As someone who’s learnt everything about applying makeup from Youtube, attending the Pearl Academy’s – “Blend and Blush Workshop “, was an exciting change. Pearl Academy is India’s first internationally rated design, fashion, media and business institute – they offer a plethora of courses for undergraduates, graduates and other shorter professional certificates. They have 4 locations in India –  Mumbai, Jaipur, Delhi and Noida, I went to the Academy in Mumbai located in Andheri East. The makeup artist/teacher – Sakshi Sethi, did a full face of makeup, with a smokey eye, ombre lip and highlight and contour on the beautiful and vivacious model – Aarti Khetarapal.


Sakshi’s beauty tips:

Tip 1 – “CTM”

The most important point Sakshi highlighted throughout the session was, “CTM” – cleanse, tone and moisturise. She explained that only when your face is completely clean and hydrated will your makeup look the best. If you skip toner, not only will the pH levels of your skin be off, there will be dirt trapped in your pores which wasn’t removed during the cleansing step. I’ve owned toners in the past, but I too am guilty of not using them enough. My main takeaway is that at least the times before I put makeup, I will use a toner. The one I always buy is the rose water by Khadi – it’s mild, has a nice smell and does the job perfectly. Rose water has many other benefits too – it is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, contains antioxidants, and the scent has a calming effect.

Tip 2 – Good Products

While prepping your face for makeup, make sure all your products are of good quality and appropriate for your skin type. Sakshi pointed out that our skin reacts to a change in weather, so alter your skincare to match the climate. This is something that always slips my mind, I end up breaking out and then changing up my routine. However, I’m not going to wait for breakouts to send me signals anymore! I have dry/sensitive skin, so adding a bit of aloe vera gel to my face serum /cream helps during the summer months. In the rainy and winter months I add in a thicker water-based cream and castor oil respectfully.

Tip 3 – Serums are multi-functional

On nights out, or at events, you can mix in a few drops of perfume to your facial serum and apply it to your arms for a lasting scent. Another way to maximise your serums use is by adding some liquid highlighter to it and applying it to your whole face. It will give your face a nice even glow.

Tip 4 – Don’t skip Primer

Just like toner, primer is another product we tend to neglect. Sakshi said that not only does primer make your makeup last longer, it also evens out your skin that helps make a small amount of foundation go a long way. I personally always wear primer, and sometimes I wear it alone. I use the ‘Makeup Forever Brightening Primer’, it adds a pink tint to my skin, which is perfect as I have yellow undertones.

Eye primer was also advised, she said, the skin around your eyes is 7 times thinner than the rest of your face, so you need a special cream and primer for that area. I have never used eye cream in spite of owning them, but I will start now! When applying concealer to your under-eye, pat repeatedly with your ring finger (it’s the most gentle) to buff the product in instead of rubbing into the area. This will help the product blend into the skin better and give you a fuller coverage.

Tip 5 – Focus on the centre of your face

When applying foundation she suggests start from the middle and then moving outwards. The focus of your makeup is always in the centre so start applying your foundation there and then move outwards. Once that portion has been covered use the remaining product for the sides of your face, neck and ears.

Tip 6 – Highlight and Contour

Sakshi explained that highlight must be applied in the area that protrude outwards like the cheekbones, brow-bone, tip of the nose and cupids bow. Conversely, the contour shade must go in all the portions that go inwards. This tip will simplify the highlight and contour step. The right way of doing a cheek contour is to draw a “C” starting from the top of the ear till the balls of your cheek, make sure you are using less powder and then building it up as required.

She also mentioned that blush highlight and contour should not appear as stark lines on the face, but must subtly blend together. Buff the product into your skin and keep blending till the prominent lines disappear. Use a fluffy brush and a light hand while applying your setting powder and your face is done!

Tip 7 – The Eyes

Another great tip I had forgotten about (because I stopped wearing much makeup in the last few years), was to apply a line of kohl pencil on your eyes to act as a guide for when you apply liquid liner. I still struggle with applying liquid liner now and I always mess up the wing.

For eyebrows, Sakshi advises to make a line from the bottom end of your eyebrow and then brush is upwards, small hair-like strokes will do the job. If you don’t have a separate eyebrow kit, use a dark brown/black (depending on our hair colour) and an angled brush to fill in the empty spaces.

When using an eyelash curler, press the applicator down and hold it for 3-4 seconds. After that apply your mascara using the “brush and comb” technique, where ‘brushing’ means horizontal brushing (like brushing your teeth) and ‘comb’ is for combing the lashes upwards. Start from the bottom and go all the way up for an even coat for a fuller look.

Tip 8 – Creating Illusions with your makeup

Other tips which Sakshi shared was:

  • If you have small eyes – when applying kajal, leave the outer corners naked
  • Apply beige kajal on your bottom waterline to make your eyes appear larger
  • Do an ombre lip to make your lips look bigger. Go from a darker colour on the outer bits to a lighter shade in the centre.

I haven’t had the chance to try out all these tips yet, however, I will let you guys know my thoughts. Particularly looking forward to mixing my perfume into my serum for when I go out. please share your makeup hacks in the comments.

*Highlight & Contour Image by – Illusion Image by Brightside.

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