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"A good looking girl’s guide to good looks is not complete without the rituals of great make-up on her dresser and a kitty pouch thrown into her work bag. Ask me; if forgotten, it sets off a panic attack." Goa’s award-winning writer Ethel Da Costa pens the season’s trends and why good looks is next to good skin and a great soul, and don’t you forget that, sista.


My favourite fashion weeks are just a breath away. Pop mouths, neon stark eyes, flyaway autumn hair, white kohl eyelids, winged smoky peepers, orange, fuchsia, indigo, forest aqua-marine, gold shadows… good enough to eat for breakfast. They tempt me. In normal life, my breakfasts are hit-and-run. Are you one of those glued to Inglot, Sephora, MAC, Bobby Brown, Elizabeth Arden and Chanel, trolling all over the Internet, threatening your plastic into a massive heart-attack, so much that the local courier boy has become a permanent fixture at your doorstep? Yes? Thank god I’m not alone! With monsoon now certified as a blink and you’ve missed it, the heat is threatening to tear night sheets into nude nights, clear skin, dusky eyes, lots of water and a big, clean heart… is what fairy godmother told me. But you need to watch Maleficent, Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and The Huntsman to understand that sexy witches have it all today. Including MAC, the make-up giant, designing an entire make-up line inspired by Angelina Jolie, Charlise Theron, Rihanna and we know bad girls are here to stay. Like it or not!


So, what does make-up do for you that a man on a date perhaps would not? Hmm… keep your peepers spellbound for one. And if you have pouty, bee stung lips (also possible with Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Ultra Lipstick) invite attention to how you smile, imploring all male attention to you if your eyes reflect your inner dare-devil spirit. Who needs a man? World over, Autumn Winter 2015 backstage trending make-up gurus are swearing by glowing Illuminated skin, romantic accessorised hair, painted bold fuchsia, cherry, burgundy, oxblood lips, full eyebrows and eyes defined by grey or silver shades, eighties sharp blunt hairstyle, heavy blush and defined sharp cheekbones, two-toned nail colours… just because you want to express fresh, mysterious individuality.  When you get 10 out of 10, you write a make-up forecast column with an `invitation by appointment’ only to come raid my dresser table anytime. The trick? Stay clued in… troll, troll, shop without hurry at your favourite make-up stores, ask questions that make the counter girls shiver, and invent a style of your own. Do remember pancake and maple syrup is tolerable only at the breakfast table, and is an absolute no-no on the waist and on your face. As I write this, faces that pop in my head are Jennifer Lopez and her enviable glowing skin (with Scott Barnes Body Bling), Beyonce, Rihanna and closer home Kareena Kapoor. Mastering the nuances of make-up is a passion, an extension of your inner self on your outer skin, so do take care what you are saying. 


One girl another girl can talk endlessly to about make-up and experimenting with colours, is make-up professional Blossom Pinto. Having worked with me on my Fashion Fridays Club Nite Series and a sought-after make-up name, Blossom understands that make-up chooses its disciples. Once you give in to it, heart and soul, the things it lets you do with your magic brush (besides turning you into a loony at your favourite Sephora and Mac stores)!!  Blossom only too clearly understands this. Make-up for her is “pure passion. My canvas is the face of a bride or model. I extend my voice through my skills as a make-up artiste. Make-up speaks for itself,” says Blossom. A day in her life begins 24 hours prior to an assignment, which includes setting her vanity case, sterilising make-up brushes, arranging hair extensions, accessories etc. “On the day, I start off early in the morning to be on location before time which is always a priority. It is 100 per cent to whatever I am doing throughout the day and night. After the end result, I hit bed thanking God and the whole team that helped me achieve another milestone,” she shares. She should know, having done famous faces including models Nina Manuel, Fleur Xavier, Sania Mirza and Miss World Natasha Suri. Blossom confides a celebrity input,”The bigger the names, the more humble they are. I also believe no amount of make-up can mask an ugly heart.” Bang on! Acknowledging that make-up, as also in fashion, does have its come-back moments, Blossom says the mantra to a going forward life is, “Every mess up is a stepping stone to success. So reflect back, think of all the flaws that have happened and strive to do better,” she asserts, having through the years, perfected her signature look which is monochromatic eyes and make-up which lasts 18–20 hours without a touch-up. Not surprising then her chock-a-block little black book does not have a free date. Blossom laughs full heartedly.


Another make-up artiste doing quite in-roads on the scene is the former Canada and US based, now in Goa, Lawanya Shetye. With specialisation in Make-Up Artistry from the Academy of Canada and Cosmetology, Bangalore, she believes every face is unique no matter what the setting. Ambitious and driven to make it to the top rung in her work, Lawanya asserts that, “a single life can be transformed with a tube of lipstick. Women have stronger careers and better self esteem when they feel confident and beautiful. I insist that women give more attention to themselves, go out there and look your best,” she advises. With a celebrity list which reads Mona Singhania, Esha Koppikar and the Pittsburg Fashion Institute, Lawanya shares that, “bare is beautiful; it enhances the natural features of a face. A good non-glossy base and bright colours complete the look,” she highlights, preferring to concentrate on the eyes as her signature touch. With a vanity case full of her favourite brands like Chambor, Sephora, Maybelline New York and all the right contouring tools, perfect and natural is the way forward to a great night, she asserts. 


Fresh on the block is Sukanya Manerika from Goa. Graduating with BBA from Saraswat Institute of Management, Sukanya’s beauty journey started in 2013 with "Pure Bliss", a doorstep beauty salon in Goa which she claims, “was a good success, but then I thought of doing something different so I did a Make-up Artistry course from Marvie Ann Beck in Mumbai.” It changed her game plan. Freelancing as a fashion and wedding make-up artist for some time, Sukanya worked on shoots with Walkthrough magazine, moving quick to MAC in Mumbai as a make-up artist. Smart and pretty, Sukanya lists smokey eyes with nude glossy lips and mascara as her favourite runway make-up. Her make-up advice? “Hmm… just dark red lips using MAC Ruby Woo Lipstick, winged liner, loads of mascara and messy hair.” Me likes very much.

Blossom Pinto and her 'canvas'
TREND: The Monochromatic Look
Lawanya Shetye:
Sukanya Manerika recommends dark red lips, winged liner and mascara!
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