Nishat Fatima

Kind, soft spoken, self-effacing and elegant, Nishat Fatima is one of a kind. As ex-editor of Harper’s Bazaar, she has rarely raised her voice, but is known to instill terror in her team by just arching a single brow. I have exchanged lives with her for a week and know that she really knows how to live in the moment – be it immersing herself completely into a book, a cupcake or window shopping. When it comes to beauty she never uses anything that says anti-ageing on the label. I know this for a fact because she refused to test any anti-ageing product as part of the Harper’s Bazaar beauty awards panel. And she eats dessert every single day. Here’s her beauty diary:

Define beauty.
A combination of the physical and kindness, softness. The physical is just a start.

What is your diet like?
Right now, mostly salads and breads, some cheese, with the odd pasta and rice and dal thrown in. Lots of veg.

How do you de stress?
I walk and I (try to) meditate.

How do you stay so slim?
Genetics. I also try never to get ravenous, because then I eat more than I want. I eat four times a day; my 5-6pm snack is especially important.

What is your favourite skin treatment?

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What is your skincare like?
Right now, enough to make you throw up your hands in despair. I moisturize morning and night, and scrub once in a couple of months. I put on Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair once in a while.

Tell us about your hair.
I have fine to thinning hair so getting the right hair cut is super important. I also have to keep my hair short, so finding somebody who can deal with fine hair and a short cut is not an easy task. The tried and tested people are Dimitri at Rossano Ferretti, Delhi, Florian at Jacques Dessange Mumbai and Sachin at Mane’a, Hyderabad. I shampoo with Himalaya Herbals Gentle Daily Care Protein Shampoo and don’t touch my hair otherwise.


What is the common beauty mistake that women make?
Not believing that less can be more. Just eyeliner or just lipstick can sometimes be better than both lipstick and eyeliner.

What’s your favourite makeup?
Red lipstick. Mac Ruby Woo continues to be my favorite shade.

What is the biggest beauty myth?
That women have to be beautiful. Sometimes, working at being beautiful takes up the time that you would rather put into doing something interesting, important or even sleeping.
Lead image: Courtesy Harper’s Bazaar, shot by Anushka Nadia Menon