"I’ve been in the international fashion industry for so long—I used to have a concept store in India where we'd carry luxury brands like Phillip Lim, Thakoon, Chloé, Saint Laurent... After I lived in New York for a while, I was toying with the idea of doing something, maybe bringing brands from India to the U.S., but it never really came to fruition. Until the factory collapse at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh—that really motivated me, and I felt like I had to do something to give back. With Indelust, I’m kind of doing the reverse of what I was doing before—bringing Indian goods to the rest of the world instead of vice-versa. It’s a little tricky, because what’s been happening in fashion is that there’s this sense of minimalism, this need to sort of pare down. And India is not that. [Laughs] So I mean, people would turn to places like Japan instead, because that [minimalism] is what they are known for. But I see that sort of sensibility being emulated in India as well, which is quite interesting. I think there's a new narrative emerging from that.
Now that I’m based in New York and half my team is in India, I fly back and forth at least every three-and-a-half months—it’s a 22-hour flight, so to keep my skin from reacting or anything I always drink a liter of water for every five hours I fly…I have to make sure I sit near the bathroom. Wherever I have my stop-over, I cleanse with the Radical Skincare Hydrating Cleanser and Multi-Brightening Serum because I have rosacea, and I moisturize with Natura Bissé. Kiehl’s has a nice in-flight mist I really like to help keep my skin hydrated. And I use the Eve Lom Eye Cream, it is amazing. It’s not greasy like a lot of eye creams, but it makes a visible difference on wrinkles and crow’s feet. You never know when the wrinkles will start and I’ll admit I’m a bit paranoid, especially since I used to be a smoker. I’ve tried a whole bunch of products from the most expensive to the cheapest and this combination is the only thing that works for me. I have to also try and stay away from alcohol on flights. Sometimes I’ll want a glass of champagne, but if I have one, I need to drink even more water. Kind of annoying, but it’s the only way.
Growing up in India, we didn’t have access to a lot of skincare products, but my mom and grandmother were very good at natural remedies. There’s a great Indian beauty tip—when you’re getting your period and you have cramps, or your skin is breaking out, drink cumin tea. You take a couple teaspoons of cumin and roast it in a pan, and you add maybe two cups of water and let it boil about 10-15 minutes. It’s not the best tasting thing in the world, but the next day you’ll find your skin clearing up. It just cools your system and lets it heal. And we used to do this other thing where my mom would skim off the cream from whole milk and refrigerate it, and add a little honey to that to use as a face mask. Most of our skincare products were homemade remedies. I wish I could use all organic products. For my rosacea, I mean, they say avoid red wine…not like I do. [Laughs]
I use the least amount of makeup possible—just a mineral powder on my skin, and I like to define my brows. I do love Lipstick Queen and Bite, and the Armani Lip Pencils. I just found this brand called Lord and Berry, and I love their 20100 Matte Lip Crayon. I never used to wear lipstick, until one night before this event. My sister-in-law was like, ‘You’re wearing all black and your face looks bare,’ so she put this bright pink Bite lipstick on me and was like, ‘OK, now you look good.’ I’m not afraid of lipstick anymore—it is like an accessory, it can make or alter your look. Oh yeah, and then I use this Elemis Minty Moisture Lip Balm [ed note: no longer available], it’s the best thing ever and it’s funny because I just get it free when I fly British Airways. It’s my go-to in the winter when my lips are getting cracked. I’ve tried Elizabeth Arden’s and everything else, but nothing compares to the Elemis."
—as told to ITG
Sana Rezwan Sait photographed by Tom Newton on June 16, 2016.