Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Glitter Graphics - Topglittergraphics

Do you CCH?

CCH would sound some kind of Chinese Chicken Hakka (Hong Kong) if I don’t tell you what it is! Well let me ask you again…..do you CONTOUR. COLOR and HIGHLIGHT? Sounds good and not some mystery game isn’t it?
Well these terms are so famous in the beauty industry that now a days they have become a phenomenon more than a technique. Every makeup artist, every blogger and just everyone has something to say about this and so do I. I’m more of a self taught makeup artist (I’d started makeup long before I joined a school to take a certificate) and take my time to research and improvise my makeup techniques all the time. I learnt my techniques by reading many books and lot of internet research and now I’m efficient enough to tell my story.

Its been sometime that I have fallen for shimmery contouring powder which we loosely term as bronzers. I don’t think all contouring powders are bronzer and neither are all bronzing powders meant for contouring. While bronzer enhances your tan and the glow that Sun would give, a contouring powder darkens and makes recede areas of the face that are already shadowed. This is totally my thinking and not taken from anywhere. Its more of a mind set. Another concept I believed in was that any shimmery product enhances the area of the face. So somehow I used to feel shimmery bronzers and contouring powders very dicey until I bought some to experiment. Similarly for me a blush was something to be worn alone and I used to always discriminate but today after realizing and talking to many famous makeup artists in the industry this mind set of mine has changed.

I always do some additions to the conventional stuff to make something of my own. I at least try it and sometimes I do succeed. Everyone has talked about a highlight and a contour and I thought of adding a color to it. And this is how I have my own CCH. I feel a combination of three does not make a crowd but make a jamboree. The intermixing of three colors gives the face a gradation of color and an enhanced sophisticated depth.

Well CCH can be done with absolutely any color keeping just a few things in mind viz.
- Contouring color should be dark and natural enough to deepen the shadows of the face and give an uplifting appearance.
- The COLOR is a blush that adds not only a flush but also gives a dimension and should always be a color lighter than the contouring powder even though it’s a tint of the same color.
- HIGHLIGHT should always be lighter than blush and accentuate the areas wherever it is applied.
- There should be coordination amongst colors.
- You can mix warm, neutral and cool colors and have infinite combinations. The only rule is that they should look good and not neutralize each other and turn grey.
- It should be like a spectrum with visible but contiguous differences and not bold and true colors.
- These colors can be of any texture but there should be a demarcation between cream and powder products. This bridging can be done by a translucent loose powder.
- Its not compulsory to use only 3 colors. You could use even more.

After some of these Newtonian laws let me tell you about the colors I’m featuring in this article. These are Mineralize blushes from MAC cosmetics and unfortunately they were limited editions. These are shimmery in texture and add radiance to the face.
Well this photograph even shows the brushes that I use at times to contour. I have many more but these were the ones I selected for this moment.
CONTOUR: - MAC mineralize blush in Love joy
COLOR: - MAC mineralize blush in Gentle
HIGHLIGHT : - MAC mineralize blush in Nuance

The idea to include a gold flecked raspberry colored blush with a shimmery golden peachy highlighter was to get a SALMON colored blush which is very flattering on all skin types. This is one of the newest additions to all skin color blushes and unfortunately many companies don’t make them, so it is best to make one of yours. At least you’d have a control on the color application.
The brushes I have featured are a small dome, large dome brush, angled blush brush and a duo fibre brush. Each brush has some great contribution in the whole technique.

The technique is simple. You start apply a contour in the hollow of the cheeks starting from outside of an imaginary vertical line drawn from the outside of the eyeball and is perpendicular to the ground. This makes you look not like a drag and smoothly contours the cheeks. This also gives a lifting effect to the face and enhances the features. I apply this with a small dome brush from Lancôme.

Then I apply the color on the cheek bones starting from the temples and coming inwards and downwards. This is because I don’t want the color to be on the apples of the cheeks. If this is not done properly it might spoil the look and it would be easier to look like a clown then. I use an angled blush brush from Smashbox to dust on some color on the cheeks. Sometimes only this much suffices but this is not the motto of the look.

In the end I apply my highlighter with the duo fibre brush as it really helps subtle applications. This brush dispenses a buildable amount of product on the face and does not load the face with the product. Its so versatile and this makes me pledge that I’d buy another one from MAC i.e. no.187 in the coming new year. I apply highlighter on the apples of the cheeks starting in wards upto the temples. Sometimes I love to draw a crescent from the apples of the cheeks to the brow bone to give the face a flattering dimension. I use the same duo fiber brush to blend in the colors and get the salmon color I wanted.

You can keep three colors differently but remember not to look a like a tri color flag. The demarcation lines should merge and it should have continuity.

To eliminate any harsh lines at the sides of the product I use a large dome buffer brush to buff in the harsh lines and blend the color into the hair line. This brush also can be used to soften the look.
You can also use crème based products to do this look. They mix very well and appear dewy and chic. Its something I’d post as soon as I buy the Shiseido Accentuating Stick no.1 in Bronze flush.

I hope you find this article useful……..do try this in natural day light and see yourself metamorphosing.

Till then,

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Specialsss….

Christmas is on and its another festive spirit after Diwali for me. We enjoy Christmas in the same way we enjoy Diwali. This Christmas its about rich looks and elegance. I’m going to show you two looks that would be quick and easy and beautiful.

LOOK 1 Christmas Angel

This time I am going to use strong colors on my friends may be on eyes or cheeks or lips. I prefer choosing colors that show festivity.
For this look we’d need: -

- Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch Primer
- Dior Forever Extreme Flawless wear foundation
- Dior Hydrating Concealer
- Shiseido Accentuating Stick in S3 Glistening Flush
- MAC Studio fix powder and Shiseido Illuminizing trio powder (not shown in the pic)
- Dior Shimmering Powder in Rose Diamond
- Chanel Tweed Blush in Tweed Amber
- MAC Holiday Collection Passions of Red Warm Eyes palette called Intriguing Scarlet with eyeshadow shades Warm Suede, Grand Entrance, Real Drama, Gentle Heat, Well Spiced and Sweet Joy.
- Lancôme eye pencil in Strass Black
- Lancôme Color Focus mono eyeshadow in Strass Black
- Max Factor Lash Perfection Mascara in Black
- The Body shop Cheek and Lip tint
- Lancôme Juicy Tube in Vanilla Soul
- Shiseido Eye lash curler

This is a very easy to carry and quickly done glamorous look.

after a cleansing, toning and moisturizing regimen I apply Clarins Primer on the areas where it is needed. On the nose, under eyes, on the forehead, sides of the nose and cheeks. This primer does wonders to hide open pores and fine lines, fills them up and is yet non comedogenic. It makes my foundation last longer even though this foundation I’m using does it already.
I take a small glob of foundation and apply it in the centre of the face blending outwards with a foundation brush and then a sponge to soak of any excess and blend at hair and jaw lines. I like to keep the foundation as sheer as possible yet giving a flawless balanced effect. I dab the concealer under eyes only if I need to hide any under eye circles as my foundation does 75% of my work already. I apply the concealer with my small Smashbox foundation brush and then dab it actually. A little bit of concealer goes in the inner area of the upper lid and brow bone. This is the area which is generally ignored and in photographs it might look obvious.
I’ve started blotting the nose even if its not required to prevent disasters. So I use MAC studio fix on the nose, forehead and under eyes to blot and set the foundation there and prevent creasing. Then I apply the creamy pearly Accentuating stick on the heights and apples of the cheeks, bridge of the nose, over the upper lip and as an eyeshadow base to give a bright pearly effect and keep my blushes from fading. You could use an eye primer as well, but sometime I love this as it does not entertain too much of pigment and specially does not crease. Creasing can happen on oily lids where I suggest using Urban Decay Primer Potion or MAC Paint Pot in Painterly.
I do a loose dusting of the luminizing powder to brighten up the complexion, fix the bases and balance any discolorations or uneven color.

For me this is an over all glamorous look so there is focus on everything in some or the other way. I start with the eye pencil around the lashes. This eye pencil has silver glitter particles so I would not advice to put it in the inner rims. I line the upper lash line as well as outer third of the lower lash line. Then I blend it using a crease blending brush. I apply the sparkly black eyeshadow on the outer one third of the lid and blend it in the outer crease as well as on the lower lash line for a smoky effect. Care should be taken while dusting the eyeshadow from the brush as it has a lot of sparkle. Then I take the burgundy plum color from the MAC palette and apply it in the crease blending it towards the brow bone and dragging it almost into the inner corners of the crease. This gives an illusion of cat eye effect. With a flat medium eyeshadow brush I apply the shimmery forest green from the palette all over the lid, taking care to keep the plum and green separate because they might turn into a dark brown and spoil the look. I apply the olive green sparkle in the inner corners and spice up the look. I use the bone shimmer as a highlight on the brow bone. On the lower lash line blend the plum into black in the middle one third and apply forest green in the inner one third of the lower lid. Curl the lashes and use 5 coats of mascara for sky high lashes.

