I am new to Makeup - Help!

I got this query from a reader who wishes to remain Anonymous:

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Hi Tanveer...

I need your help on choosing makeup. Its my wedding in the month of December. I am totally new to make up (on myself). My daily makeup routine includes fair n lovely (if time permits) and Vaseline. So you should now have a fair idea about me... Only on those "special" days i use kajal. That's all i do. I have just one shade of lipstick and one lipgloss which were gifts and have never used :-))) So I am looking fwd for ur help.

Mine is an orthodox family. So no beauticians wud be allowed in the wedding ceremony. It will be my sis who wud do the makeup or probably myself as i trust me to do it better... I have done it for a good num of ppl and have pretty decent steady hands. About my skin... Well I have the problem of dark circles all around my eyes.... And hairy face which I have to wax once a week... Though I dont have acne prone skin, the waxing makes my skin have red bumps for a couple of days. I have extreeeeeeeeeeeeeemely oily skin. I am of medium wheatish complexion.

After reading all the posts on your blog for the last few days, I got to know about the existence of skin tone... I am not sure what tone i belong to... But I do feel that my skin has an yellow shade to it... My face is darker than the rest of my body... I need to buy makeup for me from the scratch... and I need ur help... My face oils in just half an hour no matter what i do/use... I was infact made up for a drama... when some make up person did apply foundation... but i ended up looking all cakey and ashy and even more oily and dull... Can you kindly help me buy make up. Considering i need to be sitting in front of fire for half a day... with the light from the video on my face thru out the day... Also another thing is... taking make up off... The time i was made up... when i tuk it all off... my face looked so bad... that i dint knw hw to go for a second round of make up the same day... i mean for my wedding i will have to take it all off... and get ready for a reception in the evening...

I am not aware of this product called primer... and the SA stared at me when i asked for one... and i did not know which brands existed... I am looking for very minimal makeup... which can hide my blemishes and dark circles and make me look fresh... I am not looking for some fancy bridal make up... I need your help to pick out the foundation that would reduce oiliness, compact, eye liner, concealer, kajal (its a must for our weddings... so i need something which does not go all over my face...), mascara (preferably water proof), some light blush so light that it shud luk like i have not used any... Coming from a very traditional family, ppl will frown on me if i look made up even on my wedding day!!!! Also what is primer... and where are they available... my eyes are black, my lips are red.. but upper lip is pigmented... so any lighter shade of lipstick i choose... wont look good/same on my upper lip... Can u suggest some base or something to even out my lip color so that i can use some lighter shade of lipstick too??? Also the most I can afford is Maybelline/Lakme/Revlon/Street Wear... I am not sure I can opt for MAC sort of expensive brands. I am from Bangalore. So kindly let me know my options... Gosh that was a looooooooong post.. I know that my request is too much but I did not know/trust anyone else to help me on my crazy request... Thanks a lot in advance!!!

Ok Anon, first of all congrats on your upcoming wedding!

I’ll deal with all your doubts one by one. While you have asked me advice essentially for makeup, I cannot help but give you some skincare advice as well. Your current routine is very threadbare and if your skin is not at its best, no foundation or concealer will give you that glow that every bride wants to flaunt on her wedding day.

In this post I will deal with your skincare problems. Next post will be on makeup advice.

First of all, I would advice you to get a skincare routine in place. Your current routine is very minimal and it is woefully lacking any protection or repairing products, considering your skin is exposed everyday to UV light & Pollution.

Budget: Ideally, if your budget is limited, I would advice you to spend a bit more on skincare than makeup. A healthy skin looks good, without or with makeup.

One of the best brands for skincare is The Body Shop. Their Vitamin C range as well as the Aloe Vera range is good. If you cannot afford The Body Shop, look at AromaMagic, Biotique, Lotus, Himalaya, Neutrogena, Jovees, Ponds, Fab India to fulfill your needs. Also please get a bottle of Lacto Calamine, it is a boon for all oily skinned girls.
  • Cleansing: There are plenty of affordable oil control face washes in the market like those from Ponds, Neutrogena amongst others. Please start cleansing your face twice a day with a good face wash. Cleansing is the most important step in any skin care routine. If not done well, it will cause failure of all the products that follow.

  • Exfoliation: Exfoliate your face twice a week. Avoid harsh scrubs. Try Aromamagic Mineral Glow Scrub, Biotique Papaya scrub or else Jovees honey papaya scrub. Exfoliate in the evening, this helps your skin settle down during the night. Exfoliation will remove black & white heads that oily girls are prone to suffer from. If it is possible get a cleanup done at the parlour once a month starting this month, that way you would have had at least 3 cleanups prior to your wedding. If you can't do this, lightly steam your face for 5 minutes before doing exfoliation to increase its efficacy.

