This is your comprehensive, step-by-step guide to looking like your favorite Hindi film heroine– from Aishwarya to Katrina, Priyanka to Deepika, Kareena to Madhuri. If you want to look like a movie star, a celebrity, or a model, you’ve come to the right place. Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to glamorous in no time at all!
Lesson One: Grooming
The biggest difference between a superstar and the average girl is grooming. These beauty queens are scrubbed, polished, mani- and pedicured, and coiffed to perfection on a daily basis. This step is the most simple, but also the most time-consuming. Girls, if you want to look fabulous, remember to:
1. Remove ALL excess facial and body hair
I know, it’s not fun. But the difference it makes will be pretty astounding. Most Bollywood actresses probably undergo laser hair removal to permanently remove their facial and body hair. Because laser hair removal is not an option for everyone, here are some other approaches to consider:
Face: Use a depilatory cream for the cheeks, chin, and sideburns. Use tweezers to pluck your eyebrows and upper lip. I do not recommend threading (unsanitary) and waxing (pulls skin), particularly because of the risk of ingrown hairs.
Hairline: This is probably one of the most overlooked hair removal areas for Asian women especially. The hairline, along the forehead, often produces short hairs (one to two inches long) that are thin and unable to grow. These can look sloppy and ruin many hairstyles. Take care of these with a small pair of scissors, and tweezers where appropriate. As for the back of the neck, you can try trimming these short hairs with scissors and carefully following it up with an epilator or depilatory cream.
Bikini area: Brazilian wax (costly but effective) or scissors plus an epilator (with caution) and a razor as needed.
Body (including underarms, arms, legs, back, stomach): Epilator. You can try a regular epilator (plug into the wall) or a wet/dry epilator (can be used in the shower). It’s useful to have both; the regular is more effective and the results last longer, but the wet/dry is far more convenient and less noisy. Waxing is effective, but you must wait for the hair to grow long to remove it again. I don’t recommend shaving, as it’s a temporary fix and the hair will grow back spikier.
Exfoliating involves scrubbing dead skin cells from your skin to reveal smooth, healthy skin from underneath. There are two types of exfoliation: physical and chemical.
Face: For the face I recommend chemical exfoliation, as physical exfoliation (scrubs) can cause minute tears in your delicate facial skin. Try daily toners or natural, organic chemical exfoliation with a lemon juice and honey face mask once a week. Exfoliation can help skin look fair and bright by removing tans.
Body: Sugar/salt/powder scrubs can be fun to make or buy, but the most cost-effective method is to use a dry brush to scrub your entire body before stepping into the shower. Do this once or twice a week. To lighten dark skin patches around the elbows and knees, apply lemon juice for a bleaching effect.
It is worth adding that you must always maintain proper hygiene. Shower every day, use a deodorant, and wash your hair every other day. Never, ever go to bed at night without washing off every trace of your makeup. Brush your teeth twice a day with a whitening toothpaste and floss in the evening. If your teeth are very stained, use a round of whitening strips once or twice a year. These are simple but necessary steps to looking and feeling beautiful.
You’ll never see a Mumbai superstar walking around with an ashy, dry complexion. Apply a moisturizer to your face twice a day, morning and night. If it suits your skin type, include a face and body sunblock/sunscreen (SPF) in your skin care regimen. Use a richer, heavier night cream, serum, or oil for anti-aging benefits during the night. Always apply moisturizer to your body after you have showered. I recommend using baby oil gel for ultimate moisturization; it also leaves a slight sheen to the skin without being greasy. You can also use a shea or cocoa butter lotion to help with stretch marks. Use a hand cream to keep your hands soft.
5. Maintain your nails
Keep your nails well-groomed on both your hands and feet. Opt for a French manicure (you can do this at home with a white polish French manicure pen and a clear or pale pink nail polish) for an elegant, versatile and womanly look.
6. Pamper yourself
Celebrities and socialites love to indulge in regular facials and massages once a month. Massages in particular can be especially good for reviving the body and relaxing the mind, as well as stimulating blood circulation to the skin for a youthful glow. Give yourself a facial with an all-natural aloe vera face mask.
Lesson Two: Makeup
MAC Cosmetics is Bollywood’s premiere choice for makeup; the majority of actresses rely on MAC Cosmetics for their film and event appearances. Follow these makeup tips and look ready to star in the next Karan Johar or Aditya Chopra picture!
1. Use concealer and foundation
To conceal undereye darkness and blemishes, use MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer in a shade that matches your skin color (or is one shade lighter).
Even out and perfect your skintone with MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 Foundation in a shade that matches your skin color. It is very, very important to get a perfect match, so have a friend or a professional MAC makeup artist help you select the right shade. If your makeup is the wrong color, it will be obvious in real life and in photographs (your skin will look grayish and sickly). Don’t let that happen! Apply a translucent powder to blot oil if necessary throughout the day.
