Get to Know: Shalini Vadhera, Author and Global Beauty Expert
Author by Rina Shah The Arpan Group
Shalini Vadhera, author of Passport to Beauty, has a unique background that transformed her into a world-renowned and award-winning beauty expert. Raised in San Diego, California, Vadhera also spent quite a bit of time visiting family all around the world. Winner of the Game Changer of the Decade Award in Beauty in 2013, Vadhera was also named the #1 Person To Watch by The Economic Times of India. Though she earned a Bachelors of Science in International Business, Vadhera soon realized that beauty and travel were her real calling.
On October 21, 2014, Vadhera launched Power Beauty Living, a social platform and series of events to empower women in the three areas – business, beauty and living a balanced life. Vadhera says, “It’s truly all about being warrior on the inside while looking gorgeous on the outside.” Learn more about by visiting www.powerbeautyliving.com.
Recently, Vadhera shared insight into her career and favorite beauty secrets.
Tell us a little bit about your career and how you came to be where you are today.
I started working part time at the Clinique counter after graduating from high school and loved the effect makeup had on women and their self-confidence. I was hooked! From there I worked for every brand you could imagine, and then one day got a call from NBC Studios to see my “stuff.” I didn’t really know what my “stuff” was, but I drove up to Los Angeles and did my first television makeover. They loved it and offered me a job. Within a few weeks, they moved me over to The Tonight Show. From there, I went to work on most of the studio lots and started to makeup for magazines as well. Word got out in San Diego that I was working with so many celebrities, so I was asked to go on the local news and talk about it. I did, they loved it and I started doing beauty segments on a regular basis. One day when I was working on Hollywood Squares, Tom Bergeron asked to see my tape of my San Diego appearances, and by Thursday of that week, I was meeting with his agents. From there I started doing more television and became a spokesperson for a number of brands like Olay, Chapstick, Veet, iVillage, The Body Shop, Revlon, and Nike. I then launched my first beauty brand on QVC and in Sephora for which I won the Oprah Beauty O~ward in 2009. (I exited my brand in 2010.) I went on to start a production company with my husband, Tony Potts, former anchor of Access Hollywood. I was formulating and innovating products for a lot of major brands, but felt a strong desire to continue to empower women on a deeper level … that brings us to Power Beauty Living, which launches in October. My next beauty company is also in the works!
As a celebrity makeup artist, you have had the chance to work with an amazing list stars. Who are some of your favorites and why?
I was very lucky to work with amazing celebrities. I loved working with Simon Cowell – he was so charming. Emmanuelle Chriqui from Entourage was just gorgeous and so nice. Alec Baldwin was a hoot as he would spar with me on political topics. I adore Karen David from Scorpion King and soon to be lead in ABC’s new primetime show Galavant. She is beautiful from the inside out, so much so we became great friends. And Tom Bergeron, host of Dancing With The Stars … I owe him so much, he gave me my big break in television.
Tell us how your bestselling book, Passport to Beauty, came about.
I was doing a lot of beauty segments on different morning shows like The CBS Early Show, The Today Show, and one day one of the producers asked me what made me so special that they needed to fly me out, put me in a nice hotel and pay me (since there are so many celebrity makeup artists). I replied that no one was talking about all these great beauty secrets around the world, and I knew so many from a lifetime of travel. My first segment was a hit, and I went on to do every major talk show you could imagine. After that, I was offered a publishing deal from St. Martin Press to write a book on all these secrets, so I spent the next two years traveling the world to learn, curate and write my book.
What is your favorite section of the book?
All of it! But I especially like the Dominican Beauty Secret of hard nails…they crush garlic, add it to clear nail polish, let it stew for 7-10 days and then when they polish their nails it makes them harder than acrylic nails.
What are your top five favorite skincare products – items every woman needs for healthy, glowing skin?
Skincare is so important. A good cleanser at night to remove makeup is a must. Right now I’m using the Vichy Brand to cleanse, and I use Aveeno gentle scrub 2-3 times a week to exfoliate any dead, dry skin (helps your makeup look better and your moisturizer absorb into the skin better). I love the MD Complete Anti-aging Moisturizer, and I prep my skin with the Derma Doctor DD crème (15 products in one). I also love Boots No. 7 hydrating mask once a week to get your skin super glowing with hydration. I throw it on before I go in the shower and let the steam open up my pores so the mask really hydrates.
Is there one particular step in a skin care regimen women should not skip?
Cleansing! Especially removing their makeup before bed. I don’t care how tired you are, take it off! Olay makes great cleansing cloths that remove everything in a swipe. I carry those when I travel. Also hydrating is super important – even if you have oily skin, you still need moisture (that’s water, not oil).
For many Indian women, finding the perfect shade of makeup is a daunting task. Do you recommend any particular brands to ease their search?
My favorites are Dior Airflash in 400, Makeup Forever HD Foundation, and Cover FX in the 50-80 shades. Also, some professional makeup brands have amazing colors for South Asian skin tones – I love Cinema Secrets and RCMA.
How would you characterize your own style?
Global, Chic, and Comfy!
About the Author
Rina Shah is the CEO and founder of The Arpan Group, a boutique ad agency and public relations firm that specializes in capturing untouched ethnic markets. From press releases and media kits to marketing materials and by-line articles, The Arpan Group customizes solutions based on the client’s needs. For more information, visit www.thearpangroup.com or call (703) 651-6670.