You can always count on Shagun Khanna, ELLE's Beauty Influencer of the Year, to serve up thoughtful recommendations and wholesome wellness tips.
ELLE: What triggered your interest in beauty?
Shagun Khanna (SK): It all started with my need to stay healthy, after I was diagnosed with PCOS almost 26 years ago. The condition plays havoc with your skin, and back then there was hardly any information or awareness about it — even doctors weren’t very helpful. I started researching and reading up on health, and this eventually led to my interest in beauty.
ELLE: What is your beauty regimen?
SK: I follow my daily skincare routine very religiously. Besides that, I exfoliate once a week, keep myself hydrated and never compromise on my workout and sleep.
ELLE: How do you start your day?
SK: I spend about 20 minutes meditating and practising deep breathing exercises. I then have some hot water with lemon, followed by different blends of super green powder (wheatgrass, moringa, spirulina) that help detox and alkalise the body while boosting energy levels. Recently, I’ve been having organic wheatgrass mixed in a small glass of water about 20 minutes before breakfast.
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ELLE: The one beauty rule you would never break…
SK: I never leave my house without applying my sunblock, even when it’s cloudy.
ELLE: You know your way around health supplements. Which ones would you recommend?
SK: I’d say a good brand of probiotic for a healthy gut, vitamin C for strong immunity and good skin health, and ashwagandha to improve energy and stress levels.
ELLE: Over the years, which products have become fixtures in your beauty cabinet?
SK: I’ve been using vitamin C serums for years to deal with my pigmentation-prone skin—they work wonders. Besides that, I’ve always used a sunblock, rose water, retinol, and eye cream.
ELLE: A go-to home remedy for good skin you’d recommend?
SK: Instead of concentrating on what you apply on your skin, think about what you put in your body as well. I always recommend drinking lots of water; you can infuse it with a vegetable or fruit of your choice. Take your super green powder, sip on green tea, and add organic ghee to your diet.Foil georgette dress, Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna. Leather shoes, Khanna’s own. 18k gold and pearl earrings, 18k gold and green sapphire ring; both The Line. Gold plated brass and pearl ring, Isharya.
ELLE: Your favourite skincare products include...
SK: I don’t stick to one type of product for too long and usually change them seasonally. These days I’m using Heliocare 360 Oilfree Gel SPF 50 and iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance, which is a potent antioxidant-rich serum that nourishes skin, neutralises free radicals and evens out skin tone.
ELLE: What are your favourite fragrances?
SK: I switch between OUD Silk Mood by Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Chanel No 19 and Tom Ford’s Santal Blush.
ELLE: What are your go-to make-up products for a night out?
SK: Right now, I’m loving The Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid Primer and Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Micro Powder that take away shine and work very well on the T-zone. Bobbi Brown Instant Full Cover Concealer is my emergency go-to for dark circle coverage and its Smokey Eye Mascara is great to build volume. I also like Nudestix Magnetic Matte Lip Colour in Vino, I usually dab it on my lips to make them look fuller. When I’m in the mood for smoky eyes, I reach out for Laura Mercier Boheme Chic Eye Clay Palette.
Photograph: Nayantara Parikh
Sittings editor: Pujarini Ghosh
Hair and make-up: Blossom Kochhar College of Creative Arts and Design