  • Toner: Ponds has an oil control concentrate. You could start using this to help slow down oil production. Use this after cleansing & before moisturizing in the morning. Or else use a dab of lacto calamine lotion.

  • Start using a Sunscreen (minimum spf 15). You will get pretty good sunscreens in affordable brands like Biotique, Himalaya, Lotus, Fab India and even Lakme. If you stay out in the sun for longer than 20 mins everyday, get Neutrogena SPF 50 sunscreen

  • Most Moisturizers these days have SPF. If you can afford to I would suggest you use Ponds White Beauty day & night cream or else The Body Shop Aloe Vera Day & Night cream to help even out your skin tone. Or else look at Biotique, Lotus, Fab India clove range for oily skin & Aroma Magic. But you must moisturize at night even if you don’t do it during the day. Your skin repairs itself at night. During the day use Lacto Calamine, this will prevent oiliness.

  • Dark Circles: You could try either Ponds Age Miracle Under eye treatment (I have heard rave reviews of it) or else Himalaya under eye cream or aromamagic under eyecream. These will take about 2 weeks but they might be able to lessen the intensity of your discoloration. Use them day & night.

  • Facepack: You must do a weekly face pack routine. Either refer to the home remedies given below for easy & cheap options or get face packs from Aromamagic, FabIndia or Biotique.

  • Post waxing: To deal with your boils, post waxing immediately wash your face with cold water & use Cold Aloe Vera gel or Biotique Chorophyll gel. If possible look at bleaching or threading as an option for the face, instead of waxing. Both are more hygienic as compared to waxing.

  • Diet & Exercise: This is all basic common knowledge. Eat home cooked food that has very less oil & salt. Drink plenty of water. Get some form of exercise everyday – 30 minutes at least. Talk to your doctor about including a simple multivitamin & multi mineral tablet in your routine & drink coconut water everyday.

  • Home Remedies: There are a ton of home remedies that you can do to help your skin look its best for the D-Day
    • Honey: Apply a mixture of 1 spoonful of honey & few drops lemon juice everyday. This will help soften your skin
    • Tomato paste: Crush a small piece of tomato and cucumber and apply this on your face once a week. Leave it on for 20 minutes and wash off. This helps take off tan and also prevents oily skin.
    • Papaya: Crush a small piece of papaya and scrub into your face & neck. Wash after 20 minutes. Do this weekly. This is excellent to remove dead cells.
    • Milk: Both milk & curd are excellent cleansers. You just need a spoonful, apply all over face and wipe off after 10 minutes. If you are using curd - please use low fat curd (made from skim milk). You can do this daily.
There are lots of affordable products in the market that can help your skin look its best. The important thing is to take the effort and time out of your routine to look after your skin. Your skin looks only as good as your dedication towards taking good care of it.

I will talk about your makeup options tomorrow.

Calling to all oily skinned gals, any advice on skincare for our bride to be?


  1. Present Mam :D I am a oily skin girl..

    I think you have covered all the things in the post..if she is going to have no beautician in her marriage then MAC studio fix foundation is must according to me..rest all color magic can be easily handled then.

  2. My affordable skincare recommendations are -

    cleanser - fab india tea tree face wash
    toner - fab india neem and tulsi toner
    moisturiser - fab india vitamin e hydrating cream and spf15 sunscreen
    scrub - fabindia neem-tulsi toner

    I personally use every one of these products and my skin is finally calming down and looking better.

    The cheapest primer I know of is inglot - but that isn't available in bangalore. Try mac? Without a primer, your makeup is bound to melt off, trust me.

    Foundation - try revlon's mineral, bourjois mineral foundations. These aren't cheap but control oil and arent too costly either.

    And for powder - maybelline dream matte powder. It costs just 300 rupees or so and is a wonderful investment.

    Kajal - Avoid. No kajal is smudgeproof. Get your hands on maybelline's gel liner in black instead and use that on your waterline (where you normally put kajal) and as an eyeliner on your top eyelid.

    Does that help? BTW congrats - my wedding is in december too :D

  3. hey u have commented on all the aspects of skincare. really good advice.as i am super oily and the best toner that works for me would be ROSE WATER! its refreshing, cleansing, toning & keeps the ph balance which is awesome

  4. Hey - I just remembered a few more things that I wanted to mention:

    Concealer - try l'oreal true match.

    Lipstick - try out a few from maybelline's color sensational range. Try a more nude shade (autumn rush maybe) if you want to avoid looking over made-up.

