If you’re not familiar with Diipa Büller-Khosla, you’ve surely not logged into Instagram over the last three years. The influencer is famed for her enviable closet, relatable beauty advice, and highly double-tapped wedding. She’s also the first Indian to collaborate with MAC Cosmetics on a collection inspired by her wedding look. Born in Delhi, Büller-Khosla was studying international law when blogging came along. Since then she’s been consistently presenting her unique outlook on everything—from style, to female empowerment, to human rights issues. Last year, she also worked with UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, on its social media campaign.
ELLE talks to the 28-year-old about growing up with acne, learning to be confident, and the make-up routine for her all-natural look.
ELLE: What’s your beauty philosophy?
Diipa Büller Khosla: I am all about the “no make-up, make-up look’, that looks glowy, fresh and as natural as possible. There are so many amazing products and techniques, I play around with them and see what works best for me.
ELLE: How has your experience with acne shaped you?
DBK: I suffered from acne through most of my teenage and young adult years, and it was a big blow to my confidence. I remember feeling defeated and defined by it; at times I’d feel so embarrassed I wouldn’t leave the house. I tried pretty much every product out there, but nothing helped. Then I started seeing a dermatologist in London who prescribed Roaccutane. This worked wonders for me and completely cleared up my acne. I know that this may not work for everyone, so I always recommend that people see a dermatologist for their acne. My confidence definitely got better after my acne cleared up, but in hindsight I also learned not to let my skin condition define me.
ELLE: How do you derive confidence?
DBK: It’s about being bold and daring to ask questions. When it comes to running a business, I don’t always know what I’m doing, but it’s all about owning it, taking risks and not being afraid of failure. It’s something you should work on from the inside out.
ELLE: Who are your personal icons?
DBK: For beauty and life? Definitely my mother! She still looks so beautiful and radiant at her age. Her hair is honestly the most gorgeous, and I love her holistic and natural approach to beauty. She’s always been kind, supporting and loving to everyone around her, and that’s just the kind of role model I need in life. For style, I love Amal Clooney.
ELLE: Which products do you rely on for your daily routine?
DBK: I’m all about the natural, no make-up look, so I go with tinted moisturiser or a light foundation—IT Cosmetics tinted moisturiser is a must-have in my bag. I like to wear some colour on my cheeks and eyes, its usually something from Nudestix. I also apply liquid highlighter on the cheeks and nose, a light coat of mascara, nude lipstick, and a brow definer. In terms of skincare, I use the Kiehl’s face wash followed by either the Embryolisse cream or a retinol cream. I usually wear my hair in curls, and Kérastase is my go-to for hair care.
ELLE: What do always pack in your travel kit?
DBK: I carry all my make-up and skincare essentials for short overnight trips. On longer trips, I usually bring a lot more products and gadgets in case I feel like experimenting with different styles or giving my skin some extra love.
ELLE: Your make-up is always on point. Please share some tricks you’ve learnt over the years?
DBK: I’ve learnt some pretty cool tips from the talented make-up artists I’ve worked with over the years. I can’t really remember who taught me this, but I like adding a thin line of light brown eyeshadow or pencil to my lower lashes. It really makes my eyes pop. It’s a good trick for women with dark eye colours.
ELLE: How do you stay fit?
DBK: When I’m home I try to work out with a personal trainer once a week, go running with our dog Kubii in the park, and do some exercises from home. When I travel, I try to go to the gym at the hotel, a few times a week, to stay fit. I also try to eat clean and follow a vegan diet, except for when I’m in India because my love for chicken biryani is just too strong!
ELLE: How do you begin your day?
DBK: When I’m home, I spend time with Oleg [my husband] and Kubii over breakfast and tea. Talking to Oleg makes me feel at peace. Then it’s the usual breakfast, shower, catching up on social media and any urgent work-related business.
ELLE: Over the years, what wellness advice has stuck with you?
DBK: To do what feels right for you. There will always be beauty standards set by society or by the latest trends, but at the end of the day it’s about feeling confident with your own style and look. For wellness: stay hydrated! Everyone says drink more water, and it’s true. Being and feeling hydrated is so important.
Cotton top, diamond rings; all Khosla’s own. Cotton jacket, Rs. 11,999, pants, Rs. 8,999; both TommyXZendaya by Tommy Hilfiger. Leather belt, price on request, Essé. Faux leather heels, Rs. 6,499, Charles & Keith. Gold-plated sterling silver earrings, Rs. 8,800, Misho
Photograph: Samrat Nagar /A Little Fly; Styling: Pujarini Ghosh; Hair and make-up: Jean-Claude Biguine Salon; Assisted by: Sidharth Mehta, Suhani Lotlikar (Styling); Location courtesy: Lodha Maison, The Park, Worli, Mumbai