The Ultimate Desi Glam Guide

The Ultimate Desi Glam Guide

And we’re back! I want to thank each and every one of you for all the love and support you’ve shown toward the start of Our Safe Space. The simple fact that you’re here right now reading blog #2 means the world to me, and I hope you enjoy this one as much (or more than) the first one.

Without further ado, let’s talk about makeup.

Along with writing, sleeping, and watching TV, makeup has always been a huge passion of mine. Although you might agree with me, we can’t ignore the obstacles that come with this hobby, and the fact that makeup is no simple activity with any simple answer. Like most things, makeup has its struggles. What are the right techniques? What looks best for oily/dry skin? Which shades are right for me? Which brands are POC-friendly? How do I find my undertones? And last, but certainly not least, hyperpigmentation. 

These are all valid questions. Whether you’re new to makeup or not, I hope to answer these as best as I can. 

Makeup is a form of art that’s catered to each individual person. One can follow a routine down-to-the-T, but at the end of the day, one look doesn’t look the same on every person. I think that’s extremely important to keep in mind and continue to remember whenever you think about makeup. For example, I personally love Madison Beer’s makeup routine she recorded for Vogue. I loved that video so much that I used it for my high school graduation makeup and about a dozen more parties after that. Did my face look like Madison Beer’s any of those times? No. But that’s because I only used her technique, not her full routine. 

Let me explain. 

In this video, Madison (I act like we’re best friends) uses a variety of products in order to achieve her everyday look, however, the majority of those products weren’t necessarily POC-friendly. There was nothing wrong with the brands, but the way certain products look on darker skin is completely different to how they look on lighter skin. By simply following Madison’s technique, I was able to use my own products that I know work for me, all the while following along with the video. 

The fact that we can’t just walk into Sephora/Ulta and pick up any product we want sucks, I know. We have to search, investigate, and track down the products that are best for us. I’m forever an optimist though, and my silver lining is that by doing this, we’re being more careful about what we put on our delicate skin, which means we can keep younger, healthier-looking skin, for a longer time. 

Personally, I have oily, acne-prone skin. This mostly limits my skincare options, however, I do have some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way on the makeup side of it all. 

I remember when I was 13-years-old (I’m saying this as if I’m, like 70 or something and not 18), I wanted to start wearing makeup ASAP. All of my friends already wore makeup, and yet, the only thing in my way of my own glam, was my mother. Oh, how I should’ve listened to her. I can guarantee you that the rest of this story will leave you so second-hand embarrassed that you’ll probably want to laugh in my face. It’s okay, you can. 

Anyways. My friends thought it was weird that I didn’t own any makeup more than lipstick, so they took me to Shoppers Drug Mart (I was living in Canada at this point in time) and insisted I buy the essentials. I don’t know why I listened to them. And if you’re one of my friends from back home, then I love you, but I don’t know why I listened to you. I love you, though. 

Anyways. We had picked up a mascara (I’d recommend this one, however, this one from Thrive Causemetics will forever be my first choice), a blush, and a highlighter from Essence (not bad products, but I’ll list my personal favorite brands down below), and then we had to find foundation. In all honesty, I don’t remember the exact one we had picked up, and that’s probably due to the trauma that it came with. I think my brain purposely blocked out that memory to save me from the spasm-like cringes they come with whenever I go back to it. When choosing a foundation or concealer shade, you need to know your undertones (I’ll explain how to find your undertones further down). If you don’t then you’re going to end up like 13-year-old me; two shades too light, and purple-faced whenever your crush walks by you. 

That’s right: purple-faced.

I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was in the seventh grade. I did a full-face glam because the boys from 7B were coming to our class to watch a movie or something (I don’t even know, but that’s not the important part) and with my great luck, the boy I had been crushing on for months sat directly in front of me. 13-year-old me couldn’t keep it together, and the girl next to me couldn’t keep her mouth shut. “Adeenah, your face is literally purple right now, are you okay?”

God, the way he turned around to look at me… I’m cringing while typing this. 

Anyways. Let’s crank out the rest of these questions. 

Even if you have oily skin, I wouldn’t recommend mattifying your skin in order to counteract that. Everyone has different skin types, though, but that’s just my two-cents. Glowy skin would always be my go-to. It always looks fresh, clean, and put together – even if you don’t know what you’re doing. The clean-girl aesthetic is really in right now, and I got a lot of my product recommendations from TikTok. 

