Skin care and makeup must-haves no woman can do without.
Women hate being caught unawares! Every successful woman is a multi-tasker extraordinaire; sister, daughter, colleague, girlfriend and wife. So why shouldn't her handbag reflect her multifaceted personality? Apart from the usual wallet, tissues and keys, you need some beauty essentials that protect you from every emergency, from 4 pm shine to fading lipstick. Read on for the Wonder Woman skin and makeup checklist that will have you looking your best no matter how long your day stretches.
Top Ten Skin Care Must-Haves
A good cleanser is a must. Find one that suits your skin type and effectively removes dirt, grime and make-up without over drying your skin.
Nykaa recommends: Neutrogena Wave Original Vibrating Power Cleanser, Thalgo Cocooning Cleansing Milk, Vichy Purete Thermale Calming Cleansing Solution, L'Oreal Paris Go 360 Clean Deep Facial Gel Cleanser and Ponds Pure White Deep Cleansing Facial Foam.
Layers of dead skin can dull your complexion. Fit in a weekly exfoliation with a good quality exfoliator or facial scrub to get glowing, clear skin that breathes. Remember not to be over enthusiastic because over-scrubbing can cause irritation and inflammation. While using an exfoliating formula target the T-zone.
Nykaa recommends L'Oreal Paris White Perfect Scrub, Lakme Strawberry Cleanup Scrub, Garnier Light 3 in 1 Fairness Facial, Nivea Aqua Effect Skin Refining Scrub and H2O+ Aqualibrium Sea Mineral Scrub.
A toner is an optional product but for me it's a must to keep shine at bay. It not only shrinks pores, keeps greasiness at bay but also makes the skin more receptive to moisturizer. Choose an alcohol-free formula if you have dry sensitive skin.
Nykaa recommends: Avene Gentle Toner, Neutrogena Deep Clean Blackhead Eliminating Cooling Toner, Aroma Magic Aromatic Skin Toner and Kaya Refining Mist.
This is an innovative skin care product that can make a huge difference to your skin's texture. Choose a serum based on your skin type, age and specific skin concerns. There's a whole host of serums that address skin issues such as whitening, brightening, anti-ageing, sculpting and firming.
Nykaa recommends: Lakme Youth Infinity Skin Firming Serum, L'Oreal Paris Youth Code Youth Booster Serum, Ponds Gold Radiance Youth Serum, Lakme Perfect Radiance Intense Whitening Serum and Kaya Skin Rejuvenating Serum.
5. Moisturizer/night cream
Tired skin looks sallow and listless. You can transform the dullest skin into a supple, glowing complexion by investing in a good moisturizer. Buy two separate formulas, one for the day and another for nighttime use. Your day cream should be light and infused with SPF, while the night cream should have a moisturizing formulation.
Nykaa recommends: L'Oreal Paris White Perfect Laser Day cream SPF 19 PA+++, Avene Clean-Ac Hydrating Cream, Neutrogena Oil Free Moisturiser SPF15, Vichy Normaderm Night and Colorbar Beauty Sleep Overnight Creme.
6. Eye cream
Did you know the skin around your eyes is the thinnest and the first to show signs of fatigue? Keep the area around your eyes well hydrated and supple to give you a fresh, wide awake look during office hours. Use a good eye cream twice a day to keep puffy, wrinkled eyes and dark circles at bay.
Nykaa recommends: H2O+ Eye Oasis Moisture Replenishing Treatment, Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream, Fabindia Aloe Vera Under Eye Gel, Aroma Magic Almond Under Eye Cream and Kaya Brightening And Firming Eye Serum.
7. Lip balm
Dry chapped lips are a complete no-no. Make sure you have a few lip balms handy. Keep one in your handbag, one in the car glove box and one in your office drawer. In fact soft, hydrated lips will really show up your fave lipstick at its best.
Nykaa recommends: Maybelline Baby Lips Balm, Nivea Lip Smoothie Cranberry & Raspberry Lip-Balm, Avene High Pro SPF 30 Lip Balm, Iraya Green Apple Lip Balm and Sebamed Lip Defense With SPF 30.
8. Body Lotion/Hand Cream
Dry skin is unacceptable! Hands that look dry and itchy don't get you any attention, at least not the positive kind. Remember to moisturize a few times during the day and at bed time. Choose a light-weight, non-greasy lotion with SPF for summers and a deep nourishing body butter for winter dry weather.
Nykaa recommends: Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream, H2O+ Spa Hand & Cuticle Scrub, Victoria's Secret Pear Glace Hydrating Body Lotion, Vaseline Healthy White Complete 10 Lotion and Aroma Magic Honey & Shea Butter Body Lotion.
9. Make-up remover
How often do you return exhausted from work and skip removing your make-up at bedtime? It's time to break this habit right away. Leaving make-up on overnight is the worst thing you can do for your skin, leading to clogged pores and acne.