    Try using kasturi haldi in your facepacks and drinking saffron in milk. Do regularly use a face pack - maybe once in 3 weeks. And stay CALM - it'll show as a glow on your face if your mind is relaxed!

    And finally - good makeup and skincare are an investment. It may seem initially a bit costly but in the long run, your skin will thank you. :)

  5. Hey there, I too have oily, pimple prone skin & here are some of my recommendations.

    Cleanser - I recommend himalaya Gentle Exfoliating Daily face wash. It is cheap and works really well.
    Exfoliation - I use besan with curd and a pinch of haldi as a exfoliator and a face pack.
    Toner - I use rose water
    Sunscreen - lotus has a gel sunscreen that is nice for oily skin.
    Skin care must have - aloe vera gel. This can be used as a face moisturizer during day and night and is very cooling when used after travelling around in the sun.
    Kajal - I have heard that lotus kajal does not smudge, but I haven't tried it out myself.

  6. Hey Tanveer as u mentioned she could go for clean -ups , most of the parlour use steam, will it not end up in open pores??

  7. if she has very oily skin i recommend she use brands like clean and clear; its very affordable and caters to people with oily skin.

    also instead of a toner, an astringent should be used

    in my experience people with oily skin should not exfoliate so often preferably once every fifteen days because exfoliating more allows skin to produce more oil. A toner should be used after using a scrub/exfoliant

    masks however should be used more often, once every week to tighten the skin.

  8. @Anon: During the process of facial in a parlour, steaming is done for a max of 5 minutes. It opens the pores temporarily, allowing the face pack to draw out impurities. The pores close naturally after some time. This is a reversible process.

    Unless you steam your face 5 hours a day for weeks on end, you are unlikely to end up with open pores because of a 5 minute steam session.

  9. @Anks: LOL.. I agree, a good quality foundation is the key :)

    @Ki: Thks a lot for recommending so many prdts & for such gr8 tips. I am sure Ms. Anon Bride to Be will find it useful. :)

    @IMW: Thks for your inputs :).. I agree rose water is very good for all skin types and very gentle too!

    @Poohkie: Thks for all the lovely tips & product reccos :)

    @MCC: Thks for your tips. I personally don’t advocate the use of astringents for any skin type. Alcohol on the skin is very stripping, it will strip the skin of natural oils causing the glands to go into overdrive – as a result they produce even more oil, for which you will use even more astringent to mop up. A vicious circle. Just my experience as a teenager when I battled very oily, acne prone skin.

  10. aahh tanveer u have covered most of the things dear :)
    i love fab india stuff and himalaya for face :)
    me too have oily skin and hubby is tohhh he use himalaya's oil balancing and is happy :)

  11. amazing tips tanveer...u covered everythg
    i lik himalaya neem face wash..its my HG n d best in all i hav used till now...
    n ki...ur suggestions r too gud..

  12. That's a great post! You've covered so much! :)

    Confessions of a Beautyholic

  13. Great post Tanveer- very informative for a bride to be. I shall definitely chekc back on this when im planning my wedding :p

  14. hey lovely post, i would recommend just one facepack, dabur fairness facepack...it comes at dirt cheap price 60 bucks, and is great for oily skin, does wonders and keeps pimples at bay... Daily usage of it would be great for her till her wedding...

  15. U did a gr8 job in covering all the points....she should do well now:-)
    Congrats to anon for her wedding and good post Tanveer!!!!

  16. Hi all,

    For a person who is new to make up as well as skin care, i would suggest not to go for expensive brands right now. So, try out a basic skin care routine like:
    1.Clean and clear face wash(the best for oily skin), Fruit facials( using real fruits like grapes, papaya, mashed bananas on face), including haldi in homemade face pack, Lactocalamine is a must, going for regular clean ups and eyebrow threading.

    You can even start practicing make up and including bits into your routine, like lipstick, kajal and eyeliner everyday, so your folks get used to it by december and dont give you those looks!!
    For internal peace and health, do pranayama at three rounds everyday and see the glow on your face. Have fruits and veggies and keep smiling!!! Have a beautiful wedding.

    Tanveer: This was a great post by you and I love reading whatever you pen down.


  17. A very elaborate and informative post.

  18. @Rashmi, Bhumika, Beauty Addict, Mehak, Retnu, Simran, Varsha, Anu: Thanks a lot for your words of encouragement as well your tips & inputs!

  19. Wow! What an absolutely amazing post for somebody who's clueless about skincare! I totally agree with the coconut water part - it does help!

    But, seriously. Wow. What a great post. Very, very helpful.

    And thanks for the tip on steaming before using a facepack. I will definitely try that out.


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