Dear Malaika Arora: Do You Not Hear Those Poor Souls Wailing?

I know you very sweet (I’m being genuine here, when I stat talking about the pic my fangs will be on display) ladies have disagreed with me in the past over my choice of lowlights. However, for the sake of fashion and deskank-ification, I need you full moral support. Agreed, this blog concentrates on beauty and make-up issues but that thing, that poor cloth, that Malaika Arora has draped over her is calling to me. I can hear the collective wails of ever single fiber that constitutes the cloth as they perish. This pic was taken at the Blueberry mobile event on July 25, 2007. This is a bad pic but rest assured it is indeed her. I wanted you to see what she was wearing, let's try not to laugh here, in its entirity.




I read a book once where a witch made a tapestry out of the souls of her victims. The grapevine tells me Malaika did the something along the same lines. I believe Malaika went through a perilous journey, first by killing every brain cell that told her not to wear this ever (not to this event, not anywhere); then trap a hundred souls into a bottle; travel though an enchanted forest where animals miraculously could talk and told her to not go to the witch and just wear a damn gown instead; knock on the gnarly old witch’s door and offer a blood sacrifice (the sacrifice was really just three thumb pricks with a tiny needle on her pinky finger but would you have been impressed if I told you that?); and then finally exchange the bottle of souls in the dead of the night for the tunic.


I can’t be very sure what happened to the souls Malaika gave the witch (the grapevine tells me, and again this is just a rumour, that a great number of people in Bollywood are veritable zombies without their souls and are making movies where a man adopts a boy; kicks him out for marrying the wrong girl; boy and wife go to England and have a baby; kid sings the Indian national anthem thereby making the mother scream in a high-pitched emotional note; we have senseless side characters -oops, it’s been done already in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. Never mind, carry on.) but I do know that Malaika should have spared herself the effort. I hate to think of the brain cells that had to die for this.

I will never know what possessed her to wear this horrible contraption, but I will take even more offense at Indiatimes captioning the picture with “Malaika – The Show Stopper.” Do they not realize we’ll end up seeing more such cloth-turned-tunic incidences? Do they not care about how many more souls Bollywood is going to loose because of them? All I’m saying is, don’t blame me when Malaika comes after your souls next when she’s done with all of Bollywood.

image course: http://www.indiatimes.com/

The Awesomeness That Is Clint Fernandes Replied With Suggestions

I regularly look at the online portfolios of make-up artists for inspiration and guidance. It's the make-up equivalent of going to the top of a hill in a storm, raising a lightning rod with your bare hands, and then finally being struck by lightning. One of the Indian make-up artists whose work is great to get ideas and make-up inspiration from is Clint Fernandes, whose online portfolio you can view here.

Shilpa was so sweet as to post links to his tutorials at www.indiwo.com and I figured what the hey, why not contact him. So I send him an email and didn't really expect much of it. I think it is Santa who ruined my psyche and made me this pessimistic (I used to write to him regularly and refused to believe he wasn't real, but that's another story altogether). Much to my surprise, I found a reply from Clint Fernandes in my inbox this morning. How awesome is that? Much better than Santa (seriously, all those handwritten letters, not a single reply).

So here are my questions and Clint Fernandes' corresponding answers:

Me: Finding out what products were used on Indian celebrities with varying skin tones seems to be a formidable task. What are some of your favourite products and colours for Indian skin.

Clint Fernandes: Revlon skin lights system works well with Indian skin tones. As well as the Bourjois Chocolate blush. In foundations I trust Chanel as it is colour adaptive and elastic.

Me: I was also wondering if you could tell me what products you used to achieve the following look on Lisa Ray.

Clint Fernandes: This image is very old maybe around 4 years or so... I did use MAC liquid Face and Body foundation along with Shiseido cream concealor. The blush would have been Chanel and for the eyes Nars matte taupe with lots of Rimmel Kohl and mascara.

I just checked out the products he mentioned and here they are:
Revlon SkinLights
I can't find them on Revlon.com so I'm not sure whether most drugstores carry them or not. However, I saw a bunch at Big Lots (great for make-up bargains by the way) and you can also order the SkinLights make-up online at places like www.drugsture.com.




Bourjois Chocolate blush

I believe this is the bronzing powder by Bourjois. You can order it online at www.sephora.com or you could find it in the Sephora store itself. I am probably going to check this out soon. It looks yummy and edible.



Chanel foundations and blush

A lot of department stores carry Chanel and you can order shades on various websites. I always believe that for foundations and concealors it is best to go to a counter so you can see the colour and try it out as some textures and ingredients might not work with your skin but be perfect for others. As for the blush, the Irreelle blushes are quite beautiful.



