How to really use the YSL Touche Éclat (In 16 different ways!)

You know that clicky gold pen the world and its cat have been raving about for the past 20 years? The one that’s sold somewhere in the world every 10 seconds? The one that’s supposed to cure all complexion woes, from whisking away dark under-eye circles to making cheekbones pop? The one that actually only seems to make those circles look even more prominent and turns your complexion lifeless? The golden tube that’s languishing somewhere at the back of your dressing table, since you can’t figure out what exactly this wonder product does?

ysl touche eclatMeet the YSL Touche Éclat: one of those beauty products with whom I’ve had a love-hate relationship since forever. I first tried it in college to erase signs of fatigue from under my eyes and ended up drawing every single person’s attention to them. Not surprisingly, I never went back.

That is until every single makeup artist backstage at fashion shows, photo shoots and on movie sets, started mentioning it as a ‘Top 10’ staple in their kits. Could I actually have been wrong? Did the YSL Touché Eclat actually work as advertised? Is it really the only thing you need in a makeup bag?

Yes, yes and yes. My biggest mistake (and that of zillions of other women, much to my relief) was in thinking of Touche Éclat as a concealer. It is NOT a concealer.

Yes, repeat after me: the YSL Touche Éclat is NOT a concealer.

Actually, it’s not even a highlighter. In fact, when Terry de Gunzberg created it in 1991, she actually gave birth to a whole new category of make up that’s now a staple in the lineup for almost every beauty brand. But YSL’s version is still the best and it works in so many ways… almost every make up pro that I meet tells me a brand new way of using this golden pen. Here’s a compilation of the top tips. Enjoy!

1. Banish under-eye circles: First, apply your regular concealer because – remember – YSL Touche Éclat is NOT a concealer. Then paint Touche Éclat in a a semi-circle around the eyes, starting from just above the inner corner, going down to where the eye area meets the cheekbone and moving back up to the outer corner; blend upwards. This will reflect light and illuminate the under-eye zone.

2. Perk up your eyes: A dab in the inner corner of the eyes will make them look wider and brighter, while concealing signs of fatigue.

3. Lift the brows: Blend a thin line below and over your brows to sharpen their definition and lift the entire eye area.

YSL Touche Eclat and the eye zone
YSL Touche Éclat and the eye zone

4. As an eyeshadow base: Use Touche Éclat all over the eye lid as a make up base or primer to improve the hold of eye shadow and help prevent any creasing.

5. Slim the nose: Draw a vertical stripe of YSL Touche Éclat down the bridge of your nose to make it appear slimmer and more chiseled.

6. Banish the red: Apply on the corners of the nose to neutralise redness and broken veins.

7. Hide wrinkles and fine lines: Dab a bit of Touche Éclat directly on wrinkles or laugh lines around the nose and lips, then blend it in with the finger tips. This will visually smooth the recessed areas and make skin look more youthful.

YSL Touche Eclat and the nose
YSL Touche Éclat and the nose

8. Enhance the cheekbones: Use Touche Éclat like a highlighter on top of cheekbones to make them appear more sculpted and brighten the entire face.

9. Make lips appear fuller: Place Touche Éclat around the edge of the lips and blend it inwards to create the illusion of a fuller pout.

10. Enhance your lipstick: After putting on lipstick, apply some Touche Éclat to the outside areas of both your top and bottom lip as well as the cupid’s bow. This will pull focus to a brightly painted mouth.

11. Enhance the cupid’s bow: As an added bonus, you can apply Touche Éclat around the cupid’s bow to sharpen and enhance its lines.

YSL Touche Eclat and the lips
YSL Touche Éclat and the lips

12: Sculpt and highlight your face: Use on the bridge of the nose, between the brows, on the top of cheekbones and on the chin, to sharpen your features. Use in the middle of your forehead, the bridge of your nose, the point of your chin and above your cheekbones.

13. Conceal signs of fatigue: Apply Touche Éclat to the darker areas of your face (underneath your eyes, at the sides of your nose, the corner of the mouth and the hollow of the chin.

14. As a make up corrector: Click Touche Éclat thrice and apply the drop over any smudge. Use the droplet as a corrector and wipe off with a cotton bud.

15. Define the nails: Blend Touche Éclat around the cuticle to shine the spotlight on pretty nails.

16. Elongate the legs: Use Touche Éclat down the side of the leg to elongate.

Have you ever used the YSL Touche Éclat? Do you think it lives up to its status as an iconic makeup must-have?