I apply a number of blushes to get the effect I want. First is apply the Tweed Amber blush in the hollows of the cheeks for subtle contours blending into the temples and hair line. I start the contour from the mid way of the hollow going outwards using an angled blush brush. Then I dust the shimmer plum and sparkly pink colors from the shimmery powder palette on the pads of the cheeks or the cheek bones. Over which I highlight using the baby pink highlighter. I use a kabuki brush to slightly blend in the colors to create a diffusion and not demarcation of the blushes. Whatever remains on my brush, I dust only that much blush all over the face to balance the effect. This does not mean loading the brush with extra blush as you might end up looking like a clown. It needs subtle handling.

This is a favorite fail proof technique of mine and I love the way I get the result. I dab on some lip stain on the lips. 4 or more coats to get a lip bitten effect without biting them. The silicones in the formula help to plump up the lips adding an extra advantage. Over this I top on a glittery juice tube and the effect is exuberant.

This is a very conventional look. Let me glamorize it even further.

LOOK 2 Christmas Diva

To be a Christmas diva you need to follow some trends in makeup and make yours out of it.
For this look we’d need: -
- the same face products that I used before
- Shiseido accentuating powder blush in Glistening Brown
- Dior shimmer powder in Rose Diamond
- Dior 5 coleur eyeshadow palette in Tropical Lights
- Lancôme color focus mono intense eyeshadow in Green Bikini
- The Body shop mono eyeshadow in Slate Green
- Lancôme eye pencil in Strass Black
- L'Oreal Carbon Black liquid eye liner
- Shiseido eye lash curler
- MAC prep n prime mascara primer
- Lancôme Fatale mascara
- Lancôme color fever lipgloss in Boogie Brown

Keeping the face makeup the same lets see the decorations.


I use an eye primer from MAC called prep n prime which I forgot to photograph in the picture. This makes my eyeshadows stay a bit longer than usual and not settle in the crease. I start by lining the upper lash line with a pencil liner. Then smudge it with a smudge brush. I use the bronze shimmer from the eyeshadow palette and apply in the outer one third and the crease. Then I use the opalescent pink as a highlight on the brow bones. I gently wash the fluorescent green eyeshadow on the lid to open up the eyes and yet not make a bold statement. This eyeshadow from Lancôme can be layered and that’s what I like about it even if it is that vivid. I line the lower lash line with the same bronze and then apply the iridescent green or silvery taupe from the palette in the inner corners. I trace the liquid liner from inside out as a wing, curl the lashes, apply a mascara primer and 4 coats of Lancôme fatale mascara for a sensational effect. This effect can be seen and I don’t know how can I put it in writing.


The brown blush with subtle pink sparkle gives an amazing festive contour to the cheeks. I highlight using the shimmer powder but use only the light peachy pink and opalescent pink as a highlight on the heights of the cheeks. This brown blush is very versatile in itself and really looks good even when worn alone. Its in contrast to the Chanel Tweed blush which is beigey brown with lots of gold accents. These look very bright and beautiful even if the colors sound dull. Seeing is believing.


I complete the look with Lancôme Color Fever gloss in Boogie Brown which converts into more of a silvery beigey brown shimmer and is very long lasting..

Well these are the looks I have suggested and I could put pictures since I don’t have a regular model. Please feel free to ask questions and do let me know what you did this Christmas…
Till then,

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Plum Cakes

This Christmas I got a bit inspired looking at the plum cakes our neighbor gave us for Christmas. We generally fight over those but this time I acted a bit like Archimedes and thought over it. And this is how I have come out with some looks using plums.

Plum is an amazing fruit packed with antioxidants. It has this reddish violet color with some hints of black. But its definitely different from burgundy. When plums are not very ripe they are somewhat crimson in color. When cut this fruit has an inner yellow which is a strong contrast with the outer skin. Nature is so beautiful isn’t it? These fruits start as green and lose chlorophyll and become red. This journey from green to red gives a vivid spectrum of colors but we are thinking something that is truly ripe now.
Well when plums are dried they look like shriveled burgundy black colored things with a glaze and taste wonderful. Reminds me of filling my mouth during hunger pangs that I used to get.

Anyways I’m really fascinated with this color and believe me in any form of makeup colors, plum never goes wrong. Let it be a lipstick or an eyeshadow, plum happens to be one of the safest and beautiful colors to use. I like the plum color in all its forms including matte, shimmer and glitter and now a days my makeup stash is filled with plumy products.

Okay. So lets come to some innovative ideas with PLUM as the main color.
Some looks: -


- I have always paired plums with another favorite color of mine, FOREST GREEN. It makes a lovely pair and if you want a duo chrome effect you could try Shiseido’s Hydro powder eyeshadows. I apply a matte plum eyeshadow in the outer corners and into the crease. Then a shimmery forest green all over the lid and some moss green shimmer in the inner corners of the eyes to open up. It might look a little plant like but its worth it.
- I have paired plums with virtually all shadows and one of the combos is with Lilac. Its gives an aura of sophistication as well chic effect. I love to apply a matte plum in a smoky way and then dust a shimmery pearly lilac over the lid to create a duo chrome effect. Do try it as it looks lovely.
- I love to add a pink gold color when doing a plum makeup and one of my fascinating makeup looks is using an apricot eyeshadow with plum. I was awestruck looking at the effect.
- I have added taupe, beiges and even blues to plum to create various eye effects. One of the best one that I got was using plum with navy blue. It looks dramatic.
- For a versatile effect use multiple colors on the eye lid and a dark plum eyeshadow in the crease. It looks very balancing.
- Did you know there are Plum mascaras in the market? Shiseido and Clarins make them, I guess? They are wonderful to enhance brown eyes. Do a very natural makeup with just some hither thither shine everywhere and don this plum mascara. See the vivid effect it would create.
- When smoky plum adds an aura at night, shimmery plums create a subtle wash for the day. Very lovely.
- Sport them with pinks and see how you add a touch of sophistication in a girly makeup.


- A wash of plum blush brings out any complexion. Only the intensity changes with skin colors and goes from demure flush for fair to vivid stain for dark complexions.
- I have loved Clinique Fresh Bloom blush in Posy.
- Mix plum with a bronzer and have a wonderful interlude of colors. Loved Dior Bronze harmonie in sunshine party.
- Plums have looked wonderful in MAC blushes like Plum du Bois and I’m still regretting for not buying one.


- Plum on lips look like a cherry on cake. I have preferred Plum lipstains which look as if you have chewed beetroot to pulp, to shimmery plum lip glosses.
- Do try Max Factor’s gloss in Plum Shimmer. It accentuates the natural shine in a gloss with a muted plum effect. Its looks marvelous on a lip stain from The Body Shop.
- Matte plum lips look bold when the rest of the makeup is subdued….

Plum color is known to bring out many facets of makeup and definitely needs to be done tastefully.

Do share your ideas on Plum makeup…………..
Till then,
PollPub.com VoteWhat eyeshadow duo combos would you like to wear this Christmas?
Plum and Mint Green
Silver and Wine
Gold and Forest Green
Lilac and Slate Grey
Pink and Navy blue

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

A news to share....

Hi Readers,

Since my ravenous hunger for sharing the knowledge on beauty is not satisfied, I have started writing a new blog with a new theme.
Of course I'd be writing in here as well but I have another baby where I would write more on latest launches in the Makeup and Beauty Industry.

Please have a glimpse at www.makeupartistontour.blogspot.com and I'm sure you would love it....


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Makeup Breakups : Sushmita Sen

( the image used above is only for illustration purposes and does not have anything to do with publicity of the actress. Its just a fan following and I hope this is taken in a casual manner. I solemnly declare that the image used above is only to guide my readers to the makeup look and does not involve any personal matters. So please take this in a healthier way.)

Sushmita Sen is one of my favorite actresses and I have always loved the way she carries herself with elegance and panache. She is a typical Armani woman with demure and understated elegance but tough and bold enough to carry a Versace gown with the same panache. She is a very strong woman and her makeup reflects her brighter side. I have never seen someone who would apply bronzers in the most perfect way and never look overdone still. It needs guts and Sushmita has them in tones….

The glowing golden complexion of Sushmita is probably her trademark. The makeup she sports is more of skin than eyes or lips. Everything seems to be in equilibrium and balance when Sush is concerned.

So lets see how we could get inspired from the makeup on this diva….

For FACE: -

After a cleansing, toning and moisturizing, apply a primer that would cover pores and fine lines of the face. I prefer Clarins Instant Smooth Perfect Touch, which is very waxy and soft to feel but goes on amazingly on the skin. I like to use complexion enhancers to mimic the glow of the summer that is warm and enticing. This is the simplest way to sport any look from understated natural to divinely glamorous. I have always trusted YSL Teint Parfait in shade no.3 which has a slight amount of shimmer enough to give a dewy radiance. I prefer applying it under the foundation first and then over it if required as I want an illusion of the glow from within.
My foundation of choice for such alluring makeovers is Clinique’s Perfectly Real Makeup. This foundation glides like butter on the skin and the texture is so smooth and the coverage is sheer to medium and build able. This foundation sits on the skin like second skin. I use a foundation brush to apply this foundation starting from the centre of the face and all over. Sometimes I mix the complexion enhancer with this foundation and apply an extra hand over the heights of the cheeks and all areas where the light hits to make them glow even more. I finish and set the foundation with Clinique’s Super powder double face powder for an added coverage especially under the eyes where I prefer not using concealers if not required. This powder foundation does the trick and looks more natural under eyes than a goopy concealer. Of course in photographs sometimes a concealer may be necessary.
A dusting of translucent powder with a hint of shimmer like Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Loose powder over the highlight areas suffices over a blush at times.

Before dusting the loose powder, I prefer applying a crème bronze blush just to add on to the healthy effect. The application should be light and not look like a fake tan. I prefer applying with fingertips on the apples of the cheeks and blending it towards the temples. My choice has always been Shiseido’s Accentuating Stick in S1 Bronze Flush. This crème multi purpose stick can also be used as a lipstick and on eyes to balance the look.

After dusting the loose powder over this crème blush, I just add on some more glow using Shiseido Multi shade Enhancer in No.2 for a summery radiance. The amber color in the palette is my favorite and I apply it very sheer. A bit of dusting in the contours brings out the structure of the face. To balance the look dust whatever remains on the brush over your forehead, Nose Bridge and chin to look perfectly bronzed. Care should be taken in using the least amount of product to start with.

For EYES: -

I prefer applying an eye shadow primer or a base and my favorite is MAC paint pot in Painterly which is this beige pink base that matches the color of the lids and does not look pronounced. Then I use a gel based liner like MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack to create a base for the eyeshadow to stick on and accentuate the lashes. A bronze brown eyeshadow from MAC mineralize eyeshadows from the Red She said collection in Inter-view can be dusted on the lids near the lash line and blended well for a it of smoked effect. Apply the same eyeshadow in the outer half of the lower lid.
Then I apply Lancôme’s Color Focus eyeshadow in platinum brown on the lid and blend it into the crease and highlight the brow bone by using a shimmery bone color from Lancôme’s Color Focus Quad in Chic.
These palettes are my staples and they create some of the most extra ordinary eye looks. To end with the whole thing and so that eyes draw maximum attention I dust on a lustre eyeshadow from MAC called Honeylust which is a slightly bronze color with lot of shimmery particles. This is just a party time touch added to the already sophisticated eye makeup. I glide a black or charcoal color kohl eye pencil from Clinique in the inner rims and prefer not to use a liquid liner to keep the look soft and subtle.
Generous coats of YSL Faux Cils or Clinique's High Definition mascara in Black follow and complete the eye makeup. Lush lashes are always in…..

For LIPS: -

I apply the Shiseido accentuating stick in bronze as a base coat and then glide on Lancôme Color fever gloss in Boogie Brown for a natural looking pout. Other favorite warm taupe colored gloss of mine is Clinique’s Impossibly Glossy lip gloss in Soda Crème. Just love it.
Sometimes a touch of Lancôme juicy tube in Pamplemousse does the trick too but just as an accent.

Other products that can be used are: -
1) Elizabeth Arden Bronzer
2) Lancôme Star Bronzer
3) Lancôme Maharani Jewels Elephant palette
4) Clinique superfit makeup foundation
5) Estee Lauder Double wear foundation
6) Clarins Color quench lip balm
7) Shiseido Lipgloss in G4 Petal
8) Givenchy Prisme Bronzer
9) Clinique Color Surge eyeshadow quad in Spicy
10) Dior Bronze Harmonie in Sunset Party
11) L'Oreal Eva Longoria eyeshadow palette
12) Chanel Exceptionnel de Chanel mascara
13) Dior Highlighting powder in Amber Diamond

I’d strongly recommend good quality bronzers as the medium ones are either too orange or too red and could spoil the entire look..

Do try this look at home and give me the inputs.


This is the latest collection of the brushes and makeup tools that I'm using and it is increasing day by day...


I never knew neither did anticipate that Dior would make foundations that are so good for Indian skin that I’d actually go and buy one. This happened as a miracle or probably an impulse when I saw this foundation online.
I sometimes like to wear a little bit of color on my face (of course its never obvious and none of my employers have ever realized that I wear a foundation until I tell them sometime due to slip of tongue) and thence I keep on searching for foundations that would help me solve the purpose.
I have my own Lancôme Teint Idole and Shiseido Dual foundations in O60 and O40 but somehow I was searching for something more enduring and long lasting and yet a wonderful finish. And one fine day my search ended or that’s what I feel.
While I was browsing through the newly renovated Dior counter in Juhu Shopper stop I managed to lure the SA for some foundation samples and the shade no. 030 suited my skin perfectly well. I would have never dared to shell out Rs.4250 for the foundation she showed me but I was determined after seeing the finish.
Then one day while browsing through Strawberrynet.com I saw this foundation and fell in love with it the moment I read the description. And here is this foundation which I love and wear the most. I mix it with my Clinique or Givenchy moisturizer and voila I have the most perfect form of tinted moisturizer ready to go.

This foundation is called Dior Forever Extreme Wear Flawless makeup and is known to suit all the harshest environmental conditions you could think of. (lately I have stopped thinking after the terrorist attacks at Mumbai, one of the worst experiences in anyone’s life when you lose someone you know.). But this foundation holds true for what its meant to do.

A little amount coming out of the dispenser is enough to last for the whole day and this really gives a medium coverage in just one application. Yet the foundation cannot be built upon in layer as it dries too quickly and could turn cakey or may look heavy.

After a month of application I have actually understood the technique of applying this foundation to achieve the perfect result the company promises. Since the texture is very fluid rather than being goopy, just a little amount goes a long way. Its better to apply the foundation using fingers rather than using a brush. Actually this is one of those foundations that I find uncomfortable to apply with a brush. What I do is after a CTM regimen if I have to go for a seminar or makeup workshop, I take a dime size or even lesser on the back of my hand. Warm it for 2-3 seconds as it tends to dry if more than that and apply it first at the areas I need coverage. These areas generally include under eyes, eye lids, T zone and cheeks. No foundation on chin as the beard area is too prominent there. The only thing is you need to blend very quickly as this foundation doesn’t know how to wait and get blended. It just melts into your skin (of course if you have the right color) and makes you appear flawless. Since it is a heavy duty foundation, the main focus is towards mattified shine free face but after long hours of wearing it in a tropical climate does let the shine come after a few hours of non retouching.

This foundation is somewhat perspiration resistant and does not fade away. It seems to renew itself at times and maintain the flawlessness. The longest time I wore this foundation was for 15 hours and believe me, not a trace of fading. I felt just so proud of myself for getting something like this. Well this foundation is very pricey compared to any other department store foundation and sampling is heavily recommended as the shades could go wrong when Indian skins are concerned.

So here are the pros and cons….
Lovely foundation that gives a mattified medium finish and a distinctive glow to the face. The product comes in a sleek glass bottle which looks very rich and beautiful as all other Dior products. The effect is long lasting and the foundation can be removed with face wash or a cleanser with a wee bit of effort. This foundation is very good for Photography makeup as well in case I mentioned it in my earlier posts.
Btw it is based on Nano technology and I havent really discussed that.
Dries quickly and does not give time to blend. It’s a little costlier than many comparable foundations but worth every penny….

I’d definitely recommend some one to buy this if they are interested.
Suggested Price: -Rs.2550 approximately MRP


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Beauty Splurges,,,,

Hey Guys

I know I’m writing after a long time but I had no choice as I was down with typhoid and took a long time to heal and come back to normal. There is no such topic I’m thinking of right now but I could advise on some smart shopping to be done before Christmas.
Holidays are soon to start and beauty stores are loaded with new stuff that needs prodding.

This Holdiay I’m smitten with colors like Plum and Wine and Silvers and of course winter staples like navy, forest greens and grays. So let me recommend some colors that could be tried out…..

1) Clinique Color Surge Quad in Plum Seduction as a wonderful array of plums and neutrals that make a wonderful palette this season. Plum on eyes is a wonderful treat and I cannot tell how beautiful brown eyes could look. Priced at Rs.1750 INR 2) Lancôme Color Focus single eyeshadows….I’m a great fan of these and the colors I’d recommend specially for this season are Platinum Brown and Black Strass…..these colors are best when you want to flaunt some wine colored lippies. Priced at Rs.950 INR
3) Dior Bronze Harmonie shade no.5 Spicy Desert…this rosy and coppery bronzer is ideal to add some winter warmth to the skin when places go really cold. These warm shades just flatter Indian complexions like anything. Priced at Rs.2450 INR
4) Chanel Tweed Blush in Tweed Rose and Tweed Amber….These shades are oh so lovely and look very beautiful. The tweed pattern in which silvers and golds are intertwined and interwoven with a burst of the other colors resembles mademoiselle Chanel’s Tweed Jacket. This is one of the blushes with a choice of building colors and is mediocre pigmented. Sometimes I find these blushes better than MAC for regular makeups as MAC ones are intensely pigmented. Priced at Rs.2200 INR
5) MAC Red she said Mineralize eyeshadows are a must this season and if you don’t have one of these I’d advise you to run and grab at least one today. Rs,1040 INR
6) Clarins Eyeshadow Quads in So Chic and So subtle…..these quads just took my breath away. They are more than fantastic and the pigment quality and colors are very good.
7) YSL Golden lipglosses are just perfect this season (Rs.1260) but my love is towards Chanel’s Levre Scintillante in Sideral….(Rs.1450 INR) which is packed with violet pink shimmer and makes a lovely combo with most of the eye products I talked about…

This is all for now….Shall soon talk about Christmas makeups and what to do for the New year…..

Till then…….

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

MAC Cosmetics Essential Eyeshadows.........

