My name is Anneka Ranpuria and I’m a Beauty Publicist in the city. I’m of Indian descent, but I’ve never been to India, but I’m a hundred percent Indian — Gujarati. I was born in England and had a lot of Indian people around me there. When I moved to the suburbs in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the age of six, I became more conscience of being brown because more Caucasians surrounded me.
To be honest I was very much a tomboy [growing up]. I had all different types of interests, just not just beauty. It wasn’t until high school or college that I started caring more about beauty.
I guess what’s most important to me is skincare. It’s very important to take off your makeup everyday. I never sleep with my makeup. I use moisturizer in the morning and at night, and I always use SPF.
To keep my hair shiny and conditioned, I sleep in all different kinds of oils. I basically wrap my hair up in towels and oils. This probably stems from my Indian culture. Growing up I would get oils from the Indian stores to sleep in. Now I literally grab any oil I have, whether it’s olive oil or coconut oil. I usually wash my hair about twice a week. But the night before I wash, I let the oils saturate my hair for eight hours or longer. Then, I wake up and wash it out. It takes two to three shampoos to wash it out, but I can skip on conditioner.
I don’t do this as often anymore because my hair is highlighted, but I grew up putting henna in my hair, too. Not so much for the color, but it’s just super healthy for your hair.
I grew up with a uni-brow, no joke! I had the thickest eyebrows ever. My whole life, my dad used to tell me that thickened eyebrows looked beautiful.
I thread my eyebrows. Women have been doing this for centuries in India. It’s a hair removal technique, basically done by a special sort of thread or string, where it brings the hair out from the follicle. Similar to waxing, but it’s good for the skin because it’s taking off the dead skin cells.
I think it’s very important to feel beautiful on the inside out. I think nutrition has a big impact on how you look. Water is everything. I drink a lot of water. When I feel good I look good. I drink water and I eat very healthy. I also do Yoga.
I also compliment myself and I’ve learned to accept people’s compliments about me. I try to remember the good positive things about myself and I repeat them every single morning. I start my day like that. I also listen to Bob Marley because his music is so positive.
My lashes are long, but I am really good at applying mascara. That’s the one beauty product I wear every single day. My favorite mascara is from Dior Show. If I want a really great dramatic effect I’ll use Dior, and maybe even Benefit or Urban Decay as well. But I just find that I get more out of [Dior Show].
My grandma told me to use baby powder as a dry shampoo. It absorbs the grease in your hair and it gives the roots volume and lift and it literally makes you look like you just had a blow out.
I use NARS radiant cream concealer under my eyes. It has a really good amount of coverage and it looks really great in pictures.
Back to the brows! I love Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz. I use the Dark Brown on the inner edge and the Ebony on the outer edge.
Some my favorite blushes are Too Faced and Orgasm by NARS. It’s absolutely beautiful and universal on all skin shades.
I love the Anastasia Contour Kit. I use the medium to tan. I use it more for highlighting than contouring but my favorite part about this kit is that you can actually mix and match the different shades.
I love Cerve moisturizing cream. It is the most hydrating cream I’ve ever used. I prefer moisturizers to lotions because it’s a lot thicker and this one is great for your face and your body.
Thinking of myself as a brown girl is interesting because it’s different for every single Indian girl. Growing up in the U.S., I always considered myself brown. But it’s interesting because I remember back in school when I was filling out a survey and it said to check mark which race you were, and there was never one for me. There’s never like a “brown” one and half the time there’s never really an Indian one. I had to check Asian/Pacific Island.
So, it’s funny that so many people don’t consider themselves brown. But I do. I’m sure a lot of Indians do and a lot of them don’t.