Finally I Praise a Celeb's Make-up: Sara Jane Dias

I was browsing the web/complaining to vampires that my sleeping schedule was out of whack when I saw the following pic of Miss India Sara Jane Dias at the inauguration of Richfeel Hair and Scalp Clinic in Banglore on Sept 25, 2007.

In the past, I have been vocal (I feel I did manage to restrain myself) about bad make-up and I realized I have praised good make-up only once. Once. Let me clarify that I am not a bitter woman who is cursing the celebs behind the computer because I want to secretly be them. I am content to merely live vicariously through them, but I can only do that if I agree with their make-up habits. So I decided to reward some much needed praise to Sara Jane Dias and the great job her make-up artist did.

Apart from the fact that I absolutely love the vibrant colours and patterns on her salwar that compliment her skin like bullying mothers-in-law do a desi soap-opera, Sara's make-up is understated but I don't think it's boring at all. On the contrary, the look is sophisticated, sexy, young, and feminine.

I know many follow the rule of picking one feature and enhancing it while downplaying the rest of the fact, but since everything is understated and nothing is overly emphasized, everything is emphasized. The make-up enhances her contacts (I swear I'm not being snarky, they truly do make the contacts look better), her blush gives her a healthy glow without overwhelming her face, and her lipgloss ties everything together subtly. In fact, her entire look has me opening up sephora's web page and try and locate a similar colours.

On a side note, her eyeshadow looks exactly like what Bobbi Brown's long wear cream shadow in Sand Castle looks like on my lids. What do you ladies think?

image source: www.indiatimes.com

This Favourite Is Too Good To Keep a Secret: The Best Angled Liner Brush

I believe that desi girls are born into a world where the pursuit of the blackest kajal is something of a the coming of age ritual. For anything other than pencil kohl, I usually reach for my angled liner brush. Before I go on, let me first get out of the way that this brush is the most unglamorous brush on the planet, but it functions better than any other liner brush I have ever tried.

The Windsor & Newton Regency Gold 560 series angled brush is the most perfect angled liner brush in existence. The brush head is 1/4 of an inch wide (it says so on the brush and I couldn't resist the urge to measure this. It is in fact a true measurement.) and is made of taklon fibers that are meant to mimic sable. I had bought this around three years ago as a spare brush I could use for my oil paintings but ended up using it for make-up instead. The brush is intended to pick up and hold pigments, even if the base is very emollient. It is also very easy to tightline with and applies eyeliner in a thick or thin line effortlessly.

The length of the brush handle is as long as an average cosmetic brush so you don't have to maneuver a handle that is so long it could function as a walking stick if the necessity arose. The beauty of this brush lies in its functionality. It applies my gel liners with the same perfect ease that it applies shadows along the lash line. To top it off, it's incredibly easy to clean and doesn't require anything out of the ordinary.

Let me also add that I am not the world's most delicate damsel. If I had been a princess in a fairy tale, I would probably be in a coma because I would have tripped over a rug in the great hall, flown out of a window, and eventually would have landed right next to a shrub. This lovable awkwardness (that's what I like to call it) is sometimes passed on to my handling of my possessions. The Windsor & Newton brush has taken so much abuse, falling, and harsh usage that I fear it will exact its revenge on me while I sleep. In reality it has retained its shape perfectly and not a single hair is out of place.

To end my glowing review of this brush, let me also add that I got it for a mere $3 at an art supply store. These brushes go on sale often and the price is often unbeatable. This brush has become such a staple that I have returned every other angled liner brush that I have tried.

First Installment of Powder Blush Reviews: MAC Formal

I decided to do the powder brush reviews one by one as putting blush, wiping it off, and applying it again made my face irritated and (three guesses what happened next) red. So here comes my powder blush rave.


Format is a pigmented deep coppery-cocoa blush with subtle shimmer. Apart from my much beloved (beloved, fanatic obsession, I can't really tell the difference here) NARS blushes, this blush is a recurring favourite of mine. It's one of those blushes you love, use, and forget about. Then, you reach for it again and wonder why on earth you don't wear it more often.

The blush itself glides on beautifully smooth and is very pigmented, so a light application is very important. I don't like high shimmer on my blushes, but the shimmer here is so subtle and I like having to skip adding a highlighter. The colour I end up with on my cheeks is a warm, tanned, and a bit windblown effect. It's a very versatile colour that I use year round. I like it for the colder as well as the winter months.

