Don’t be fooled by her tousled waves and fresh-faced demeanor – makeup artist Sandhya Shekar is a bona fide cover girl! No, she’s not on them, she’s the sorceress wielding her magic brush behind them. Fashion heavyweights like Harper’s Bazaar, Grazia and Elle regularly subscribe to her swoony but subtle signature style to create those cover looks we covet so hard. She sits down with us to pick her favorite looks and tell us how to flaunt them off the page.
THE LOOK: Classic Bridal
THE DAILYWEAR DECODE: Start with clean skin, and create depth with a contour powder but make sure to use a round brush instead of an angular one to create more subtle definition. Run it from temple to cheekbone to jawline in the shape of a three, and finish with a quick swipe of highlighter on the cheekbones. You can never go wrong with timeless red on the lips, and as for the eyes: a gorgeous champagne eyeshadow with kohl, mascara and full-volume lashes will complete an understated but classic bridal look.
SANDHYA SPEAK: "Don’t match the color of your eyeshadow to your outfit! Instead, use classy golds, coppers and bronzes. If you do use color, make sure it’s not dual-toned."
Look your bridal best with:
THE LOOK: Summer Flush
THE DAILYWEAR DECODE: The key areas for this effortless day look are cheeks and lips, with the same shade for both –don’t bother too much about the rest. Leave your eyes bare, except for a little fixing foundation and generous strokes of mascara. Use a huge, puffy brush to put on powder blush, or save yourself the extra time and effort by doubling your cheek tint as a lip stain – just mix the powder into a balm base. Even speedier? A simple cheek and lip stain.
SANDHYA SPEAK: "To hide tired under-eyes and look more youthful, place your blush higher up on your cheek and swipe horizontally instead of angularly."
Go matchy-matchy with:
THE LOOK: Bronzed Beauty
THE DAILYWEAR DECODE: The central idea behind this look is raw, flawless skin. I used copper-toned eyeshadow on the lids and underneath the eyes and ran a flesh-toned pencil over the waterline to open them up. Instead of caking your cheeks with bronzer, use foundation one shade warmer than your skin-tone for a more natural look. Add that sheer, dewy glow with tinted moisturizer and top it with highlighter on the cheekbones and cupid’s bow.
SANDHYA SPEAK: "To pull off this look without looking greasy oily, use cream-based bronzers, contour and blush along with other makeup products for oily skin."
Get that cover girl glow with:
THE LOOK: Glamazon
THE DAILYWEAR DECODE: The best way to pull off a full face of party makeup – statement lip, come-hither eyes, et al – is to do a brown smoky eye instead of black. Prep your pout with lip balm first, contour with a lip pencil and fill it in with a rich wine-colored lipstick. If your lipliner is creamy and pigmented enough, you can just use it in lieu of lipstick. To make it last until the wee hours, powder your lips before slapping on another layer (twice or thrice if need be), and voila, you’re ready to paint the town with your party-perfect pout.
SANDHYA SPEAK: "If you’re in a for a long night, use a potent matte over a hydrating or shimmery lipstick that will shift more easily."
For a pout that parts the crowds use: