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Do you sometimes wonder how some women wear their make-up so flawlessly? Professional make-up artist Ayesha Khan has some great tips to solve the mystery.

Ayesha has worked with Gladrags models like Amita Hodkar and Deepti Gujral, and television stars like Gauri Pradhan (Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi).

She manages her own salon, Grace Beauty Parlour, in Pune and writes on beauty and fashion regularly. According to Ayesha, every woman needs some make-up essentials to complement her features. These could include:

Eyes: Kohl, eyelash curler, mascara, and eyeliner.

Cheeks: Blush.

Lips: Lip liners, lip-gloss and lipstick.

Face: Foundation, compact, and translucent powder.

You can combine and permute these products depending on factors like time, lifestyle, work profile, occasions and so on. For instance, Ipshita De Sen, 26, who works in a market research firm in Bangalore, uses just kajal, a compact, and lip balm for work, thanks to a hectic lifestyle and less time for fuss and feathers.

We start a new series to help you use make-up without wasting too much time. And, to begin with, your eyes.


For that sultry, exotic look. This is a cosmetic preparation used to darken the edges of your eyelids. It belongs to the family of what we popularly call kajal and is applied on the edges of the lower eyelid.

~ It comes in several colours -- black, brown, blue and green.

~ Black kohl suits all complexions, and especially complements dusky skin.

~ Brown kohl suits wheatish complexions.

~ Shades of blue and green kohl suit all complexions.

~ "Women with fairer complexions can experiment with kohl of any colour," says Ayesha.

~ You can also use it as an eyeliner on the edges of your upper eyelid.

~ For that smoky effect, apply it liberally around the rim of your eyes. Make the lines thick, but be careful not too apply so much that it looks smudged. Feel free to ask your beautician to demonstrate how to use it once.

Recommended kajal brands: Lakme's kajal (Rs 25), Biotique's kajal ( Rs 100), ShaeyesTrifala Kajal by Shahnaz Hussain (Rs 300)

Quick tip: "Along with smoky eyes, it is best to just apply a transparent lip gloss," suggests Ayesha. The combination gives a very chic look to the face, and goes well with any kind of attire, be it for work or a night out.


Your eyeliner defines the shape of your eyes. You have two types: liquid and pencil. "Keep liquid eye liners optional. If you don't have a steady hand, it can be a messy affair," warns Ayesha. So, if you do have a steady hand, go for it.

~ Eyeliners (both pencil and liquid form) can be applied starting from the left to right corners of your eyes.

~ When applying a liquid eyeliner, remove the excess liquid liner from the brush by dabbing it on the rim of the eyeliner bottle. Then slide the brush along the curve of the eyelid where the eyelashes begin.

~ In the case of a pencil eyeliner, hold your upper eyelid a little tight, so you can draw the line easily. Draw the line on the upper eyelid till you get the desired thickness. Try not to make the line too thick; it should be thin or medium so it blends with the curve of your lashes.

Recommended brands

Liquid liner: Lakme's Insta Liner (Rs 50-60), Revlon ColorStay ( Rs 259), Avon's Colour Trend (Rs 165)
Pencil liner: Aviance's Hypnotique Signature (Rs 115), Chambor (Rs 129), Eye pencils by Lakme (Rs 12), Maybelline's Easy Eye Lining Pen (Rs 159)

Eyelash curler

"This is the most important beauty product you should have," says Ayesha. According to her, an eyelash curler adds to the curves and body of your eyelashes, enhancing the beauty of your eyes. It is used to open up the eyelashes and can be used with or without the application of mascara. You can pick any brand from a beauty shop at between Rs 300 and Rs 400.

How to use an eyelash curler

Step 1: First apply your eyeliner and wait for it to dry, so it does not smudge.

Step 2: The eyelash curler looks like a pair of curved tongs. Open the curler; hold it close to your eye until the curler touches the base of the lashes. The curler should not touch the skin above the eyelid.

Step 3: Carefully place your upper eyelash inside its mouth. Slowly close your eye and then open it in such a way that all the lashes brush through the curler's mouth. The mouth of an eyelash curler should always be held parallel to your eyelashes.

Step 4:
Keep the eye open and slowly close the curler. Your eyelashes should spread out evenly across the upper mouth. Repeat with the other eye. Work with the curler gently so you don't pinch or hurt your eyelashes and eyelids.

It takes practice to get used to an eyelash curler. You can always ask your beautician to show you how to use it.

A word of caution:
When the curler is closed on to your eyelashes, never pull it away from your face. You could harm your lashes by pulling them out! Patience is the key.

Recommended brand: Maybelline (Rs 230-300)


Opt for a good volumising mascara. As the name suggests, it is used to darken and thicken the eyelashes. It adds body to your eyelashes, especially if you have thin or scanty ones. Other types of mascaras available are lengthening (to make the lashes look long), thickening (to make them look thick), long-wearing (used mostly for work from morning till evening), and waterproof (outdoors, where you run the danger of ruining your look while sweating or during the monsoons).

~ Mascaras are available in transparent (that can be used at all times) to shades of brown for daywear or a plain earthy look, and black or brown-black for more distinct lashes for a date, party or a wedding. They can also be waterproof. ~ Mascaras can be worn with or without kajal, kohl or eyeliner and to any occasion.

~ First finish applying the rest of your eye make-up. If you are using an eyelash curler, use it prior to using the mascara.

How to apply

~ Place the mascara brush right below the point where the upper eyelashes begin and gently move the brush in upward strokes to add to the curls of your lashes.

~ Apply the mascara brush very little on the lower lashes where you gently brush the lashes downward.

~ Wait for the first coat to dry, then apply a second.

~ Then go for the lashes on the lower lid and gently brush them in downward strokes.

~ With a clean tissue, gently dab your eyelashes to clean the excess mascara, if any.

~ Mascara can be used alone or along with an eyelash curler to enhance the curve.

Recommended brands: Revlon's Water-Tight Mascara (Rs 169), Maybelline's Curl Mascara (Rs 100)/Wonder Curl Mascara (Rs 159)/ Great Lash Mascara (Rs 109)

Quick tips

~ Most eye make-up products should be discarded at least eight months after usage, unless mentioned otherwise on the packing.

~ " Try and not share your eye make-up with your friends or even family, as you never know when you may transfer an eye infection, " says Ayesha

~ If someone does use your kajal or kohl, wipe gently with a tissue or sharpen it immediately.

Remember, your eyes are very sensitive. No matter what you do, be careful.