Deodorant as face primer? THAT’s how celebs look so flawless on the red carpet

Humid evenings are never a good match for alfresco dinner parties. And yet I keeping getting trapped into them over and over again. So, with makeup literally melting off faster than I could apply it, I decided to risk a truly bizarre beauty tip that I saw in action at the Cannes Film Festival last year – using deodorant as a face primer.

deodarant on faceSeriously! It sounds totally bonkers but works like a dream. The logic is simple: antiperspirants formulated to keep underarms dry should have the same effect when applied to parts of the face that have the most sweat glands. Yes, I am talking about the upper lip and hairline. Today, most celebs on the red carpet stay sweat-free under the glaring lights by applying clear, unscented deodorant to their face (with a foundation brush, in thin layers) before putting on makeup.

I did it yesterday and it totally worked – for the first time, my makeup actually stayed in place. But remember that deodorants were not exactly developed for use on facial skin, so test them a small patch before applying all over the face. And only use the unscented ones for this purpose – I used Dove, though I guess Nivea would work just as well!

What’s your most bizarre beauty tip?

How to get dewy – not sweaty – skin this season

Dewy. Creamy. Radiant. Luminous. Glowing. Glossy. Lit from within. Satiny. Burnished. Incandescent. Anyone else feels the beauty vocabulary is getting increasingly more unattainable?

how to get dewy skin2
Getty Images / Rabbani and Solimene Photography

Yes, dewy skin may be the most coveted look all around but it’s also the most difficult to achieve. Because on one end there’s impeccable-but-matte skin that’s been concealed into submission with an arsenal of full coverage foundations and powdery blushes. And on the other end, there’s a sweaty mess with all those lovely, creamy balms and highlighters running down the face in not-so-glorious streaks.

Where and how do we find the balance? How to create that coveted glow, which seems to be seeping out of the very pores of beauty insiders everywhere from the runway to the red carpet?

Thankfully, it turns out the stars are mortal too and need help from makeup pros to achieve that lit-from-within glow.

And even more thankfully, in the case of dewy skin, less is more… so, these techniques are easily available to us as well, without needing Kate Middleton’s beauty budget. Read, practise and get ready to shine!

Start off right

1. First, you need to prep the canvas. Because ruddy/puffy/dry/blotchy/sensitive/stressed skin is not going to glow, whatever makeup you throw at it. So, the pros have learnt to address skin issues in short order: Applying chilled sheets of aluminium foil on the face reduces puffiness and tightens pores; splashing with cold water soothes redness and blotchiness; misting with rosewater calms down irritation and hydrates; while tapping your fingertips lightly over the face, working from the centre outwards, wakes up circulation and brightens dull skin.

2. Peep into the tents at any fashion week and you will see makeup artists spending the better part of an hour massaging the model’s skin to boost circulation, bring out the glow, take care of patchiness and plump up everything. In fact, at shows like Isabel Marant and Marchesa, where skin is the primary beauty accessory, they spend more time prepping the complexion than on actual makeup. So, right before you apply makeup, gently exfoliate for a minute and give yourself a mini-massage with a facial oil (I am obsessed with the Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Face Oil) or a hydrating moisturizer.

Glow for it

3. To avoid a sweaty-looking finish, layer on a shine-controlling primer in the T-zone, while using a richer cream on the perimeter of the face. It’s the T-zone that normally gets most sweaty, so you will cut down on greasiness while still looking all glowy and radiant.

4. For some seriously beautiful, natural-looking luminosity, swipe on the highlighter before foundation – it will peak through for a lit-from-within glow without sliding all over your face.

Getty Images /  Jeff Kravitz
Getty Images / Jeff Kravitz

Lay the base

5. To make skin really luminous, mix a drop of highlighter or liquid bronzer right into your foundation before applying.

6. This one comes from Nicolas Degennes, Creative Director of Givenchy Beauty: To step it up a notch, mix foundation with a golden or pearly white eyeshadow.

7. Nothing brings down the dewy-factor like powder. However, those of us with oily skin can’t escape this without devolving into a streaky, sweaty mess. Makeup genius Tom Pecheaux solves this problem by using a brush to deposit powder only in the T-zone – to set makeup without making it look matte.

Spot treatment

8. To quickly bring down an angry blemish, dab it with a bit of Visine (extra points for a bottle that’s been chilling in the refrigerator); follow with a pasty concealer dabbed on with a tiny, stiff brush. Visine won’t banish the pimple but shall definitely reduce the redness and inflammation for a few hours.

