PIX: Bollywood's MOST IMAGINATIVE makeup, over the years!
Showbiz is all about make-believe -- manufacturing dreams where actors slip under new skins and wear alluring masks.
And cosmetics contribute a great deal in building this superficial but stunning impression.
In our movies, the actress represents beauty, joy and fantasy.
To look good at all times is one of her prime occupations.
Over the years, the art of make-up has relentlessly transformed and evolved but its purpose remains unchanged -- to make the heroine look like a vision, highlight her best features and conceal all earthly traces.
Continuing in our ongoing series of 100 years of Indian cinema, here's a look at the changing nature of cosmetics showcased by Bollywood's reigning beauties over the years.
Around the 1930s, Hindi cinema's earliest stars like Fearless Nadia and Devika Rani build a sense of enchantment around them with their distinct, effortless style.
Though known for her plucky feminism, blue-eyed Nadia looked as comfortable holding a whip as wearing impeccable make-up suggesting the more feminine side of her personality.
Devika Rani's thin eyebrows brought attention to her soulful eyes and full lips, often coloured in dark hues conspicuous even in black and white.
Image: Devika Rani
Glamour didn't hold back in the era of black and white cinema.
Instead, the 1940s and 50s saw pretty actresses like Suraiya, Nargis and Nutan generate romance on celluloid with their gorgeously accented doe-eyes and glistening lips.
Image: Clockwise from top: Suraiya, Sandhya, Nargis, Nutan
And then came colour.
The leading heroines of black and white Bollywood burst into Technicolor with elan, dramatic eyes and brightly painted lips when Madhubala, Nadira, Meena Kumari, Waheeda Rehman and Vyajyanthimala celebrated their goddess-like allure like never before.
Image: Clockwise from top: Madhubala, Nadira, Meena Kumari, Vyjanathimala and Waheeda Rehman
The showgirls' of1960s -- Saira Banu, Sadhana, Asha Parekh and Co. embraced cosmetics like second skin.
Apart from sporting thick eyebrows, heavily applied eye shadow and lips coated in glossy shades of coral, nude and rose; the glamorous cat eyeliner became a must for every actress.
Image: Clockwise from top: Sharmila Tagore, Sadhna, Saira Bano,Tanuja, Babita, Mala Sinha, Nanda, Asha Parekh
Getting cheeky with it!
While the cat eyeliner showed no signs of wearing off, the 1970s divas Hema Malini, Mumtaz, Raakhee, Leena Chandavarkar and Jaya Bhaduri wore it in abundance with a dash of kajal as well as rouge dabbed liberally on the cheeks.
The same decade witnessed stars like Zeenat Aman, Dimple Kapadia, Shabana Azmi and Neetu Singh laying emphasis on their big eyes and stick to a natural palette.
Image: Top row: Jaya Bhaduri, Mumtaz, Raakhee. Second row: Hema Malini, Leena Chandavarkar, Shabana Azmi. Bottom row: Neetu Singh, Zeenat Aman and Dimple Kapadia
The many faces of Helen
All through her super hit cabarets in the 60s-70s, nobody quite played or had fun with make-up like Helen.
Check out how she pairs up her sexy wardrobe and wild hair pieces bedecked in eclectic make-up -- rich, glittery, embellished eye shadow, heavy mascara, fake eyelashes, and lipsticks in all shades of peach, pink, purple, red and brown.
There is nothing subtle about the 1980s.
This applies to its make-up as well what with its leading ladies like Sridevi, Jaya Prada, Parveen Babi, Reena Roy and, not to mention Rekha who redefined make-up and perfected it into a art form, with loads of kajal in the eyes and ruby red lips.
Image: Sridevi, Rekha, Parveen Babi, Reena Roy,Meenakshi Seshadri, Padmini Kolhapure, Kimi Katkar, Rati Agnihotri, Smita Patil, Farha Naz and Sonam
Wild, eclectic, exciting!
The 1990s welcomed an entire bandwagon of newcomers.
And this wave of freshness reflected in the various looks exhibited in this decade.
While Pooja Bhatt, Karisma Kapoor and Twinkle Khanna didn't deter from using outrageous lip shades, Raveena Tandon, Juhi Chawla, Urmila and Kajol used earthy/gold tones to draw attention to their gorgeous features.
If Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen and Shilpa Shetty discovered the merits of dark, matted lips and liquid eyeliner, Manisha Koirala and Tabu kept it wonderfully minimalistic.
Image: The 1990s actresses
The decade of extremes
With the arrival of the new millennium, make-up enjoyed a more crucial role. Now, more than a means to look beautiful, its purpose was to create an image of the character the actress essayed on screen.
So severely kohled-eyes and body art conveyed a warrior princess for Kareena Kapoor and Preity Zinta's hugely popular smoky-eyes rendered her Pakistani elegance, Priyanka Chopra got edgy with her looks to play a supermodel and Madhuri Dixit sparkled as a grand courtesan in a period romance.
And Katrina Kaif?
Well, she turned shimmering lip gloss into a permanent fixture on every girl's dressing table.
Image: Clockwise from top left: Kareena Kapoor, Rani Mukerjee, Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif, Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta
In the present decade, there's space for every kind of imaginative look.
Be it gothic eye shadows, futuristic neon red lips, sleek simplicity or channelling the vintage/retro, the science of cosmetics is dedicated to resplendent discoveries.
Image: Clockwise from top left: Sonam Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Alia Bhatt, Sonakshi Sinha, Diana Penty and Deepika Padukone