Ranjana Khan, Jewelry Designer


"I met my husband, the fashion designer Naeem Khan, when he was 21 and I was 24. I had run away from an arranged marriage in India and I was working as a model in New York, and I met Naeem two weeks later through a mutual friend. We had gone to the same school in India, and he knew me but I didn’t know him. Our first date was at Studio 54. I have a picture—look how skinny we were [3]! And we’re both wearing pink. So funny. We didn’t drink then, we were just high on life. Naeem became Halston’s assistant for two years. We went with Halston to all of these parties, but I had no idea who people like Andy Warhol or Liza Minnelli were. I just thought everyone in America had this life, I had no idea that it was quite special. My husband is a very different guy. He cooks, he fixes the house, he designs clothes. He gets involved in my getting ready, and he’s always telling me what he likes. I love it.

I’m a jewelry designer and a face yoga instructor. For me, beauty is about the process. Mine is a very holistic approach. I think good skin is the most important thing, so I exfoliate every single day using the Clarisonic with a mix of Johnson’s Baby Soap and Forest Essentials Soundarya Facial Ubtan, which is an ancient Indian granular scrub made from crushed herbs and flowers. Anything that granular will take off a layer of dead skin and make your skin just shine. But the best thing is the Japanese SK-II Facial Treatment Mask—my son’s girlfriend works in beauty PR and she was telling me that Japanese brides use them every day for months before they get married. I love them for travel. I don’t care if they make you look creepy, I always put them on during long flights and just go to sleep.

My face moisturizers are always changing. Right now I’m using Re‑Nutriv Replenishing Comfort Crème because it has the right amount of grease for my dry skin. But for the beach, I wear Safe Sea Sunblock with Jelly Fish Sting Protective Lotion, because it protects from the sun, jellyfish, and sea lice.

I exfoliate and moisturize every inch of my body every single day. I use a really rough loofah that I buy at this stupid little wig shop on the corner of 36th Street and 8th avenue. Then I use Keri lotion to moisturize. I’ve tried so many different products, but nothing is as good as Keri. It’s thick when you put it on, so right now I’m a little moist, but in an hour it will have absorbed completely into my skin. I’ve been doing it all my life.

My secret to getting rid of a puffy face is the Neti-Pot. It’s obviously great for your health, as a holistic way of warding off a cold or sickness, but it’s such a good beauty treatment. A spoonful of Neti-Salt with warm water through your nostrils will clear your sinuses and de-puff your face. It looks it’s scary but I use it once a week, and if I feel like I’m coming down with something.

I don’t wear much makeup. I have never worn foundation, except for when they would put it on me when I was a model, but I could not wait to take it off. It makes me feel like my face isn’t breathing. One thing I do like to do every day is enhance my eyebrows. Twelve years ago, I was at a party and Bobbi Brown said she’d like me to be in her book and she gave tips on my eyebrows. And now I’m hooked. I use Bobbi Brown's Eyebrow Brush because it’s firm with a perfect angle, with Bobbi Brown Mahogany Eye Shadow. For my eyeliner, I use Chanel’s Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long Lasting Eyeliner in Noir under my eyes, and it doesn’t smudge. I love liquid eyeliner, but now that my eyes are older, they’re not as taut. When my lids are feeling nice and smooth, I’ll wear it. I used to wear an exaggerated cat eye every day—I’m Indian, so I can get away with it. And then I wear a little bit of Bobbi Brown Plum Wine Shimmer Blush. It’s very light and I love its sparkles.

I like a bright lip in the day, but not so much but at night. My husband insists on bright lip colors. When I say ‘How’s my makeup?’ he says, ‘Well it’s not done because you don’t have your lips on.’ But when Bobbi Brown did my makeup, her suggestion was that I should only use gloss to let my natural color come out. So I use just Vaseline most of the time.

I don’t have to do much else to my face because I get eyelash extensions all of the time. I have a woman come to my home to put them on and then they last a really long time, but I’m not introducing her to anyone else—she’s my secret! I get addicted to them,  because they look so good, and I start to feel bald if I don’t get them, but she will tell me if I need to take a break.

If you clean your skin and your mouth well, you'll smell good and you will look bright. When it comes to personal hygiene, people don’t take care of their tongues. To have a white-coated tongue when someone’s talking to you is so unattractive. So, I use a tongue scraper every day. My son’s girlfriend introduced me to the Luster Premium White Whitening Light System. If you do it seven days in a row, it really whitens your teeth and makes a difference. You know when you see someone who's had their teeth whitened and you wonder why they look younger?

I have been wearing perfume every day since I was 16 years old. Now I love layering perfume. One of my favorite perfumes is Jasmal by Creed—it smells like jasmine. In the summer, I like to wear light fragrance, like Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien.