Hi All,

MAC cosmetics are one of the brands that always make best sellers. They are well known in the fashion circuit for their enormous and vivid range of color cosmetics that they offer from a damsel to a hard core fashionista.
When I go to my local MAC store at Juhu Shoppers Stop I see a lot of confused faces and most of the time perplexed and hyper excited ones too. The reason being not able to choose a color from the wide array of colors that are displayed for eyeshadows, blushes, lipglosses and many more. MAC is known for having the largest number of foundations in the Indian market and that makes it more specific yet more confusing.
Today I have decided to make a post on the best shades of eyeshadows that MAC could offer to an Indian woman. Most of them have already been heard somewhere or read in some magazine but I believe shopping for MAC eyeshadows with a proper guide is truly an overwhelming experience.
The shadows that I am going to talk about are the regular ones and not the limited editions though I have most of the latter, with the thought that they won’t come back again. These eyeshadows are retailed as singles for Rs.820 for 1.5 g and the same comes in just a pan without its carton for Rs.620 for 1.5 g. MAC also offers empty palettes of 4 and 15 eyeshadows for Rs.340 and Rs.840 respectively in which you could buy the pans and make your customized palettes yourself. These customized palettes are easy to carry, look very professional and are completely user friendly. Good for makeup artists and beauticians who have to carry a lot of makeup and this enables them to organize their cases properly.
I have my own favorites and they are one the most used eyeshadows in my vanity case.
So let’s see some of the best eyeshadows MAC offers for Indian women: -
(These are the names of the eyeshadows that I’d be giving)
Folie: - Intense plum-brown (satin)
Pink Venus: - Washed pink (lustre)
Star Violet: - Earthy touched pinky-brown plum fusion (veluxe pearl)
Sushi Flower: - Soft bright pink coral with opalescent pink shimmer (satin)
Cranberry: - Reddish plum with pink shimmer (frost)
Sketch: - intense burgundy plum flecked with red shimmer (velvet)
Hepcat: - Jazzy little deep blue wine (frost)
Beauty Marked: - Deep blacked red with a sparkled twilight effect (velvet)
Nocturnelle: - Pinked up chrome purple (frost)
Electra: - Muted silver with icy metallic shimmer (frost)
Beautiful iris: - Fresh lavender with sheen (veluxe pearl)
Parfait Amour: - Vivid bluish-violet duochrome with violet opalescent shimmer (frost)
Contrast: - Intense bluish purple flecked with blue shimmer (velvet)
Deep Truth: - Very real truthful dark blue (Forts)
Plumage: - Dusky peacock (matte)
Aquadisiac: - Deep sea turquoise (lustre)
Humid: - Intense vivid green with shimmer (frost)
Bitter: - Vivid bright golden green flecked with shimmer (velvet)
Vanilla: - soft pale peachy ivory flecked with shimmer (velvet)
Greensmoke: -Tarnished olive (lustre)
Nylon: - Pale gold with icy metallic shimmer (frost)
Goldmine: - Intense Gold with shimmer (frost)
Patina: - Muted taupe brown with golden shimmer (frost)
Retrospeck: - Beached blonde (lustre)
Samoa silk: - Polynesian peach (veluxe)
Woodwinked: - Warm antique gold (veluxe pearl)
Cork: - Muted golden brown (satin)
Honey lust: - Bronze dipped peach (lustre)
Brun: - Muted blackish brown (satin)
Mulch: - Intense gold reddish brown flecked with golden bronze shimmer (velvet)
Coppering: - Hi reflective orange copper (veluxe pearl)
Carbon: - Intense black (matte)
Blacktied: - Midnight black with silver white sparkle (velvet)

Please be careful of duplicates sold in the entire country. Try buying products from authentic MAC flagship stores in India and after surveying a few unauthentic ones I have found out that the pricing is higher than the actual price. Please do not buy if instead of names you see numbers on the eyeshadows.
If you happen to pass by at Juhu Shoppers stop where I shop the most of my MAC stuff please ask for Neetu or Shaily who are one of the most talented and warm hearted companions at MAC you would ever see. Please do give them the reference in case needed and they would help you even to get a makeover done (at a certain cost that would be reimbursed as products later on).
Next time I shall write about the essential MAC blushes. Till then…………

Monday, November 10, 2008

Congratulations to MYSELF

I got a job at Clinique in Mumbai....YAY!....I'd be working as a part time skin and makeup consultant in this fabulous brand and would like to invite everybody from January onwards to Clinique@ Shoppers Stop,Inorbit Mall.....
Here are a few products that Clinique is famous for......


This fall, what fascinated me the most was the usage of strong and bold colors, strong enough to make a bold and glamorous statement but soft enough not to go overboard!
This time the makeup techniques are refined and delicate application of bold colors ruled the ramps.

What I loved was the makeup at one of the most exotic fashion shows in the world, Alberta Ferretti. The eyes were the same smoky ones that we see everywhere but something enticing and alluring phenomenon happened here. This is called “whisper of color”.

Its an amazing transformation of sophistication and I would be a fool not to mention this as a makeup update and of course with my own additions.

This fall choose some amazing colors like navy blue, pewter, gunmetal, dark taupe, purple, deep forest green, teal, dark mauve, burgundy, wine, midnight blue, dark khaki and of course all possible browns and blacks for eyes. This is the technique invented by masters of the makeup universe like Pat McGrath, late Kevyn Aucoin, Tom Pecheux, Gucci Westman, Val Garland and many more.

The key is to use it as a whisper which means using a wee bit of concentrated bold color and blending it over a larger surface area for a longer time so that it fades and just leaves a trace of color. This is done for very bold blushes, lipsticks and eye shadows and believes me it works.

So I am going to show you a few methods of doing these for eyes………
1. Prep and prime the lid but see to it that you apply less amount of product and I’d prefer a liquid one rather than solid as blending is the key. I’d suggest usage of a small or medium sized flat brush as it helps control the amount of eyeshadow that is to be picked and dispenses at the right place. I prefer small eyeshadow brush from Shiseido.
2. After using an eye primer, before it dries off apply thin line with a pencil liner and smudge it using a thin liner or flat liner brush…..the key is to smoke it out.
3. Line the lower lash line and do not put any liner in the inner rims as it becomes too dramatic and the purpose of the whisper doesn’t solve. The liner is in the picture could be skipped.And that is something different than the conventional one.
4. Then with the above mentioned flat eyeshadow brush take the tiniest amount you can pick and apply it all over the lash line and blend horizontally and vertically till the crease.
5. The amount of desired color can always be built and done according to your needs. Drama could be created by using a lighter contrasting shimmery color applied in the inner corners or in the inner rims. For e.g. if you are doing a navy blue eyes, try putting some copper shimmer in the inner corners and believe me it looks ravishing.
6. Be very very extravagantly generous with the mascara and skip the liquid liner for the day or else keeping it smoky and faded.
7. Use a warm orange or hot fuchsia blush and apply just a hint to add on a healthy flush.
8. Use the new mouth watering range of lip tints from Bourjois to finish off and I am sure you’ll get accolades.

Here the color is very important. You could stick to colors from MAC or YSL as they are bold enough to create the required dimension.
Since there are no rules don’t forget to reinvent your style again and again….


Monday, November 3, 2008

Val Garland and YSL Tuxedo Collection

YSL - ITV Val Garland / Makeup Summer 09 from Julien Berger on Vimeo.

I have seached high and low for this video....Hope you like it...

The new spelling of Glamour by YSL

YSL this season brings out a magnificent array of colors that would be etched in our minds for a long time. Never did I think that YSL would bring in such a collection. No doubt, it’s the work of makeup artist whom I love and whom we have seen backstage as a key makeup artist to some of the biggest fashion shows in the world, Ms. Val Garland. Val lends her expertise as a creator of color cosmetics for YSL and has always worked on the bold side.
She happens to take the Parisian Chic to a new level with a new dimension. Inspired from the designer YSL’s vision of using bold colors, this time the makeup also takes a vivid dimension.
From one of the most coveted limited edition collection for Fall 2008 is their limited edition tuxedo collection. Yes of course there are other makeup products that need a standing ovation too but this eyeshadow palette stole my heart.
At YSL its all about looking haute couture even though you couldn’t afford the apparel wear itself. The stress this season is on a wonderful sparkling smoky eye that reminds us of the late designer’s passion towards clothes and styling. The palette for me works on an emotional level as well as I had always worshipped the talent and creativity of Yves Saint Laurent. (I still remember how I couldn’t concentrate on my makeup artist’s interview at Clarins that day)
So what did I do for that? I bought this beautiful golden palette to churn out some looks of my own.
This palette called Poudre Collector Pour Le Yeux I’m talking about consists of 3 eyeshadows that are designed to make you look fashion forward and avante garde and add a substance to your makeup style this fall winter 2008. The three eyeshadows making up this iconic palette are black mica, bluish grey and ivory.
These eyeshadows intensify the eyes in shades of black and is an ultimate in creating smoky eyes with the help of these closely connected colors. One thing about this palette is that the luminous ivory stripe mimics the satin stripe of the tuxedo. The formula has an exceptional satin texture thanks to the silica micro spheres which distract light in wide angle creating an ultimate luminous eye with an incomparable radiance giving an amazing graphic interpretation in between light and shadow…
Isn’t it a collector’s edition?
Next time we’d bring this palette to use to create some wonderful looks for the fall season.
Till then

Articles to come ahead: -
-Highly recommended eyeshadow colors from MAC cosmetics without which its impossible for a makeup artist to begin his career.
-Look for the Winter from the makeup house of Shiseido
-Inspirations to create some fantastic looks for the fall season.
-Makeup breakup on R-T-W brands that I love the most.
-Essentials in a makeup bag of a woman who wants to make a fashion statement.

Wait as time gives you its worth…………..

Monday, October 27, 2008

Neeraj’s Must Buys for Diwali

Its been sometime that people keep on asking what should we buy this season to look good. There are so many options these days as so many companies’ launch their seasonal collections but I believe it adds on more to the chaos and confusion that is already there. I haven’t seen any sales associate on any counter telling me that this product is not right for you as they are trained not to do so. But this adds to more confusion and in the end spoils the name of the brand (which goes unrealized due to the huge market they have in the world).
The departmental brands in the struggle for survival come out with such wooing colors that makeup junkies like me run amok with their monetary plans. So I thought why not take the initiative of suggesting the best things from each brand that is worth buying this season.
Many companies come out with GWPs or Gifts with Purchase and sometimes its better to avail for those.

Its Diwali on Tuesday and girls are saving their wallets for some last minute cosmetic shopping, so here’s a small guide for them.

Note: - I’d be including the shopping things I personally feel the best and does not imply on any one’s choice. Please read my article with a broader mind and understanding on the restrictions of a human mind.

Since this Diwali or even for the rest of the seasons, “the skin is in” so having a wonderful skin is as important for anything. Some sparkle in the makeup is needed to make a glamour statement and the metals are in again. So lets have a look at my recommendations.


Cleansers: -
YSL Radiance Revealer Foaming Face Wash
Shiseido Pureness Foaming Face Cleanser as well as Cleansing Water
Elizabeth Arden Intervene 3 in 1 Face Wash

Toners: -
Shiseido White Lucent Softener

Moisturizers: -
Elizabeth Arden Intervene Dap lotion with spf 15
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
Clarins White Plus Hydrating Lotion spf 20


Foundation LIQUID
Christian Dior Forever Extreme Wear foundation
Clarins Tru Radiance Foundation
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra enduring makeup foundation
Chanel Vitalumiere foundation

Budget Buy {BB}: -
MAC Studio Fix fluid
Max Factor Miracle Touch

Foundation POWDER

Shiseido Supplist Poreless Powder foundation
Lancôme Dual Finish Powder Foundation

BB: -
MAC Studio Fix Powder


Shiseido Luminising Trio powder
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Loose Shimmer Powder


YSL Touché Éclat
Dior Flash Radiance Concealer
Dior Hydrating Concealer
MAC Select studio concealer


Shiseido Accentuating Stick in S6 Champagne Flush
Shiseido Accentuating Powder Blush in B3
YSL Autumn Winter Limited Edition Face Palette
MAC Manish Arora Collection Blush in Devil’s own
MAC Powder Blush in Honor


YSL Five color eyeshadow palette in No.2 Indian Pink No. 3 Tawny and No.5
Clarins Holiday Collection Limited Edition Palette in Precious Colors
MAC mono eyeshadow in Sushi Flower, Amber Lights, Smut and Rice Paper
MAC Pigment in Melon
Christian Dior 5 color palette in Gold Reflection

BB: -
Bourjois Ultra Stretchable Mono Eyeshadows


Lancôme Hypnose Onyx
Chanel Exceptionnel
MAC Zoom Lash mascara
Christian Dior Blackout Mascara
MAC Plush Lash mascara
Givenchy Phenomen’eyes Mascara


Lancôme Liquid eyeliner traceur
YSL Eye liner moiré
Shiseido automatic liner
MAC Fluid line
Clarins Eye pencil

BB: - Bourjois Kohl and Contour


YSL rouge volupte
Clarins Joli Rouge
Christian Dior Addict Ultra Shine lipstick

BB: - Max Factor Color Match Lipsticks


Lancôme Color fever lipglosses
Chanel Levre Scintillante lipgloss
Christian Dior Ultra Addict Lipgloss
Ysl Golden Lipgloss
Shiseido Lipgloss in G29 and G30

These are some of the newest launches this season and a cult favorite of every makeup junkie. If you feel the same, then I must say, “Go for it.”

Ciao and a very Happy Diwali

Friday, October 17, 2008

Rendezvous with Unaid Ansari, Makeup Expert

Beauty traveling is all about meeting amazing people, seeing the newest products and talking about the inflating beauty market in India. Sometime in the run I come across some people who fascinate me and learning something new from them is always welcoming.

It’s been a great pleasure to talk to one of the makeup magicians, Mr. Mohammed Unaid Ansari. Unaid is the one who conjures gorgeous faces at Givenchy in India and is an excellent person to talk to.
I was lucky enough to have a small chat with him through his really hectic schedule and grab a bite at some of the latest things in the beauty trends.

Beauty Traveller: - Hi Unaid, Would you tell us something about yourself?
Unaid Ansari: - I’m Mohammed Unaid Ansari Makeup-Artist and makeup trainer for Givenchy India operation. My work usually is of training, conducting workshops for my clients, recommendations on various makeups according to different skin types and concerns and also educating my clients about the proper method of wearing makeup.

BT: - So what inspired you to be a makeup artist?
UA: -I’ve been into Art since my childhood. I was very good in sketches and makeup just came along by itself. I graduated from college and was into the family business and just thought of doing a job and joined Clarins as a Beauty Advisor. Color cosmetics fascinated me and I always liked to try something new all the time. And with the constant support and inspiration of my friends and colleagues, I am where you see me today.

BT: - Did you go to a makeup school?
UA: - I didn’t take any formal training in makeup artistry and just followed the basic rules and my creativity. I had to work hard though and remember spending hours and hours on browsing the internet for collecting makeup tips and tricks from international artists and learning on how they worked. That is how I learned how to hold (makeup) brushes and the proper strokes of makeup application.

BT: - How long have you been in the industry?
UA: - I’ve been in this industry since 5yrs and have worked in various sectors of beauty though makeup artistry has always been a passion and I’m happy that now its my profession.

BT: - What is your take on the Fall/Winter trends this year?
UA: - As far as what I’ve seen this Fall/Winter, the makeup its very intense with a lot of emphasis on the eye with solid bold colours and nude colors for the lips and a good coverage for the face if necessary. It’s very important to hydrate the skin by following daily skin care regime. This is the time to experiment with darker colors.

BT: -How do you set trends in makeup?
UA: -Makeup trends according to me are set by your creativity. Its like, how creative you can get with whatever resources are available with you. You need to keep on trying something innovative which could be a new application technique or wearing a certain kind of makeup which would suit your personality. It is very obvious that people have different face and body structure and carrying a particular shade on them depends on there profile and the ease of carrying even the heaviest looks. Trends are set in things that one is comfortable in and even a Kohl pencil can set a trend if worn in a stylish way and if one could carry it.

BT: - So true. But Indian women commit faux pas? Don’t they?
UA: -The biggest mistake what I still see in women here is that they choose a wrong shade of foundation. They end up being a prey to wrong shades thanks to the myth that fair foundation makes you look fairer. They need to understand that our skin tone is yellow and they must buy one that matches it and not something with a pink tone. That really is the biggest flaw in makeup and that’s how they end up looking cakey. Secondly a dark lip liner and a light lipstick look so garish and it’s like committing a sin but unfortunately almost everyone does that. My tip is to outline the lips with a lip liner and blend the same shade of lip liner all over the lips. Then put the lipstick on top as that gives a nice base for the lipstick to sit on and stay put for a longer time.
Another common mistake is the way of putting an (eye) liner. Never start from the inner corner of the eye instead always start from the outer corner taking it inwards. This gives a lifting look to the liner than a drooping one in the corners.

BT: - Could you tell us “the” 5 must-haves in a woman’s purse?
UA: - Moisturizer, Compact, kohl pencil (Black), Mascara, Lip gloss.

BT: - I think one of the most complex things is to carry out an office look as it goes over the board almost all the time. What would you suggest?
UA: - Just try to be as natural as possible. Try to wear shades which are not too shimmery or gaudy. Opt for shades that are towards the softer note. You can wear peaches, pinks, corals and mauves. These colours will give a softer but an elegant look. Don’t try to over do the retouching of T-zone and kohl as it could go over the top and make you look geeky.

BT: - Any tips for evening makeup? (My readers would be dying to know that.)
UA: -For evenings, I would suggest to go a little heavier on the eyes with colours such as green, violets, blacks and browns with a lot of emphasis on kohl and mascara as that would make the eyes pop and stand out. Go for nude lips as the emphasis is on the eye and your blush should be match with the lip shade. Just to add a little zing to the look, apply a blush with shimmery particles on the cheeks to get that glam look but in tiny amounts. You can also go bronzed and dusky for the evening parties by adding a bronzer to the foundation and then accentuating the cheek bones, jaw line, sides of the forehead, neck and also the cleavage if it’s a plunging neckline. Add on a little shimmer to spice up the look.

BT: - What brands are you currently using?
UA: - M.A.C, Bobbi brown, Red earth, Kryolan, Dior, Givenchy, Estee lauder, Helena Rubinstein, V.O.V, Clarins and Shiseido.

