Made In The Shade!

With the festive fervour around the corner, one thing is very evident: girls love to dress up and look their best whenever they step out. Makeup is a key component in getting the overall look right, and it's vital to choose the right shades when selecting cosmetics.

Matching cosmetics to your skin colour and tone is as essential as learning the techniques of application. Your natural skin tone is most important while selecting foundations. Try to get one that is closest to your skin colour as possible. Face powder may be of the same shade as the foundation. For a subtler look, select a powder that's a shade lighter, but in the same colour tone. Here are some suggestions for specific complexions, from beauty expert Shahnaz Husain: 

Wheatish: Most Indians have a wheatish complexion, so go for water-based foundations. Choose a colour as close to your skin colour as possible. Avoid choosing lighter colour foundations, as they won’t provide a smooth finish, but instead give a mask-like effect. Use bronze or brown eye shadow. 
Try adding a touch of gold under the brow. For blusher, try something in bronze. Go for warm and earthy colours like coral, wine, plum, red, and shades of red for the lips. A dark pink or rose-red would look good too. Avoid maroon, bright orange or very pale pink. The lip liner colour and lipstick colour should be the same. 

Fair: While choosing the foundation for fair skin tones, go for beige with a rosy (pinkish) tint. Use beige, pink or orange undertones. If the complexion is fair, but sallow (i.e., yellowish), avoid pink tones and go for beige or biscuit shades instead. 

A brown eyebrow pencil may be more suitable than black. Apply dark brown or dark grey eye shadow over black eyeliner to tone down the stark black look. Try pinks and reds for blushers and avoid dark colours for the lips.

Dusky: Brownish beige shades of foundation look better on dusky or olive complexions. It should be a colour that will add some glow to the skin. For blushers, avoid mauves and light pink. Go with darker pink, or even some brown shades. 

A highlighting powder will help to add glow. Try it on your cheeks, along your nose and forehead. For eye makeup, go for darker brown shadow, or perhaps try bronze or silver. Dark eyes look captivating on dusky complexions. So opt for black eyeliner and mascara. Apply eyeliner and smudge with a cotton bud, or apply eye shadow over it. It will give the smoky eye look. Keep the lips minimal with a nude shade gloss or lipstick to bring out the glow in the complexion. 

Dark: If your skin is on the darker side, choose liquid foundations instead of creamy ones. The foundation should not be lighter than your skin tone. 
Try out foundation colours in natural brown tones. When you apply foundation and powder, your aim should be for a lighter coverage. Special attention should be paid to blending. Avoid white and light coloured shadows. 

Soft brown combined with darker brown is also a good choice. Use a kajal pencil to outline the eyes. This can have a stunning effect on dark skin. For blusher, try a dark rose pink colour for the day, and shades of bronze, plum and wine at night. 

For special night time occasions, use a touch of gold. It can look really glamorous. Apply it at the temples and under the outer corner of the eyebrows. Try vibrant colours on the lips. Go for warmer tones like coral, bronze, red, and wine; you can even try mixing two colours to get the shade that best suits your skin. Bright red lipstick can be toned down with tinted lip gloss. Avoid very dark colours like maroon or dark brown.

Shahnaz Husain is a noted beauty expert who promotes herbal remedies. Visit her at