“I’ve always been outdoorsy; I’ve never been one of those girls who’s super obsessed with makeup. Beauty is a lot more holistic for me; the way I see it, if you exercise and eat right, you just look better anyway, right?
My mom has always been my beauty inspiration. I know people think it’s cliché but really, it’s natural. She’s never been too into beauty either, but she takes care of herself. She gets a facial every once in a while, and she’s quite particular about moisturizing before going to bed. I think I’ve picked up these little things from her. I also love Edie Sedgwick. She took a lot of chances with her beauty and fashion, and she doesn’t fit into the celebrity mold.”
“I’ve always had sensitive skin. I like experimenting with products but I’m also a bit wary of what they’ll do to my skin, so I tend to stick to particular brands that work for me. I’ll use the Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash, but only once in a while because it can make your skin sort of dry. It’s great for those days when my skin just feels oilier than usual. Then, I use the Johnson & Johnson Baby Milk Cream tube. I feel like they wouldn’t make something ‘bad’ because their products are mainly for babies, you know? This cream really works for my skin type. At night, I’ll use The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil. It’s really moisturizing and keeps my skin so soft. When I wake up, I feel like my face is glowing.
For my body, I usually try different body washes because I like to experiment with fragrances. I love The Body Shop Honeymania Shower Gel because it smells so great. I switch between that and the Dove Cream Beauty Bathing Bar – I feel like it’s the only soap that locks moisture into my skin. After my shower, I’ll usually moisturize my body with the Dove Body Lotion or the Johnson’s Baby Lotion – they’re super hydrating and very creamy. I use the same lotions before I go to bed as well.
Once a week, I massage my entire body with the Kronokare Seriously Stress Busting Relaxing Massage Oil. It has an interesting scent – I always feel like I’m at the spa when I use it. It’s supposed to be a stress buster, and it’s funny because I get sleepy every time I use it, like I’m ready for bed.”
“I don’t really have a day and night routine. I work from home, so when I’m indoors I just use the same moisturizers and a lip balm. The Grace Cole Coconut and Lime Lip Balm is my all-time favourite. I use it throughout the day – I’m one of those people who can’t function with chapped lips.
If I’m shooting, I do my own hair and makeup. My routine’s pretty similar whether I’m shooting or heading out; I don’t currently own a concealer or even a foundation. Instead, I use The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Flawless BB Cream in 03 as my base. I’m always struggling to find the exact shade for my skin tone, and this one really works for me because I have warm undertones. It’s also very easy to build up without looking too cakey. Then, I dab the Revlon Touch and Glow Moisturising Powder in Natural Matte on and I’m done – with the base, anyway.
I’m obsessed with Sigma Beauty’s makeup brushes. I use the F40 - Large Angled Contour Brush – if you have that brush, you literally don’t need anything else. To contour my face, I use the Revlon Highlighting Palette. It’s got six shades that contain very little shimmer and I just use the dark bronze shade for because it’s so easy to use, and it does the job really well.
The lighter shades of the palette work really well for highlighting. If I’m going out, I’ll use some of the Loose Shimmer from Sigma Beauty. It’s a beautiful illuminating highlighter and perfect for if you want that natural sheen. Every once in a while, I’ll also use the bronze shade from the Lakme 9 To 5 Eye Color Quartet Eye Shadow in Desert Rose as a bronzer.
I’ve been doing a strong winged eye since I was 15. At this point, I feel like I could do it in my sleep. (Laughs) I don’t even have ot think about it – it’s just Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink. It’s, like, a gel pot with a tiny brush that I love because it comes with a winged tip, which is helpful when you want a perfect winged eye. For my lashes, I use the Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara because it adds a ton of depth to the eyes.
I usually wait until the mascara brush is slightly dry, and then run it over my eyebrows. I feel like it gives my brows definition without looking ‘done’.
What I wear on my lips always depends on my mood. I wear a nude lip a lot – I love the Streetwear Stay on Lip Color in Fawn Feast – it’s a creamy texture that’s super moisturizing. I’ll add a bit of compact powder over it sometimes – it’s a great way to make any lipstick more matte.
If I’m going for a winey kinda vibe, I use the L'Oreal Paris Star Collection in Pure Garnet (Sonam). I recently bought Tish & Snooky's Manic Panic N.Y.C. Cream Tone Raven Lethal Lipstick. It’s this gorgeous jet black shade that I ordered from Amazon, and it’s moisturizing and not flaky at all! I’ll always choose a moisturizing lipstick over a matte one because I don’t like wearing lip balm underneath, and this stuff lasts forever.”
“I’ve always had really, really thick hair. It’s wavy, voluminous and jet black with brown undertones and it gets a bit frizzy when I brush it too much, so I just brush it before I go to bed and wake up with a bit of a disheveled look – which invariably works, especially if I’m shooting outdoors. I’m not too particular about my hair products. I generally have two shampoos and two conditioners in my bathroom cabinet at any given time. Pantene is always a constant because it’s my go-to product. I’m currently using the Pantene Total Damage Care Shampoo and Conditioner. I switch it up with the Matrix Biolage range – The shampoos smell super refreshing. I use a conditioner from the same line and it makes my hair extremely soft and manageable. Every once in a while, I’ll use the Pantene Total Damage Care Intensive Hair Mask as a leave-in conditioner. It makes your hair so soft and super silky.
Sometimes, when I want to play around with colour, I use B Blunt’s One Night Stand, which is this temporary hair colour. I like Blue Velvet and Blush Pink – it’s super cool because it just comes off the next morning when you wash your hair. I’ve recently started using Tigi’s Superstar Volumizing Hairspray as well. It’ll keep any updo in place and it adds a ton of volume, too.”
As told to Akshara Subramanian.
Rhea Gupte photographed by Shovona Karmakar at The HIVE, Collab, and The Hungry Traveller.
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