I must confess that I get told that my bold gold-and-cranberry shadow combination with cleopatra liner "suits my personality" (read, a polite way to tell me to tranquillize the drag queen that dances in the depths of my soul while wearing a pink-and-blue feathered costume with sequins sewn all over), but every time I wear this blush people always compliment me on how healthy and soft I look.

Your Guess Is As Good As Mine: Kareena Kapoor's Lipstick

I was browsing around for the dirt on Bollywood make-up yet again and found a site with snippets from Kareena Kapoor's various interviews. She states the following about her favourite products:

  • "The only make-up item she uses is kaajal! "I'm very possessive about my Revlon Kaajal (kohl) pencil and cannot enter any place without knowing I have it where I can reach it easily!"
  • "For rare occasions like a premiere or a wedding there's a lipstick she's extremely secretive about. "All I'll say that it's a basic pink Mac lipstick… I'm not revealing anymore even if you think I'm cheap!"
My guess is she uses MAC's Viva Glam V lipstick. It looks a lot like what she wears/describes. What do you ladies think?

source: www.geocities.com/onlinekareena

My All-Time Favourite Blush: Nars Cactus Flower

I know some of you ladies dislike cream blush and I will post reviews of some powder blushes, but I really can't believe I haven't raved about this yet. It is one my favourite blushes of all time: so flattering and easy to apply. Here's why I love this blush so much.

First off, let me start off with the texture of Nars' cream blushes. They are in cream form, but they are rather dry compared to other cream blushes. This is not to say that they're hard to apply. They go on like a dream and blend into my skin without much effort. They also dry to a powder finish and don't really look or feel like other cream blushes. And to top it off, Nars' cream blushes don't make my pores look like craters or break me out

Secondly, do not be frightened by the colour in the pan and keep in mind that a little goes a very long way. Cactus flower is a gorgeous bright poppy shade with subtle gold shimmer. When applied, it lends a beautiful, almost unnoticeable glow, and a pop of pinky/coral colour on my cheeks. The colour is also perfect for chasing away my sallow undertones or when I look half dead. I prefer to use it in the summer, but it's a great year-round colour.

What I like so much about Nars is that the blushes are so pigmented that they show up so well on my skin. I get strong colour that goes on sheerly (as I said, a little goes a very long way) rather than the blushes I used to wish did not make me look washed out or like I had just landed a role as an extra corpse on CSI: Las Vegas (or Law & Order, whichever you prefer. The corpse look is never a good look though).

Tabu and Aishwarya Rai in Octobre InStyle

One of my Asian friends (she's Chinese to be specific) told me once that every Asian girl gets told at one point or another that she resembles Lucy Liu. I think this applies to us Desi girls too. If ever I am told I look like a celeb, it's the brown celeb du jour that I get compared to but don't really look like. So it's always nice to see Desi celebs get acknowledged outside all of the Desi-lands.

Imagine my surprise when I opened up my Octobre issue of Instyle and see not only Aishwarya Rai (I do believe she is the token brown celeb nowadays), but Tabu featured in their style section. Both were wearing beautiful saris and their make-up looked great.

I tried scanning the pics from the magazine, but somehow they didn't come out too well. However, I did add pics from the same even just for reference.

Tabu's photo was from the namesake premiere:Aishwarya's was from the Provoked premiere:
image sources: www.masalatalk.com, www.dailymail.co.uk

About Me

My name is Anu and I'm the person behind the rantings on this blog. I strive to give you an honest view of whatever it is I'm writing to you about.

You might have guessed but I am obsessed with all things make-up. As I am currently in grad school I don't have the time to put my lessons learned during art school to use so I make my face my canvas (before this would be literal and you'd see me walking around campus with green and blue paint on my face/hair clothes). When my study load becomes too heavy I tend to take longer to update.

In also freelance as a make-up artist as a side job. I have found out that I love food and must therefore work to supply that. I also want to apologise if I don't email or respond to your comments immediately. My brain is so muddled sometimes I forget to get back to you.

You can contact me at anu@indianmakeupdiva.com.