9. To tackle larger areas of pigmentation without looking like you swiped patches of concealer all over your face, look to the colour wheel: mint green concealers bring down the redness of a pimple, orange-hued ones correct under-eye circles, while yellow cancels out dark circles. This makes for more efficient and natural-looking coverage that won’t detract from your natural glow.

10. Or borrow this genius tip from makeup maestro Charlotte Tilbury, who mixes liquid concealer with moisturizer in a 1:3 ratio and then uses it in place of foundation. Concealer is more pigmented than foundation and hence this blend covers up even the toughest marks.

Blush & bronze

11. Because cream and gel blush have a tactile quality and blend effortlessly into your base, they look far more natural and dewy than powder. To make them more glow-y, mix in a bit of cold pressed avocado oil – it’s just the right consistency to add a dewier finish without making them runny.

12. Crave that flushed-from-within glow? Apply blush before your foundation. This will also lock cream and gel blush into place, preventing it from melting down your face.

Featureflash /
Featureflash /


13. Unfortunately, highlighter can go very wrong. Primarily, remember that the right shade will leave only a glow on the skin – as opposed to depositing colour. Usually, this means silvery pink for fair skin, golden tints for olive skin, and bronze highlighter for dark skin.

14. Then there’s the problem of shimmer in most highlighters, which make you look like a disco ball. Makeup pros solve this problem by switching to lip balm – the waxy finish looks beautifully creamy and opalescent on all skin types. Just swipe onto your cheekbones, above the brows and across the eyelids.

15. Have good blending skills? You can borrow this genius trick from makeup expert Pat McGrath for creating a lit-from-within effect: Swipe on foundation a shade lighter than your natural skin tone to your cheekbones, middle of the forehead and down the nose.

The final polish

16. Glossy, creamy eyelids really add to the glow but if the product gets into your eyes, it’s downright painful. To make it stay, apply eye gloss (or mix a loose eye shadow with lip gloss) with a flat brush. This will stop everything from sliding around across your face.

17. Another Tom Pecheux favourite: Just dot a bit of gold cream shadow in the innermost corners of your eyes. This will open up your eyes and make them look ethereally beautiful in the light.

18. For the ultimate in glow, impeccable skin, mix a little bit of moisturiser with a few drops of pearl highlighter and layer it on top of bare skin or foundation – it’s not as difficult as it seems.

How supermodels stay radiant despite their jet setting, chain smoking, zero-sleep lifestyle

Sorry to break the news but smooth, glowy, flawless skin doesn’t come easy. Gasp, right? But think about it for a moment. How do you sculpt a kick-ass body? By working out relentlessly and eating with discipline. How do you get to the top of a corporate food chain? By putting in the hours and slogging over the details. How do you win a sporting event? By training every single day. How do you shine on the stage? By practising your spot over and over and over again.

So, how and why should having gorgeous skin be any different? Yes, there are 5-minute cures and 60-second makeup tricks that will do the job (many of which has been spoken about on this blog as well) but these are either temporary cover-ups or part of an overall routine. Lemon juice will give you a blemish-free complexion and honey will put the glow back but not if you use them haphazardly, as and when the mood dawns. To really work, these small and big things need to be done on a regular basis – and for at least over a period of 28 days (the time our skin takes to renew itself).

Nobody knows this better than our supermodels – those catwalk queens who manage to stay so annoyingly radiant despite their jet setting, chain smoking, zero-sleep lifestyle. With the advent of hi-def televisions and camera phones that pop up everywhere, having bad skin covered up with inch-deep makeup is no longer an alternative. Then how do they manage? Through a regular regime that works day in and day out to keep their complexion crystal clear. No, it doesn’t take just 5 minutes out of a day. But then neither is it something that you and I can’t happily work into our lives. And it will give you super-sexy skin. For keeps. Take a look.

supermodel skincare, beauty, skincare, beauty DIY
Image: Jeff Kravitz/AMA2014

Supermodel beauty secret #1: They keep their act clean

On the very first day at most agencies, models get the skin lecture. Salient points? Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse. And do it according to your skin type or you’ll end up with an irritated complexion. Dry skin? Never use hot water or tap water to wash your face (only mineral will do, dahlin’). Oily skin? Avoid heavy cleansing creams and alcohol-based toners. Also, don’t use an exfoliant cleanser every day as it’ll scratch your face. And no matter how much champagne you have glugged down, take off every scrap of makeup at night.

