This story was updated in January 2019.
In India, we have a variety of skin tones. Ranging from cocoa all the way to vanilla tinted skin, we're a country that's rich in diversity and of course, colour. Makeup is one weapon we women have that helps us express our uniqueness and enhance our features. How are the rules of makeup different for desi girls? What should they keep in mind while dressing up in traditional wear?
We are here to put all your doubts to rest.
Makeup Tips For Every Desi Girl
Tips For Beginner
Makeup Based On Your Skin Type
For Dry Skin
Makeup Tips For Every Desi Girl
Go Big With The Kohl
Nothing complements Indian wear quite like kohl-rimmed eyes. We suggest you go for dramatic eyes if you’re wearing a traditional outfit. Whether you’re dressing up for a wedding or for work or even for college, dramatic kohl-rimmed eyes can elevate your Indian look to a whole new level! You can go for bold and smudged kohl or a clean and simple line - but we’re sure you’ll rock it either way!
POPxo Recommends: Lakme Absolute Kohl Ultimate Kajal - Black (Rs 750)
Wake Up With Nude Eye Pencils
This one is for days that you wake up feeling like you must go back to bed. You don’t feel like spending time on the whole eyeliner-kajal-kohl routine. People say that a white eye pencil will make your eyes look bigger instantly. Unfortunately, on our warm Indian skin tones, a white pencil can sometimes look too stark and bright. A nude eye pencil, however, is the perfect alternative. Simply swipe some on your waterline and you’ll get rid of that sleepy look in seconds!
POPxo Recommends: Revlon Photo Ready Kajal Intense Eye Liner & Brightener (Rs 754)
Neutralize Your Lips
If the colour of your lipstick doesn’t look on your lips like it does in the tube, you may have to neutralize your lips. Using a simple concealer on your lips before applying lipstick can really make the colour pop. If you don’t have a concealer handy, a foundation or even compact powder can do the trick!
Bold Lips FTW
Have you heard that dramatic eyes and bold lips don’t go together? Forget that age-old adage! As a desi girl, you can totally rock them both together. After all, we Indians are known for our love for colours, right? A true red is a gorgeous colour for almost all skin tones and it looks especially fabulous on our Indian skin! So the next time you want to take an outfit from plain to wow, simply swipe on a bold red lip colour.
POPxo Recommends: NYX Butter Lipstick - Afternoon Heat (Rs 550)
Oil Is Your Friend
Every Indian girl has grown up hearing that regular champis will lead to long, black hair. But did you know that oil can also work miracles for your skin? Olive and coconut oil can really help to make your skin glow and they’re available everywhere! We suggest you try cleansing with olive oil or coconut oil to get that even-toned glow!
Sunscreen For Sure
The climate in India demands that you always wear sunscreen. Always. But your sunscreen doesn’t necessarily have to give you a sticky, shiny face. Opt for a sunscreen that works as a base makeup for you. Mattifying sunscreens act like BB creams to give you even-toned skin while also protecting you from the sun! Did someone say having your cake and eating it too?
POPxo Recommends: Lotus Safe Sun 3 In 1 Matte Look Daily Sunblock - SPF 40 (Rs 193)
Cheek Stain For A Rosy Blush
If you feel like powder blushes don’t blend properly or get lost on your skin tone, go in for a cheek stain instead. They provide lasting coverage and give you the natural blushing look that’ll totally go with all your Indian wear.
POPxo Recommends: Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Mini Lip and Cheek Stain (Rs 1,770)
Rock The Bindi!
Don’t shy away from wearing a bindi while dressing up in Indian wear. It can totally help perk up your eye makeup. Whether you put on a simple round one with your college kurtas or go glittery for functions, they always look good. A bindi can bring your whole traditional look together in a matter of seconds, so go ahead and choose one to complete your desi girl look!
Shimmer All The Way
Put those matte eyeshadows away, girl! Trust us on this. A golden eyeshadow is what every desi girl needs. It looks absolutely gorgeous with our skin tone! Invest in a good shimmery eyeshadow to go glam in a matter of seconds. You can even use a pale gold one as a highlighter!
POPxo Recommends: Maybelline New York Color Sensational Diamonds Eye Shadow - Topaz Gold (Rs 525)
And Finally, Fix It All
A makeup fixing spray is your best friend in the Indian climate. To make sure that your makeup doesn’t run or sweat away while you take an auto or dance in the heat, use a makeup setting spray on it before you step out.