A Gentle Make-up Remover/Cleanser: La Roche Posay Toleriane Dermo-Nettoyant

I have very sensitive skin and either the wrong skincare or not thoroughly cleansing my face breaks me out and irritates my skin easily. I do not kid when I say it was easier for me to take an epilady to my underarms (I won't go into this too much, but the epilady was at its highest setting, my hair wasn't trimmed, and I didn't keep the area taut. It hurt. A lot.) than it is to keep my skin clear. There are a very few skin care items that actually work for me, but La Roche Posay's Toleriane Dermo-Nettoyant is an amazing find.
This milky cleanser is fragrance free and very gentle. For me, I can't use a strong cleanser because, I'm going to let you guess this one, my skin gets irritated. Takes taking of make-up and sunscreen just that much more difficult. I find that normal cleansers don't really get rid of sunscreens completely and I need an extra step to have completely gotten rid of all the stuff I put on my face.

The best thing about La Roche Posay's Toleriane Dermo-Nettoyant is that I don't need to use a lot of product, and it dissolves my make-up and sunscreens. I don't usually wear foundation, but I do occasionally wear mineral make-up. This cleansing milk gets rid of all the layers of mineral make-up as well. On top of that, it doesn't break me out at all. I can use this all over my face and I know that my skin won't be irritated at all. When I finally do wash the Toleriane Dermo-Nettoyant, my skin is soft, hydrated, and clean. No make-up residue and no tight feeling where you skin is so dry that it feels like old wallpaper peeling off from the wall.

I cannot be without this product and I love how I can find it online and at CVS. Also, one bottle lasts and lasts as you don't need to pile on the product. One bottle has lasts me roughly a little longer than 6 months with almost daily use.

PSA: On the Look Out for a Pout Sale at Sephora

So the fact that Pout will no longer be carried at Sephora has been making rounds and I thought I'd post about a Pout sale at Sephora when it actually happened. Sadly, I've been refreshing the Pout page on Sephora every five minutes devotedly in the hopes of catching this sale. Other than a slight case of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, I have remained fruitless and I am still waiting. Hopefully, Pout will go out of Sephora with a bang much like Becca and those of us who are dying to try the blush duo mentioned by Mickey Contractor can get a great bargain. Until then, I will stay vigilant and be the town crier as soon as I hear more about the Pout situation.

On a side note, I feel awful for wishing they would get kicked out of Sephora already and put everything on sale.

Brush Review: MAC 168 (Large Angled Contour) Brush

I'm a huge fan of good make-up brushes. I don't really care where my make-up or brushes come from but I am especially picky about brushes. A long, long time ago, I used to use q-tips and my fingers to apply make-up and while my fascination for finger-painting my own face has still not subsided (I'm still a huge fan of applying certain make-up with my fingers), I have turned into a regular brush-diva. I am possibly harder to please than the stereotypical mother-in-law you see in all the desi soap operas. And yes, I throw hissy fits of equal magnitude when brushes disappoint me. Here's my review of MAC's 168 brush.

For the most part, MAC's 168 brush is incredibly soft and angeled so that I can achieve easy contouring looks. I like my products to be multi-functional and use the brush as a blush brush as well. Here's my problem with the MAC brush. It sheds, and sheds, and sheds.

The brush itself is incredibly soft and I was very taken wit how luxurious the bristles felt. The bristles are made of natural goat hair and generally, I trust MAC's brushes quite a bit. However, my brush sheds pretty badly and I can always see a few hairs that have gotten loose and are about to cling to my face the way they should have clung to the damn brush. This is a huge problem for me because I don't think comb overs look very good on balding brushes (on a side note, I know many desi uncles who favour the comb over).

Another problem I have with this brush is that it applies blush rather unevenly. I do like it for blending out my contour and I can blend away my blush easier with this brush but I feel like that's an added step I don't need when I want a basic flush.

MAC's 168 is not bad, but I just feel like you can get a much better brush for the same price.

Laura Mercier's Lipstain in Mocha

I have some great Milani finds I will review soon and a couple of powder blushes since some of you don't share my passion for cream blush. So while I get all the pictures in order, because trust me these blushes are so pigmented you need to see their wonderful effect, I thought I'd review Laura Mercier now not-so-new lip stains.

