Makeup Essentials – Your Basic Guide

Bangalore based Makeup artist Anurita Chandrappa gives her take on the essential makeup products that you need to have, how to use them, some tips and tricks, transitioning from day to-night look and the tools that you need be using.

To start off, the most important thing before makeup is to take care of your skin, it’s all about CTM (Cleanse, Tone and Moisturize). You can’t expect your makeup to look flawless when you don’t take care of your skin. Also night routine makes a whole lot of difference. A trick that you can do to keep your skin hydrated and glowing is to use compressed almond oil onto your skin. Wear it overnight because almond oil unlike olive oil or coconut oil doesn’t stay too oily for long and absorbs straight into your skin. So before you start with your makeup, always make sure that moisturize your face properly.

Here’s what you need to achieve that perfect look.

FACE – Foundation, Concealer and Powder

Liquid foundations always work well. The main thing to keep in mind while using a foundation is that a lot of people make a mistake of applying it with your fingers, but investing in a brush or a sponge is important. Usually the sponge does the trick because when you apply from it, if there is an excess, the sponge always absorbs it. So when you use it, you dampen the sponge with lukewarm water so that the product also melts onto your skin.

A drugstore product that you can use is from the Maybelline Fit me range. The consistency of that product is really nice and you don’t really need much, a little goes a long way.

From the bit expensive ones, the Anastasia Beverly Hills products are really nice because they are really pigmented and it complements the yellow skin tones like Asian skins and since their product is really pigmented you only need to use just a little bit. Another highly recommended product is the MAKE UP FOR EVER’s HD foundation. Use concealer if necessary to cover your dark spots and under-eye circles.

To set you foundation you can use a powder. With compressed powders like the one from MAC – the MAC Studio Fix, you can never go wrong. You can use a brush with it instead of the sponge that comes along because it takes very minimal amount of the product.

The problem with drugstore products is that you don’t get the exact match to your skin tone and to what you are looking for. And always make sure to swatch the color not on your hand, but on the side of your neck, i.e. on your jaw line so that you can get the closest match between your face and your neck. Also there is no problem in mixing two colors to get the required shade for your complexion.

EYES- Eyeliner/Kajal

If you are someone who likes to use Kajal, try using a brown shade instead of a black. There are plenty of options available from various brands. All you need to do is just fill in your lash line and smudge it a little bit with your finger so that it brightens your eyes. Then apply 2 coats of Mascara. One thing people can do differently with a Mascara is that once you use one layer, wait for it to dry, and then apply another one. So do apply 2-3 layers and use it in a zig-zag motion instead of straight because your zig zag motion will disperse your Mascara evenly on the eye lashes. Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Express Mascara is really nice and so is the Mascara from L’Oréal. If you are looking for something more expensive, the Two Faced – Better Than Sex Mascara is brilliant. Basically your Mascara depends on the wand, so if anyone who has got the wand right has got the Mascara right.

For evening look, for someone who doesn’t like using eyeshadow, the eyeliner does the trick. These are easily accessible from brands like ColorBar  and Rimmel.

LIPS- Lipstick

With lipsticks, a lot of people go wrong with using the wrong color during the day. If you are going for meetings just keep it minimal and use a light shade of lipstick. If you are not used to nude shades, something that has a touch of pink works. Only thing you need to be a little cautious while using a nude lipstick is that when you apply it, it shouldn’t look like a layer of foundation on your lips. So use something that brings out a little life but not too much life and save the darker shades for later during the evening or the night. You don’t need to use a liner, you can always use a gloss. ColorBar has really nice shades of subtle colours. MAC also has an impressive range including matte lipstick that lasts long. Sephora lipsticks are really nice and so are L’Oréal Colour Riche Lipcolours. Revlon also has a good range of lipsticks.


You can always use blush. It’s never restricted to day or night. Use a color that complements your skin tone. If you are someone on the lighter fairer side, you can use a pink or a peachy tone. For medium toned skin, peach color always brings out that glow and for someone a shade darker you can always use something more on the reddish-brown shade.

So along with these 6 essential products, which is your foundation, concealer, powder to set your product, blush, eyeliner, and lipstick, I suggest using a setting spray. The MAC Fix+ is really good. Just spray a bit on your face and it gives you that natural dewy look.


For an evening transition, all you need would be a darker shade of lipstick and if you have a brown eyeshadow, use it a little more on your lid and smudge it, so it looks not really smokier but adds some sort of depth to your eyes. Finish it with some Mascara, reapply your blush and your done. It might not sound like a really major transition, but if done in the right way it does the trick.

You can use a different colored eye liner other than a brown like a green or a blue for the eyes; not on the lower lashes but on the upper. Again use a brown liner to coat your inner lash line instead of a black. It looks more natural.

A beautiful transition product for the night would be a highlighter and also a bronzer. Use a strobe of bronzer from earlobe to your cheek bone. Use a blush of your shade and the highlighter can be liquid, or even if you use a powder one it might look too powdery when you apply but when you use the fix plus it automatically changes it to liquid. That way you get that dewy look on that face. Avoid shimmer during the day. Don’t use dark colors and use things that complement your skin tone depending on what your undertone is. A big saving grace is a setting spray.


It’s important for people to invest in the right tools.

For the foundation, you can use a flat top kabuki brush. Dab blots of foundation on your face and smudge that or if you are looking for a something quicker, a sponge like the beautyblender does it. Dampen it with lukewarm water and use for a day look as well as night. It’s way faster to blend your makeup with a beauty blender than a brush. I usually blend the product with my brush first, that even out the product and then use the sponge/beautyblender to remove the excess.

For your eyes, brushes are a bit expensive. You can always use your hand. If you have an eyeshadow just blend it out with your finger. Make sure that you don’t use too much.

The whole point is that when you use something you need to blend it out. You don’t have to always invest in an expensive brush, its ok to experiment with basic non expensive brushes. MAC brushes individually are good but a bit expensive.

For lipstick, its fine to not use a brush.

For blush you definitely need a brush. Do not use their fingers. Your hands are the ones that carry the most amount of germs other than your mouth and touching your face is the worst thing that you can do.

There is no rule saying that a particular brush is of a particular use. If your technique works for you, you can use any brush. So there’s no such thing as a blush brush, you can use that for a powder, for a highlighter or for anything else.

And also don’t ever use anything which is more than 2 years old, please throw it.






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