Mac Face and Body foundation

This seems to be a staple for a great many people. You can order this online at www.maccosmetics.com or other sites, or go to a counter at a department store.



Nars matte taupe eyeshadow

I believe what Clint Fernandes was referring to was either Nars Bali or Blondie. I believe Blondie is slightly cooler in undertone and lighter as well. I don't quite remember which of the two is matte though.


Shiseido cream concealor

I think he may be referring to the Corrective Cover concealor, which has been discontinued. However, Shiseido's The Makeup Concealor Stick is very similar in formulation.





images taken from: www.clintfernandes.com, www.sephora.com, www.maccosmetics.com, www.nordstrom.com

Shilpa Shetty's Somewhat Questionable Beauty Secrets

I was surfing on the internet and found the following article on Shilpa Shetty in www.sundaymirror.co.uk. I will hold my comments until after you finish reading the article, so here is the interview:

I spend too much on… Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer. I love it. They gave me some on a flight and as soon as I landed I went and bought some more.


My beauty regime is… simple. I never use soap on my face, and I always make sure I take my make-up off at night. I use a concoction of baby oil and coconut oil in equal parts – it’s the best thing for my skin.


My best beauty bargain is… beetroot! If you want a natural flush, boil some beetroot in the microwave and rub a bit on your cheeks over your moisturiser. It always comes out the right colour.


My beauty addiction is… collecting lipsticks. I’m quite a freak about them. I have the same pink shade in every make, but I can’t stop buying them. I especially love Estee Lauder lipsticks.


My fragrance reminds me of… happy times. All the notes in S2 are favourites of mine. At its heart it contains jasmine, which reminds me of home, and when I smell it, it instantly takes me back to India. It’s very special to me.


My worst beauty disaster was… wearing bright blue contact lenses and red lipstick. At the same time. I have no idea why I did it – I must have been about 21 and coloured lenses had just come in big time. It was a complete disaster.


So beetroot... I am speechless. I know that beetroot is a great dye and all but I wonder if she actually does this for awards shows and appearances. Judging by the depth of the shimmer and colour on her cheeks in her photos I should guess not. Just tell us what you use already! What does Desi sisterhood mean if stars don't share their product secrets with us? By the way, is there such a thing as Desi sisterhood or has the beetroot made me gone mad? See, not only am I speechless, I'm pretty much brainless too. And it's all the beetroot's fault.

A Great Blush and Some Lipstick and Gloss Obsessions

Bobbi Brown Blush in Apricot
Since I'm on vacation now, you won't believe this, I don't travel with three traincases containing every make-up item I own. Unbelievable, I know. I know you expected me to travel with at least one traincase. Sorry to disappoint. However, I did bring along Bobbi Brown blush in Apricot. In the pan it's a heart stopping (that would be to you, I mark sunrise at the time the sunlight brightens up my pigment-endowed eyeshadows and blushes just right) bright apricot with strong pink undertones.

For those who are scared that it's a clown-effect waiting to happen, rest assured that the blush itself is sheer enough that it makes application easy. The blush has just the right amount of pigment that I felt that my skunk brush gave me too sheer an application and chose a conventional blush brush instead. The texture blends beautifully into my cheeks and allows me to calibrate the intensity of my application. The blush itself is long lasting and gives me an innocent pop of colour. Ignore the shine near my nose/cheek, It's been a long day.

I have quite a few blushes, note the restraint when I describe my ever-growing blush collection, and was going to put up reviews of some of them. I don't have all of them near me at the moment, so I'd just like to know whether you want to see reviews with me wearing the products or at least give you swatches on my hand, or you don't mind a review with a picture of the product alone. Just let me know what you feel.

Mac Tinted Lipglass in Lust
This is a very creamy, milky nudey pink with brown undertones. On me, it's a very light, JLO-ish colour that leans more towards an opaque rather than sheer coverage. It has a vanilla scent reminiscent of all Lipglasses, to me at least, and since the texture is quite tacky the gloss stays on for longer than the average gloss. The texture would also be my biggest gripe against this gloss because I hate how my hair gets stuck on my lips when I leave my hair loose. However, the gloss is so moisturizing and the colour is so versatile, I can opt for a dramatic or toned down look, that I decide to just wear a ponytail.

Revlon Moisturous Lipcolor in Tawney Dew
First off let me warn you, I can't find this colour or type of lipstick on the Revlon website so I'm assuming it was a limited edition colour long ago. However, I got mine at Big Lots about 2 weeks ago for $3. Not bad since it came with a gorgeous pearly lipstick too. There were many such lipstick deals do I decided to write about it anyway. The colour is absolutely gorgeous. It's a warm medium brown with orange undertones. I think it would compliment a large variety of skin tones too. It's such a very warm, easy to wear colour that I overlook the texture every time. Every single time.

