We all have our beauty secrets. Whether it’s your Grandmother’s recipe for healthy skin, a hair mask you read and loved from your favorite fashion magazine, or the makeup products you just can’t live without! Hollywood makeup artist and Indian-American, Shalini Vadhera has been on a journey to find the world’s best beauty secrets and shared the same in her best-selling book Passport To Beauty. Vadhera also founded the popular makeup brand Global Goddess; worked as a spokesperson for Revlon, Chapstick,The Body Shop, IVillage, and Olay and has been a makeup artist to stars such as Jay Leno, Malin Akerman, Simon Cowell along with the cast of Dancing with the Stars. She gave us some fabulous tips and spoke of her journey into Hollywood.
Tell us a little about your journey.
SV: Like most Indian kids growing up in the U.S. I was constantly traveling to India and Kenya to visit relatives and my parents of course wanted me to become a doctor. But since the time I was 7 I’ve been enchanted with flight attendants, the way the put on their makeup and were all dolled up was something I found fascinating and I knew I wanted to work in the makeup industry.I started working at the Clinique counter at the then popular department store Bullocks when I was 17. The first time I did a makeover I was absolutely terrified but the lady loved her look so much I was hooked onto helping people feel confident about how they look. I then started freelancing for makeup companies and did some work for magazines. One day I got a call from NBC studios, at the interview I showed them what I thought was TV makeup, they offered me a job on the news,a few weeks later I was offered a job on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. After that I started getting calls from TV shows to come on and appear as a guest to advise people on beauty tips and products they should be using, this then led to me getting a book deal to write Passport To Beauty and later I created the makeup brand, Global Goddess.
How did you come up with Global Goddess?
SV: Global Goddess was based on all the secrets I’ve learned. It was initially exclusively distributed through Sephora and QVC. After a year of quick growth it was available everywhere including, Nordstroms, Bendels & Victoria’s Secret where the mascara from the line became the #1 selling mascara. It was a great experience to create Global Goddess. In 2010 I resigned from Global Goddess due to an unfortunate situation with our investor.
Did you attend a cosmetology school? If not, do you recommend it for those interested in pursuing the profession?
SV: I’m completely self-taught, I’ve never gone to a school to learn about makeup. There’s nothing better than practice, practice, practice, whether you’re working at a makeup counter or assisting makeup artists.
What are the best makeup brands for Indian skin?
SV: Mac, Makeup Forever and Bobbi Brown. Look for foundation that has yellow undertone and buy a blush that is light and more pastel, it looks the best on us.
What’s it like being an Indian-American in this industry?
SV: It’s been interesting, it’s helped me more than anything. When I started off and began celebrating Indian beauty secrets I realized it was really cool to be different. I believe our culture celebrates beauty, we’re always decorated and make sure we’re well turned out.
Your favorite celeb clients?
SV: Simon Cowell (who is so unbelievably charming), Emmanuel Chriqui (from Entourage), Brooke Burke, Alec Baldwin, Malin Ackerman and the cast of Dancing with the Stars.
What do you think of the makeup of Bollywood heroines, would you change anything?
SV: I actually like the makeup in Bollywood because I’m a glamour girl. I haven’t seen a ton of natural looking makeup but I love the eyes, lashes, contacts and the complete glamour transformation. However, it would be great to see some clean makeup too.
Who’s makeup would you want to do in Bollywood?
SV: I’d love to do Aishwarya Rai, it would awesome to play up her eyes. Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif would be interesting to work with as well.
What’s are the 5 beauty product must haves?
SV: An eyelash curler, because it makes your eyes look bigger. Concealer, because you can use it where you need it and you can double it up with moisturizer and turn it into a foundation. Mascara (if I had to choose between mascara and eyeliner it’ll always be mascara) and a neutral lip gloss. Lastly, 1 multi-use product either a bronzer or a lip-cheek stain. A bronzer can be used as eyeshadow and if you mix it with lip gloss you’ll get a bronzy lip glass. Lip-cheek stain is great to use for blush and your lips for colour.
Your favorite beauty tips?
SV: Drink a ton of water, water is the best skin secret. If you drink 1.5 – 2 liters a day u don’t have to use expensive moisturizer. Less is more, pick one feature and make it pop. If it’s your eyes, play it up and keep your checks and lips neutral. Use a face scrub at least twice a wk. And, one of my favorite beauty secrets from the Dominican Republic: chop fresh garlic, put in a bottle of clear nail polish and keep it in the bottle for a 7-10 days. When you paint that polish on your nails it strengthens them and they’ll be harder than acrylic nails.
SV: I’m working on expanding my brand and of course creating new ways of making women look and feel better about themselves! I would love to come to and celebrate the women there.
P.S: It’s true that all Indians are somehow connected. Shalini and I both happen to be from San Diego, CA and we realized our families know each other! xoxo