Delhi-based make-up artist Ambika Pillai has had a two-decade long run in the beauty industry and has recently launched her own range of skincare and make-up. Lite Line by ambikapillai, which has been formulated in association with the New York-based House of Simone, features 10 shades of lipstick, five lip glosses and two mascaras. Foundation, eye shadows and blush, as well as scrubs, body washes and lip balms will follow soon. Pillai spoke to Lounge about the products and the most common mistakes Indian women make when it comes to make-up. Edited excerpts:
Lip gloss from Ambika Pillai’s make-up line
How is your make-up line different from others that are in the market?
I have been in make-up for the last god knows how many years and every time I do make-up, I find myself wishing that I had something extra, more vivid colours that would stay on longer. We are using foreign brands who have recently entered the market and are still learning about Indian skin. Especially when it comes to foundation, most women are really disappointed with the choices available. They want something easier to apply that matches their skin tone and cover blemishes without making them look ashen or grey. So there’s nothing better than an Indian to formulate these products. I have been studying foundation for four years now and my foundations will be in the market soon.
Currently, all the products have a interesting features to help in application—there’s a mirror on the casing and a small light, which comes on if you press a button at the base of the case.
What are three make-up mistakes you have most often seen Indian women make?
The first is that it is very difficult for them to move on from one trend, whether it is rebonded hair or brown lipstick. We are famous for saying we don’t follow trends and wear what we are comfortable in and that’s fine, but you have to have your finger on the pulse of what is happening all around you. For example I’m wearing some black nail polish right now, just to try out how it looks. I would never thought I would wear something which was previously thought to be so goth, but now I think it’s quite cool.
Lipstick from Ambika Pillai’s make-up line
Surprisingly Indian women just don’t know how to do eye make-up well. They can’t put three colour eye shadow tones together or smudge an eye pencil or eyeliner. For some, they just have not been trained or shown how to do it and if they were I’m sure they would learn very quickly. I’ve shown women how to smoke out their kohl and liner a hundred times, but some just don’t get it or are not willing to try. Make-up artists such as Mickey Contractor, Cory Wallia and myself are always giving interviews, and newspapers and magazines are always writing about these things. Pay attention. A haircut, threading your eyebrows, and getting waxed is not the end to grooming.
A third error I see very often, is that women put make-up on, but never take it off. You have to know how to cleanse your make-up off properly. After 30 years of using kohl and not cleansing it off, deposits will build up and you will get eye problems.
What are your make-up tips for the season?
The humid weather doesn’t call for a full face of foundation, but you have to conceal blemishes, spots and the under-eye area. You can spot conceal these, by dabbing on some cover stick on the blemish, blending it into the skin with a sponge and then powdering that area with translucent powder to set it, which is a very important step. Use some cream blush for some shine. When the weather is cooler, it is a good time to use a cream blush; if you use one in the summer, it will melt right off. Invest in an eyelash curler and curl you lashes, following that up with waterproof mascara. Keep some lip gloss with you at all times. If your lipstick wears off during the course of the day or evening, you can top it off with gloss to look put together at all times.
Products from MAC’s Style Warrior line
Lite Line by ambikapillai is currently available in New Delhi at DLF Place, Saket and at Ambika Pillai salons. Products are priced at Rs700 each.
If you have to add to your make-up collection this season, make sure you get:
Nivea: Baby soft lips in a tube—Care Gloss and Shine, Nivea’s newest offering promises to soften lips while making them look kissable and it succeeds on both counts. Lips feel soft and moisturized, while the non-sticky gloss gives a dose of low-key glam. Available in two shades—a natural peach and a pink. At all super markets, priced at Rs129.
Max Factor’s False Lash Effect Mascara
MAC: The guys over at MAC aim to unleash the animal in every woman with a new line called Style Warrior. Bronzing powders, gold tinged iridescent powder and eye shadow and nail lacquer in kaleidoscopic colours. Vivid hues that are perfect for gloomy monsoon days. At MAC stores in Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi. Prices start at Rs670.
Max Factor: We love Max Factor’s mascaras and here’s one more for when you’re dressing for a glamorous night out. False Lash Effect Mascara promises the thick, voluminous look of false lashes without the hassle of falsies. It has Max Factor’s biggest ever mascara brush, a special patented formula and was recently used backstage at Milan Fashion Week. Available in regular and waterproof versions at select department stores, Rs610.