BT: - Could you give us a personalized recommendation on certain makeup products: -
UA: -
Foundation- Givenchy Skin tonic foundation, Clarins true radiance, Shiseido The Stick, Estee lauder double wear stay in place.

Concealers- Givenchy mister light, Clarins instant light perfecting touch.

Blush - Estee lauder cream stick, Givenchy prism blush, M.A.C cream and powder, Shiseido.

Eye makeup- from Dior, M.A.C, Chanel, YSL, Lancôme.

Mascara- Chanel, Givenchy, Lancôme, M.A.C, Clarins, Dior.

Lipsticks- Givenchy, Dior, Shiseido, Chanel, Estee lauder and Clarins.

Lip glosses- Lancôme, Dior, Clarins, and Chanel.

BT: - Thanks a million Unaid for giving us some of your precious time. Thanks for being such a inspiration. Best of luck for your future ventures.

Dear Readers,
If you have any queries to ask Unaid please feel free to mail it to him on ansari.unaid@gmail.com


Monday, October 6, 2008

The Interview Buzz

Soon shall come an interview with makeup artist par excellence, Mr.Unaid Ansari.....
I hope you guys are as excited as I am..

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Photography makeup chronicles

Fashion photography and editorial work is the most enjoyable experience anyone (including a makeup artist) can get. It’s a fun taken to the ultimate levels of creativity.
We work as a team and it’s an amazing thing to see.
Though all this happens the makeup that we do is really heavy and sometimes can look way beyond real. Unfortunately this trend is still there in India and I am not proud to say that. We are still bound with an invisible chain and somehow don’t come out of it.
Well you would wonder what am I talking about?? Well I’m talking about the foundation and the base.
Lets not blame or involve anybody as its too rude to do that.
Let me talk about how to look good in your own photo shoot. We need photographs everywhere right from passport size to I don’t know what all……but are always unhappy as it doesn’t turn out the way we want it.
The most important reason for this to happen is using an improper makeup technique. The lights used in photography are sometimes very strong and can penetrate through the skin accentuating all the flaws of the face. Here we need to create a good base so that our skin looks flawless and real….
In this post I’d be writing the foundations and the methods which I do to make my models look very good in photos….

Step 1
I do a thorough cleansing to remove the last speck of dirt that could be seen on the face. Then I spray a toner spritz to cool down the face and balance the pH. This helps a lot as the acids on our skin might change the color of the foundation making it look dark.
Then I massage on a nice luxurious moisturiser like the one from Etre Belle cosmetics called Sensi plus day & night cream. It feels good and massaging warms up the skin.
Then I use a foundation primer for extra smoothness…

Step 2
After the primer I spray on MAC fix+ spray for a hydrating effect and for the makeup to glide on really well. The foundations I use are generally liquid and not cream when doing makeup. But since a few photo shoots I have started using products that make a lasting impression. Under a base of liquid foundation I use a 3 in 1 stick foundation instead of a color corrector or complexion enhancer. After dabbing the stick foundation on the face I use a damp sponge or fingers for the product to sink in. I apply the stick foundation as a concealer in the under eye area and it gives me better coverage than a regular concealer without going heavy. Over this I apply a layer or two of a high definition foundation and voila! There you have a flawless skin which does not look heavy or made up.
Then just layer of loose powder to fix up the makeup. If any more fixing in the complexion is needed I use the Mac fix+ spray again and powder it with a dual powder like MAC studio fix.

I found some amazing products in the market that I would like to share.

Liquid foundations: -

Etre Belle Cosmetics Water resistant foundation
Lancôme’s teint idole ultra enduring makeup
Loreal tru match liquid foundation
Shiseido dual foundation
Mac studio fix fluid
Dior Forever Extreme wear makeup

Stick foundations: -

Shiseido stick foundation
Loreal stick foundation
And a new discovery of a stick foundation in a gel base from Chambor which glides like water.

Another most coveted product is Max Factor Miracle Touch Foundation which is an amazing crème to liquid to powder foundation and gives an excellent natural coverage.

When you do this I can guarantee a clear and clean looking skin very good for photography.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Be a Maharani with Lancome

Lancome at last launches an India inspired makeup collection called Maharani Jewels.Wish Maharanis were alive to see it and I'm sure they would have bought it without considering their age.This collection for me is a celebration of beauty....very royal and something that would make girls look like pretty princesses and women like glamorous queens.

This collection comprises of some products that would adorn anybody's makeup table or bag and on applying let live the old gold era...
The products that they have launched are: -

1.Poudre elephant teint bronzed powder: -An amazing powder palette with a subtle golden pink,apricot orange and golden bronze used to give subtle highlights and perk up the complexion. This limited edition bronzed has an elephant embossed in it. In India, elephants denote royalty, inner strength and nobility.Its available at Lancome counters for Rs.2000 INR

2.Le Crayon Khôl Kajal : -This ultra-soft khôl divinely glides across lids, lining them in exquisite deeply pigmented color. Natural jojoba oil and organic beeswax make application smooth and comfortable. For sultry eyes, evocative of a Bengal beauty, India Ink imbues an intense black for a captivating look. For softer, but equally sexy eyes, smoke out the rich brown hue of Amber Night or delicately apply the lustrous color of Smoky Henna.
3.Lotus Beauty in Warm Padma and Brown in Nalini : - which is like a collectors edition of 2 eyeshadow and 2 lip colors

4.Juicy Tubes "byNature" with organic extracts in Blackcurrant,Cherry Almond,Ginger and Orange
Note:-Many thanks to Bjooti for letting me use her pictures.
And lastly heartiest congratulations to Mr.Aaron de Mey for being appointed as the new International Artistic Director of Lancome in place of the legendary Gucci Westman Neville.I'm sure he'll do a wonderful job and give us the same amazing products that Lancome is known for.He would be bringing his expert eye and creativity for the new fall 2008 range and onwards.....

Peach Melba

Hey, I’m back after a very long time as I was busy with my new job as a training manager at a German cosmetic brand, Etre Belle. This time I have splurged excessively on buying high end cosmetics from Dior, Chanel and MAC and my mum is going to really take me to task if I don’t return her money back.

I have thought of some looks that we could do for the coming fall and invite the winter with grace and glamour.

So we have our first look for fall 2008 – Peach Melba

Those days {isn’t it that old} ladies were all donned up peaches and creams all the time and so is mine too. I find peaches and oranges good for all seasons as they perk up and make any complexion glow. Peaches and oranges and apricots are “the” things for Indian women.
So let’s see what we have today to do…

List of Products that we need (not shown in the picture too): -

- Cleanser, Toner and Moisturizer of your choice. I used Epicuren cleanser, Dermalogica Toning spray and Elizabeth Arden Intervene Lotion SPF 15
- Satin Slip Foundation Primer
- Clarins Instant Smooth and Instant Light Complexion Perfector in 01
- MAC Fix + Spray
- Shiseido Dual Balancing Foundation
- MAC New View Powder Limited Edition
- MAC mineralize eyeshadows in Play on Plum and Two to Glow
- Lancôme Color Focus Eye shadow Quad in Fleur De Peau
- MAC Mineralize Blush in Nuance
- MAC Neo Sci-Fi Blush in X-Rocks
- The Body Shop Blush
- Shiseido Accentuating sticks in S2 and S3
- Cover Girl Lash Blast Mascara in Noir
- False lashes from Euro Paris
- Oriflame Lip Spa Therapy Lip Balm
- The Body Shop Gloss in a Pot
- Miscellaneous Brushes which are not shown. The featured ones are the new ones from Nyx cosmetics. The other brushes I’m using would be from Lancôme, Shiseido, MAC and Dior Backstage Makeup.

The list is long but some things from these are optional of course.

We begin with cleansing, toning and day protection as it would give good results and good base for the makeup products to glide on. Then I gentle massage for a minute the complexion perfector from Clarins which hides minor imperfections in the face and brightens it up due to the light reflecting particles. Its very subtle though but makes the skin glow like anything and can be seen through the foundation. My friend from USA, Tina Kolinas sent me an amazing primer called Satin Slip on which foundation glides like a slide. Its amazingly soft textured and fills into the defects in the skin. I apply my primer with a small foundation brush and then use my fingers to let it sink within.

Then I use a dual foundation which is very best for oily/combination skin and it sees to it that it stays for a longer time. The reason I use Shiseido is it has 3 D pigments which reflect light everywhere giving an optical illusion of fresh and flawless skin. I take a pinky size on the palm of my hand and mix and dab to make the foundation ready for application. Then with my diamond footed Body Shop foundation brush I start with the forehead going downwards and outwards. When I’m done and have extra foundation left I dab it with my fingers under eyes to give a more natural finish than a cakey finish given by the concealers. When not using a primer you could use a foundation shade lighter than your skin as it would oxidize and become your skin color but when you are using a primer you create a barrier in between your skin and the foundation so its better to choose a shade nearly matching your skin color and tone. I dab on Shiseido Accentuating Stick S2 over the cheek bones and blend it towards the temples to create a base for blush to last longer. Though in itself this is a cream blush, it never breaks or streaks on oily skins too. On the highlight areas like the heights of the cheeks, bridge of the nose, T- zone, inner corners of the eyes etc I apply Accentuating Stick in S3 to give a very subtle glow to the face just like Jennifer Lopez. I dust the skin a wee bit with MAC mineralize powder to seal the foundation and all the creamy products that I have used on the face. Since I’m not a very “concealer” person, I take a Smashbox Cosmetics blender brush and apply powder under eyes.

