Elle’s Beauty Editor Is A Self-Professed Lip Balm Fiend — We Love It!
Some habits are hard to break. Like that childhood fascination of rifling through someone’s purse just to find what wonders it holds. None of us could really stop ourselves from rummaging through our mums’ and aunts’ handbags, and swatching their cosmetics, spritzing their perfumes, et al. At Hauterfly, we still love doing that, although we don’t snoop around in each other’s purses (that would be slightly creepy)!
Instead, we have intense conversations about the brands and products we swear by, or our current obsessions like it’s a matter of national importance. What’s more, any opportunity we get to speak to women in the beauty business, we grab with both hands. And so we bring to you Beauty Speak — where beautiful women in the business share their beauty secrets.
Today, we chat with Mamta Mody, Beauty & Health Editor at Elle India, on her fave products, skin and hair issues (yes, we’re all human) and the stuff she doesn’t leave home without.
Have you faced any skin issues while growing up?
My skin was quite well-behaved till I was about 25, which meant I abused it in every way. I went to bed without washing my face, never used sunscreen, and just about anything that said moisturiser went on my face. So when I got my first zit, I really didn’t know how to deal with it — I didn’t even have the right type of face wash for it!
Do you have any skin issues now?
I finally have a proper regimen in place, but it’s still fairly basic. I try and use as little as possible; I’ve realised that the more product I use, the more my skin gets dependent on it. My routine takes care of sun damage, dry patches, and skin sensitivity. A decently healthy diet keeps random breakouts from sprouting up. Maintaining good skin is hard work!
Which products do you start your day with?
Around the time I realised the need for a proper regimen, I remember going for a skincare event where they used some crazy machine to show me what I’ll look like at 50. It was so freaky that I went on this crazy bender trying to layer essences, serums, and rich eye creams. My skin didn’t enjoy this much, partly because the humidity in Mumbai doesn’t really allow for this. Sticking to the basics keeps my skin pretty happy. There’s a basic Cetaphil cleanser, La Roche Posay Toleriane Fluid, and sunscreen. I’ve recently been hooked on to the Sesderma C-Vit Facial Serum that takes care of dullness, and the PurEarth Wild Rose and Seabuck Face Cream that’s been gentle and effective as a daily moisturiser.
In what order do you use them?
Here’s a simple rule a dermat once suggested: First the corrective stuff (for spots, wrinkles, dark circles, etc), then nourishing creams, and finally protection (like sunscreen).
How often do you use them/top up during the day?
I know I should, but I really don’t. It’s also because my skin gets irritated if I keep touching it all the time. I mostly just use the large jar of moisturiser kept on my desk on my hands.
Which products do you end your day with?
This is the time of day when I have more time, so I spend some time massaging creams into my face (even 2 minutes is super relaxing). The Bioderma Micellar Water is everything I need to take off all kinds of long-lasting and water-resistant makeup. Otherwise, I use The Body Shop’s Camomile Oil Cleanser. It’s followed by a non-foaming face wash — it took forever to get used to this but it makes a world of difference. Sometimes I mix it up with a Dermalogica Facial Scrub, especially if my skin feels flaky. I finish with the Dr Hauschka Rose Night Serum. I recently started using it and it really works! My face looks a little less tired in the morning now.
Which products do you use occasionally but at regular intervals?
It’s mostly indulgent masks and oils. The Clarins Facial Oil smells divine! And masks from Innisfree, Forest Essentials, Nuxe, Tony Moly, and Boscia’s peel off mask all give great results too.
How often do you switch/change your products?
I mostly switch products for journalistic reasons, otherwise, it’s to adapt to the weather.
How do you manage your skin on shoots or when you are at work?
I just don’t touch my face. There’s always a lot going on and there’s never enough time to put something on. I’ll probably put on some moisturiser if my hands feel dry. I know it’s blasphemous, but I also don’t top up my sunscreen unless I’m spending an entire day outdoors.
What products do you pack with you when you are travelling?
It has to be small and multi-tasking, like Cover FX Custom Cover Drops (which can be mixed with any moisturiser or serum), any gold shadow (also works for highlighting), creamy pink lipstick (doubles up as blush), a bottle of the nail polish I’m wearing, and makeup wipes instead of the usual cleansers.
What products do you carry in your handbag or hand luggage?
Mositurisers! Sometimes I get ambitious and carry a face mask, little vials of face oil, a hand cream, and 2 or 3 options of lip balms because there’s little else to do than hydrating your skin. I also carry an Evian face mist that I spritz on before applying anything. Sheet masks make great Instagram selfies, but I prefer discreet, creamy masks that don’t have to be washed off, like the Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque or the sleeping mask from Clinique.
What is your hair care regimen like?
