This Goan beauty was already an established actor in Telugu cinema before she charmed her way into the Hindi film industry with her critically and commercially acclaimed Bollywood debut in Barfi!, opposite Ranbir Kapoor. But Ileana has been no stranger to success. One of the leading heroines in the Telugu film industry, she was already being paired against super stars, and her screen presence bagged her many a multi-crore project like Pokiri in 2006 (which went on to be remade into Wanted, the Bollywood blockbuster in 2009) and Kick in 2009 (remade into Hindi in 2014, as Kick).
Although her stint in Bollywood has not been as successful as her stints in south Indian film industry, she has always managed to remain in the limelight for her gorgeous looks. We caught up with the nimble beauty at the launch of a beauty product that she has agreed to endorse. And the lithe actor with lotus petal eyes and sensuous lips, whose waistline has turned many a girl green with envy, was only too happy to share with us her beauty tricks. And we couldn’t help but start by talking about how she plays up her beautiful facial features. Here are the excerpts from the interview:
What do you usually prefer to play up—your eyes or your lips? And what colours do you like on your eyes and lips?
I play both my eyes and lips. There are days I prefer to have my lips stand out. So a soft face with lots of mascara and a rich red lip colour works well for me. But on days that I want to play up my eyes, I go for that smoky-sultry look, which I think works best.
Are there any make-up tricks you have learned from your makeup artists?
Of course. Besides the fact that a little concealer works wonders, I learnt that all that anyone needs to look gorgeous is to enhance your features and not cover one’s skin with tons of make-up. It is also how I learnt to choose one facial feature and focus on enhancing that. I would either go for the smoky eyes or cat eyes, or highlight my lips with a deep or bright, poppy lip colour.
Your skin has an undeniable glow to it. Is there a beauty routine you follow to keep that radiance?
This glow that you speak of is merely a result of my skin remaining hydrated and healthy. I have extra-sensitive skin, so I have to be extra careful.
The long filming hours and exposure to harsh elements and strong lights during a shoot can take its toll on one’s skin. I drink a lot of water through the day, and I make it a point to remove all my make-up before I go off to bed at night.
What are your vanity bag essentials for skincare? And how did you come around to endorsing Pond’s?
My essentials include the Poppy Paradise cheek tint by Josie Maran, a Louis Vuitton wallet and the Pond’s white beauty fairness cream. I have always thought it rather encouraging to see how Pond’s has evolved over time. It promises innovation in skincare across generations, even as it meets those expectations.
You have naturally long and lustrous hair. How do you take care of it, especially during winters?
I have very fine hair so I try to stay away from hot hair treatments or heating products as much as I can. But the long hours of work do affect my hair, just as they do my skin, and I try to ensure a routine of washing, shampooing and conditioning on a regular basis. But I also oil and massage my scalp regularly. The whole exercise relaxes me as well as helps me keep my hair untangled. Also, I try and include a deep conditioning treatment once in two weeks to ensure that my hair stays soft and silky.
It has been proven that the health of one’s skin and hair depends on one’s food habits. What is your diet mantra?
I don’t believe in depriving myself of food or going on crash diets. those things do not work. I believe in having a balanced diet and stick to eating small meals every two hours. I include proteins in my diet while cutting down on as much sugar as possible, although I do indulge in sweets sometimes.
Fun party: Flirty fitting or flare dress with strappy high heels
Formal work setting: A well-fitted pair of trousers and suit; a pinstripe is a classic
Casual day out with friends: Pair of jeans with a cute top and strappy flats or cool sneakers.
When on a hot date: You can never go wrong with a sexy LBD