For the eyes: - I spray MAC fix +spray as that’s the one that would give me an effect of a primer without being heavy or drying for the eyes. This was a trick told to me by a MAC artist and I really loved it. Then I apply Accentuating Stick S3 with my fingers all over the eyelid and the brow bone to create a base. I prefer this method over MAC paint pots as they tend to go a little heavy always though they have an amazing slip. In the crease I apply the taupe shimmer from the Lancôme Quad to define it, starting from middle of the crease going outwards and inwards trying to draw an inverted banana. It need to blended though as we don’t want harsh lines. Then in the outer corners only for definition I apply the plum- brown color from the mineralize duo and blend inwards. Since I’m not using an pencil liner to draw the shape of the eyes, this look won’t be much about sophistication but about a care free attitude towards life with a touch of glamour. From the Lancôme quad again I apply the shimmery peach color all over the lid. Then with a soft large eyeshadow brush I apply a golden peach highlighter from Two To Glow all over the brow bone. I prefer dusting then dabbing. I try to dust off the excess from the brush to prevent fall outs. Then I curl the lashes and apply mascara and to take it further levels of glamour I use false lashes to enhance the eyes. Since the strip on which the lashes are stuck is transparent I prefer not using eyeliner. On the lower lid I smoke the plum eyeshadow in the outer one-third and then apply a peach colored eyeshadow from the duo Play on Plums to complete the look. I coat the lower lashes with lots and lots of mascara.

For the Cheeks: - I apply the bronzer in all the shadow areas of the face emphasizing some over the temples to get a California like glow even in the winters. Then I apply Nuance blush over the bones to give a nice peachy apricot glow over the skin. I highlight the cheek bones using a shimmery highlight from Body shop blush. This adds glamour to the look

For Lips: - I prepare the lips with a fantastic lip balm first. Keep it for 20 mins to make the lips soft and supple and then add a touch of the Body Shop gloss to keep them subdued in contrast to glamorous eyes.

This is a very interesting look and does suit all women.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hi All,
A warm hug to all my readers,friends,makeup addicts and all who love me and all whom I love.
I have been really "Out of Blog" for sometime and havent actually found enough time to write in.
Since I have joined as a part time Creative Director and Training Manager for Etre Belle Cosmetics, Germany I'm juggling with many tantalising issues in my life.
Soon I'm making a come back sharing all the photos and all the makeup I bought in these 2 months and I hope we have a wonderful time altogether.
For those who missed me really can write in at neerajnavare@yahoo.com and I'd love to answer back.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Blush N Blushing

Blushes are something that I keep on buying all the time (eyeshadows and glosses too). And we have so many sites telling us how to apply a blush but doesn’t it go wrong all the time. Somehow my mom is never satisfied with the blush. When I apply it she thinks I’m trying to save the product and apply less and when she applies she goes over board. I’ll tell you the reason in the due course though. So ultimately we should think of drawing lines.

The most natural way to apply blush is follow a map called FACE MAP. You don’t have to get embarrassed for assessing yourself though. The best way is to see yourself in different types of light before you judge the perfect blush that would suit you. Lets talk about the face map first. A blush is basically the area where we flush during occasions. A flush is a gush of blood that flows through dilated capillaries under the skin. Different people blush at different places at times. Like when I get angry my cheeks flush and so do my ears and so does my brow area….Funny but true. So basically one can see how they flush after doing some cardio exercise. Most of them or rather all of them flush at the apples of the cheeks so lets consider that as the principal area. Now how do you test the colors that suit you the best? Look at yourself in three types of lights as they are the three common areas where we go viz. day light, fluorescent light and incandescent light. Day light is what you see during the day. Fluorescent light is what we have in our homes and offices while incandescent lights are seen in restaurants etc. I consider day light as the most true light and you see what is the truth. Now forget the patchy and uneven skin and just look at the areas where we have blushes. If you’re warm toned you’ll see a peachy glow to a brick red color with a golden glisten. If you’re cool toned you’ll see a pinky mauve purplish shade with a silvery white glisten. These are the colors you should try sticking to but please don’t follow this dictum all the time. You can always try various colors but see to it that you don’t end up looking like a doll or a drag.

Well in incandescent lights the situation is a bit different. Cool colors end up looking muddy and look horrible but warm colors look very flattering and beautiful. So the best way is to choose a neutral shade or something with a golden undertone to warm up the romantic mood. But this romance would spell differently in fluorescent lights which are cool and harsh. Here warm colors look terrible and if you worn something too warm like orange you’ll end up looking sad and much in despair. In these lights pinks and mauves look very attractive and cool colors like plums top the list but again one can choose a neutral shade to combat the two different lights.
So when you analyze all this you end up getting an over all idea of how a blush should be. Next thing is to think of the different areas where you could use it. Since a blush can also be used to create depth and contours in the face as well as bring out the best features in your face, its one of the most multi faceted products in makeup.

I see some beautiful girls who have amazing cheek bones and yet they try contouring it too much and look harsh and very robot like. I also see some girls who are as chubby cheeked as any one can be and apply a pink dab of blush making them look like circus clown. It’d be rude enough on my part to tell them where they are going wrong but I think through this post they’ll surely get some hints and try changing them selves.

Every one here knows the application techniques and about the different formulations so I won’t be making an extra effort there. I’m going to talk about the nuances of blush application that might prove useful the next time you buy a blush. Still for those who want to know have a look at http://www.beautybuzz.com/contrib.asp?page=zar2

Firstly never buy a single color. Always buy palettes or dual colors or if you’re lucky and rich enough then assorted palettes of 6 blushes from MAC which are custom made for you and by you. The reason is because you can create a variety of effects using a lot of blushes together. A light pink blush might look very good on the heights of cheeks and that doesn’t mean you apply it everywhere. The key is to gradually add depth to the color when moving downwards to create an illusion of healthy cheeks and a brightened complexion. A dark color is always placed in the shadowed areas of the face and that’s how we can add dimensions to our alive canvas. And I think one should make that little effort as it changes oodles of what you’d look.
Secondly it’s always better to build up color than apply everything in a single stroke. It’s more flattering to apply blush in round strokes so that there are no streaks and snail trails that could be seen. It’s the harshest way of blush application. While applying blush on my models and friends I always dab a small amount on my blush brush and then tap of the excess on my palm. In this way you can control the amount of blush that you are discarding and there is less product wastage. I always prefer using a clean brush as the blush applied yesterday shouldn’t mix with the blush applied today and ruin the look.

After seeing the amount of blush, it’s the clash between two different formulations. If you top up a crème blush over a powdered one, it’d be impossible to blend until you’re really deciding to do that and flaunt it later on. Now if you top up a powder blush on a crème one it’ll stick as if its embracing its long lost brother. It just doesn’t budge. So its better to use translucent powder as a bridge between the two blushes. The powder also ensures that the blush stays longer than it would normally do. If you apply translucent powder over a powder or a crème blush or even a cheek stain, its gives a look of flush from within which is a very flatteringly sophisticated way to use a blush.

Has anybody used a brown shimmery blush? Then I’d advice them to go and see it. It’s not a bronzer by the way. It’s a frosted brown blush with neutral shimmers i.e. pearlised silver and gold frost into it. It looks very flattering if you want to have naturally water sprayed finish. It has been used many times on the ramps and us purely for highlighting and not contouring. I feel that if it is used correctly and just a wee bit, it can really perk up any complexion except ebony ones as they’ll look as if they are wearing a wrong colored powder. It just adds a little sophistication when you have a lot of smoky eye thing going on. It’s a darker version of a muted beige blush and rather a better version. Believe me, when I saw it for the first time I was dazed and confused about who buying it and now I’ve not one but three. And surely I’d list them, MAC Sweet as a Cocoa, Shiseido Accentuating Powder blush in Glistening Brown and Chanel’s Joues Contraste in Brume D’Or (a little red undertone) I’d also recommend MAC’s powder blush in Format as its somehow a sweet brown with a pinkish tone that makes it more toward the taupe side. And of course Shu Uemura makes them too. Please be sure to use a very little bit as it might look silly at times.

This is something that I found on a Korean Site.She has used a shimmery brown blush. I wonder whether its a trend in the Oriental East. But it balances her pink mouth and lilac eyes really well.

As I said before I’d always love blush palettes. Some brands that have them in India are Christian Dior, Givenchy, Clarins and YSL and since they are all French one can understand the elegance and the French style. No wonder the best makeup came from France.
For a defined look always use an angled brush or a dome shaped brush as these brushes are literally trained by their makers to reach the area that they are meant to. I really imbibed this trick of Elke von Freudenberg of measuring the right size of a blush brush with the reference to the apples of your cheeks. And please throw the brushes that come with the blush compact. They are as useless as old tooth brushes and some are hard to cause scratches where you won’t be blushed but attacked.

I prefer powder blushes over crème ones and gel ones because there is a lot of scope in controlling the application and if you end up looking like a clown then there are quick ways and easy ways of getting rid of excess. For a natural finish it’d be advisable to use a fan brush and have p lesser product and a refined way of dusting the blush on. They are softly and a little tickly too.

On this note I think I’ve talked a lot about blushes. Please feel free to ask any questions.
Soon shall have some product reviews and looks for the season and of course some recent inspirations from my favorite makeup artist..