POPxo Recommends: Colorbar Stay The Day Finishing Mist (Rs 843)
If You're a Beginner At Applying Makeup, Pay Attention To These Tips!
Your Primer & Foundation Should Be A Match
Remember ladies, the base of your foundation and primer should be the same. If it's different, then the textures won't match and formulas won't blend. If it is a liquid foundation, then your primer too should be in a liquid form and vice versa.
POPxo Recommends: Faces Ultime Pro Makeup Fixer
Downstrokes Over Upward Strokes
Many women have facial hair and sometimes if the foundation isn't applied correctly, it can make your hair visibly stand out. To avoid such a situation, apply foundation in downward stroke instead of upward. That way, your foundation will look smooth and give your skin a full coverage.
The Right Places To Apply Concealer
Let's say that you are running late and have absolutely no time to apply your concealer, you must know the right places to apply concealer. That means, under your eyes, the sides of your mouth and next to your nostrils. What should you do after? Dab! Dab! Dab!
POPxo Recommends: Maybelline New York Fit Me Concealer
There Are Two Types of Powder
Pressed powder and loose powder. Don't ever mix the two terms together. While pressed powder can either be tinted or translucent, it's better to stick to the latter. That way, it does not interfere with your foundation shade. Pressed powder is good to use when you have to do minor touch-ups and to give your skin a dewy finish. Loose powder is when you want to set your makeup so that it stays on longer and does not come off too easily.
Ladies, Blush First
Before applying your foundation, apply blush. This will give your complexion a more natural flush and add brightness. Layer it with a foundation after. That way, your makeup will look fresh and have a natural touch of glow to it.
POPxo Recommends: Nykaa Sealed with a Kiss! Lip Palette
Nail The Perfect Wing
Not every person who is new to makeup will get the wing right at the first go. That’s when you should befriend the scotch tape. Cut a strip and gently place it in an angular fashion on your eyes. Draw the line after. If you don’t have scotch tape at home, you can use a spoon or credit card to get the job done.
Befriend The Highlighter
Let’s say that you’ve already groomed your brows and filled them using a brow pencil. To make them and your eyes stand out even more, gently brush a bit of highlight product below the arch of your brows and blend. This small tip will make your features stand out and you’ll look hella hot.
POPxo Recommends: Maybelline New York Face Studio Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter - Molten Gold
Stick To Only Tightlining
If you like keeping your makeup natural and subtle, I recommend that you skip using a liner on the upper lashline and apply the product only on your waterline. Pick an eyeliner that’s waterproof so that your liner does not smudge and it gives a bold finish to your eyes.
The Kajal Trick Is Gold
Applying kajal is easy, making it stay put is the difficult part. To make it stay for longer hours, apply kajal how you normally would and later, dab some eyeshadow powder or liquid eyeliner over it. This tip helps to keep your kajal last for a longer duration.
POPxo Recommends: Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Kajal Liner
Use Baby Powder For Thicker Lashes
Apply a coat of mascara to your lashes and later, dust some baby powder over it. Let it sit for a minute or two and then, apply a second coat of mascara. It will make your lashes look thicker and longer.
Reuse The Mascara Wand
Let’s say that your mascara product is over. Don’t chuck the product away. In fact, save the wand. The wand can act as a brush to groom your brows. For bolder and darker brows, you can dip the wand into a pot of brow gel and then brush the brows.
Create A Metallic Lip Tint With Highlighter
You don’t have to buy a new metallic lippie if you know this trick. After painting your lips, gently dab on a bit of highlighter, gold or silver highlighter. Purse your lips after and there you have it! Metallic, kissable lips.
POPxo Recommends: NYX Professional Makeup Love You So Mochi Highlighting Palette - Lit Life (Rs 2000)
Here's How To Choose Makeup Based On Your Skin Type
If You Have Dry Skin
Makeup looks terrible on dry skin. It looks cakey and flaky. You need to first follow a good skincare routine before you start applying makeup. Keep an eye out for creamy lipsticks and concealers. Moisturising primers, balms and foundations will make makeup look natural on your skin and give it a moist, dewy finish.
POPxo Recommends: Glamglow Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer (Rs 3,500)
If You Have Sensitive Skin
If you have sensitive skin, try to use less makeup on your face. It could clog your pores and give rise to breakouts. Stay away from makeup that contains parabens, phthalates, sulfates, fragrances and minerals.