Nykaa recommends: Maybelline Make Up Remover Eye & lips, Lakme Absolute Bi-Phased Make-up Remover, Colorbar Ultimate Creme Makeup Remover All Skin Types, L'Oreal Paris Dermo Expertise Lip & Eye Make-Up Remover.
"A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future" said Coco Chanel. We agree! Spritz on a light floral scent to stay confident and fresh through the day. And don't forget to carry a small bottle in your handbag as well to layer up if necessary.
Nykaa recommends: Guess For Women Eau De Parfum Spray, Bath & Body Works Enchanted Orchid Body Mist, Tous Sensual Touch Eau De Toilette and Evaflor Je T'Aime Folie Eau De Parfum.
Top Ten Makeup Must-Haves
1. Make-up Primer
Ever wondered how models and actresses achieve flawless, glowing skin. Check out their make-up primer! It forms a layer over skin, reducing pores and allowing makeup to glide on effortlessly. There, now you know the secret to a seamless, radiant glow.
Nykaa recommends: Bodyography Veil Foundation Primer – Clear, L'Oreal Paris Base Magique Transforming Smoothing Primer and NYX Professional Makeup Studio Perfect Primer - Green.
A long-stay foundation is must for 9-5 jobs. Water-resistant and non-greasy foundations will work with you till late in the evening to keep you even-toned and flawless. You could opt for a cream-to-powder foundation depending on your skin type.
Nykaa recommends: Lakme Absolute Face Stylist Foundation, L'Oreal Paris True Match Two Way Cake Foundation, Max Factor Face Finity All Day Flawless 3 In 1 Foundation, Colorbar Triple Effect Makeup and Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation.
Everyone gets that unexpected pimple especially when stress levels are high and you have an important presentation coming up. Cover ugly blemishes by dabbing on a concealer. Concealers work like a magic wand and hide dark circles, blemishes and dark patches that foundation can't cover.
Nykaa recommends: Revlon PhotoReady Concealer, Deborah Age Reset Concealer, Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Concealer and Colorbar Full Cover Concealer.
Set your base make-up in place with a powder and keep oiliness at bay. Pressed powders and loose powders both work really well for day time touch-ups.
Nykaa recommends: NYX Professional Makeup HD Finishing Powder, Lakme Absolute Face Stylist Compact, Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder and Deborah Ultra Fine Powder With Mineral Oligo Elements.
The work place requires subtle makeup. Add color and freshness to your look with a softly applied peach blush over cheek bones. If you are doubtful about blush, opt for a soft bronzer to add depth to your face.
Nykaa recommends: Max Factor Flawless Perfection Blush, L'Oreal Paris True Match Blush and NYX Professional Makeup Matte Body Bronzer.
6. Eye shadow
A soft brown or peachy pink eye shadow on the lids with chocolate brown blended into the crease is all you need to get perfect eyes at work.
Nykaa recommends: Colorbar Pro Eye Shadow Quad, Shade Impeccable Act, Rimmel Colour Rush Quad Eyeshadow, Shade Sun Safari and L'Oreal Paris Infallible Monos Eyeshadow, Shade Forever Pink.
7. Eye liner
Black eye liner is too harsh for day time wear. Instead try a deep brown eye liner to line your upper lash line thinly and neatly to get a perfect curve. Eye liners are the perfect way to define your eye shape and make you look wide awake.
Nykaa recommends: L'Oreal Paris Super Liner 24 Hour Waterproof Gel Eyeliner, Shade Brown, Colorbar I-Glide Eye Pencil, Shade Cocobar, Bourjois Contour Clubbing Waterproof, Shade Crazy about Brown and L'Oreal Paris Superliner Luminizer Eye Liner, Shade Brown.
Mascara is another magic wand that not only adds volume to your lashes but makes your eyes look awake as well. Mask puffy eyes with generous coats of mascara.
Nykaa recommends: Maybelline The Colossal Volum Express Mascara, Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara, L'Oreal Paris Volume Million Lashes Mascara and Rimmel Glam Eyes Mascara.
A neutral lipstick with pink or brown undertones is must-have for work. If you like a bit of color, add soft shades of peach, corals, pinks and orange. Apply an even coat of lipstick and blot it with tissue. Reapply another coat. This will fix your lipstick for hours.
Nykaa recommends: Lakme 9 To 5 Matte Lip Color, Shade Tea Break, L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Moist Matte Lipstick, Shade Maple Mocha, Max Factor Lasting Colour Collections Lipstick, Shade Dusky Rose, and Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick, Shade Rosy Nude.
You can't create a masterpiece without the appropriate tools. You need the right set of makeup brushes to achieve a flawless face. The three must-have brushes in your office hand-bag should include a foundation brush, blush/powder brush and lipstick brush.
Nykaa recommends: Colorbar Keep Blushing Blush Brush, Basicare Foundation Brush and Colorbar Fabulips Lip Brush.
Jinal Patel owner of the blog http://dazzlingbelle.com/ is a Delhi-based beauty blogger, adviser and makeup junkie with a serious passion for writing