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Published on August 28th, 2017 | by Rima J Pundir

Be Bold, Be Beautiful, Be Yourself!

Kumar Iyer, make-up artist extraordinaire talks about his love for all things beautiful and gives his expert tips for you to put to use for any time…

From a hotel management degree and a job at the Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai to finally finding his calling after watching Cory Walia do make-up magic on a TV show – it has been a journey for Kumar Iyer. “My job at the Taj left me jaded, feeling as if I had made a mistake –  my jaw ached with the permanent smile. After watching Cory’s phenomenal ability to transform plain Janes to sexy sirens, I stalked him for a year before he agreed to be my mentor and teacher. I had also come to terms with my orientation and now I could be myself, transform women, get instant gratification (no more stifling suits) and my smile was real now!”

The stars and the starlets:

I have been in make-up for almost 17 years now and have fond memories of Manisha Koirala, my stint with Channel V in the late nineties with Sophia Hague and Meghana Reddy, my movies with Lara Dutta and Sushmita Sen. Recently Rockstar with Nargis Fakhri and Cocktail with Diana Penty – beautiful girls, all god given! I have always maintained I am an advertising guy, but cinema leaves me with a feeling of fulfilment.

A trade secret shared and bared…

My makeup philosophy is “less is more”. Make-up should make you look pretty, not made up! Cleansing, moisturising and prepping the skin well, before the application of minimal foundation, flawlessly blended into the skin is my forte. Subtle, monochromatic eyeshadows, fine eye liner, brown or black kohl and curled eye lashes with a good mascara. Bare or tinted lips with a clear lip plumper or gloss add to the look and the blusher should be radiant yet subtle in colour. A mist of ice cold water sprayed sparingly after the makeup helps keep it fresh for long or revive it.

Secret stash in your kitty!

My Shu Uemura lash curler is the very best. I also keep at hand Bobbi Brown Apricot Shimmer Brick, M.A.C Style Blush to create a bronzed look or a radiant glow as needed. Last (but not the least) the Elizabeth Arden Good Morning Serum applied before make-up helps create a dewy look and holds in the make-up longer.

Indian women make-up gaffes

Indian women like to look fair and end up caking on light coloured foundation and look hideously pale I would advise everyone that it’s very essential to pick up the right foundation shade that’s closest to their skin tone. Over-bleached faces are another big no in my beauty diary. Also lining lips with a dark pencil and filling up lips with a lighter metallic shade (like Boy George in the 80s) is a strict no-no. Lastly, you may spend a fortune on clothes but chipped nail polish throws a blanket over the aura you are trying to create!

A bit about me:

I am a free bird, a homebody. I collect Tanjores, antiques and old furniture. I love beauty and art in every form. I am very passionate about designing homes and spaces; my green thumb helps me explore plants, flowers and bonsai. I love travelling, especially to the mountains and hills, where I enjoy trekking and enjoy the sounds of silence.

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