The Made-up Rimi

I was greatly inspired this afternoon by my friend Gautam Benegal, who, tongue firmly in cheek, posted a helpful video tutorial to help women deal with the current biggest female crisis – “peach fuzz” on the face. So I put double chocolate-chip cookies in the oven, and dug out the dusty travelling bag of old makeup I had been given five years ago as a power-dressing experiment kit. This was before I found employment in the public health/public education sector and discovered ‘power dressing’ meant shoes that would see me through five hours of muddy terrain in the middle of the monsoons.

The pre-make up face.

Of course, even before I opened the zip on that bag, I landed on YouTube to do some recon. I don’t know if you’ve seen any, but (A) the people in these videos mostly speak FAR more than necessary, and (B) and do it in an annoyingly chirpy, high-pitched, nasal voice. So I shut off YouTube and decided to just dive in. After all, I had studied painting for six miserable years as a child. How much harder could this be?

Don’t answer that. I know now.

First, I took a blunt-edged kajal and tried to outline my eyes. It was just as traumatic as the last four times I tried to have my eyes painted. Still, I managed to keep the grin on. It would disappear soon.


Then came the task of painting the lid of each eye. To be frank, the fuss of it just isn’t worth anyone’s time, unless one makes a living by it. I’ll tell you why.

First, the sponge/brush thing tickles. It’ll make you snap open your eyes in the middle of dabbing on the sticky powdery colour, making red-rimmed weepy eyes almost an inevitability.

Second, the colours are wonky. I touched a sponge delicately to the little squares of colour in the box – à la the tutorial videos – but even after four careful dusting, my lids remained their usual shade. Irritated, I jabbed the sponge a little harder and swept it across the lid. Voila! I became Burlesque Rimi, Queen of the Cakey Pink Eyes.

The picture below is my fourth attempt at painting the eyelids, after having to clean off the three previous attempts with cold cream and coconut oil. Because soap just doesn’t cut through this “waterproof” rubbish.


By now, I had lost my patience with make-up and was getting quite cross. So I snatched up the blunt stick of kajal – the easiest thing to use so far – and tried to do me over as a goth queen. After I was done, I stared at my own image in the mirror for a while, then dashed off to the sink and washed it off frantically.


Then I zipped up the make-up box, much of the stuff in it still untried,  jammed it into the odds-and-ends drawer, and rammed the drawer home. I think I’ll live with the the face I was born with, thank you very much. At the very least, I won’t give myself a heart attack by accidentally glancing at the mirror.

Plus, I’m really cute.





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