One of the ads I heard recently on my local desi radio station refers to going natural because it’s good karma. Aside from having an issue with the implied link between skincare and good karma, I have to say that I’m not in agreement with this statement. As much as people say they like ‘natural looks’, no one wants to see you looking truly ‘natural’. Sometimes I think I scare my children when they see me early in the morning! :-)
Whether you’re a working woman, a homemaker or a college student, by spending an extra 10 minutes in front of the mirror, you are doing the world a favour. The message it conveys is that you care about YOU. Isn’t that what they mean when the airhostesses in airplanes instruct you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else? Self-love is imperative over anything else. I am not proposing you spend eons primping – at that point, you’re not doing the world or your family members any favours – but do make an effort to look polished.
Here are eight makeup essentials on looking like you, the ‘almost natural’ version:
Moisturizer: Who doesn’t love a dewy complexion? Find something that works with your skin and addresses your concerns whether it is anti-ageing, balancing, brightening, and so on. See if you can get one with hyaluronic acid; it plumps up your skin with moisture. (Click here for 5 moisturizers hiding in your kitchen!)
Eye cream: We need this twice a day, especially as we grow older. I have to admit, I often skip this step because I’m lazy. But I really shouldn’t. When I do skip, people ask me if I had a late night or if I’ve been ill. Not cute. (Here are 7 sure-fire ways of dealing with dark circles.)
A brightening foundation or tinted moisturizer or BB/CC cream: Liquid formulations work best as they add on to your moisturizer to continue with that dewy, glowing look. But make sure you take the time to find the colour best suited for you. I have seen several people wearing a shade or two lighter, because they think it makes them look fairer. Contrary to Nike’s catchphrase, in this case, ‘Just DON’T do it.’ (See this video on how to apply foundation perfectly.)
Eye liner + shadow : Play up the windows to your soul with some kohl, liquid or gel eyeliner. Shadow options are endless. Keep your audience in mind. A gentle suggestion: you may want to leave the purple eyeshadow with charcoal grey eyeliner for playtime. (For eyeliner ideas, click here and here.)
Mascara: A girl’s best friend. Never leave home without it or the mascara police (that is, I) will come get you. It’s one thing that makes the most difference in your appearance. Sometimes I have to control the urge of pulling out mascara from my purse and applying it on offenders. No exceptions or excuses for this rule! (Here are 8 mascara tips that are basically magic.)
Blush: Whether powder or cream, buy flattering shades and aim for a hint of colour on the apples of your cheeks. Smile when you apply. The keyword is a ‘hint’ of colour: it’s your face that you’re painting, that is, a small surface area, not a wall. Try not to lay it on thick.
Lipgloss or lipstick: This is self-explanatory. One thing to note, though: if you’re tempted to follow the lighter lipstick with a darker lipliner, please step away until the feeling passes.
Illuminator or highlighter: This is a great tool for adding shimmer to your cheekbones, above and below the browbone, your chin and the bridge of your nose. It gives you an iridescent glow. Avoid it at work: the lighting doesn’t marry well with the pigments found in highlighter (unless you want to be ‘that girl’ who incites the ‘who/where does she think she is’ chatter).
It sounds like a long list of to-do’s, but with practice, all you need is 10 minutes. What is 10 minutes in a day? One thought to close with: embellish what you have and embrace your imperfections. And like anything in life, everything is best in moderation. Otherwise, you risk ending up like Kajol in that scene from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai when she tries too hard and is made fun of by just about everyone.
Just don’t overdo it!
When not working on leadership development for an engineering company, Priyanka Khanna scouts the mall for new buys. She lives in Dallas, USA, with her husband and twin boys. She's on Instagram @browngirldiaries. Read her posts on her Fashion101.in Blog.