Let me start off by listing the pros for you. In general, brown lip colours bring back bad high school memories. I used to think that since my skin was brown, flat brown lipsticks would look natural. So the one lipstick I owned throughout my teens (my mother did not know about this) ended up making me look like I had a serious fetish for kissing pits of mud. It's no wonder I am wary of browns because for me they should have a good balance of other colours to negate my mud-filled fears.

Laura Mercier's Mocha lipstain is a beautiful medium to deep brown that has subtle gold shimmer and red undertones. In fact, in the pot I can see how it could be described as mocha, but on the lips it comes together to look very sophisticated. I can see it flatter a wide variety of skin tones because you can choose the opacity and sheer it out if you wish.

Then comes the part that irks me about these lipstains, which is that they are not lipstains. They go on like a semi sheer lipstick an the texture is almost like that of a lipstick. You can layer it on for more coverage and it looks like I am wearing, tree guesses, a lipstick. The staying power is exactly that of a lipstick and it's quite drying on my lips. I don't know why the decided to mislabel this, but I am really disappointed. If I had wanted a lipstick I would have looked for one. I wanted a light stain that would last a long time and wouldn't transfer to different surfaces. I had high hopes for this because the colour is truly lovely.

Laura Mercier, have you been lying to me? I expected a stain to be along the lines of Vincent Longo's, Revlon's, The Body Shop's, or the ever-mentioned Benetint. Even Nars' lip stain gloss has so much more staying power and less transference than this. Really, this is just plain old, slightly different textured, lipstick in a pot and nothing more than that.

PSA: BECCA sale at Sepora

There are still quite a few things left and I believe most of the line is 75% off. You can also get samples when you checkout at www.sephora.com. They have some great shades and textures. Just thought I'd let you ladies know.

Give me a couple of days to return your comments

Hey ladies! All kinds of things happening right now that I'm going crazy running around and fixing them. So I just wanted to let you know that I really love you guys for reading. I will be updating often but just give me a week until I reply to your comments. Love you ladies!

Contouring with Powder Bronzer

So I am back (finally) and I decided to do a tutorial on contouring with powder bronzer. Yes, I do eventually get around to requests. I'm just a bit... disorganized. I would also like to add that I am sorry that the pics are underexposed. I am this weird strongly green colour. I am very olive skinned and in bad lighting I become more green/lizard-colours versus plain ol' deep olive

What I used:

  • A bronzer. I used NARS Casino. I like this because it doesn't have red undertones and looks like my skin but deeper and has only very slight shimmer.
  • A blush. I used MAC Ambering Rose. This is already shimmery so I didn't want to use a highlighter for this look.
  • An angled blush brush. I used MAC 168. I used to use Essence of Beauty's which I also like a lot.
  • A blush brush. I didn't use a blush brush per se but used MAC 187 instead. Whenever I am using a pigmented blush, I like to use this brush to sheer out my application.
Step 1:I started off with a clean base. I moisturized my face and applied some translucent powder so that my make-up glides on better and doesn't look patchy.

Step 2:Here, I made the classic fish-face by sucking in my cheeks. I am not going to place the bronzer under the cheekbone but on the cheekbone. So here, place the bronzer along the shadow that you see when you suck in your cheeks.

Step 3:I dipped my MAC 168 brush in the bronzer and tapped it to dust off the excess bronzer. Be careful to not use too much bronzer at the first go. You can only blend it out to an extent and I'd rather just add intensity as I go along. As a good rule of thumb, I draw a line from the middle of my eye and where the shadow and the line collide is where I place the farthest bit of bronzer. I went along the cheekbone up to the temple. For added drama, you can add bronzer along the temples and the jawline.

Step 4:
I blended out the edges of my of the bronzer so that it's no longer a strip. I didn't use another brush and just blended the bronzer out with my MAC 168.

-Initial Result-I have blended out the bronzer enough so that the cheekbones are enhanced but was careful to not blend not too much that it just looked like my usual application

Step 5:I like to add blush because I personally feel it looks much more natural. I dipped my MAC 187 brush into the Ambering Rose blush, dusted it off and placed it on the apple of my cheek. I apply the blush pretty much only on the apple of my cheek and then blend it into the bronzer.

-Final Result-Here you can see the final result: cheekbones with a slight flush. If you want, you can add a highlight along the top of the apple of the cheek and then make your way toward the temple. However, I skipped this step as I didn't want too much shimmer