For my hair, I don’t really do much. I mostly just throw my hair in a bun, but I take care of the health of my scalp. I use tea tree oil and coconut oil, which I heat up a little bit, on my scalp, two to three times a week the night before I wash it. It makes your scalp feel so good and keeps your hair thick. Indians have such good hair, because for generations, all Indians have oiled their hair. Then, I wash with Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy Shampoo to make my hair really soft and moisturized, because it can get dry from coloring it—I get a single-process color because I’m very gray. Sure, I want to be gray, but it would age me a lot. I used to say I would go gray at 60, but I’m 58 now, so I think I’ll wait until I’m 65. Then I’ll just cut it short and spike it up, like Linda Fargo. To me, her signature hair is gorgeous and amazing."

—as told to ITG

Ranjana Khan photographed by Emily Weiss in New York on July 18, 2013.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Sarita

    Awesome Top Shelf! To be honest, I'd never heard of Ranjana until I saw her on Real Housewives of New York City, and since Carole is one of my favorites, I figured that Ranjana would be awesome as well...and she is! She's very beautiful, and I love the tip about coconut oil (but that's because I use it as well). There are a bunch of other great tips as well--tongue health, for example--but I feel like my response is already long enough without listing them out.

    Once again, great Top Shelf!

  • Sabah

    Beautiful woman

  • Vicki

    I love that she uses so many "down to earth" type products that you can buy at the drug store. I feel like when I look in my cabinets and see drug store stuff its just blah, but then I see someone else with it on Top Shelf and it makes it feel glamorous!! lol I also like that she mentioned good oral hygiene! A white tongue means you're not eating healthy foods (in general), brush that thing!! :)

  • Lauren

    Love it!! Good products and great advice! thank you for sharing!

  • Stephanie

    She looks way younger than 58! Great shelf and very affordable products she recommended.

  • Jo

    If she isn't fabulous I don't know what is.

  • Liz Malay

    Does she mix the tea tree oil with the coconut oil and use them on her scalp together? Or separate? Great top shelf! Maybe I'll brave the SKII face mask on my upcoming flight to Tokyo. I feel like I'll send up on someone's instagram: #creepy.

  • Mona

    Great post! Naeem Khan is the new Eli Saab :) And she seems so lovely and down to earth, I got that vibe when she made an appearance on Housewives of NYC! Can you plz do Carole Radzwill next? Her style/shoes/house are to die for!

    • JEn

      I LOVE CAROLE RADIZWILL she's my fav. Please do a post on her :D

  • mlle p

    She looks like she has gorgeous hair. If I were her, I would grow it longer even if it goes gray!

  • StyleAble

    More on her! She is bril. Nice one ITG. :-)

  • Guest

    She's fabulous! I really can't get enough of her. I saw her Florida home online somewhere and it is to die for.

    Arranged marriage? Halston? Studio 54? I wish she'd write a book about her life. I think it would be fascinating.

    Thanks so much for doing this particular Top Shelf.

  • Sara

    I already said it: beautiful, smart, and down-to-earth woman! Love everything about her! Very inspirational.

  • Crotchless Maxipad

    And exfoliating DAILY with the Clarisonic and Baby shampoo? Seriously? Disgusting! She's thinning her skin and at the same time, really drying it out.

    • Cat

      I know this shampoo+scrub+clarisonic sounds aggressive, at least for MY skin type. But she surely seems like she has spent enough time with herself to know her skin, don't you think? Look at her! She looks lovely and her skin healthy (I can only hope my skin looks like that when I'm anywhere near her age). Clearly this works for her.

  • pamb

    But how does her husband really feel about Countess LuAnn borrowing his clothes??? Just kidding... Ranjana seems great!

  • Chantel

    Wow this is an awesome post.

  • ml

    love love love this lady

  • jennifer

    Oh god, now I have to worry about whether or not my tongue is ugly. :) Other than that, she seems awesome. I love seeing a range of ages on here. It's one of my favorite things about ITG.

  • Lana

    Thank you so much for this Top Shelf, ITG. She is such a wonderful woman. I just want to learn more and more about her! She is definitely one of my idols! xx

  • http://www.ofstrangersensibilities.com/ Joy of Stranger Sensibilities

    So glad you responded to readers' request from her last face yoga post. I try to do them every other day. She's fab!

  • Katherine

    Great Top Shelf article! I love her look on skin and it being the most important part of your beauty regimen.


  • Gotham

    What a beautiful woman inside and out. She looks 20 years younger than what she is. Absolutely radiant skin from her face to her toes. I may be in my late 30's, but I love ITG showing mature women here who revel in their beauty regime. It is proof that discipline, routine when it comes to good eating and especially skincare show amazing results, over the years. Thank you and I hope we see more of Ranjana here!

  • annashun1

    I have a question about coconut oil: does it go bad? I have used 4 different brands, and I love the effects. However, though it starts off odorless, I've noticed with some time passing there's a weird, sickly, rancid smell that my clothes have now. When I do laundry, I am totally gagging at the smell. One container I threw out because it smelled off. I don't even bother using it in my hair because of the smell. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    • MelissaBass

      Any oil at some point might go bad, but you can also freeze it and make sure you do get one that as organic as they come. I've heard of people buying coconut oil at retailers that claim they are organic, virgin, and unrefined and they're not.

