He’s arguably India’s most flamboyant makeup artist. Surprisingly down to earth, warm and supremely talented, Elton Fernandez has a joy de vivre that’s infectious. Brace up as we sit down for a tete-e-tete with Beauty Book’s Guest Editor of the month as he shares some of his favorite makeup, skin and hair tricks. Amazingly, this self-taught makeup artist started his career with stints at Google and HSBC. “Beauty has to be organic and shine from within, I have no patience with Barbie Dolls,” he laughs as he curls up on a sequinned floor cushion. Here goes…
# 1 Hydrate your skin
There’s no better way of taking care of your skin. In fact, moisturize all through the summer so that your skin retains its suppleness as you head into drier, cooler months. “You need to moisturize even if you have oily skin.” Elton swears by Organic Harvest Retention Hydrating Gel or Kiehl's Men's Oil Eliminator 24 Hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer. Then follow this up with Organic Harvest Sunscreen Gel SPF – 15.
# 2 Oil your body
There’s nothing better than virgin Coconut Oil to do the job, he says. “Not just does it smell great, but it also disinfects thanks to its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.” He swears by Good Earth’s Coco Loco Moisturizing Oil that smells like a spa vacay! (We took a sniff and agree). Or you could try Kama Ayurveda Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil.
# 3 Repair and restore your face
There’s no point slathering makeup on your face if you’re not going to take care of your skin. Always use a good makeup remover like Maybelline Clean Express Total Clean Makeup Remover before washing your face with a soothing formula like Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash. Finally end your p.m. routine with a rejuvenating formula like Kama Ayurveda Skin Brightening Night Cream. “Ultimately the finish of your makeup depends entirely on your prep and hydration routine,” says Elton.
# 4 Curl those lashes
Always curl lashes BEOFRE applying mascara. “One of the easiest ways to make your eyes look bigger is by using an eyelash curler,” says Elton. A common mistake makeup rookies make is using a curler after applying mascara. The best way to break lashes because the curler will stick to coated lashes! He recommends Maybelline Volum Express Hyper Curl Mascara.
# 5 Know your compact
“Indian women love using compact powders but they need to understand the difference between a buildable formula and a setting powder.” Loose powder like Faces Mineral Loose Powder is more finely milled and a light dusting is just what you need to fill in fine lines and give you a natural looking, matte and even complexion. A boon if you have an oily skin. Meanwhile, pressed powder or compacts like M.A.C Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation have larger particles and a buildable base so they offer better coverage. They contain bonding ingredients that allow you to build layers. But if you have oily skin, this could cause breakouts.
# 6 Oily scalp rescue remedy!
If you have an oily scalp and dry hair—a common issue—use a pH balanced product like Wella Professionals Balance Sensitive Shampoo that cleanses the scalp without over-drying it. “I use it regularly, and love that it gives you volume and bounce without being harsh or over-drying the scalp.”
# 7 Even toned arms and legs
It’s a good idea to add a drop or two of your regular foundation to your body moisturizer and apply on exposed areas for an even skin tone.
# 8 Get rid of that Unibrow
Take that Kajol! “Getting rid of that unibrow really opens up the eyes and makes your nose look slimmer,” declares Elton. Perfectly defined eyebrows are the key to a more confident look. Use the NYX Professional Makeup Auto Eyebrow Pencil to fill in sparse brows and instantly transform your look. Tip: Choose a shade lighter than your hair for a natural look.
# 9 Kiss proof your lips
You need a long stay formula that lasts through the day without endless touch-ups. “Mattes are in and Maybelline Color Sensational Velvet Matte Lipstick is perfect for day and night wear.” In fact, you can use your lipstick like a cheek stain by rubbing a tiny bit between fingers and working into cheeks for a hint of flush.
# 10 Work that liner
“I think black liners have been over-done. Besides Indians need no excuse to play with color! Why not bring play up your eyes with liners every color of the rainbow?” he asks. Check out L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Le Smoky Eyeliner for THE shade that defines you.