It is super simple, almost bordering on lazy. I have crazy frizz, especially in the summer and monsoon (which basically means only 2 months of good hair days), so my wavy hair is usually tied to keep that in check. Since I hate blow-drying or flat-ironing my hair, I pull it back into a knot, braids, or twist it in the front while it air dries. This gives it some kind of control through the day (the braid gives gentle waves, especially if I leave it on overnight).
What kind of hair care products do you use?
I’ve gone through a laundry list of hair products, but a combination of frizz and sensitive skin means I’ve had very little luck. Right now Moroccanoil and Label M are helping me keep things in check.
Do you use different products for different seasons?
I start using a hair cleanser once a week when it gets really hot and my roots start getting greasy. Otherwise I always stick with the moisturising stuff. This is really basic, but recently a hairstylist told me that all clear shampoos are actually drying, even if the label says they have oils. It’s the creamy-looking ones that are good for dry hair.
Do you have any quick fixes/at-home solutions for hair and skin problems that you have learnt from your mum, friends, makeup artists, or anyone else, or have come up with yourself that always work?
First, reduce the number of times you touch your face and hair. Second, and this sounds clichéd, but the right diet is so important for good skin — I know I’ll sprout a new zit after OD-ing on sugar.
Bad beauty habits you are guilty of?
I’m a picker and a popper, which mostly leaves my skin bruised and any zit takes forever to heal. But getting rid of my concave mirror has been a step in the right direction — no one needs that!
Are you fond of makeup?
I prefer to go without makeup on a daily basis. It’s usually just blush, brow gel, and mascara. I recently switched to wearing purple mascara (from Dior It Lash) — it doesn’t look as crazy as it sounds!
Which feature do you like playing up on your face?
It really depends on what I’m wearing, but I usually do a bright lip and lashes, or nude mouth with some gold on the face and eyes.
What are your favourite eye products?
I usually don’t wear waterproof eye makeup simply because it’s such a pain to take off after a long day. Wearing eyeliner is high-maintenance too. I’ll do a navy smudged liner — ColorBar and Estée Lauder do great pencils. For evenings, it’s any Maybelline mascara with a subtle gold shadow. I either wear it on the corner of my eyes or across the lid with a dot of balm in the middle. MAC Cream Colour Base, Laura Mercier Metallic Creme Eyeshadow, and Chanel Stylo Eyeshadow have some really pretty rose gold shades.
What are your favourite lip products?
Balms! There’s tinted, flavoured, and the glossy kinds scattered in all my bags and drawers. When it comes to lipsticks, I usually favour matte because I find it easier to wear all day. I’ve been a little obsessed with NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream (in Sao Paulo and Transylvania), MAC lipstick in Diva and Beet (together it gives a bright burgundy shade), and most nude shades at Bobbi Brown. Lakmé Lip Love is a very old collection, but Aphrodite’s Blush is my perfect nude. Ever since I started using the Lancôme Lip Shaker, I’m leaning towards the glossy camp too – but they don’t really last. Mickey Contractor suggested I wear a lip liner underneath, this way there will be more colour and the lips will never be nude.
What are some of your favourite products?
Besides all the makeup I mentioned, I love a good highlighter, like FACES Canada Metaliglow, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette and the Nars Blush in Orgasm — it’s sexy AF.
Which foundation do you use?
I rarely wear a full face of foundation, it’s mostly just concentrated along the T-zone. Lancôme Hydra Zen Beauty Balm is kind of soothing and the Bobbi Brown cream foundation matches my skin tone perfectly. I recently started using The Body Shop Nude Cushion foundation that feels very light on the face.
Which concealers do you use?
I usually don’t cover spots, but the Bobbi Brown Intensive Serum Concealer and Corrector does a good job on spots and under-eye circles.
How do you wear your nails?
I love trying out different manicures — it’s my weekend DIY project. Most of the budget brands do great on-trend colours and textures now. But there’s something about the brush (that’s really important in polishes) that makes Bourjois, LYN and OPI worth the splurge. The Nykaa formula is quite nice and sticks around a little longer than the others. Nails Inc does these great chunky glitter polishes in all shades. I usually favour pastels, nudes, and dark inky shades, but the lo-fi tints from YSL, Dior, and Chanel are pretty cool too. Since I don’t have patience for salons, I use a foot scrub and file in the shower. And sometimes change nail colours at my desk.
The 5 tools, products, etc. that you can’t live/work without?
I never end up finishing anything because there’s always something new that lands on my desk. But I always stock up on the Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm — it’s a splurge that I’ve never regretted. It takes care of chapped lips and, unlike most other balms, it’s super creamy and non-glossy. Then there’s the Benefit Fine-One-One Blush stick that gives just the subtlest flush (even if you pile on too much by mistake, it won’t look wrong). And the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturiser — it’s normcore hydration and doesn’t aggravate irritated skin. Also, an eyelash curler for when I don’t want to wear mascara.
#SoYouWantMyJob: Shereen Sikka — Founder, Love And Other Bugs