2. Apply eye makeup
To get the famous Bollywood heroine look, sweep a matte medium-brown eyeshadow (MAC Eye Shadow in Folie) over the lid and blend up past the crease, fading halfway to the brow. Using a black gel eyeliner (MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack), line your lower waterline and lower lashline. Use a smudgy black pencil (MAC Eye Kohl in Smolder) to line the upper lashline generously. Use a matte black eyeshadow (MAC Eye Shadow in Carbon) and blend it into the upper lashes. Sweep outwards just a touch to create a small winged effect. Curl lashes (apply false eyelashes for full effect) and apply mascara.
The preferred colored contact lenses of the movie industry are Freshlook Colorblends in Green.
3. Apply blusher and/or bronzer
Three top-used Bollywood blushes to include in your makeup bag are: MAC Powder Blush in Gingerly, MAC Powder Blush in Mocha, and MAC Powder Blush in Pink Swoon. Also invest in a matte bronzer like MAC Bronzing Powder in Matte Bronze.
4. Apply lipstick
Indian actresses tend to favorite natural, brown-based pink, brown-based peach, and neutral pink lipsticks. To complete your makeup look, try these B’wood favorites: MAC Lipstick in Twig, MAC Lipstick in Mocha, MAC Lipstick in Touch, MAC Lipstick in Fast Play, and MAC Lipstick in Viva Glam VI. For evening looks, experiment with a red lipstick.
Lesson Three: Hair
1. Cut/grow your hair about four to five inches past shoulder length
Bollywood actresses typically keep their hair about this length (reaching just past the bust area). Have your hair dresser cut your hair in layers for added volume and character. If your hair is too thick, ask the salon to “thin out” your hair. They will use a specific type of scissor that will cut the hair in a way that makes it appear less bushy.
2. Be a brunette or a black-haired beauty
Some actresses and models will keep their hair its natural black or dark chocolate color, but many will have their hair professionally dyed a rich mahogany brown, or brown with some lighter highlights. If you want to lighten your hair, seek professional help.
3. Learn to blow dry and curl your hair
The gorgeous ladies of tinsel town will often step out with a magnificent blowout, with locks shining and not a frizzy strand in sight. Learn to use hot rollers, a hair dryer, a curling iron, and a straightening flat iron to style your hair in different ways. Most often, the actresses keep their hair down, and save the up dos, buns and ponytails for rare occasions.
4. Take good care of your hair
Most actresses’ top beauty secret to keep their tresses healthy and gleaming is hair oil massages. Celebs also swear by Kérastase hair products. Apply conditioner after shampooing and use heat protection products before hot styling. Avoid washing too often by using a dry shampoo between washes to prevent oiliness.
Lesson Four: Lifestyle and Presentation
1. Your body is your temple
Maintain a healthy diet, consuming lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and an adequate amount of protein. Exercise at least four times a week; include yoga and Pilates in your workout routine. Get at least eight hours of sleep a night. Stay hydrated with water and white or green tea throughout the day. Take daily multivitamins and fish oil capsules every day. Limit consumption of skin sins like alcohol, cigarettes, fatty, processed foods and (perhaps most importantly) sugar.
2. Posture and comportment
Do not slouch. Keep your head held high and your back straight throughout the day. Do not sit with your legs spread out or in an unladylike manner. Do not make silly or unflattering faces or voices. Do not laugh in an unattractive way. Practice the smile you will use in front of the camera when pictures are being taken. Do not be photographed while eating or drinking.
Stay positive and upbeat! Smile! Be friendly– do not scowl, glare, or sulk. Goodness and kindness lend a woman (or a man) a special poise and beauty that go beyond the physical appearance. Reject the concept of “stress” and embrace inner calm. Take time to enjoy your life and appreciate the gifts you have been given, including your family and friends. Work diligently and efficiently, and keep your face and body relaxed to avoid creating tension in the body, mind, and soul. Have a passion, goals, and ambitions; the determination and motivation you feel towards realizing your dreams will show in the sparkle of your eyes.
4. Master the arts
Practice singing and dancing. Singing will develop and give you command over your voice, making it more melodious, even, and attractive. Dancing will make you more graceful, less clumsy, and will tone and firm your body. Gracefulness of the figure can be expressed in even the slightest movements– from the tilt of the head, to the movement of the hands, to the sway of the hips.
5. Dress in a feminine, professional manner
Bollywood actresses are popular symbols of South Asian femininity. They dress in feminine clothing– skirts, blouses, Western and Eastern dresses, tailored pants, stylish jackets– and accessorize with jewelry, high heels, and purses. Avoid sloppy, ill-fitted, tawdry, or dirty outfits. Respect yourself and others will respect you. Refer to our Jolie Asie “How to Dress Like” guides for more information on putting together a suitable wardrobe.
Whether you want to look like Kajol, Sonakshi Sinha, Sridevi, Rani Mukherjee, or Sonam Kapoor, remember that Bollywood heroines come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. What’s important is how you take care of yourself, how you present yourself, and how you feel about yourself.
You are beautiful– now let the world know!