POPxo Recommends: The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion (Rs 1,595)
If You Have Combination Skin
Choosing makeup for combination skin can be tricky because you have both, dry and oily skin. Hence it’s important to divide the load and apply moisturising products first and later brushing the areas of the face that get oily with loose powder. This helps balance the looks out.
POPxo Recommends: M.A.C Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder
If You Have Oily Skin
Oily skin is pretty difficult to live with because it traps product into the pores which gives rise to breakouts. You need to invest in products that will keep your sebum levels in check. Concealers and foundation that have light textures and loose powder can reduce the appearance of oil and grease on your face.
POPxo Recommends: Lakme 9 to 5 Naturale Finishing Powder (Rs 550)
When It Comes To Choosing Makeup Products For A Festival
In India, we celebrate not just one, but MANY festivals. Each festival requires a different makeup look. If you’re keen to know what makeup look will work for you the best, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few Indian festivals (from the plenty out there) you can dress up pretty for.
Diwali is the festival of lights, so make sure that the makeup you're applying is sparkly and glittery. Experiment with bold and bright eyeliner styles and make sure to paint your lids either smokey or metallic. For lips, bright colours like red and pink can channel the inner pataka within you.
POPxo Recommends: Glamglow Glowpowder Hyaluronic Acid Infused Glow Palette (Rs 2,450)
Christmas falls during the winter season. That’s precisely the time when you should be applying makeup that gives you a fresh and radiant glow. You can play with glitter, but you should do a mix of fall colours and designs to complement the season. Mauves, maroons, navy blue and cherry red should be the colours on your makeup to-do list. Don’t forget to play with lots of blush and highlighters!
Holi is a festival of colour! However, you'll get lots of colour and water balloons thrown at you. Hence, when it comes to makeup, follow this makeup rule - less is more. Stick to plain lip gloss and make sure to apply lots of moisturisers so that the colour does not begin to dry your skin out. Layer it with SPF and apply coconut oil all over your body so that the colour does not stick to your pores and clog them up.
You’ll notice that during Dusshera, everyone wears loud eye makeup. This is your time to put your makeup skills to the test, ladies! Try a cat or a wing eyeliner. Any style that will make your eyes be the centre of attention, you should go for it!
POPxo Recommends: SUGAR Born To Wing Gel Eyeliner (Rs 599)
Smokey eyes are a makeup look you should go for Onam. Keep the rest of your makeup subtle by sticking to creamy blushes and nude lipsticks. Don’t forget to coat your lashes with mascara and put on falsies once you finish your look. All the best!
Precautions To Be Taken While Applying Makeup
- Only buy high-quality makeup products and always keep a check on their expiry dates to avoid breakout and reactions.
- Before you start doing your makeup, always remember to wash your hands with an antibacterial soap.
- These makeup tools tend to accumulate a lot of dirt, hence bacteria in them. So make sure you wash your makeup blenders, sponges and brushes every alternate week to make them dirt and grime free.
- Say NO to sharing makeup products and tools. Sharing your makeup products such as lipsticks, eyeliners or brushes may lead to spread of bacteria and infections.
- Be gentle on your eyes and do not use sharp objects or pencils to do your eyes. Careful with your mascara, a moment of rush may result in serious injury.
- Always store your makeup in a dry and cool place.
Question 1: Can I wear foundation every day? How do I stop it from slipping off?
Yes, you can wear foundation everyday just make sure to wear a PRIMER! You can also customize the primer according to your skin type. This is also the easiest way to wear foundation so it stays put and not slip off.
Question 2: I have 5 minutes to do my makeup—what can I do that would make the most difference?
A tinch of concealer under the eyes is the easiest way to look more awake and bright-eyed or a bright lip shade will also do the trick.
Question 3: How can I clean my makeup brushes?
If you don’t want to replace your brushes, unless they are not too old, you can always opt for this DIY cleansing solution. You can use milk baby shampoo or mix olive oil with dish soap and wash your brushes with the concoction.
Question 4: How do I blend my blush so it looks natural?
You can achieve a natural splash of colour by dipping your Kabuki brush into your powder foundation and dabbing it softly. This will allow your blush to blend in easily.
MUST READ: Eye Make up tips
POPxo is now available in six languages: English
AWESOME NEWS! POPxo SHOP is now Open! Get 25% off on all the super fun mugs, phone covers, cushions, laptop sleeves, and more! Use coupon code POPXOFIRST. Online shopping for women never looked better!