Mastering the art of applying your own make-up—especially for a special occasion—can be tricky, but not impossible. From building your vanity kit to tips and tricks for every beginner—here’s a cheat sheet to perfecting your make-up yourself
Meet the essentials
If one has all the vital products in their vanity case, it is easy to learn, practise and master the art of doing your own make-up. “All you need are the right products and tools to get that professional-like makeover,” declares Pooja Malhotra, Customer Experience Trainer at KIKO Milano India.
A hydrating moisturiser is crucial to any make-up look. Though it’s a part of skincare, Geetha Rao, Co-founder, GlossNGlass Make-up Studio & Academy, explains, “A good hydrating moisturiser seeps into the skin giving it a healthy, fresh and glowing appearance. What’s more? It acts as a primary base for your make-up.”
Don’t forget to add the right shade of foundation and concealer to the mix. Anupma Katyal, National Creative Director – Make-up, Lakmé Salon, declares, “A concealer is an absolute must-have as it covers pigmentation, dark spots, under eye circles and facilitates an even-looking skin tone. The right shade of foundation, on the other hand, will add a smooth finish to your look.”
The next essential is a blush. Stafford Braganza, National Make-up Artist, L’Oréal Paris, elaborates, “This underrated product can have a huge impact on your overall look, and I always recommend that nobody leave it out of their make-up routine. The pink and peach tones work the best on fair, medium and dark skin tones.”
Add to that a kohl pencil and tint! “A lip tint can act as a good lip colour and eyeshadow. A gel-based kohl pencil, on the other hand, is a must-have as it serves various purposes such as transforming a day look into an evening one, doubling up as an eyeliner and aiding in creating a smoky eye look,” opines celebrity make-up artist Aafreen Petiwala.
Another vanity box essential is a highlighter. Vineeta Singh, CEO, SUGAR Cosmetics, agrees, “A highlighter is like a holy grail product when it comes to adding that extra bit of oomph and shine to your look. Also, a pop of highlighter on the inner corner of your eyes instantly brightens up your look.”
Do it yourself
For ceremonies like the roka function, for instance, or post-wedding dinners and family gatherings, most women prefer applying their own make-up rather than enlisting professional help. To get the most professional-looking result from your at-home effort, Rao suggests, “Don’t be afraid of make-up. Most people are overwhelmed by the videos and content they see online. Begin by practising on one feature at a time. For instance, start by blending your foundation well. Then, try applying your lip liner and lipstick on perfectly. Next, proceed to getting that winged liner right. If you try to do it all at once, you might feel overwhelmed and discouraged. Take slow and simple steps and I promise you by day 10, you will enjoy doing your make-up!”
Get some tech support
Thanks to technology, we have access to a variety of how-to videos. “Use your time at home to watch tutorials and practise the various techniques. It will probably take more than one attempt to master the technique, so watch a number of videos and practise consistently,” encourages Petiwala.
Mastering the base is the first step to perfecting your make-up. “You can select the foundation colour that is closest to your skin tone by swatching the product on your cheek or forehead. If it blends well into your skin, you have a winner! Next, until you master the art of blending, experiment with light shades for eyeshadow and not a dark smoky look. A soft cheek tint and light lip gloss are perfect for a make-up newbie,” recommends Katyal.
Licence to skill
Use your time in quarantine to proactively borrow a technique or two from your favourite make-up artist. Sharing her tips and tricks, Mehak Oberoi, Artist in Residence, Bobbi Brown India, divulges, “After cleansing, toning and moisturising your skin, use an illuminating balm which will act as a primer. Follow it up with a combination of a long-lasting foundation and concealer for a flawless base. Set your base with loose powder. Further, you can use a soft bronzer to contour your jawline, cheekbones and nose. It’s vital to use a good blush; I believe that applying a little extra blush on the cheeks and nose lends a natural flush to the face. Then, fill in your brows with a powder and set it with a brow shaper. Apply several coats of waterproof/smudge-proof mascara and finish your make-up with a soft lip! Don’t forget to set your make-up with a setting spray!”
When it comes to contour, highlighter and blush, they have to be applied on the right spots depending on your face shape. Malhotra guides, “Contour must be applied below the cheekbones, while blush is applied in circular motions on the apple of the cheeks. Finally, highlighter is swiped across the high points of your face that catch light. The more you practise this, the better the result each time.”
Eye voltage action
Once you have mastered the base, take it a notch higher by glamming up your eyes. “Pick an elaborate smoky eye, which will complement your overall look by making your eyes look big and beautiful. Complement it with a light shade of lipstick especially if your function is in the evening. However, if it is a morning event, go with light eyeshadow and a bold lipstick. Also, remember to pick a lipstick shade that you are confident you can pull off well. Keep your make-up subtle and natural, but at the same time allow it to enhance your face. I recommend that you practise and perfect your look a few times before the day. Remember, your make-up should enhance your features and not change them altogether. Use this time at home to start with a few basic steps such as applying foundation and blending it well. Experiment with products such as a blush as it brightens up and highlights your face with just a few swipes. Essentially, keep adding a layer to your routine every day and in little time, you’ll be able to apply your make-up with ease,” shares Braganza.
House of error
The use of a lighter shade of foundation is a common problem among women. Highlighting other common faux pas to avoid, Singh adds, “Often, women choose the wrong shade of blush. A good way to determine what you should be using is to look at your natural inner lip colour. Simply look at the center of your lips—whether it’s pink, peachy, purple, or taupe—and let that be your guide.”
Remember, practice makes perfect! So, if you want to be able to do your own make-up for a special occasion, use this time at home to fine-tune your skills.