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Shibani Dandekar, Actor, Singer and Presenter

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“I feel like the word beauty isn’t just associated with the way you look. A lot of it stems from confidence and owning what you have. There are so many people who may not have the greatest skin but they’re just so comfortable with who they are – I think that really shines through.

I don’t have great skin, so it’s been a real process to find out what works for me. I’ve literally tried every product under the sun. Some of them work and some of them just don’t. Recently, though, I’m all about going back to the basics. If our mothers could survive on just soap, moisturizers and oil, I don’t see why we can’t do it. So whether it’s skin care or makeup, I’m trying to keep it simple and effective.”

SKIN

“For the longest time, I used Clinique’s Take The Day Off to remove my makeup. Until last week, I was using the Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash – it’s a little more natural than a couple of products I’ve used in the past, if you know what I mean. But I’ve replaced all of them with raw organic coconut oil – something that I picked up at a grocery story in London. It’s just a normal cooking oil. I apply it on my face and remove the excess oil with warm water and go to bed. When I wake up in the mornings, my skin is so soft. It’s only been a week – but like I said, I’m trying to go back to a routine that’s more organic and natural, so let’s see how that goes.

Sunscreen is, like, the most important part of my beauty regimen. I don’t even care if it’s raining, you’ve gotta wear sunscreen. I love the Sk-II Cellumination Day Surge UV because it’s super effective. I also use Vaseline Pure Petroleum Jelly around my eyes to calm the skin around them. It’s strange – I used to have oily skin in the past but now it’s suddenly quite dry and I feel like the Vaseline takes care of that.

I love The Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom Body Wash because it’s super refreshing. Bath and Body Works makes this amazing Bergamot Coriander Exhilarating Sugar Scrub which is to die for – I love how it feels on my skin.”

MAKEUP

“My makeup routine is pretty similar for both the day and the night. I use the Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer. I feel like wearing too much concelear tends to make you look older. I just like to cover a few spots here and there and it’s great for that. I’m trying to perfect the art of the ‘no-makeup’ look. I’m not sure how it’s working out but that’s what I’m trying to do. (Laughs) Unless I’m at an event, I try and avoid using foundation. And if I absolutely have to use one, I usually wear Bobbi Brown’s Skin Foundation.

I’m absolutely in love with Smashbox’s Bronze Lights. It’s such a beautiful colour. It doesn’t really make you look like you’re wearing a bronzer – it’s more like a sexy tan. And I find that it sits really well on my skin. It was only an impulse buy but I’ve ended up using it religiously for almost eight months now.

If I want to play around with my eyes, I generally use the MAC Longwear Paint Pot in Black as an eyeliner – it’s a nice, jet black so it looks pretty great. The Yves Saint Laurent Shocking Black Mascara is quite dramatic and gives your lashes quite a bit of volume and definition. Charlotte Tilbury does great eye liners and eye shadows too.

I’ve been obsessed with the Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipsticks! I use them all the time. My current favourite is Pure Hollywood – it’s a beautiful pale mauve nude shade with a matte texture. Sometimes I wear Electric Coral from the same range for a pop of colour. Every time I wear Anastasia Beverly Hills lipsticks, people stop me on the street and ask me what I’m wearing.

I also love the Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Series Contour Kit. When I step out at night, I like to contour my face a little bit – but not the crazy kind that you see on YouTube tutorials. That makes me ill – it’s just too much. I’ll just use the dark shade very lightly on my cheekbones for a bit of a chiseled look.”

HAIR

“The one thing that makes me feel immediately glamorous is great hair. I’ve got really thick hair and it can get dry very easily, and ends up feeling like a mop. I’ll usually do, like, a half blow-dry and my hair stylist quickly runs the curling iron’s tongs through my hair – just enough to make it look like beach waves.

There’s this brand called Living Proof that I recently discovered – it’s Jennifer Aniston’s line. They make amazing hair sprays – the Flex Shaping Hairspray is fantastic for long-lasting waves. I also really like the Weightless Styling Spray. Oh my god, these products smell so, so good. Other than that, I only use raw organic coconut oil on my hair. I know it feels like I’m always using it, but it totally works – there’s no doubt.”

FRAGRANCES

I’ve been using Dior’s Hypnotic Poison for thirteen years. I know! It’s crazy. I guess you could call it my signature perfume. It’s got a vanilla note but it’s not too strong. At the moment, though, I’m currently in love with the Balmain x H&M Limited Edition fragrance. It’s probably the best fragrance I’ve ever used. It’s this great unisex scent which smells like you have a man all over you, which is kind of nice. (Laughs)

As told to Akshara Subramanian. Shibani Dandekar photographed by Neha Chandrakant.

 

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