Fashion’s favourite season is officially here and for the well-connected, it means a whirlwind of designer clothes, fancy jewels and flashing cameras. Whether for fashion week, award shows, parties or weddings, even the most anti-social amongst you will have invitations pouring in in the coming weeks. There’s no escaping the spotlight; but braving it with poise is an art that doesn’t come naturally to most, not even the most photographed celebs. Instep spoke to four gorgeous women who are regular red carpet fixtures to discover their health and beauty secrets for looking camera-ready. Read on to find out how to look flawless no matter what the occasion.
Whether she’s walking the ramp or gracing the red carpet, Mehreen Syed is one of those lucky few who manage to look elegant at all times. The supermodel says that the secret to her fab body is, unfortunately, not a quick fix but a regimented routine built into her lifestyle. “I exercise religiously every morning, even if I wake up late or have a very busy day. Also, I never ever skip my nightly cleansing and moisturizing routine. I would say that is one of the most important beauty tips of all times – cleanse before you hit the sack or suffer the consequences in the form of bad skin.”
Being one of the most sought-after faces in the country means late nights often cut into Mehreen’s designated eight hours of sleep. “If I don’t get those eight hours, my body and hence my skin looks tired. On such mornings, I drink two glasses of water right after waking up, which is a great way to energize your body.”
Mehreen warns against having too much water on your big day, though, as it can lead to bloating and you certainly don’t want a little extra flab on your belly right when its time to face the crowds. Another tip to avoid bloating is to cut back on the carbs and stick to a diet of meat and vegetables.
It’s important to remember that while your face may be the most visible part of you, unkempt hands and feet can kill an otherwise flawless look. “You might not have time to hit the salon on the day of a big event and you don’t even need to spend money on expensive treatments. Soak your feet in hot water to which you can add sea salt and relax for 20 minutes. Then rub coconut oil on them and put on socks. You’ll see visibly softer skin,” recommends Mehreen.
Essential beauty tip: “Don’t wash your hair the day of the event. Freshly washed hair is difficult to style and doesn’t hold.”
Actress Juggan Kazim is rarely ever out of the spotlight. As the host for PTV’s morning show, she’s beamed live into millions of homes across the country every single day. It’s this very scrutiny that allows Juggan to be open about her life and the struggles that come with stardom. Take, for example, her weight. She fought quite a public battle with the bulge and emerged fitter and more fabulous than ever last year. “It took me 12 months,” she shares, “but I managed to lose 35 pounds and I feel proud of that.”
Having to face the camera every day means that Juggan must stick to a disciplined lifestyle, with little leeway for slipping. But it also doesn’t mean deprivation for that would leave the foodie in her devastated. “I allow myself one full meal a day, which is lunch. I’ll have a no-carb dinner at 7pm and then nothing after that. The trick is to always go to sleep on an empty stomach.”
For someone who’s been a self-confessed tomboy all her life, glamming up for red carpet appearances doesn’t come easily. Yet to the uninformed, Juggan looks always at ease and completely confident. Why? “That’s because I always wear what I’m comfortable in and don’t pretend to be the fashion diva that I’m not. I don’t like showing too much skin, so I’ll choose my outfits accordingly.”
Style mantra: “Embrace your imperfections. We all have our days when things don’t look or feel right – let it go. I’ve faced the camera on frizzy hair days and with a pimple. I don’t kill myself over these things. True beauty comes from accepting who you are on that particular day.”
Model Zara Peerzada is known for her edgy sense of style that rarely ever lets her down. From crazy hats to waistcoats, bow ties to bustiers, she has the knack for picking out eclectic wardrobe pieces that not only make a statement but also give her a reputation for being one of the most fashionable PYTs around.
The PFDC L’Oreal Bridal Week has Zara quite thrilled. “Fashion week is the only time in the entire year when I can get away with my wild sense of style. I can wear outlandish outfits and not be called mad,” she says.
As a model, taking care of her skin and body is part of her daily work routine but with a big event like PLBW coming up, Zara says that she spends a little extra time on her beauty regimen. “As a model, I’ll be under a lot of scrutiny not only on the red carpet but also on the ramp so I can’t get away with being lax about my health.”
A firm believer in the power of natural ingredients that can be found in most kitchens, she uses tried and tested home remedies. “I grow aloe vera in my house, which is great for the hair. Another product that one can use on hair is vinegar. Rinsing with it leaves the hair looking shiny and healthy. I use a lot of lemon-based masks for the face, as lemon juice is a natural detox agent.”
Prone to dark circle under the eyes, the model recommends Garnier’s under eye cream. “It’s great for reducing puffiness and really energizes the eyes.” The other essential item in her beauty bag is sunscreen. “Never ever leave the house without it. People don’t realize it but 90 percent of all skin problems are caused by skin damage. Take the time out to slather some on; it’s well worth the effort.”
Go-to diet: “If I am going to be working long hours, I make sure I pack myself a selection of fruits to munch on. They are great pick-me-ups if you’re getting tired and will provide instant energy.”
The pint-sized actress has always been a red-carpet favourite given her bubbly personality and the ability to talk to even a lamp-post. While her infectious charm has remained intact over the years, we’ve noticed a dramatic transition in her style. From girl-next-door to super glam diva, Ayesha’s moved several notches up the style-o-meter, favouring slinky gowns, killer heels and sultry make-up.
The change, according to Ayesha, has come about with growing up and understanding what suits one. “Earlier, I would be okay letting designers and stylists decide what I should do and how I should dress. Now, however, I’ve acquired the confidence to create my own look and not let others dictate.”
According to the actress, if you want to stand out in the crowd, the key is to be comfortable and exude self-confidence, and not rely on the opinion of others. “It’s come to a point with me where I’ve even started doing my own make-up. I hate the cake-y and plastic look that most make-up artists resort to.”
For others like her who lack the inches, Ayesha warns against too much fabric. “The more I cover up, the tinier I look. I like to keep my arms bare. And heels… always wear high heels! They give you a poise and elegance that flats never can.”
Another big no-no for Ayesha before a big event is caffeine. “Nothing can be worse than pumping your body full of tea, coffee or energy drinks. They might give a momentary boost but end up dehydrating the body and leaving you tired.” Healthy and filling items such as nuts, fruits and coconut water are her favoured snacks.
Pet red carpet peeve: “I hate that everyone has a camera these days and thinks that they are at liberty to snap photos from any angle. Even though we make it a point to pose for each photograph on the red carpet and ensure that they get the best shot, some newbie will take a bad picture that will invariably end up on social media.”