body heat. This helps it apply better.

The fastest and best application technique I feel for any non makeup artist is with your fingers.
Dot your cheeks and rub gently in curcular motions. Make sure you only apply foundation on the area which you're working on immediately. DO NOT APPLY ALL OVER YOUR FACE AND THEN START WORKING ON IT. Because sometimes these foundations dry fast and you might not be able to work it well enough if its too dry.

In this manner apply the foundation all over your face.

Now to highlight the best areas Use a concealer that is one shade lighter than your foundation.

I have a detailed post on highlighting your features.

Now that You have highlighted the area lets work on concealing problem areas.

Now usually if you need to conceal any area on your face you would want to do that before you start highlighting. Lets review concealing techniques based on generic facial problems.

To properly conceal imperfections you need to color correct it.

Dark Circles: If you have brown discoloration under your eye, the best product to use is a orange tint/apricot colour concealer.

Best Apricot Concealers: Bobbi Brown Correctors
12 Shades of apricot tinted color correctors for every skin tone. Suprisingly even though Bobbi Brown Cosmetics is specifically aimed at Indian Skin tone, it really works well on us.

Application technique: Dab it on the dark discoloration under the eye. With your ring finger continue to dab it in to blend into your skin. Do not swipe as that takes the product off rather than blending it in.

Acne Prone or if youre skin is very red:
You should use a mint green color concealer to cover the acne spots. If your skin looks very red you can also apply a thin layer of the mint green color before applying your foundation.

Best Mint Green Concealers: Makeup Forever Color Corrector Pallete no. 5

You can also kill 2 birds with one stone by buying color corrector primers. You get them in most cosmetic brands like NYX , Smashbox etc.

MOST COLOR CORRECTION HAPPENS BEFORE YOU ADD YOUR FOUNDATION. There is no set rule, with trial and error you will know what works best for you. For me I apply the appricot concealer on my dark circles after apply my foundation.

For other color correction techniques please click on this link

Now the last step to a perfect foundation routine.

Loose Powder: This step is to set your foundation so it doesnt move all day. This also helps mattefy your face and take away any shine.

Use a powder puff

Dampen the powder puff a little with a water spray bottle.

Then dip it in your loose powder and rub a little ont he back of your hand to spread it equally and remove excess. Then in a pressing motion applt it on your face, especially the T-Zone.

Gr8! Loose Powders. Christian Dior, Maybelline, MAC, Makeup Forever, Kryolan.

You cna get tinted loose powder or a mattefying powder. I personally dont like the HD powders because in pictures they tend to give you the ghostly white look.

Once you have applied the powder and set your foundation. Take a fan brush and dust of the excess from your face.
Your foundation routine is now complete.

Now lets move on to my favorite part!

Is simply the play of dark and light. When you want to hide something, that is when we apply a matte bronzer to the area.
For plus size women it works wonders.
There are generic areas where all face shapes should contour and those are shown int he picture below. NOW IF YOU HAVE A LEAN FACE, YOU MIGHT WANT TO AVOID CONTOURING.
The Jaw line and temples are where most women would want to apply a little bronzer. And remember start with a little and you can build on teh intensity depending on yoru taste. If you wish to get a straight line while contouring, you can use a credit card or business card as a guideline.
For plus size women or women with round faces, while contouring your cheekbones you want to start from the top of your ears and downwards towards mid cheek. This gives the illusion of a longer and slimer face and also higher cheekbones.
Best Bronzers : MAC Bronze (For anyone who uses MAC NC 40 and up.) MAC Golden (NC 30 and up ) MAC BLUNT for everyone! Love these bronzers. Remember for contouring you want a matte bronzer.
Now to add the color to your face. Your Blush routine.
I feel cream blushes work best in the heat that we have all year round. For round faces you want to go from the apple of your cheeks upwards. However start with a little and then build. You dont want to look like a 19th century lady of the night.
Application: Applying a cream blush is fairly easy. You apply it with small circular motion blending it upwards from the apple of your cheeks towards the top of your ear. The blush would go above your contouring and in fact you can blend the edge of your blush with the end of your bronzer for a more seemless.
Now you can start with highlighting. To know more about highlighting please visit my blog post.
Your makeup will last you the entire day and all you have to do to refresh it is use the MAC Fix plus spray anytime during the day.



Sunday, 3 March 2013

How to apply the perfect eyeliner and with what?

Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.

                                                                                                      -   Sophia Loren

Some of the most beautiful women in the world have the most expressive eyes. A well defined eye is sometimes all you need. A lot of women find it difficult to function without a little bit of eyeliner or deem themselves "sick looking" if they haven't applied their favorite beauty product.

Im going to share with you products to get an amazing well defined eye. As well as techniques and different types of liner shapes. Later in the week I will add a video tutorial to help the beginners with their liner application. Just to reiterate this post is  how to get a well defined eye and not about any full blown eyeshadow looks.

The first thing you need to know are the tools available to you.

Lets start with my favorite product.

