Get gorgeous for V-Day

For couples in love and hopeful singles, February is the month to look for. Valentine’s Day is the most awaited time of the year for the young and the old alike. However, t is going to be a low-key affair owing to the ongoing pandemic that has strained relationships too. But don’t let Valentine’s Day add to the stress.

While things may look and feel different this year, it does not mean you cannot celebrate the day. It just means your options may need to be a bit more masked, physically distant or virtual. Shahnaz Hussain will give you a few tips.

If you cannot be with your beau in person this year, then you can send him or her something through online store/e-commerce websites. There are a lot of valentine gift packs in the market containing chocolate truffle flavours. You may also choose desi laddoo or mithai.

A surprise gift might be the perfect way to share the love this year. If you are not sure what to buy, keep it classic — paintings, art objects and flowers will always be well-received and create a sense of occasion. Twinned with a scented candle, Valentine’s Day will be truly wrapped up.

It is a Sunday this year giving you an opportunity to get away from home. Take advantage of the sweater weather and escape into the wilderness where you can relax by the fire and enjoy some hot chocolate. Take a scenic hike together and enjoy all the beautiful sights and the fresh air — it is a great way to bond while getting some much-needed time to unplug too.

If you have found your love recently, Valentine’s Day gives you the perfect excuse to pamper yourself to look romantic and attractive with flawless radiant skin.

Water-based moisture is key for glowing skin. Moisturisers provide a good base before applying any makeup. Moisturisers which are formulated with shea butter, dimethicone, ceramides, hyaluronic acid and aloe vera water help provide long-lasting hydration. Hydrate and nourish your skin every night before sleeping.

If your skin is clear, leave out foundation during the day. Use baby powder, or compact power. Pay more attention to the oily areas of the face, like nose, forehead and chin. Press the powder all over the face and neck, with a slightly damp sponge. This helps it to set and last longer.

If you want to use foundation at night, choose a water-based one. Add a drop of water for a lighter coverage. Before applying foundation, apply astringent lotion if your skin is oily, or moisturising lotion for dry skin. Wait for a few minutes to allow the skin to absorb it. Next, use concealer to cover up pimples and scars, if any. Or, use two shades of foundation. One shade should be as close to your skin colour as possible. The other should be a shade lighter if the blemishes are dark. Take a little light coloured foundation and apply it directly on the pimple or pimple scar. Avoid rubbing or smearing. Pat it into the skin. Then apply your normal foundation on the face, and using a moist sponge, spread it evenly going outwards. Remember the neck too. Blending is important to achieve a smooth finish. Then apply tinted loose powder on top to set the foundation. Or, use compact powder.

Blusher comes next, or you can apply it at the end. Use powder blusher. Pink or peach blusher would suit most skin tones. Apply on the cheekbones and slightly below it. Use your finger tips to dot the area with blusher. Then, blend with the brush, outwards and slightly upwards. Apply highlighter on the cheekbones. Highlighters should not be white. Choose from ivory or pale pink. Blend well.
For the eyes, use a brown eye shadow on the eyelids. Use the same brown shadow under the lower lashes instead of eyeliner or kajal. Take a darker brown eye shadow and apply it on the upper lid, close to the upper lashes. The entire effect will be natural. If you want to line the eyes, use an eye pencil. Give your eyes a light touch of mascara. Make sure the lashes do not stick together. Brush them with an eyelash comb.

Wear a sun block for outdoor events during the day. This acts as a shield and also works as a good under base for your foundation accelerating its performance.

Take proper sleep for at least eight hours at night. Lack of sleep will show on your face no matter how well you fashion your appearance. Put a drop or two of lavender oil on your pillowcase and try to relax. Sandalwood and clary sage are other good options.

For the night and for a more dramatic effect, use a dark brown or dark grey eye shadow on the eyelids close to the lashes and stroke it upwards and outwards. For a smoky-eyed look, line the eyes with eyeliner close to the lashes and then smudge it slightly with a sponge tipped applicator. It should not be a harsh line.

Who ever heard of a Valentine’s Day date ending without a goodnight kiss? Go with a soft pink or berry hue that is no more than two shades darker than your natural lip colour is a good way to keep your lips coloured without going overboard. Exfoliate your lips the night before date with a gentle lip scrub to remove dead skin cells.

For the buttery soft and smooth lips, plain gloss can be enough for the day, or add a touch of gloss over light pink or mauve lipstick. Coloured gloss is also available. Avoid using lip liners and brush the lips with lipstick, going for shades of pink, from pale pink, to rose or tawny pink. At night, go for rose, coral or bronze, or just stick to pink. Just don’t forget to hydrate your lips with your favourite lip balm, salve or conditioner after exfoliating.

Wear a light flowery or lemony fragrance, nothing too overpowering. Always be kind and confident. I think these two traits together make someone beautiful. As the last step, touch up your nails, smooth your strands, and spritz on some perfume. You’re ready to go!