As the go-to makeup artist and lady behind the red carpet looks for Neha Dupia, Rosario Dawson, Esha Gupta, Kalki Koechlin and Yami Gautam, Sandhya Shekar says spending big bucks trying to get that immaculate professional finish is not necessarily the smartest thing to do. “There are plenty of over-the-counter beauty buys that give the same results as most luxury makeup brands. You just need to know where to look.” Here are Sandhya Shekar’s fraction-of-the-price favorites.
This inconspicuous little tub of night cream is packed with super-oils and a total of ten nutrients to hydrate, soften and smoothen your skin while you sleep. Of all the mature women I know, those with the most supple complexions have this on their nightstands.
For its pocket-saving price, this mascara provides amazing results! It curls, adds volume, makes tiny lashes magnanimous – basically, it does everything a good mascara should do. It’s a good option for when you’re getting in front of the camera, and handy for quick styling.
For hot, humid climates, I love SebaMed’s moisturizer. It’s an exercise in miracle math. That’s 5.5 the pH value of healthy skin, 2% Vitamin E, 26% lipid content, zero colour additives and 24-hour protection for 100% results in half the price. Phew!
Curatio Suncote Gel is a great option for oily skin, and sits easily under your foundation. For the rest of the body, I swear by Suncros, a non-greasy, broad spectrum sunscreen that accompanies me to all my shoots in scorching locations. It sun protects for up to eight hours and is chemical-free, suiting the most sensitive skin-types, as well.
An effective option if you don’t want to pay a pretty penny for partial coverage. It’s non-oily, lightweight and doesn’t clog the pores, making for a smooth finish for summer skin. I’m not a fan of excessive, cakey makeup, so this is a good option for a minimal, natural fix.
Humidity wields all kinds of horror on our hair, especially if it’s curly. This hair cream works best on extremely curly hair to prep your coif against frizz, dryness and breakages. I use it on my wavy hair as well, and it works wonders!
It’s hard to go wrong when you go herbal, and this over-the-counter gem does a stellar job protecting my skin from the Mumbai heat. Aloe has amazing cooling properties and makes you feel light, fresh and hydrated.
Long-lasting and easy to use, this pot of gold gives you a bold, defined line, blends easily with eyeshadow and doesn’t budge, even under harsh spotlights. I can easily use this one for a variety of looks and styles.
Noskurf is super effective for those plagued with dandruff. Just massage some into your scalp overnight and wash out when you wake up. Four-five washes over a period of two-three weeks and you’re free of that annoying itchiness. If you can’t find it, the Kaya Lotion is equally effective.