Make up tricks and the self

My relationship with make up has been long and ardent. And despite the long affair with the painted face, I have never really mastered the art the way some women have. Consequently, I slather on make up with shaky hands which suddenly seem infused with lead and wander out blinking into the sunlight or the neon as the case might be looking like Frankenstein’s bride. But I’ve been learning and taking tips and seeing how the professionals work on the face and trying to replicate the look with the little make up I have with me.
And asking friends who do their make up amazingly well for tips and trying to follow.
So it came to pass that two darling friends, who are probably the best put together women I know on a first name basis, told me I needed to get myself to MAC and get Studio Fix powder compact and I would be set. I wandered past the MAC store thrice at Inorbit. Put one toe in and pulled it out again as quickly. Make up intimidates me. And the impeccably done up sales people selling said make up intimidate me more. Then I was told red. Red lipstick changes the look. Russian Red. I girded mine loins (metaphorically speaking and did another perambulation of the MAC store but still couldn’t take myself within the perimeter. What can I say? I’m a coward. I get terrified of skin care and make up sales people. I have abyssmal self esteem. I feel compelled to buy everything at the counter to prove that I am serious about Taking Care Of Myself and Looking Good.
Finally, I gathered up enough courage to ask the kind person who handles the communications and PR for MAC whether she could set up an appointment for me with a make up expert who would be kind and gentle and take me babysteps into the world of make up. At the appointed time, I entered the MAC store with quivering limbs and confidence levels lurking somewhere at knee level. Shayli, for that’s what her name was, pretty as a picture and made up sharply as is expected of someone who is to sell one make up, was a lovely advertisement for the brand herself. She put me at ease completely, and having extracted from me that I was primarily concerned about not ending up like Dracula’s bride, set about colour matching my skin, showing me how to apply my base and how to blend and how to put it all so it just ended up looking very smooth and natural skin. I was jaw dropped with surprise when I saw myself in the mirror. Nope, I wasn’t Cinderella by any stretch of the imagination. But I was smooth skinned. I left the premises with a MAC Studio Fix compact, in a shade that matched my skin tone, and a promise to come back at leisure for a complete make up lesson.

I also had in my booty stash a MAC lipstick in Ramp Red, some subtle cheek colour, a lip glass, some eye shadows and felt ready to take on the world in technicolour.

For my next event, a dear friend got me to get self to a make up artist to get my face done. Who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth, and so I landed up, face wiped clean and bereft of any add ons as the day I was born. She began with spraying my face, putting a primer, methodically working the base, while I occasionally squawked I didn’t want to be bronzed up because the last event had the girl at Lakme deciding she wanted to bronze me up and ended up with me two to three shades deeper than my current skin tone, and finally I emerged blinking, and glowing with some judicious and injudicious use of highlighter.

Anyway, here’s what I looked like with the professional make up. Too glowy for my liking though, and the eyes were spiky overdone.

This is how I looked the next day when I did my regular routine, compact (Albeit the new MAC Studio Fix one now), eyeliner and lipstick.

I think the simpler look works better for me. Or is it that I am more comfortable without fear that my face will crack and fall off with all the multiple layers them make up artists apply?


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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14 Responses to Make up tricks and the self

  1. kushi says:

    Kiran, i guess some of us like ourselves with all our flaws 🙂 I loved your second pic. No point in dabbing something on your face and feeling out of place. Cheer up there are many like you (including me) , who love looking natural. A genuine smile is all the make up i need to make myself look awesome.


  2. Taa's mom says:

    Loving the dress color and the make up on your face in both the pics. love the lipstick. this color would have gone very well at the chennai meet rather than the deep red IMHO. Very glad to see this shade of lipstick on you. Looking super good. i have to make an appt with the MAC soon. Need to get some of their products. Heard that they are not super expensive. is that true ?


  3. Nilu says:

    I am usually a fan of simple make up…but you do look really beautiful with the professional make up!!!!!!


  4. Sands says:

    I like the simpler look better 🙂 Can totally relate to the fear when it comes to entering make up stores!

    Hain na? Though I love looking groomed, am so terrified of make up stores….


  5. I can totally relate Kiran, being a big believer in au natural 🙂 However, a spot of compact, an eyeliner and some lip gloss does heighten the natural look – as is evident in your second pic. You look great!

    Thank you!


  6. moi says:

    You look good in the second picture without doubt but I like the first picture where your make-up was done by a professional!! I hope you don’t take me wrong but you look more beautiful in the first picture but then maybe my eye sight ain’t that good 🙂
    good luck with learning the art of applying make-up. I was too bad at it too but after some practice I’ve learn’t it I guess.


  7. Kanchan says:

    If it were me, I’d do something like the 2nd picture. But you look like a STAR in the first one! The bronzing looks good on you and it goes well with your dress too (not that I’m qualified to judge color codes for make-up!).


  8. BEV says:

    I prefer the look you did yourself – more natural. Whener I have tried getting my make up done professionally, i feel I look much worse than I normally do!


  9. garima says:

    loved yr both the looks, n also d coral is just too tempting!!


  10. Amitha Shetty says:

    I like your simpler make up look too. You look less plastic and more beautiful in it.Hair looks great too. 🙂


  11. Ketan says:

    Hi! Well the pic 2 look scores better over pic 1. Is it because of the differential lighting and focus on both pics possibly? One belongs to the au-naturel-looks-best camp though. God made thou beautiful 🙂


  12. Gigi says:

    Second picture is way more flattering!


  13. Aathira says:

    Me think simpler look 🙂


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