    • beeswaxnoneofyour

      Your container doesn't have a use by date? I think mine is 12 months, but I usually go through one every 3 months. If it smells bad, throw it out. All mine have had a natural coconut scent to them though, which is sort of a fatty coconut scent, not odorless - although maybe some places strip out the natural scent - not sure how that's done though. If you're not used to the natural scent of coconut oil, it could come across as a rich, fatty scent, especially if you have the unfractionated kind that might have warmed up and liquified in the container. I usually use Fushi for everyday and sometime buy RMS (although it is overprices for what it is - Fushi sells really great quality too, and about 4 times the amount for half the price, just not a fancy jar)

    • MoseyM

      You can, as mentioned, freeze it; just buy a big jar and only scoop out a small amount to keep at room temperature at a time.

      I've never had the smelly clothes issue. If you replace the smelly coconut oil and still have the issue, I wonder if the oil is building up on your clothes over time and going rancid? If you're using cold water and a hippie detergent, wonderful as it may be, you might need to use some hot water and oxi-clean or some other serious enzyme cleaner once in a while.

      One other thing to try as far as laundry smell-- as it sits around in the hamper waiting to be cleaned, sprinkle the clothes liberally with baking soda to absorb the smell.

    • Mary-Claire

      Hi, make sure you keep it away from daylight, in a dark cupboard preferably. I buy a big tub of coconut oil-sometimes up to a 1kg and I've never had a problem with the smell. Then again I use mine on a daily basis so it seldom lasts more 6 weeks:) Also you might be using unrefined coconut oil, that tends to go off quicker.

  • murt

    She is gorgeous and it's great to see so many brown people on this site! I wish she was right about all Indians having great hair - unfortunately for me, I'm Indian and I have very thin, fine hair despite oiling - it runs in my family. Maybe I'll try the tea-tree/coconut oil mix.

  • Sam

    Finally someone else who understands the importance of tongue scrapers..

    • Nina

      Is there really a separate tool for that? Can't you just scrub your tongue with your toothbrush? I always make sure to brush my teeth AND my tongue.
      Ha ha, love this whole tongue thing - wonderful top shelf post!

    • MoseyM

      Like Nina, I've been using my toothbrush. Do tongue scrapers help any with not gagging? Any suggestions for this, anyone? Thanks!

  • lindenen

    What kind of dog is that? I want one! It looks like a mini collie. Sooooo cute!!!

  • Peyton Simms

    Great Advice!!!


  • C

    Totally with her on the tongue thing. I don't care how well you brushed your teeth, if you don't clean the tongue your mouth's still dirty! (No seriously, ask your dentist).

  • Belle

    Love her!

  • eva

    Please tell me what breed is her dog!! It's just the cuttest thing!

  • Guesty

    I love this. Where do people in NYC find cheap, good oils? (the tea tree and coconut oils)

    • Chelsea

      I'd like to know, too. I usually order them online from Amazon, but the quality is so-so

    • Von

      Tea tree and coconut oil can be purchased from your local grocery stores.

  • Crotchless Maxipad

    You know it.

  • http://www.leasambar.com/ Lea

    There's more to life than scraping your tongue in fear of someone seeing that you're not 100 percent sterile....

    • C

      Hahaha of course there is! But if you make it a habit when you brush your teeth, it really only takes a few extra seconds. For me at least, it is more about bad breath than an "ugly" tongue. Some people find it surprising that this can be the sole source of bad breath on people with otherwise good dental hygiene.

      • Camellia

        Exactly. In Australia, it's practically impossible to find a toothbrush without a soft rubbery tongue scraper on the back of the brush. (I prefer to use the toothbrush as the tongue scrapers irritate the inside of my cheeks)

  • Jessica du Plessis

    LOVE this top shelf!

  • Camellia

    Really enjoyed this! So honest and frankly, nice not read a shameless self promotion or what basically becomes a platform to spruik their own beauty line.

  • David Greene

    Yay!! Top shelf!!. (Standing and clapping hands in excitement)

  • grete

    so cute ranjana


SK-II Facial Treatment Mask
Johnson's Baby
Johnson's Baby Head-to-Toe Baby Wash Original Formula
Estee Lauder
Re-Nutriv Replenishing Comfort Crème
Himalayan Institute
Himalayan Institute
Tea Tree Therapy
Tea Tree Therapy Pure Tea Tree Oil
Bobbi Brown
Bobbi Brown Eyebrow Brush
Bobbi Brown
Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow Mahogany
Bobbi Brown
Bobbi Brown Shimmer Blush
Keri Daily Dry Skin Therapy Lotion Original
Jarrow Formulas
Jarrow Formulas Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Keratin Complex by Coppola
Keratin Complex by Coppola Shampoo
Jasmal by Creed