The texture itself is gritty, and I feel like the the lipstick can double as sandpaper every time. You might think I'm exagerating when I say this, but the top of the lipstick grows bumpier with every use and actually looks like sandpaper. Not pleasant. To its credit, the lipstick has no smell at all, a huge plus in my book, and the colour is unbelievably flattering. And hey, it was $3. Who am I to complain?

Kevyn Aucoin Expert Lip Tint in Floralia
This is a medium brown red that goes on incredibly light, the lipstick feels so thin if that makes sense, and is also very moisturizing. The lipstick is on the more pigmented side but it looks great with a sheer application too. I think this colour would also flatter a wide range of skintones, but the with the 'stereotypical Desi skin tone,' such as me and those slightly darker, would suit this best. The Kevyn Aucoin website describes this colour as "flesh" and while it does have a certain fleshy undertone, it's a lot deeper than that.

The thing that puts me off about this lipstick is the overwhelming smell when I put it on. It smells of rosewater, like the kind my mother told me to use as a toner and got angry at me when I wanted make-up instead. Rosewater smells great, don't get me wrong, but I don't need such a strong source of it right under my nose. When I tried this on my cousin she loved the colour but made barfing gestures because of the smell. She does, however, have a flair for the dramatic. To be fair the smell doesn't last too long, but long enough to make me get slightly annoyed at the scent. I bought mine at a Victoria's Secret sale for $5, and for the smell alone would never shell out full price for this.

Mickey Contractor's Look

I found an article where Mickey Contractor, a Bollywood make-up artist, gives a detailed description on how to get a specific look. So here it is, enjoy!

Mickey Contractor, one of Bollywood's top makeup artists, has seen makeup in Indian cinema go from the caked matte finish and heavy eyes and lips of the 1980s to the current look of natural-looking skin and a range of colour palettes. The latest looks combine textures such as matte, gloss, shimmer and sheer for gorgeous glamour.

FACE

-The base is the most important factor in red carpet make-up. Prescriptives Traceless Skin Responsive Tint in a Level 4 is ideal for Indian skin, as it neutralizes imperfections and evens out the complexion.

-After foundation apply concealer, such as Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat, to disguise any blemishes

-Apply a translucent powder such as Chanel’s Poudre Universelle Libre over the top of the skin, concentrating on any shiny areas, such as the forehead or nose, in preparation for the photographers’ flash

EYES

-The eyes are the most important feature in Bollywood. Dark colours such as carbon and burgundy (M.A.C’s Beauty Marked eye shadow has some added sparkle) work well with Indian skin tones. “I apply a hint of a darker shade at the end of the eye and blend into the other colour. This technique gives extra dimension to the eye and really makes it stand out” says top Bollywood make-up artist Mickey Contractor.

-Eyeliner is also crucial. Line the entire eye with kohl – inside and outside both lash lines.

- “I recommend all women curl their lashes no matter what the occasion,” says Contractor. Then apply one coat of mascara, allow it to dry and apply more until you reached the desired effect (Contractor recommends three coats). L’Oréals’ Double Extension Waterproof Mascara with help add volume to lashes and will stay put all night.

-Eyebrows should be pronounced, so run a light brown powder or an eye shadow over the brows (Bobbi Brown’s eye shadows in smoke or mahogany work well).

BLUSH

-Choose a blush similar to your skin tone and use as a base over the whole cheek. “Then use a warmer blush colour over the tops and buff them together into the foundation – it gives a natural-looking lovely glow. Colours in peach and coral look great on Indian women.” Try Pout’s Coral Nymph/Bronze Siren cream cheek duo.

LIPS

- “When there’s so much focus on the eyes, I like to play down lips and go for nude, lighter colours; I recommend going for colours that match your natural lip colour”.

BODY

- Make sure you think about the skin that’s on display, the neck, arms and chest should glow. “M.A.C’s Face and Body Foundation is perfect for this – it’s water-based so works on all skin types and water-resistant so it won’t streak if you sweat.”

source: www.women.times.co.uk

Great Make-up: Kareena Kapoor

It's been a while since I've done a breakdown of a celebrity's make-up so I thought I'd bring you a breakdown of Kareena Kapoor's make-up. Her make-up palette is very cool toned and compliments the undertones of her skin very well.


