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The Great Indian Cover-up

Make up will cover up your flaws, brighten up your look, give you something to think about and something your friends can be jealous about. But only if you let it, says Rachel Lopez.

brunch Updated: May 14, 2012 12:11 IST
Rachel Lopez
Rachel Lopez
Hindustan Times

I love make-up. I’m freakin’ obsessed with the stuff. Eye-shadows, blush palettes, concealers, fluffy brushes, blending, highlighting, even taking it off. Of course I know I’m a minority here, but over the years I’ve come to realise just how wide the gap yawns between regular women and myself. I play a little game – I tell a woman I’ve just met that I’m into make up and watch how she reacts. Responses usually go something like this:

makeup"You like make-up? I, uh, I wear eyeliner."

"Make-up? Oh, I have a Revlon lipstick! My friend gave it to me in 1998. I think I still have it. You want?"

"Ugh. Cosmetics. Don’t they spoil your skin?"

"So you do smoky eye and stuff? Where do you get the time in the mornings?"

"People look so made-up with stuff. I don’t like Pancake (she means foundation, not the breakfast item)."

Mostly, they just roll their eyes and assume I’m mentally deficient or some kind of airhead.

I pity these women. I pity their obvious dark circles, their sallow skin, their big noses, their breakout scars their naturally low-set cheeks and the big swipes of lipstick or kajal that are doing their face more harm than good. I pity them because in dissing me, they’re dissing the very thing that would make all their problems go away. If you, uh, wear eyeliner, then you should really be choosing one that doesn’t smudge by the end of the day. Throw out your crumbling Revlon lipstick so you can buy a contemporary colour and finish you’ll actually like to use. Smokey eyes aren’t time consuming – and nobody wears them in the morning. Make-up, when chosen right, applied right and taken off correctly doesn’t spoil your skin – it actually hides every flaw, makes you look naturally prettier and improves your skin in the long run. There’s more to make up than thick foundation, red lips, pink cheeks, and loud glitter – it’s also about enhancing your features without looking like you’re wearing make up.

Eye makeupSome days, though, I don’t need to fight the good fight quite as hard. I just have to tell people I have god-awful under-eye circles, dark areas that extend halfway down my cheeks, over my lids, and on the sides of my nose. That’s when everybody does a double take, gives me a long, hard, incredulous look and give me a different kind of response:

“I can’t see any of it!”
“That’s awesome!”
“Tell me what you use. No seriously…”

And suddenly the girl who likes make-up isn’t the airhead anymore.

Welcome to the blog. Obviously my next post will be about covering up your dark circles.

From HT Brunch, May 13

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First Published: May 11, 2012 20:32 IST