This Harper’s Bazaar Beauty Editor’s Regime Is Insanely Simple!
Some habits are hard to break. Like that childhood fascination of rifling through someone’s purse just to find what wonders it holds. I just couldn’t stop myself from going through my mum and aunt’s 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 creepy as hell)!
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. Today we have the Beauty Director of Harper’s Bazaar India Vasudha Rai — who also blogs at vbeauty — dishing out the secrets to her glowing skin and picture perfect pout.
What is your skincare regime like?
I have majorly simplified my routine after a recent trip to Berlin, where I met some amazing experts in organic skincare. I have also removed retinol and chemical exfoliants from my routine completely, which has made my skin plumper and less sensitive.
Which products do you start your day with?
I wash my face with plain water… no face wash in the morning. I then apply SkinCeuticals C+E Ferulic, which helps brighten skin and prevent fine lines and pigmentation. I then top it with Dr Hauchska Rose Day Cream. I have sensitive skin, so I use VMV Hypoallergenics Armada Sport Sunscreen. It has SPF 60, but once I’m done with it I’m never using a product with SPF higher than 30. SPF 60 offers only .5% more protection than 30, but the number of chemicals used is tenfold.
How often do you use them/top up during the day?
I know you’re supposed to, but really who has the time? Also, I love hats, so they kind of protect my skin if I’m going out in the sun again.
Which products do you end your day with?
These days it’s very simple, which I love! If I’m wearing mascara (I never wear the waterproof version), I massage my face with pure apricot oil that my yoga teacher got me from Ladakh. Then I wipe it off with a hot towel. If I’m only wearing powder and lipstick (which is almost always the case), I massage a pea-sized drop of Julisis Silver Wash Night with a drop of Manuka Essential Oil into my face. I then splash my face seven times with hot (but not scalding) water. And that’s it. It’s the modern variation of the old Erno Laszlo method. No night creams, etc. for me. I just feel that the more layers I apply, the more my skin needs. This face wash is amazing and it works with the natural rhythm of your skin, helping it naturally regenerate itself at night. The manuka oil is extremely healing, it repairs burns, scars, pigmentation… you name it.
What are the products you use occasionally, but at regular intervals?
I love pure, cold pressed oils. I don’t use coconut oil because for some reason it makes my skin redder than usual. But I like avocado, jojoba and apricot oils. I just massage them onto my face and hair and wash them off. In terms of masks, I like the new Bobbi Brown Skin Nourish Mask and Forest Essentials Madhulika Honey Lep.
How often do you switch your products?
Did you face any skin issues while growing up?
Oh yes! I had acne as a teenager and later on as an adult too.
How did you deal with it?
Visits to many dermatologists and a short course of Accutane.
Do you have any skin issues right now?
A bit of sensitivity, but I’m happy with my skin now.
How do you deal with your skin’s sensitivity?
I reduced the number of products that I used, as well as harsh exfoliants. Now I mostly use organic skincare.
How do you manage your skin while travelling?
I moisturise like crazy and then top it with oil and drink lots of water. Lack of hydration is the main reason one’s skin suffers on long-haul flights.
What products do you pack in your handbag when you are travelling?
I always carry a sample-sized moisturiser, lip balm, a lipstick (for when I get off and need to look fresh), compact powder, and a large bottle of water.
What products do you carry in your luggage?
I always over pack cosmetics! MAC Ruby Woo and Hourglass Lipstick in Icon, Chanel Vitalumiere Foundation, Lancôme Hypnose Mascara, Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder, moisturiser, Purearth Illumine Face Elixer, MAC Big Brow Pencil, sparkly eye shadow like Stila Foil Finish Eye Shadow, nail polish that I’m wearing for touch-ups, a sample sized bottle of cleansing oil, cotton pads, A-Derma Exomega Emollient Lotion (a super emollient moisturiser for emergencies), Benefit Girl Meets Pearl, Jo Malone Mimosa and Cardamom if it’s summer, and Les Exclusifs De Chanel Misia for winter, curl cream… you can see how go I overboard, right?
What is your haircare regime like?
My hair is very fuss-free, but accepting my curly hair took time. My mom has long, straight, beautiful hair so I went through a phase of trying a straightening treatment. The result was absolutely hideous, especially when it started growing out and I had curly hair at the roots. Now my hair regime is super simple. I hate blow-drying or flat ironing my hair, so it’s in fairly good condition. I just shampoo it with whatever free shampoo I get thanks to my job, and then run in some curl defining cream. These days I love BBlunt High Definition Curl. I don’t colour my hair but I go to Suparna Trikha’s salon in Nizamuddin, where they mix henna with a ton of Ayurvedic herbs and apply it after heating it up. The treatment is called hot henna, it’s completely natural, and gives the most beautiful auburn shade to your hair. I get it done once a month.
How often do you wash your hair?
Almost every day, because I like the way it air-dries.
A tip that always works for your hair?
An amazing hairstylist I met in Kuala Lumpur told me that the best way to style my hair was to never touch it. It was the best advice I ever got. The same goes for your skin — just leave it alone. The less you touch it, the better it is. The problem usually goes away by itself.
What are your favourite eye products?
I love doing up my eyebrows. My favourite has to be Shu Uemura Hard Formula Eyebrow Pencil, which defines brows without looking OTT.
What are your favourite lip products?
Cowshed Lippy Cow Natural Lip Balm and Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo in Message, which is my current favourite lipstick. I find matte shades too common these days. This lipstick is a bit shiny, super hydrating, and long lasting.
Tell us about some of your favourite products!
That would be a LONG list! But other than the ones mentioned above I love the following: Purearth Wild Rose and Seabuck Face Cream, Rahua Volumizing Conditioner, Forest Essentials Silkening Shower Wash in Bengal Tuberose, Guerlain Shalimar Eau de Toilette, the original Coco by Chanel, Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Mascara, Ananda in The Himalayas Cleansing Cream, Bobbi Brown Eye Liner, Chanel Retractable Kabuki Brush, Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque, YSL Eye Shadows, Benefit Sun Beam, The Body Shop Bath Gloves, Creme de La Mer Regenerating Serum, L’Occitane Hand and Foot Creams.
Which foundation do you use?
Currently, I am using Chanel Vitalumiere Foundation.
Which concealers do you use?
Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Corrector and Concealer. If I get a spot, then nothing beats Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Concealer.
How do you wear your nails?
My nails are not high on my priority list. And because I do a lot with my hands, they are almost always clipped.
Do you like wearing nail polish or do you like your nails bare?
I like wearing nail polish, but because I don’t have too much free time, I sometimes top up one colour with another.
Which are your favourite colours?
Red, almost-black colours, metallics (these days my favourite is OPI Glitzerland) .
How often do you get mani-pedis done?
Maybe once a month. I find manis, pedis and facials extremely boring, so I just use a foot file in the bath and change nail polish colours myself.
The 5 tools, products, etc. that you can’t live/work without?
The only thing that I can’t live without is my Manduka Pro Light Yoga Mat. It is my only beauty essential!