The best base in my opinion, is this sunscreen from Supergoop! Sunscreen is the most important thing to have in your routine, in my opinion, and I’ll never not stress that. With the one I linked above, though, I urge you to check the labels carefully, as you want to make sure to buy the correct shade. This sunscreen is slightly tinted, but it evens out your skin tone more than it actually covers anything, if that makes sense (if you don’t want a tinted sunscreen, then I’d recommend this one also from Supergoop!) Use this as you would any other moisturizer/sunscreen. 

I have four different makeup routines; an all-out glam, the Madison Beer tutorial (Adeenah’s version), an everyday look, and the everyday look - lazy edition. If you want, I can make my own makeup tutorial videos and upload them on the Mantra TikTok account (@mantraandco), let me know! 

My go-to products typically come from Sephora, but if you know of or find any dupes for these then let me know and I’ll be sure to give them a try. My favorites are the Benetint, the Charlotte Tilbury Glowgasm, (which, yes, I know is a little on the pricier side and sometimes hard to find, but trust me- when you have it and learn to use it right, it does wonders). I use the shade Pinkgasm and I think it works the best for my skin tone, but there are also a variety of other shades to choose from. I also love the Hourglass ambient highlighter, and the Tarte Cosmetics Shape Tape concealer. I like to stick closer to the no-makeup-makeup look, so none of these products are too out-there. 

My favorite brands are another story, and these products I like to stick in my all-out glam pile because I cherish them so. Absolutely any product from Fenty Beauty is fair game for POC’s. Queen RiRi really knew what she was doing from lip glosses to setting powders. I also love Rare Beauty (Team Selena always), but because it’s a genuinely fantastic brand, and its pigments show extremely well on darker skin tones. I’m not typically one for celebrity makeup companies, but I swear by Fenty and Rare. Hell, I love Fenty Beauty so much that I have her lip gloss as a keychain (a Sephora collab that’s unfortunately gone now but I’m praying everyday returns). 

Huda Beauty has beautiful eyeshadow palettes and their liquid lipsticks are great if you find the right shade. A personal favorite of mine is Bombshell. Although I haven’t personally tried it, I’ve heard their setting powders are also fantastic, and translate very well on our skin tones. I also love Mac Cosmetics. All of their lipsticks are so beautiful, but their blushes and skin powders as well are *chef’s kiss*. I’ve been using their compact powder for years and I don’t plan on switching any time soon. 

Despite my traumatic experience with foundation, I started using the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD foundation, but for some reason I can’t find the correct link for it anywhere. If this item is discontinued then I’m in deep trouble. Please send recommendations for foundation, I beg. I heard the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter foundation is award winning, but the Elf Cosmetics Halo Glow is a fantastic dupe. I have yet to try either of these, but I’ll update you all when I do. 

Finding your undertones can be tricky and the way to do so may seem silly. Look at the veins on the inside of your wrists and try to see if you see more blue or green ones. If you see blue veins then your undertones will be cool. If you see green veins your undertones will be warmer. If you see both, you have neutral undertones. I know – it sounds weird, but trust me, it should work. 

Finally, let’s talk about hyperpigmentation and ways to cover it up. Hyperpigmentation is completely normal, and just happens to be more visible on darker skin tones. It’s the darkening of certain areas of the skin (typically under eyes or around your mouth), and can be a nuisance to cover up. To do so, you need a color corrector in your makeup routine. I would recommend this one by NYX Cosmetics. I really like this one because of the abundance of colors to choose from. However, for darker skin tones, you’re going to want to stick by the red shade. Take a brush or your finger and apply lightly to your desired areas. Proceed with concealer/or foundation on top to hide the color completely. It should work like magic. 

Color corrector is a true godsend, but please don’t take this as a means to “hide your melanin.” Never hide who you are. You are perfect. Confidence is key. But if you feel like makeup will help boost your confidence then I hope that this post was helpful to you. 

I want to end this off with a reminder that I’m no beauty guru; I just really like makeup. Whether you’re new to the world of makeup or if you just stopped by to check out Mantra’s new blog post, I hope that this was helpful for you and that you like some of the products that I recommended. If you have any tips or recommendations for me, then please let me know in the @Mantraandco Instagram DMs!

All my love,


*Images found and declared free to use on*

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