Till then CIAO

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Makeup Lessons by Elke von Freudenberg

Elke von Freudenberg is a celebrity makeup artist and an eyebrow specialist who according to me is a creator and inventor of one of the best techniques in the market.
I simply love her and would want everyone to have a look at the makeup tips that she gives.

She happens to be the pioneer in beauty blogging and though she hasn't added me in her blogging list I respect her and love her work.She has contributed immensely in Harper's Bazaar and her work is something that cannot be missed.


Blushes N Bronzers: - Decoding the secrets….

Today I’m going to discuss a topic which creates tension amongst public when handled. Its something that people do not know about and nobody ventures into that side while their visit to cosmetic counters. There is going to be some gossiping about this relating to the current scenario and who ever it is about please don’t mind. Sometimes gossips have to be taken in a constructive way same as criticisms. Btw today we wont be discussing the essential facts of using a blush and a bronzer. I’ll just be doing a little beating around the bush.

With that note let me highlight over a few things that I learned about blushing and bronzing as a Beauty Traveller. I had an entire day spent on discovering blushes from uber chic and beautiful brands but unfortunately the results were a little shocking.

The makeup artist at Chanel counter (who happens to have learnt makeup from a very prestigious beauty school) in Juhu couldn’t distinguish between a blush and a bronzer and fought with me when I asked questions and was really very rude. Whilst people on other counters told me some of the silliest things and showed me all the garish and clowny shades that would flatter European skins but no way would look good on Indian skins. The only good people to direct me in the situation were Jayshree from Lancôme and Neetu from MAC who are extremely knowledgeable and extremely friendly ladies who listen to all the crap that I ask very patiently and do not mind if I don’t buy something from them at times.

I think I’ve spoken too much. Anyways now lets see what do blushes and bronzers exactly do. I’ll be talking from a few excerpts from the makeup books as well.

A blush is something that gives you a “flush” of colour on the cheeks mimicking the color that you get when you are embarrassed {in a good way} and when a gush of blood rushes in to your face. If you are a normal human being then this gush happens in the apples of your cheeks and sometime the nose and eyebrows {happened to my brother when he was small}. And a bronzer does something very different. Bronzer adds warmth to the skin mimicking the glow when the sun kissed you. Isn’t that totally different from a blush? If you want to get tanned in a healthier way then your best friend to do this would be a bronzer. Generally Caucasians and Hispanics who have cool skins don’t get tanned because of the type of skin they have. Instead they get burned and that’s why they rely on bronzers to fake a tan.

So when you go in the sun a blush will make you look burnt or flushed because of heat while a bronzer would make you warm and tanned and healthy and of course ALIVE.
Robert Jones, an eminent makeup artist calls the blushes and bronzers as COSMETICS TO THE RESCUE. And I staunchly believe in him. Blush changes the appearance of a tired skin into something alive in a jiffy. Of course the key is to understand the right ways to apply blushes and bronzers. There are a million formulations which make a zillion number of ways to use a blush so why discourage ourselves from using them.

Every makeup artist has a signature way to apply blushes and that reveals their personal identity at times. Like Pat McGrath, my favorite and the most phenomenal makeup artist in the industry relies on her hands and some important tools for enhancing someone’s appearance. That’s how she could makeup you look as if you have come from Ibiza or St.Tropez in one look and instantly change it into something utterly sophisticated in the next. The magician tells us some really important things and nuances of blush application that we wouldn’t even think of. She shared certain Do’s and Don’ts of blush application in a interview of hers taken years back.

Here’s an excerpt” –

Do: "make sure your skin isn't at all greasy before you apply your blusher," says Pat. "Even if you've only applied a tinted moisturizer, tissue off any excess shine. You want to ensure that a powder blush goes on smoothly, or that a cream formula doesn't slip or slide."
Working out where to place colour can be confusing, and makes all the difference in achieving a natural-looking result. "With powder blusher, dip your brush into the powder, smile and brush a little on to the apples of the cheeks using upwards and outwards strokes. If you prefer to use a cream blush, smile and then use your fingertips to dab colour on to the cheeks, aiming to create an oval shape over the cheekbones."

Don't: "make the mistake of 'drawing' a heavy line under the cheekbones, rather than simply creating a healthy, all-over glow. Also, avoid heavy brown shades, and don't apply blush over dry skin patches. Prepare the skin before applying make-up."
Shop like a pro: always try before you buy, says Pat. "If you stick to the pink and berry shades, you can't really go wrong. The idea is to give the cheeks a natural glow, by simply blending the blusher away until you have a natural flush."
I loved the way she discussed that. Well it was in Dec 2002 and still the trend hasn’t gone. Blushes are still treated in the same way and I absolutely admire her for that. Makeup artist par excellence Mary Greenwell who has been prepping celebrity makeup artists even before I was born share the ultimate details you could get from any pro. She says. “Blush is the one piece of make-up that you’ll never have to change. Stick with a blush that adds the right healthy glow and change the colour of eyes and lips.”

Somehow Indian women have always been a bit scared of blushes and bronzers and that’s the reason we look so incomplete. Here is something to read from a beauty site and found it true to their every word.

Blusher has a reputation for being difficult to apply but, once you know what you’re doing, it can make you look your best in seconds.

Powder blusher is easier to control and blend, which is why it’s the most popular choice of all. You’ll also find the widest choice of shades comes in powder form. It should be applied over foundation - and under face powder - not on bare skin; applying powder blush to clean, fresh skin gives you too bright a flash of colour. At the very least, you should wear a veil of translucent powder underneath. It will also stay put longest if ‘sandwiched’ between foundation and powder. Make-up artists always use powder blusher.
Cream blusher is good for dry or sun-damaged skin; it slides easily over the surface and won’t settle in wrinkles. To avoid a clown effect, always put cream or liquid blusher into the palm of your hand first, then apply it to your cheek. It should be tapped on lightly with the finger and blended immediately
Gel blusher offers the sheerest form of colour, and is great for giving a natural-looking glow to bare skin on outdoorsy weekends. Because gel blushers are transparent, they’re perfect for summer. Gel should always be applied over moisturiser (not foundation), which makes it glide on more smoothly and avoids a ‘polka-dot’ effect (the stain ‘takes’ very fast when it hits the skin). Do always remember to wash your hands immediately after applying them, as the pigments can stain fingers.
Bronzing powder can be substituted for blush in summer. It’s also great dusted around the hairline, on the nose and chin, as well as across the cheekbones, for giving you a truly healthy-looking tan.

Colour Choices: -

Don’t go too bright or too dark. Aim for a natural, soft, healthy glow. Bobbi Brown says: ‘The right blusher for you is the same colour your cheeks are naturally when you’re really healthy.’Fair-skinned women should look for beige, tawny and pink tones.Olive/yellow-toned skins will find warm brown, almond and copper shades most flattering.Dark-skinned women can use plum, fuchsia, auburn and deep bronze shades.Redheads look best in orange, apricot, peach and coral shades. These also look good on anyone with a tan.

The Contour Controversy: -

Should you shape your face using darker powder to disguise chubby cheeks or double chins? Opinions vary. Bobbi Brown thinks it’s better to play up your good points rather than try to cover up your flaws. But Maggie Hunt, who every year teaches hundreds of women how to make the most of their looks, does believe in contouring: ‘I use a face shaper - a matte brown one - to help minimise double chins, chubby cheeks and high and narrow foreheads. Choose a shade of powder that’s just a darker version of your own skin tone and brush it onto the heavy areas. If your forehead is too high, put a soft brown powder around the hairline

Blusher Tips From the Pros

• ‘Invest in a proper blusher brush,’ advises Bobbi Brown. ‘The teeny ones you find in compacts just aren’t up to the job, and will give visible brush strokes.

• Don’t use blusher to give yourself instant cheekbones. The most flattering way to apply it is on the ‘apples’ of the cheeks. Locate yours by drawing an imaginary line down from your pupil to the centre of your cheek. Then lightly stroke outwards, towards the top of the ear, covering the entire cheekbone area in soft, sweeping strokes.

• Kevyn Aucoin sometimes applies blusher to the cleavage and along the hairline, too. ‘It adds warmth to powder and foundation, making the whole look more realistic and healthy-looking.’

• Carol Shaw advises applying blush when you’re smiling: ‘Add a little blush in that ball of your cheek and bring it back a little towards the bone.’

• ‘You want to look like the noon sun has hit you on - not under - your cheekbones,’ believes Mary Greenwell.

• Like many make-up artists, Maggie Hunt likes to ‘double-blush’, first applying one layer of blush, then powder, then blushing again: ‘It helps the colour stay put.’

• Shu Uemura’s resident make-up artist Andrea says that in summer, older women should avoid powder blusher: ‘It can look dusty. Instead, try rubbing some lipstick into your cheeks, which gives a much more natural result.’

• Says Kevyn Aucoin: ‘Over-blushing can always be corrected by blending in a little powder.’
This is something very precious that we could read and I’m sure its going to help many women. In the next article I’ll discuss the beat ways to apply blushes and bronzers for Indian women. I’ll also discuss the best buys in the market and what would suit various skin tones. Please read this and stay beautiful.
Till then have fun watching this video on essentials of a bronzer by another favorite makeup artist of mine, Mr.Beau Nelson.



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