Having worked in the industry for more than a decade, celebrity makeup artist Swarnlekha Gupta (aka @makeupbylekha on Instagram) has really made a mark in the field. From the Kapoor sisters to Kiara Advani, and Madhuri Dixit Nene to Parineeti Chopra, makeup maverick Lekha Gupta has had many famous faces and gorgeous Bollywood beauties in her chair. If you’ve drooled over (and played copycat to) their makeup looks, you know who to thank.
Lucky for us (and you), we got her to spill some of Kiara’s beauty secrets and her own best-kept makeup hacks. Read on as we steal an exclusive beauty tête-à-tête with one of the best in the makeup business—Lekha Gupta.
BB: As a seasoned makeup artist, what’s the one game-changing makeup secret you’ve learnt over the years.
Lekha: I’ve learnt that the most important part of makeup is the skin. It is no secret, but a fact. So the skin prep before applying makeup is very, very important. Once the skin is well prepared, then no matter what you do or don’t do, you are bound to look gorgeous. To me, skincare is the prime thing and I spend most time in prepping skin so that it supports the makeup applied on it. This would involve proper cleansing, toning, moisturising and priming the skin. Massage the skin well so that it provides for the best canvas for your makeup.
BB: A go-to makeup hack you swear by?
Lekha: Wear a lot or mascara on both upper and lower lashes and instantly you will see your face change. It opens up the eyes effortlessly. Pair it with a gloss and you will look as fresh as a daisy. Try it! You’ll see the difference instantly.
BB: You’ve worked with Kiara Advani for a long time. How has her makeup looks evolved over time?
Lekha: She knows what works for her face and has her makeup game on point. So more than ‘evolved,’ I would say that now I get to experiment a lot more with colours when I work with her.
BB: Tell us a hack you’ve taught her?
Lekha: Dip your nails in ice cold water to instantly dry your freshly painted nails when you are pressed for time.
BB: Kiara is big on minimal makeup, what do you keep in mind while creating a look for her?
Lekha: I ensure that her skin is prepped well as I’ve mentioned above. To pull off a no-makeup makeup look, you have to make sure that your skin is properly groomed before. And that’s how you get the dewy, hydrated and naturally blushed look. I use the Pond’s Super Light Gel Moisturiser for her, which provides oodles of hydration. I also use a Gua Sha stone to massage her face, which stimulates blood circulation and improves lymphatic drainage.
BB: What are your go-to makeup products when doing Kiara’s makeup?
Lekha: After the skin is prepped well, I would just need a bit of concealer, lots of blush, mascara and a lip tint. And she’s picture-perfect ready.
BB: Is Kiara more of a lips person or an eyes person?
Lekha: Mostly eyes.
BB: Is she someone who likes to experiment or play it safe?
Lekha: Well, a bit of both. It depends on what she’s getting ready for. She’s quite experimental when it comes to editorials and red carpets.
BB: On a scale of 1 to 10, how much of a makeup lover is Kiara?
Lekha: 9 if not a 10. She scouts for makeup as much as I do and keeps checking out makeup looks. I must admit that she has introduced me to a lot of products, which are now my favourites. So yes, she’s hands-down a makeup lover.
BB: Describe Kiara’s makeup look in 3 words.
Lekha: Classy, simple and pretty.
BB: Can you share some of Kiara’s makeup secrets?
Lekha: She loves blush. Given a choice, she would apply blush even before going to bed. Also, she is not a big fan of false eyelashes, given that she herself has lovely lashes and doesn’t really need any falsies.
BB: What is her beauty routine like?
Lekha: Well, she does her CTM regularly and takes a lot of care while removing makeup. Mostly she uses light oil for the removal, which also rejuvenates the skin and provides necessary hydration that is much required after a whole day of shoot with makeup and harsh lights.
BB: Can you decode Kiara’s signature look for us?
Lekha: It goes somewhat like this…
- Prepare the skin well and conceal wherever required.
- Apply blush.
- Apply mascara on both the upper and lower lashes.
- A smudged liner with a brown eyeshadow.
- Add slight definition to the lower lash line with the same brown eyeshadow to accentuate the eyes.
- Wear a lip tint or a nude lipstick.
BB: What are your makeup tips for a Kiara fan or the average millennial girl?
Lekha: My one and only tip would be ‘less is more.’ Don’t overdo it. Start with less and then build if need be. Over-the-top looks will just make you look fake. Be yourself and don’t blindly emulate whatever makeup looks are trending on social media. It is very important to know what works for your face and your skin, and accordingly create a killer look for yourself.
BB: Tell us about your favourite bridal look for the 2019 bride.
Lekha: Well, I think the 2019 bride just wants to be herself. So I suggest keeping it simple. Your skin is the focus so make sure that it looks radiant, which comes with being well hydrated. Keep the base natural and dewy, work on the eyes with gold/copper/bronze tones depending on your outfit. You can accentuate the eyes with a nice winged liner and kohled eyes. I would not advise false lashes on the main wedding day. Mascara only should do the trick. Colour the lips with a shade that work best for you and is in tandem with your outfit.
BB: Tell us a couple of makeup trends to try for the festive season.
Lekha: Well, makeup to me is a very personal choice. I personally don’t always go along with the trends. I go by what looks best on my muse. However, if you must try, then you can try the dewy and glossy makeup look, where you focus more on the skin and the peaches and pinks on your cheeks. You can never go wrong teaming the all-time favourite winged liner with Indian wear. Keep the rest of the face absolutely minimal and just work on a bold lip with oodles of mascara.
Image courtesy: Instagram