Prep:
Start off this look with a moisturizer and eye cream according to your skin's needs. While this picture has been airbrushed (like pretty much all other pictures), her skin looks flawless. Prepping your skin always helps in applying foundation and concealor better.

Face:
For this look, try a creamy, matte, medium-coverage foundation evenly all over the face and blend into the neck. For this look, you want to have a foundation that matches your skin perfectly. I know this is important always, but Kareena's make-up looks good because her foundation is seemingly perfectly blended and matched.

Eyes:
The colours used in this look are bright and adding a primer to your eyelids will help those colours be as vibrant as possible.

Brows:
The eyebrows help enhance the eye make-up in this look. Kareena's eyebrows aren't perfectly manicured but they are brushed into shape. You can choose to tweeze stray hairs if you wish, but be sure to groom them with a spoolie brush and lash gel.

Eyelid:
Kareena seem to be wearing only a shimmery pewter gray eyeshadow from lash line to crease

Highlight:
Apply a shimmery silver or champagne eyeshadow on the brow bone.

Eyeliner:
To line your upper lash line, you can either use gel or liquid liner, or, if you wish, dip a stiff eyeliner brush in black eyeshadow. Make a thin line along the upper lash line and thicken the line slightly when you reach the outer 3/4 of the lash line. Extend the thickened eyeliner slightly past the outer corner of the eye.

Line the inner rim of your lower lid with a black kohl pencil. For the green liner, you again have the choice of liquid, gel, or green eyeshadow and then create a thin line along your lower lash line.

Mascara:
Curl your lashes and apply two coats of volumizing mascara on the upper and lower lashes. For added drama, you can add a few clumps of false lashes on the outer corner.

Cheeks:
Apply a bright, blue toned pink, something of a candy pink I would call it, sheerly slightly above the cheekbones and blend towards the temples.

Lips:
Line lips with a rosey mauve lip pencil and top it off with a moisturizing lipstick in the same shade.

Setting Make-up:
Apply translucent powder with a large powder brush all over your face.

image taken from: www.kareena-kapoor.info

Peppermint Bath Oil

The website is taking too long and it's turning out to be such a pain, so figured I'd just route my blog to my domain. This will be done shortly. I am just going to bring you the information I had on the website over here. Makes life simpler. So while I keep you waiting just another 16 hours or so until I bring you more information, enjoy this bath oil recipe.

I have tried this bath oil a few times and I really liked it. The genius wasn't me but it was Suparna Trikha's Book of Natural Skin Care. As I've stated before, she has some great tips and natural recipes.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tsp peppermint oil
  • the juice of 2 lemons. I used to either squeeze fresh lemons or the bottles with pre-squeezed lemon juice.
  • 4 tsp almond oil
  • 4 tsp geranium oil
  • 2 tsp camphor

Method:

Just mix the ingredients together and add 1 tsp to your bath.

image source: www.mintindia.com

Trying to move everything to a website... bear with me

I am trying to move my blog to a website. It will still be the same, but hopefully much better. i already have 2 tutorials lined up (one on threading), 2 breakdowns of bollywood stars (one on kareena), and a bath oil recipe. I just need to figure out a thing or two fo my website and will hopefully have everything up and running by this weekend. Just bear with me a bit as I learn computer related things s-l-o-w-l-y. I'll post the link as soon as I'm done.
BTW: if you have any suggestions for what you'd like to see (more of) on the new website, just let me know. Thanks!

Tutorial: Soft Blush

I used to be so intimidated by blush and the little brush that comes along in the packaging. You know, the one that is so tiny that you really don't know what to do with it. So I thought a blush tutorial might be in order. This look is basically a very soft, sheer pop of color on the cheeks. True, the pics are cropped oddly but the basic idea is quite easy (at least I think so).

What you need:

  • Blush. Quite the shocking revelation isn't it? I used LORAC blush in Soul.
  • A blush brush. I used Smashbox #16. There are some great blush brushes out there ranging from Essence of Beauty (great, great brushes) and Sonia Kashuk to Stila.
  • A kabuki bush. I used MAC #182. Again, there are cheaper and more expensive alternatives out there.
DiagramThis is a diagram of how the application proceeds. The application is something of a triangle, at the center of the apple of the cheek the application is at its heaviest and most noticeable, and then I make my way to the temple thinning out the blush "line."

Step 1:I press the head of my blush brush against the blush pan so that the head of the brush is covered with blush. This is enough blush for one cheek and I never double-dip because otherwise the blush application becomes more dramatic and can even become clownish. If I want a more dramatic application, I pick up more blush on my brush after I'm done with the initial application.

