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It is improtant to understand your skin tone before use of foundation. Photos by (D. Mbabazi)

It is improtant to understand your skin tone before use of foundation. Photos by (D. Mbabazi)

Women and makeup are like cats and milk; they have a very close relationship. Some take pleasure in trying out every trend that comes their way, while others simply enhance their look with the use of an eyelash curler and a dab of lip gloss.

With the right makeup, even though you won’t see the semblance with Tyra Banks on that Vogue cover, you can still pull off a truly elegant look.

Natural is always best; but that doesn’t mean jumping out of bed ready to face the day. In stores around Kigali, you can find “natural makeup”, and most people will agree that this is suitable for daytime.

But, if you want to apply makeup, here are a few tips;

Use foundation: Diana Uwera, a beautician at La Decouverite, says that foundation helps to perfect the skin tone. One should look for a shade that matches their skin tone so that it brings out a natural look.

Apply a good choice of powder after completing the application of foundation; this should always be done before one applies eye makeup. Uwera advises that always opt for a cream or chocolate powder and always refrain from white powder, especially if one has a dark skin tone.

Eyeliner or mascara: Grace Uwizeye, a beautician at Blessing Salon in Kabeza, says that there are several factors one has to consider when choosing eyeliner, for example, colour and texture, depending on one’s skin tone, and the mode of application considering the shape of your face when shaping the eyebrows.


Uwizeye says that one should also consider the thickness of the eyeliner as well as its placement, either at the top or bottom, but most importantly, take caution not to apply it close to the inside of the eye as this can lead to infections.

Lip enhancements: Give a final touch to your look by enhancing your lips with something plump. Apply lipstick or lip gloss, this makes the lips look bolder and sexier. One can choose a colour of their preference depending on their skin colour or even outfit.


Uwera cautions women to purchase cosmetic products from qualified beauticians, a thing that can help prevent allergic reactions.

She says, “Women should mind those chemicals in the product before they buy it, for example, an eye liner containing vitamin A is the best and is harmless to one’s eyes. Products that change a person’s look completely like those with bleach are totally harmful and people should refrain from using them.”

Uwera adds that applying makeup isn’t harmful; but how it is managed is what matters. She says, “If for instance one applies foundation and powder, they should cleanse their skin before going to bed, that is why we normally sell powder alongside cleansers.”


Is makeup superficial?


Makeup should be washed off before bed. (Net)

When someone puts on makeup there is no easy way to know why they’ve done it. Or why they’ve made the decisions they have about their makeup. Answers to those questions might not even be clear to the makeup wearer themselves! After a very long history of putting stuff on our bodies to accentuate our features, cosmetics–both the product and the idea–has taken on a good amount of baggage. So, its tough to know… Is it for the person wearing it? It is for the people who are going to see the person wearing it? It is for one by way of the other?

So why do women wear makeup?

Lipstick? Wear red. Women with red lips are in fact perceived as more attractive. A recent field experiment showed that red lipstick influenced how quickly men approached women at a bar. In the study in the US, women in red lipstick were approached sooner than those who wore no lipstick, brown lipstick, or (marginally) pink lipstick.

Foundation appears foundational. Perhaps because it evens skin tone, and therefore may give a stronger impression of health and symmetry, foundation is widely recognised as enhancing beauty. In fact, in one study, foundation was concluded to be the product making the most difference in female attractiveness after a group of men judged the attractiveness of women wearing different levels of cosmetic use, from none at all to complete.

Focus on the eyes. In recent research, women rated eye makeup as the number one product enhancing other women’s facial attractiveness. Eyeliner, eye shadow, and mascara may exaggerate facial neoteny.

In other words, adults are often viewed as beautiful when they have features typical of the young, including large eyes (as well as small noses and large lips). Such exaggerated youthfulness tends to have greater appeal.

A bit of blush. Why does rouge tend to be a staple cosmetic? Perhaps it’s because when women are most sexually viable (during mid-cycle during ovulation) or when they are aroused, they blush more easily. The application of artificial blush may mimic this vascularisation, providing a subtle signal of sexual interest or arousal.

Makeup simply makes you look healthier. Beyond any attractiveness measures, cosmetics may help women create certain favourable social perceptions. Indeed, a recent experiment revealed that women pictured wearing cosmetics were evaluated as healthier, more confident, and even having greater earning potential than the same women wearing no makeup. This suggests that makeup has a potentially useful role in strategic self-presentation.

In general, modern cosmetics do seem to target features that make sense from an evolutionary standpoint. Since women’s fertility is linked to youth and health, why not use makeup to promote impressions that are consistent with those characteristics?



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