What makes us happy

The ELLE team share their beauty feel-goods

  • Lipstick that makes you feel Hollywood, hair that shines like a diamond, fragrance that makes you float – the ELLE team share beauty favourites that bring the happy.


    Features Editor

    “I’ve always been very self-conscious about my mouth (it’s quite wide, and my foot often gets stuck in it) and made every effort to play it down. Which put me in a beauty quandary a few years ago: I went completely nuts over the red-pucker renaissance; it was like falling for someone totally out of your league. Then a friend gifted me Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick ‘Scarlet Siren’ by Estée Lauder, which, when I tried on, looked great. The dense cherry colour softened my features rather than told on them, the creamy texture was comforting. For the first time, I stepped out of home wearing a lipstick that I didn’t furiously rub off moments later.”


    Fashion Director

    “There is nothing quite like an intoxicating fragrance you fall hopelessly in love with, and for me, Mr Ford’s Jasmine Rouge Eau De Parfum is just that. It is a fruity floral fragrance, yet sexy (of course) and erotic. The spicy top notes (cinnamon, black pepper, bergamot) add a smoky punch to the sweet floral scent. It always reminds me of the incomparable sweetness of being in love – enticing, exhilarating and alive. It’s an instant pick-me-up. I like to think of it as a love potion.”


    Associate Editor (Digital)

    “Up until 17, along with all the awkwardness of teendom, I also suffered from constant bad hair days. Frizzy, unruly hair ruined every outfit – whether it was my first party or my sister’s wedding. But one day, I was out with a friend who had just got her hair straightened permanently. Shock and awe followed. I headed straight to the salon for the L’Oréal Professionnel X-tenso Moisturist annual treatment and 11 years later, I haven’t stopped. I now have poker-straight hair, which means I can head out after a quick wash – and that’s enough to put a spring in my step.”


    Assistant Editor (Beauty)

    “If you asked me to pick one beauty product I’d take to a desert island, it would have to be blush. It’s my solution to the hangover/break-up/sleep-deprived face. It makes you look happy when you’re down in the dumps, and sometimes, that’s all the push you need to get out. A make-up hoarder, I have at least half a dozen blushes on rotation, but my favourites right now are Benetint (the closest you’ll get to a natural flush) and Dior Nude Tan (a bronzer, actually, and perfect with red lips for the night).”


    Associate Features Editor

    “I can’t imagine my life without the TIGI Bed Head Foxy Curls Extreme Curl Mousse. It adds definition to my otherwise frizzy-as-a-furball hair. Just a tiny glob, carelessly smothered onto towel-dried hair, does the trick. I discovered it a few years ago – it was a binge buy, but it’s the only thing saving me from looking like a Yeti.”



    “I was in London for a work trip, and one of the women I had a meeting with had these lovely curls. I was really envious, because mine are rebellious and incapable of dealing with Mumbai’s humidity. I complimented her and she told me her secret, practically pushing me into Selfridges to buy it. It’s the José Eber Curling Iron. Clipless, so it’s tricky to use without burning yourself (it comes with a glove), but you get used to it. Three seconds for each section of hair and that’s it. My curls stay defined and frizz-free for at least two days, which is something of a miracle. And nothing makes me happier than a head of curls.”


    Beauty Editor

    “As a beauty editor, I am privy to 20 new launches every month, so slapping on products and discovering new loves happens very often. But what brought me great joy is discovering a shade of red that works for me. I have super-thin, almost non-existent lips, so I always shied away from using any colour on them. Gloss was as far as I would go. But then, at a product launch at a M.A.C store, make-up artist Sonic Sarwate introduced me to the brand’s Lip Pencil in ‘Brick’. Gorgeous matte red that lasted long and finally, I could use colour on my lips. It never fails to lift my mood, and I can look super-glam in less than five minutes.”


    Fashion Editor

    “As a recovering nail-biter, one of the things to keep me on track is nail polish. After having the first manicure of my life in 2013, I discovered the joy of neat-looking nails. I’m trying to keep up that clean feeling through nail paint. An opaque white was my chosen one until I was introduced to a flawless shade of greige – YSL’s La Laque Couture Nail Lacquer in ‘39 Beige Gallery’ – less obtrusive than white and with more personality than a nude. My life is now perfect.”


    Fashion Assistant

    “I first started growing out my hair in university, more out of rebellion against my army officer father and his insistence on a crew cut than for the style. But my thick South Indian curls had a mind of their own. My remedy: A bottle of Philip B Anti-Frizz Formula 57 Smoothing Shine Drops, given to me by a hairstylist. It reduced the frizz and tightened my curls. Three years on, I still sport a similar style and swear by the product.”


    Art Director

    “M.A.C Mineralize Volcanic Ash Exfoliator is the best product I’ve used in a long time. My skin feels super clean, soft and refreshed. It’s gritty at first, but as you apply it, it begins to emulsify and lather up. Natural volcanic ash and fine, sugary crystals exfoliate and deeply cleanse skin. I use it three times a week and the glow on my skin is just amazing.”


    Junior Fashion Assistant

    “My unruly hair meant religiously ironing it every morning. Finding the one product that tamed it took just about forever. Along came Moroccanoil Treatment: easy-to-use and pocket-friendly, it was a not-so-guilty buy. Four months into using the product and I’m already scouting for my second vial.”