Shaheen Abbas, Jewellery Designer



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As a child, I grew up obsessing over Sridevi. I’d love to age like her because she’s so timeless. It’s not like she’s trying to look she’s 25, you know what I mean? I think that’s what makes her so beautiful. I know I’m gushing, but I’m a total fangirl. (Laughs) Sridevi will always be my beauty icon.

I try not to complicate things when it comes to beauty. There’s so much information out there and I think it’s amazing to learn about new products and things, but it’s impossible for everything to work on you. Personally, I like keeping it simple.


I only got serious about skin care in my mid 30s. It’s not the smartest thing, I know. I think people should really start looking after their skin in their late ‘20s at the very least. My sisters and I have a massive age gap and they’re so particular about everything that they use. I always laugh, like “Dude, I had no idea what was going on with my skin until, like, three or four years ago.”

That whole thing about buying products that break the bank – it’s a myth. It doesn’t work like that! I used to use tons of Crème de la Mer, and all it did was make me break out.

The one thing I’m particular about is visiting my dermatologist every four weeks. She usually does a mix of microdermabrasion with a glycolic peel for my face. She’s recommended a few things that I’ve just started using – I blend the Auriga Flavo-C Cream and the Avène TriAcneal. The Flavo-C is basically for – I hate that word – but it’s an “anti-aging” cream. The other one is for acne prone skin.

I used to break out a lot, so I really simplified my skin care routine. I’m still a product junkie but I don’t experiment too much with night creams, cleansers and stuff. The one thing that I really, really love is a good face masque. I would use four a day if I could – but to be a bit more realistic I use them, like, four times a week.

I love all of Origins’ face packs – I’m currently using the Origins Out Of Trouble 10 Minute Mask and the Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. My skin looks instantly fresh, you know? Like I’ve taken a five-hour nap. My sister, who’s a makeup artist with Burberry, also recommended the Glamglow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment. I tried that too – the only problem is that you have to use it up quickly because it dries out too soon.

I bleach my face regularly – so whenever there’s redness, I use the Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque. It’s one of my trusted favourites and it’s perfect when the weather is dry. During the day, I also use Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir as a pick-me-up.            

I’m also pretty crazy about body oils, but I use them only in the night. The Caudalie Divine Oil is pretty genius. There’s this other brand called Pahadi Local – they sent me their Gutti Ka Tel which is a pure apricot kernel oil extract and I’ve been using it religiously for my massages. It’s so good for soft skin.

"I’ve been using the original Issey Miyake perfume for fifteen years. I finally decided to play around with perfumes two years ago and fell in love with For Her by Narciso Rodriguez. It’s super refreshing because it’s got these strong citrusy notes. I really like Chance by Chanel perfume for the day – it’s quite light and nice."

"If your skin care regimen is sorted, half the job is done. If I’m meeting a client or stepping out for lunch, I use the Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Foundation. It’s great for a clean, non-greasy look. The Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer and the Bobbi Brown BB Cream (SPF 35) are great alternatives when I’m not attending an event. I’ve also been using the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Concelear for five years now and it covers all kinds of spots. 

For the nights, I love the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation as well as the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. They’re both amazing for coverage. Also, I have a little secret. I apply the Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow – which is sort of a primer, on top of my foundation. That’s probably not the right way to wear it, but it gives me this amazing sheen all over my face. Like I said - I’m a product junkie!

I don’t know how to use eyeshadow; I’m too lazy to learn the technique. For some reason though, I'm always buying them and then giving them away. It’s so stupid. (Laughs) But I've gotta tell you, I feel like I have a PhD in kajal. I’m not very loyal to one brand. I’m currently using the Rock 'N Kohl Eye Pencil by Charlotte Tilbury and the Kat Von D Eye Pencil and they’re both thick, jet black pencils with amazing texture. I’ve just started using the Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner as well, and it’s fabulous. I love it because it gives you a really smooth cat eye.  To get the eye makeup off completely, I use the Lancôme Bi Facil Eye Makeup Remover.

For my lashes, I love the Lancôme Hypnôse Volumizing Mascara because it adds so much more depth and definition to the eyes. I like my cheeks to have a natural, healthy glow – so I'm a huge fan of the Nars Blush in Orgasm.

The most important thing about a lipstick for me, is the colour. The texture is secondary, although it helps it it's great. My favourites are M.A.C’s So Chaud, Flat Out Fabulous and Relentlessly Red. I wear this pale pink shade a lot called Kinda Sexy, which looks really great on my skin."

"This year, I’m going to take putting oil in my hair seriously. I’m calling it Project Oil. (Laughs) The best thing you can do for your hair is to shut up, stop making excuses and just oil it. My mother-in-law picks up a bunch of oils from a store in Lucknow called Sugandhco. They make pure oils – almond, castor, olive, coconut – and she blends, like, six or seven oils together and sends it to me. It's all organic and so effective. I don’t even need to blow dry my hair when I use it.

When you have coloured hair, using sulfate-free shampoo is a bit of a no-brainer. I use the Kérastase Réflection Bain Chroma Riche range because it stops my hair from getting too dry."

As told to Akshara Subramanian. Photographed by Shovona Karmakar. 




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