Let me tell you at the outset that I love make up. I am that girl who you will always spot looking longingly at rows of lipsticks, trying out the first product that hits the market and yeah, mostly window shopping {make up is so expensive!}. My own make up routine includes a winged eyeliner {perfected after years of keeping at it} and a red lip occasionally. So imagine my excitement, when I was assigned to try, not one but three makeovers {and some of them free} across budgets. I decided to accept the makeover challenge wholeheartedly and landed up at each store with a clean slate {my no-made up mug I mean}.

The Ready-For-A-Party-Look At MAC

I first landed up, bright and bushy tailed {free makeover guys!} at the MAC store at Forum Mall, Koramangala, only to be informed that a makeover here warrants purchasing products. The stylists were friendly and we arrived at a night out look after consultation.

Mac-in

How They Did It: After a quick clean up, the stylist paid close attention to my skin type and ensured that the products were suited to my semi-oily skin. She also applied a spritz of Fix+ — a lightweight water mist — that helped set the foundation nicely. After applying a combination of burgundy and a shimmer eye shadow and sharpening my brows, the stylist then decided to introduce me to a magical product — the eyelash curler. The curler {it’s a game changer and everybody needs to invest in one} opened up my eyes beautifully. And finally, the look was finished with a glossy, deep wine lip stain {Versicolour Stain in Preserving Passion}.

What I Loved: The wonderful lash curler and the lip stain were my two favourite products. A special shout out needs to go to my stylist Nam. I loved my glammed up look and felt like hitting a ramp or even a photo shoot. Would I Snapchat this look? Hell yes.

Room For Improvement: While the stylist paid a lot of attention to my face, I felt like my neck and shoulders got some step motherly treatment.

Score: 9/10

You can get a makeover at MAC on the purchase of INR 5,000 and for any product you buy {no minimum price set}, the stylists will show you the application and give tips. 

A Casual Brunch Look At Sephora

Another day. Another makeover. We next headed to Sephora, also located at Forum Mall, for a glam up session with popular brands like Benefit, Make Up Forever and Stila, in addition to their in-house brand.

Sephora-in

How They Did It: While applying basic foundation followed by a concealer, Bhaskar, the stylist, told me that eye shadows can be tricky. I discovered how transformative an experience filling and combing your eyebrows can be. My eyebrows suddenly came into focus and in a good way. He gave me some convenient hacks such as choosing a colour darker than your original skin tone for a foundation, to give your skin a more natural look than a made up one. And to finish it all off, Bhaskar chose a rosy lip tint {Benetint-Rose Cheek And Lip Tint} over a lipstick.

What I Loved: I loved how subtle and light the look was even while it effortlessly covered up blemishes. And the lip tint is now on top of my must-buy list.

Room for improvement: While Bhaskar was really sweet, I can’t say the same for the rest of the staff. Most were pretty nonchalant about a customer walking in and asking for a makeover. The makeover also took rather long {up to 1.5 hours}.

Score: 8/10

Free makeovers are given only on weekdays and the Sephora folks prioritise makeovers for those who buy their products. 

The Daily Office Going Look At Health & Glow

Once I was done with the more established brands for my makeover challenge, I decided to try out my nearest Health & Glow to see what magic they would spin on my face. The chains of stores stocks affordable make up from brands such as Revlon, Lakme, Colorbar, Maybelline and L’Oreal Paris.

HealthnGlow-in

How They Did It: Detached and indifferent {trust me, I tried to get chatty} the interactions were minimum. But the stylist, Pavitra did something none of the others did – my neck was included in the scheme of things. Despite the aggressive application of the foundation and concealer, the cosmetics settled in without looking disastrous. Using basic Lakme stuff, I had my face done up with eye shadow, eye liner, mascara, lipstick and blush, in a matter of 20 minutes.

What I Loved: Light, daily wear that can be easily replicated at home. I wore kohl under my eyes after ages and I actually didn’t mind how it looked.

Room For Improvement: After a while the foundation started getting ashy and the lipstick started fading. Although I liked how it looked initially, the inconsistency of the look was disheartening. Also, the puffiness under my eyes seemed to be enhanced after the makeover.

Score: 6/10

At Health & Glow, a makeover comes free only if you shop for INR 1,000 at the store.

There are many other cosmetic stores that give makeovers as well. If you plan on trying and testing some out, go ahead to The Body Shop, Colorbar, Westside and Shoppers Stop. Tell us about your experience in comments below.

All the images by: Devika Raman