Step 2I then tap off the excess blush of my brush by gently tapping the brush over my free hand. This ensures that I don't apply my blush too heavily. I can always add more blush for drama, but it's much harder to get rid of excess blush.

Step 3I place the brush on the middle of the apply of my cheek and make my way down diagonally. As a general rule of thumb, I never go down lower than the top of my upper lip. I always draw a mental line at the top of my upper lip and try not to go below that. Also, my application is also the most firm at this point because I was to deposit the most color.

Step 4I decrease the firmness of my application as I make my way to my temple. As you can tell I have applied enough color in the middle of the apple of my cheek but it isn't overwhelming or too strong.

Step 5I have now reached my temple and my blush application is over a very thin bit of skin as compared to my broad application at the apple of my cheek. And by the way, that's not sideburns that's a scar I have from a long time ago.

-Initial Result-This is the result from my initial blush application. It's too dramatic for the subtle look I'm going for so I prefer to buff the blush out a bit. However, I sometimes like slightly heavier blush and I stop after Step 5.

Step 6With a kabuki brush, I buffed the entire area where I had applied the blush.

-Final Result-This is what I end up with when I want a subtle pop of color that brightens my skin and makes me look awake. Of course, depending on your application you can make the final result more dramatic or more subtle.

Dear Soha Ali Khan: I Think Your Make-up Artists Is Missing

Before Is start my ranting, let me start off by saying nice things about Soha Ali Khan. I think she has great natural beauty, that even though her features might be less than perfect individually they come together to make a very pretty face. I would even go as far as to say her face has a very elegant quality. So after this confession I'm a bit confused. Why on earth does she not want to play up her face at the Harry Potter premiere?


I'm all for natural and no make-up. I even do this very often. But when you're going to a premiere, would it kill her to not look like she just rolled out of bed, pulled her hair back in a ponytail, brushed her teeth with the last remaining spot of toothpaste (I'm sure she had breath mints handy), put on the first black thing she could find in her closet and rushed to the premiere.

Now while I'm sure this is not true, I feel the urge to tell her that this is what it looks like. She might not like premieres and such, and I can understand that (not really though, the woman has a chance to get as dressed up as possible and chooses to look like, well you real my description), but at least try to make it seem like you put in minimal effort.

I truly feel like she has a great face and look so good with a lot of different looks. I also feel like taking her out shopping so I can forcibly get her to buy some blush to add a pop of colour and make her look more fresh. And I feel like doing her hair, getting her some accessories (say it slowly, Soha, "ac-ces-so-ries"), and adding some gloss to her lips. You know what, I'd settle for anything at this point. It's a premiere not a slumber party.

image source: www.santabanta.com

Dear Yukta Mookhey: I'm a Harry Potter Fanatic Myself but This Is a No-No

Let me start of by saying this: I know it must be hard to walk down the street and not have the same fame as the other Miss Indias. I imagine it must be highly irritating to stand in line at the grocery store, tap your high-heeled shows impatiently, and huff as no one seems to recognize you, let you go straight to the register, much less exclaim "Oh my gawd! Like, oh my gawd! You're like, oh my gawd! You're like Yukta Mookhey right? The one who's like totally more famous than, like, Aishwarya Rai and Priyanka Chopra, and like, even um-all the other Miss Indias."

I also understand Harry Potter mania. It's a sad truth that I pre-ordered a copy of the seventh book as soon as this option was available. What is don't understand it Yukta Mookhey's choice of make-up at the premiere of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.



I have to admit, her skin looks great in this picture. However, the make-up does nothing to compliment her strong features or eyebrows. Her eyebrows are strong and quite naturally bring focus to her eyes. I understand if you want strong, smokey eyes and strong lips, but with her strong eyebrows the look is just too loud. I am not a huge fan of too many rules, but there's that feeling you get, I personally gasp for breath when this happens, when the look is too strong and starts detracting from a person's beauty.

A softer, more neutral shade of lipstick or gloss would have made this look lean towards sophisticated and sexy. A soft, warm blush that is applied with a featherlight touch would have also done wonders to compliment her eyes. I'll freely admit her make-up isn't in the Leage of Extraordinarily Bad Make-up (my own clever spoof of LXG), but it could look so, so much better.

So you see dear Yukta, it is possible to wear bold make-up with strong eyebrows and attent a Harry Potter premiere. At the same time.

image taken from: www.santabanta.com

So i'm FINALLY going to update tonight

I'm going to bring you a tutorial on threading that I promised a while ago, a tutorial, and some other stuff. I was so dead from staying up all night the week before that I had to get some sleep this week. I turned into a veritable narcoleptic this week but I promise to bring you lovelies new posts tonight.