For those of us growing up in the 80s, the only place to get beauty and makeup tips was either the magazing Femina or the show Khoobsurat on television where makeup maestro Cory Wallia showed how to apply makeup, the shades that would suit different skintones, how to apply lipstick using a lipbrush, how to blend eyeshadows…. You could say that he gave me the introduction into the world of makeup. So when I had the chance recently to meet him at the launch of Lakme’s new Pro Stylist Studio (which is beautiful by the way – if you follow me on Instagram and Facebook, you would have seen the pictures) despite my maid-less state, I decided to go and have a Q & A with him. Read on to know about his inspiration, his favourite products and more….
Me: It is such a pleasure to meet you. Your show Khoobsurat was the one that got me hooked onto makeup.
Cory (laughing): It’s great to hear that but do you know how that show was shot? I would catch an early morning flight to Delhi (the show was shot there) armed with a load of shirts, go to the studio, be under those hot lights, be it the boiling Delhi summer or the freezing winter, with the AC / heaters off since their sound interfered with the recording and shoot the episodes. One episode done, take a coffee break, change shirt, shoot next, break, change shirt shoot next…till we shot 12-13 episodes. Then I would fly back to Bombay. We had to do it this way because the production team didn’t have a budget to provide me with hotel accommodation for even a night.But I’m happy I did that show and thankful to it for putting my face in thousands of Indian households.
Me: How did you get started with makeup? Who inspired you?
Cory: I grew up in the 60s watching my mother and sister wear thick eyeliner, mascara and pale pink lipstick. I even helped them with back-combing their hair or applying the eyeliner and that was how I started dabbling in makeup.
Me: What is the most challenging thing about being a makeup professional?
Cory: Trying to convince women that they don’t need to be/look fair to be beautiful. They are beautiful regardless of the colour of their skin. Even more challenging is convincing their mothers and mothers-in-law. There have been times, at weddings etc, when the bride’s mom/mom-in-law has asked me to use a foundation in a shade way lighter than the bride’s skintone so that she would look “gori gori”. I have a tough task making them realise that doing that would only make the bride appear ashy.
Me: And what is the best thing?
Cory: When I’m able to successfully and visually prove that less is more in the field of beauty and makeup to a successful audience. Today, we see people going overboard with contouring and highlighting, which looks lovely under the right lighting at the right angles (for photography etc). I personally believe that you can enhance your beauty with very few products.
Me: What are your makeup recommendations for the Mumbai summers and monsoons?
Cory: Whatever colours you choose for the summers and winters, what is more important is prepping the skin. Use a product that controls oil and yet hydrates the skin while giving it a dewy, radiant finish. The Lakme Insta-Light is a fabulous product that gives dewy, radiant finish without being oily/greasy or clinging to dry patches.
Me: What is the one makeup product that you think all girls must have?
Me: What product do you feel Indian girls are hesitant to try? Or isn’t used to it’s full potential?
Cory: Mascara again.
Me: One thing that you wish Indian women would use less of? Or a makeup habit that they need to give up?
Cory: Trying to look unnaturally fair with the use of light foundation. They don’t end up looking fair, then end up looking ashy or grey.
Me: What are the au courant colours, textures and finishes for the coming seasons?
Cory: In terms of textures and finishes, “Soft matte” rules. Matte but with enough emollient to make it look creamy, soft and three dimensional. For colours, we’ll see more of vibrant yet floral pinks and soft scarlets. Not too much of orange and coral. The marsala trend will continue but with different undertones.
Me: My last question; what are your personal favourites from Lakme?
Cory: That is a tough one since Lakme has so many fabulous products. In fact, I would call the Pro Stylist Studio a “One Stop Store” for easy, intelligent beauty. If I had to choose some favourites, they would be the Precision Eyeliner Felt Tip Pen, the Forever Silk Eyeliner Pencils, Absolute Mattereal Mousse foundation, the Sculpt lipsticks, 9 to 5 lipsticks and the Creaseless Lip Balm. The Youth Infinity Serum combined with the CC Cream is a combination that I highly recommend as well.