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Best face forward

You may not have been born with great skin, but there’s still no reason why you can’t have a flawless complexion. We tell you how, Smita Mitra.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2009 14:13 IST

Scan the pages of the celeb magazines and all you see are gorgeous faces – flawlessly made up and breathtaking. But when the paparazzi magazines catch the same celebs sans makeup, their beauty flaws are revealed in shocking detail.

Take Kareena Kapoor for instance. When she met the press without makeup for her debut film Refugee, disappointed reactions followed about her lack of star power. Wising up quickly, she went from drab to fab and is now one of Bollywood’s most glamourous ladies.

Makeup is a magical sculpting tool for the face but you need to know how to use products the right way. We tell you how by listing common face flaws and how to correct them with a little pat of this and a little swish of that.

Forehead
If you have a very wide forehead, narrow it by shading the temples slightly with bronzer. Similarly, you can create the appearance of a wider forehead by brushing highlighting loose powder from the temples to the hairline and blending. Shiseido has a great highlighter and bronzer wand for contouring purposes.

Tip: You can also hide big foreheads under hair bangs or fringes. If the opposite is true, go for super chic hair pulled back into a tight pony look. If you have short hair, gel your hair so that the strands stay off your face and work it into a spiky bed-head look.

Skin
Good skin is the fortune of a few. Most of us have to deal with pigmentation, dark circles, pimples and acne scars. If properly used, foundation can be the panacea for all these flaws. Choose a foundation that matches the lightest areas of your face. M.A.C has an entire range of NC shades to suit Indian tones and Shiseido Powder Foundation is truly dreamy to use. Another option is Nature’s Minerals Foundation by Body Shop.

Skin darkens in patches because of sun damage, while acne scars and dark circles result from unhealthy lifestyles. For an instant fix, cover problem areas thinly with foundation and blend the edges. Check the coverage and apply more if required. Set the foundation by brushing loose tinted powder from Body Shop all over the face. Bumpy pimples will not disappear completely even if you use foundation properly, but they will certainly be less visible.

Tip: Moisturise your skin before applying foundation. This preps your skin for the foundation, which then blends in better.

Nose
If your nose is too pronounced or if you have a wide and flat nose, don’t consider reconstructive surgery. Just reach for the matte bronzer brush and cream foundation. If you have a wide nose, dab the foundation in a line, down the centre of your nose. Blend in. Then lightly dust bronzer on each side and blend so that the sides look a little darker than the centre. . Your nose will instantly look sharper. To make your nose appear shorter, blend the bronzer colour under the nose and up over the tip.

Tip: Blending is the key to mastering this makeup trick. It can’t look like you have strips of colour running down the sides of your nose.

Jawline
That stubborn double chin or strong jawline can be history. Make the bronzer wand by Shiseido your best friend or go for Dior’s contouring blushers. All you have to do after applying foundation is to lightly shadow the sides of your jaw using bronzer. Concentrate on the parts that seem to jut out and sculpt a tapering jawline. Ditto for a double chin – shadow it with the bronzer. Blend so that there are no visible edges.

Tip: Choose a matte bronzer colour that is just a shade darker than your atural skin tone. This way the shadowing is more subtle and effective.

Eyes
If your eyes look too small, it’s time to open them up. Use eyeshadow in a vanilla or cream hue with a hint of shimmer to the brow bone and the inner corner of the eye, near your tear duct. The slight shimmer will instantly make the eyes look bigger and more radiant.

Use a slightly darker shade on the crease and outer corner before blending. Check out Bourjouis’ eye dusting powders. Use a white highlighter M.A.C eye pencil to draw a thin line under the eye, using it like a kajal pencil. Use a thin brown or black kohl pencil by Chanel to line the upper lash line as well. Start off thin near the tear duct and gradually thicken the line as you sweep it towards the outer corner.

You can make your eyes look bigger if you sweep the eyeliner outwards and upwards, Amy Winehouse style. Finish it off using two coats of mascara that lengthens and volumises your eyelashes, using products like L’Oreal’s Volume Shocking Water-Proof Mascara or Chanel’s Inimitable Noir mascara. Curl your lashes before applying the mascara for best results. Another problem when it come to the eyes is when they are set too wide apart. Cover this flaw by applying a darker shade on the inner corners and extending the eye inwards by using eyeliner and kajal.

Tip: Too much cream eyeshadow means that creases will show up more prominently. So try to use powder eyeshadows or cream-to-powder formulations.

Cheekbones
If you have a very round face, you can create cheekbones with a bit of contouring makeup. First suck in your cheeks and shadow the hollows with a matte bronzer just a shade darker than your natural skin colour. Blend sideways, moving downward. Then, simply dust the apples of your cheeks with a fresh pinkish blush. Blend sideways, moving upward. A good product to use is Pupa and VOV’s range of blushes in browns and pinks.

Tip: Blend well or you might look like you have two strips of colour running down your cheeks!

Lips
To make lips look fuller or to balance out the thickness of the lower or upper lip, use a lip liner to expand the curve of the lip. You can even extend the corners of your mouth to make it look like you have a wider smile or make your cupid’s bow more symmetrical. Then colour in, using lip gloss or lipstick. Use light, shimmery shades if you have thin lips. To make lips look smaller, keep the lip colour just a little inside the lipline and use dark shades.

Tip: Choose a lip liner and lipstick of the same colour. Otherwise the fudging of the natural lip line will be all too clear.