Beauty & the Brush

Published: April 16, 2010

Maria Saadat is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. She is the author of the popular desi beauty site Lipstick Masala.

KARACHI: The advent of spring coincides with the start of the wedding season, and mehndi invitations begin to arrive by the dozen.

Panic sets in as one frantically runs to and fro from tailors and/or designers in a desperate attempt to have them sew knockoffs of designs from collections shown at fashion weeks. There is an equal frenzy in browbeating mothers into providing matching jewellery.

But when it comes to the “defining moment” that is applying makeup, most women devote relatively miniscule time and reach for the cliched black kajal and pink lipstick.

Why not break with worn out traditions and dare to embrace the bold accents and styles presented on runways this spring?

Today’s beauty trends reflect the vibrant hues of nature – jewel-toned eyes mimicking oleander trees and azure skies, fruity lips evoking images of peach-lined fruit stands.

Remember those bright purple and yellow eyeliners you pondered at the local Agha’s or Al-Fatah but elected in favour of your go-to black? Return to the store and grab the colourful liners. And while you’re in revolutionary mode, seriously think about tossing out your flatiron.

Those addicted to the smoky eye look, pass over standard greys and blacks. Instead, play with peacock colors and the remarkable hues of dyed gladiolas lining entrances of mehndi events. Spring 2010 New York Fashion Week revealed models experimenting with striking eye shadows. So, be creative – it’s spring after all! Sweep turquoise pigment on your eyelid but line your under-eye with purple for contrast. Mehndis are an occasion when you can be adventurous with vivid colours!

A word for those that shy away from too much makeup; opt for those coloured liners we mentioned above. A sapphire blue pencil is the perfect replacement for black. But here’s the twist, don’t circle your eyes in a passe Kareena Kapoor look. Apply colour only to your lower lash line, leaving your lids bare. Your eyes will appear bigger and the simple pop of colour will keep you looking trendy.

As most fashionistas already know, pairing bright eyes with dark lips is a great beauty gaffe. You don’t want to be mistaken for a 1980s Lollywood actress!! Leave the dark lipstick and even the standard nude ones in your make-up kit. This season, cosmetics companies are embracing the colour peach. A sprightlier version of pink, peach complements almost any skin tone. Add some shimmer or wear your peach glossy, but avoid mattes. You want to look fresh, not aged.

Mehndis invariably involve dancing, and you’ll be struggling to contain your locks while you step to the latest Imran Khan single. Here’s some welcome news – the classic up do has been updated. Gone are the stick straight ponytails and distinct puff resting atop your head. It’s time to stop straightening your strands into oblivion and start working with your hair’s natural texture.

Ask your salon to style your tresses into a messy bun at the nape of your neck with a few loose side-swept tendrils to soften the look. If your hair isn’t naturally wavy, make sure to use a volumizing mousse so your ‘do doesn’t fall flat. If buns don’t appeal to you, sport a celebrity favourite – pull your hair to one side and loosely twist into a fishtail braid, or khajuri choti.

Before stepping out of the house, polish your look with a sweep of peachy-pink blush on your cheeks to enhance the glowing spring look. On a parting note – remember to take along your lipstick for touchups. Warm weather and the delectable mehndi cuisine will wear your lip colour off faster than you can say “balle”.

PLAY IT UP

This season’s trends

- Be creative and play with vivid colours for eye make-up
- Stop using your flatiron and opt for a fishtail braid
- Give up the kajal and play with peacock hues
- Polish your look with a sweep of peachy-pink blush on your cheeks to enhance the glowing spring look

Maria Saadat is author of the popular desi beauty site Lipstick Masala.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Apr 16, 2010 - 3:52PM

    I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed your style of writing Maria. It brought the whole wedding scene alive, the ‘panic’ too which is quite the same on this side of the border. Thank you for the HOT trends.Recommend

  • Apr 16, 2010 - 5:31PM

    I LOVED this piece! Thanks Express for having a beauty columnist who not only writes well but really knows a thing or two about makeup trends! Recommend

  • O
    Apr 16, 2010 - 6:06PM

    Great job on the article!Recommend

  • Apr 16, 2010 - 6:30PM

    really well written, racy style- and we look forward to lots more from you. Recommend

  • Allyson
    Apr 16, 2010 - 7:38PM

    This article is smart, fun-to-read, and honest. I look forward to trying the tips and reading about more hot trends! Thank you…Recommend

  • Apr 16, 2010 - 9:00PM

    Great suggestions! Now I cannot wait for the next wedding:-)Recommend

  • Navine
    Apr 17, 2010 - 2:19AM

    Maria, wonderful article! You have inspired me to be adventurous. I look forward to reading more! Recommend

  • Tauseef Mallick
    Apr 17, 2010 - 11:12PM

    Nicely written… more nicely chosen.:) keep it up.. you people have to go more further… expecting more to come….!!!Recommend

  • Samia Adnan
    Apr 19, 2010 - 1:54PM

    nice article!Recommend

  • Hiba Ahmad
    Apr 21, 2010 - 2:28PM

    It’s nice to see such a refreshingly relevant and current article on this website. I look forward to reading more from you!Recommend

  • Apr 23, 2010 - 12:40AM

    Thank you all for your kind comments. I look forward to hearing more from everyone!Recommend

  • AM
    Aug 25, 2010 - 9:52PM

    I loved reading your article. It sketches a true picture of all the mehndi/shaadi madness that we all go through. I love experimenting with colors too :P Great job on the article!! You’re a magnificent writer :D Recommend

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