Do the models listen? Jessica Gomes: “I cleanse my face and moisturize every morning and again at night. I also  take off all my makeup at the end of the day, no matter what, and exfoliate twice a week.” Then there is Candice Swanepoel: “I’m pretty neurotic about keeping my skin clean. In the morning I wash with rosewater and use a rich moisturizer and sunscreen every day.”

Supermodel beauty secret #2: They don’t believe the hype

It stands to reason that a model would know exactly how skin treated with the latest must-have innovation looks without Photoshop. So they stick to the basics, eschewing the latest and “greatest” in favour of the truly tried and tested. Top of the list is choosing a good frills-free moisturiser that locks in the moisture without being greasy or clogging the pores.

Supermodel beauty secret #3: They swear by indigenous recipes

Even though supermodels can afford the most expensive treatments, they also know that regular at-home upkeep is just as important. Which means they are pretty happy whipping up their own all-natural beauty recipes. Miranda Kerr has been known to wax eloquent about rose hip oil: “I use it as an intensive nourishing face treatment, to remove eye makeup, as a cuticle treatment. And I add a few drops to my face cream every night to wake up with a brighter complexion.” Zoe Saldana buys an aloe vera leaf from Trader Joe’s, peels it and puts the juice on post-sun skin.


Then there is Scarlet Johansson, who has a natural remedy for every skin ailment. One of her staples is Manuka honey: “Steam your face to open the pores, then take a spoonful of honey and apply it directly to the skin, leaving it for 10-15 minutes. Once you wash it off, there will be an amazing glow and your skin shall be super-soft. The honey will also pull out all impurities.”

She also believes in the power of raw lemons: “When my skin is dull or has some red spots, I bring out raw lemons and dab on the juice on my face. You can either dilute the juice with water if it’s too stingy, or you can apply it directly. If you have a big event, do this every night before you go to bed for the five nights leading up to it and your skin will be so much brighter. It’s amazing!”

Supermodel beauty secret #4: They pop pills

Supermodels know that even the best diets don’t give our skin all the nutrition it needs. So, they treat their complexions with supplement top-ups. These boost the skin’s structure and improve its ability to hold water – vital for a glowing, spot-free complexion. As Jessica Gomes explains, “My secret to beautiful skin is eating a healthy diet, with lots of fruits and vegetables. I also eat a lot of fish for the high omega-3 content and take fish oil supplements to help keep my hair shiny and my skin glowing. And I drink lots of water!”

Miranda Kerr, in the meantime, loves the multi-nutrient benefits of coconut oil: “I take 4 teaspoons of coconut oil every day, either on my salads, in my cooking or in my green tea. I will not go a day without coconut oil.”

Supermodel beauty secret #5: They know the power of balance

Yes, these famous faces work hard and party harder, often going without sleep or living off cigarettes and junk food. But they also know that every misstep needs to be balanced out with ultra-clean living. So they make amends at every opportunity to stave off the cumulative damage. Case in point? Jessica Gomes: “I pretty much eat whatever I want but if I’ve had a few biscuits or I’ve splurged on a hot chocolate, I might walk down the road to do my grocery shopping or to meet a friend, rather than drive or catch the train.” And then there is Karlie Kloss: “I love to make just really yummy, clean, boring protein shakes with chocolate protein powder, almond milk, and banana or blackberries.”

beauty, skincare, kendall jenner, model skincare secrets
Image: NCP/Star Max

Supermodel beauty secret #6: They paint smart

When you work with the world’s top make-up artists, you get to know a few tricks of the trade. Like the one touted by Scarlet Johansson: “If you plan to be out all night or eating dinner, bring a lip pencil with you to reshape and color in your lips, then throw a gloss on top. Otherwise, if you try to reapply lipstick in a dark bathroom, the shape just gets weirder and weirder.” Or by Erin Heatherton: “I learnt that you can change your whole face with just different concealers in different places. Like opening up your eye by putting the lighter concealer in the middle, making it lighter under your eyebrows, making it lighter on your cheekbones and contouring underneath.”

My fave, though, comes from Gisele Bundchen: “If you’re wearing smoky eye makeup, a little beige or gold pencil on the inner eye corners will open up the area, but you only want to do it if the shadow is really dark. Otherwise, light pencil makes your eyes look too far apart, like a fish.”

Do you have a regular skincare routine? Or are you more of a slap-dash kind of girl? Will you be making any changes after reading this post?