Lots of women think that to look glamorous, they need to be tweezed, exfoliated and lacquered within an inch of their lives. Everything from foundation sticks, concealers and lipsticks are pressed into service before these high maintenance women turn their attention to their hair, which is then fussily styled.
On the other end of the spectrum are those who stick to their kohl and lipstick and don’t bother with anything else. But what if you don’t belong to either group? If you want to look glamourous everyday, whether you’re going to office or a club, and want a makeover procedure that is short and simple? Read on...
Nothing is more impressive than a woman who juggles her job and housework and still manages to have groomed hands and feet. Men notice the care lavished and many in fact claim to have a ‘clean feet’ fetish. “No matter how glamourous or sexy a woman is, I can’t stand her if I see her nail polish is chipped or that she has dry or dirty hands and feet. But clean feet and hands are a big turn-on,” says journalist Swapnil Sharma.
Makeup artist Jatin says that you don’t necessarily have to have long, sculptured red nails to look glamourous. Instead, concentrate on attaining spotlessly clean and manicured nails – a goal that is easily achieved sitting at home.
How to do it: Most Indian women, while remembering to take care of their faces, ignore their hands and feet. A big mistake, so go and splurge a little on a good manicure and pedicure at a salon and try to soak your hands and feet in warm water at home when you can. Also moisturise after your bath everyday.
No matter how artfully you apply your makeup, the whole “glam” look can only be achieved by grooming your hair. Alluring hair is usually voluminous, clean and bouncy with loads of movement, unrestricted by pins, clips or bands. So blow-drying your hair is essential to give your locks a certain pizzazz and playfulness, says freelance makeup artist Jatin Malhotra. But most Indian women tend think of blow-drying as a salon procedure and not a daily ritual, which is why so many of us have bad hair days almost every day of the year.
How to do it: Evenly apply leave-on conditioner on the strands of your hair. Then turn on the blow-drier and run your fingers through your hair. For added volume, flip your head upside down and aim the dryer at your roots.
Blush or rouge is used to redden the cheeks and is another favourite makeup item of women internationally. A blush/blusher can highlight your cheekbones by contouring the cheeks. “It brightens the face instantly and adds depth. If you want your face to look angular, use a dark blush on the hollows of your cheeks. But if you want to give your complexion a warm glow, dust some on the apples of your cheeks,” says makeup artist Jatin Malhotra.
Debunking the prevailing perception, Sushma, national skin and make-up consultant, Lakme Beauty Salon, says that rouge doesn’t have to be clearly visible on the face. Less is more. Marilyn Monroe was an expert in the art of such minimal make-up and was known to use the blush to enhance her cheekbones. If you have a dewy complexion, chuck the foundation and just pat a concealer on the trouble spots and blemishes, before you apply the rouge. Just choose the colour with care.
How to do it: Sushma Khan says, “Fair skinned women should use peach or rose blush, while those with dark skin should opt for rust, plum and brownish red. Shimmery powder, when dusted over the cheekbones, manipulates the way light reflects off the contours of your face and gives a fulsome glam look.”
Do not apply blush in circles over the cheeks. The correct way is to sweep a little bit of blush up towards the ears. Make sure you blend well after application or you may end up looking like a clown.
4 Eye shadow
For make up artist Serra Michel, the face is a canvas on which she creates art. To her, a canvas without shades is unthinkable. But then, she lives in France. So, when she heard that Indian women rarely use eye shadow, she was aghast. “The right colour of eye shadow can add instant glamour. Even the simplest and barest of makeup can look smashing if the eye makeup is correct because eyes are the most prominent feature of the face. If you look closely, all the models in international glamour magazines wear bold eye shadows. They add colour to the face and give an ethereal appeal.” If eye shadow is such a makeover tool, why don’t Indian women use it more often? “Lack of awareness about the art of makeup. Women don’t know how to apply eye shadow, what kind to buy and how to match it,” explains freelance makeup artist Jatin Malhotra.
Makeup artists debunk the theory that your eye shadow should match your clothes. Instead, they claim that the shade of the eye shadow should reflect the mood of the person, match the skin tone and shape of the eyes. It adds dimension to the face and can make small eyes look wider and vice versa.
How to do it: Sushma Khan of Lakme says, “Pale tones like wine and violet are best for dark women. If you are fair, opt for blue, green and other dark shades (only for the night). Aqua blue and peacock shades go with any skin tone.” She adds that red, used often by Indian women, makes a woman look older and doesn’t actually suit many people. Silver and gold make the eyes look larger and give a glamorous effect when used with black eyeliner. Usually, women apply eye shadow on the upper lid but you could also cover the portion beneath the brow as well.
5 Liquid eyeliner
While the eyeliner is an Egyptian import, the kajal, kohl or surma, has been a traditional part of Indian makeup. That explains why kajal is used everyday by women here while the eyeliner is used only for special occasions. In the past, sex sirens like Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren have used the liner to create a sensuous look. Sharmila Tagore and Saira Banu, closer home, also relied on the liner, but they never managed to inspire Indian women to do the same everyday.
Says Sushma Khan of Lakme, “An eyeliner alone can give the wearer a very soft and innocent look. Matched with eye shadow and mascara, eyeliners add the needed drama and definition to the eyes. They make the eyes look larger and when used in conjunction with mascara, make them look fresh.”
How to do it: For an innocent sexed up look, line the upper lash line and end it at the outer corner with a curve pointing upwards. You can leave the lower lash line bare or line it for a smoky effect.
The affair between women and their high heels has been long and torrid. A woman will love what a pair of killer heels can do for her sex appeal but hate the excruciating pain she has to endure each time she steps out in them. Though women in India do know about the miraculous powers of stilettos, they don’t – like their counterparts across Europe – wear them too often. “A big mistake,” says fashion footwear designer Swati Mehrotra of Swatimodo.
“You start to feel and look sexy the moment you don high heels. Stilettos work best because they make you stand on your toes. Automatically, the posture changes and the body forms an S curve. Calf muscles get pronounced, the shoulders and the butt are pushed back and the bust is thrust forward. As a result, a woman’s gait too becomes seductive.”
Although all kinds of heels add height and work wonders on a woman’s self confidence, only stilettos can fuel that hip-swinging, feline gait. Stilettos are also a great way to look thinner. “They look flattering and are definitely more slimming than flats,” agrees Swati. The best part is that you can pair them with any attire, be it a swinging dress or skirt or slim cigarette pants. So, go ahead and invest in a good pair of heels.
How to do it: Buy a pair of patent leather heels since it just so happens that they are sizzling on international ramps right now. If you are feeling bold, buy a pair of red stilettos and fishnet stockings for your next club outing. You’ll knock them all out!