Eye Primers: Eye primers are the products you apply on your upper and lower eyelid. This helps your eyeshadow, liner etc stay longer, the color is more enhanced and it stops your liners from smudging. So for all you ladies who love BLACKEST BLACK liners and hate that they don't last or smudge, then eye primers are your best friend. Some of my favorite primers are:

Urban Decay Primer Potion: In my humble opinion the "Holy Grail" of eyeshadow primers.

 Image courtesy
Image courtesy

Urban Decay Primer Potion comes in 4 different types. Original, Sin, Greed and Eden. They all have different colours & effects. However they essentially do the same thing, they keep your eyemakeup on for longer , enhance the colors and stop any smudging.

Application: You apply a little bit of the primer to your eyelids as well as lower lash line if youre going to apply any eyeliner in your waterline or lash line. Blend the primer evenly all of your lid and lash line. Do not apply this in your waterline.

Other options: NYX Eyeshadow Primer. You'll get eyeprimers in most cosmetic brands.

Now that we have our base correct, let now go to actual definition tools.

Black or Brown Eyeshadow:

Using an eyeshadow to line your eyes is probably the best way especially if youre a beginner.
Taking a small eyeshadow brush or a angled brush (cruelty free real fibre) you can dip it in the eyeshadow and apply gently with small strokes around your eyes. If you mess up its easier to clean with a lilttle bit of eyemakeup remover on a cue tip, then it is to clean eyeliner. Eyeshadow is also easier to blend and it gives you a lovely natural smoked out finish. Its a softer look then an eyeliner.

Favorite eyeshadows to use as a eyeliner: MAC CARBON, MAC BRUN & MAC BROWN DOWN.
Favorite Brushes to use with eyeshadow liner: MAC 263 (Hands down the best angled brush ever!)

Eyeliner Felt Pens: Now these are the easiest to use as well as remove. They mostly arent waterproof however they give a lovely glossy effect. You wont be able to blend it very well for a seamless look though after applying it you can blend the edges with a black eyeshadow. That will help with a smokey softer look. Perfect to practice a winged liner.

Favorite Felt Tip Liner: Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner.

Image courtesy

Pencil Liners: One of the best ways to line your waterline is with a pencil liner. If in case youre wondering, your waterline is the inside part of your lash line. We predominantly line our lower waterline.

My Favorite Pencil Liner is : MAC Smoulder. It's beautiful and has never smudged on me. In case if you experience any smudging, use a primer before applying your liner.

Image courtesy of

Other ways to line your waterline is with a Eye Khol or a Kajal.

How is a Kohl Liner different from a regular liner?

They are made of different ingredients, they're made to smudge easily so you won't tug at your eye to mutch when trying to smudge like you do with regular eyeliners. Also they tend to have more nourishing ingredients. That's pretty much why people use them to get the smokey eye kind of look.

Favorite Kohl Liner : ColorBar Indian Kohl.

What is the difference between Kohl and Kajal?

I checked ingredients, formulations and applications techniques for both products and the verdict is...they are absolutely the same. Kajal according to me is a little drier than kohl, but essentially the same product. They both smudge easily and give a great smokey eye effect. Also they are used to cool the eyes which helps if you tend to get any redness. They have a large amount of camphor which is good for the eyes.

Liquid Liners
This product is amazing to use, gives a great effect and if you use a waterproof liquid liner you are set for hours. A few drawbacks...You need to be a little experienced at eyeliner application to use this product efficiently, you cannot use it on your waterliner and last and most important if youre using a waterproof liquid liner which dries fast... it is a bi%ch! to remove if you have made a mistake and some waterproof liquid liners tend to peel of after a few hours.

My favorite Liquid Liner :Makeup Forever Aqua Liners

Image courtesy
Image courtesy
And at last my favorite Liner, The Gel eyeliner.
The consistantcy of the gel liner is literally like butter. It glides on smoothly. And you can get a glossy gel liner or a  matte gel liner.This can also be used in your waterline. The only con might be that you have to apply it with a eyeliner brush and that takes practice. But once you have achieved perfection you would not want to use anything else.
My Favorite Gel Liners: Bobby Brown Long wear gel liner & Maybelline Lasting Drama eye gel
Image courtesy
Beginners guide to perfect eyes
2. Which ever product youre using, apply it by making small dashes on your upper lash line. If your eyes keep fluttering or you cant close one eye and apply your liner, this technique helps you as you can keep checking your work after every small dash.
Image courtesy
3. Always make sure the hand you're using to apply your liner has support. This eliminates most mistakes.
4. Have a cue tip and eyemakeup remover handy to erase mistakes or make your eyeliner sharper.
5. Use a felt tip eyeliner initially till you get some practice.
6. Use an angled brush to apply eyeshadow or gel liner. Gives you straight lines and best for winged liners.
Different shapes of liners for the beginner

My favorite liner shape - The Cat eye!
I hope this helps all you lovely ladies define those pretty peepers.
Here's looking at you Kid!