What’s the appropriate etiquette when someone has lipstick on their teeth? Do you tell them or do you ignore it, hoping it would go away magically?
Such a tricky predicament presented itself on August 22 when Bollywood actress Sunny Leone visited our Gulf News headquarters for a photo shoot and a sit-down interaction, organised by Parallel Lines.
The ironical part? The interviewer and the glamorous subject Leone were wondering the same thing as we both had lipstick stains on our pearly whites.
Fortunately, Leone — who was in Dubai to promote her own beauty range Star Struck By Sunny Leone stocked at Brands4U — decided to point it out first, giving this journalist enough rope to do the same.
We both burst out laughing as we scrubbed our teeth vigorously, cribbing about how her dozen or more handlers hadn’t bothered to point it out before the cameras rolled.
“They really don’t care about us now, do they?” said Leone in a mock admonishing tone, looking over at her sizeable entourage.
As far as ice-breakers go, it was an unusual but highly effective one. During the next 30 minutes, the fascinating former adult star, who was reticent in the beginning, warmed up to us considerably.
Born as Karenjit Kaur to a Sikh family in Cananda, Leone has mastered the art of re-invention. The 38-year-old began her career in the adult film industry and then ventured into Bollywood with director Pooja Bhatt’s erotic thriller ‘Jism 2’.
She’s now looking to expand her beauty empire and the mother of three toddlers has already been the subject of two biopics including ‘Karenjit Kaur — The Untold Story of Sunny Leone’ and ‘Mostly Sunny’.
“They [her biopics] gave everyone a sense of my upbringing and I don’t think that the things that happened in my life are extraordinarily different than other anything that has happened to anyone in this room… Sure, some of my decisions were not like anyone else in this room. But the core of my growing up and struggles are relatable,” said Leone looking at a roomful of journalists.
“The decision [to join the adult film industry] itself is not relatable. But the things that happened in my family — about a first generation who went to a foreign country… that stuff is relatable,” said Leone.
Leone, who has a horror comedy, ‘Coco Cola’, up for release at the end of this year, spoke exclusively to Gulf News tabloid! about expanding her beauty empire, the quest for perfection and more ...
BEAUTY TALK WITH SUNNY LEONE:
On what propelled her to launch Star Struck By Sunny Leone beauty range:
“This is something that Daniel [Weber, her husband] and I started a year ago. It has grown leaps and bounds. People have loved Star Struck and that’s important to me. I am the one who’s looking at the formulas and testing them personally.
I have said ‘no’ to so many things, asking my team to make it a certain way or to add a few things to improve it. Though they don’t like me when I am pulling apart our make-up, it’s about whether I am going to love it if I were to use them.
I want my make-up to last all day once I put it on in the morning... I come up with most of the names for lipsticks since the names that come my way get rejected. Sorry. I either simplify them or use different words that I like that represent [the brand]. For instance, I was particular that ‘Baby Doll’ be the name of the first five products I release. It’s a name that says you love dolling up.”
On launching her new five-minute make-up kit for women on the go:
“We are going good on that front. We just launched an eye kit — mascara, liner and eyebrow pencil and it comes in black and brown.
The reason why I want to create this five minute kit is because I only have 30 minutes in the morning to pull myself together. I need to shower, change, do my hair and put on my make-up within 30 minutes because I have to drop my kids to school and we can’t be late.
So I want to create products that are quick to apply and look amazing. That’s what matters to any working mothers on the go. They should be able to look at themselves at lunch time and feel that they still look put together without any make-up being smeared or coming off.”
On her go-to lipstick shade:
“I am wearing it right now. It’s a shade called Baby Doll. It’s light and perfect for day wear. I mixed it with a shade called Star Dust, it has an orange-peachy tone. And I love mixing shades.”
On her beauty mantra:
“I believe in the idea of make-up that’s applied to look naturally beautiful. It takes a lot of work. Your day-time look takes as much time as your night time make-up. Make-up is all about knowing what goes with your skin tones and what’s going to happen when you step out? Dubai is bright and outdoors.”
On contouring and baking:
“We are working on having a contouring palette as we speak. Contouring is great, but if you overdo it then you tend to look older. It’s a fine line with contouring and achieve the defined look. You can’t just layer the contour on. I do minimal contouring during the day. Even at night, I don’t go too heavy.”
On the art of blending make-up:
“They are right in insisting on blending your make-up. Use the right tools to blend and it will help you. If you are figuring out how to put on make-up, less is better at the start. Use a fan brush towards the end.”
On a make-up trick up her sleeve:
“To prevent lipstick transferring on your teeth, make sure you blot it and don’t wear excess product. While that technique [of sucking on your finger] might look odd in public, if you are with your girlfriends or your husband/boyfriend, then it’s fine.”
PLAYING GAMES WITH SUNNY LEONE
It’s rare for Sunny Leone to visit a newsroom. So, when she was at Gulf News, we didn’t let the golden opportunity go waste as we played a fun game with her called ‘Have you ever...” Excerpts from our game, that was captured fully on video, folloe:
Lied on your resume:
“No, I have never lied on my resume. When I was making my resume, I was quite young. I didn’t know that you should or can lie on your resume and you could have got that job. Who knows? But I haven’t lied on my resume.”
Slept with your make up on:
“Yes, I have. But a long time ago before I knew that you are not supposed to do it. Washing of the face didn’t happen during ‘nights to remember’. Let’s just say that I had a great night and so what if I woke up with some make-up on?”
Palmed off diaper duty:
“I haven’t passed on diaper duty to anyone. Both Daniel [Weber, her manager and husband] and I can change a diaper within 30 seconds. We are so good. He has one child and I have the other.”
Had a crush on a Bollywood co-star:
Praised a film because your friend is in it, but secretly hated it:
“No, usually when I post something for a friend about a film, I have actually seen the film and will only post what is true.”
Used my fame to jump a queue or get a hotel reservation:
“Yes, I have done that and I am sorry.”
Cheated on a test:
“Maybe, when I was very little. I wasn’t one of the smart children in school. I was a C student. I was always striving to be smarter and it didn’t work out... I wanted to be a paediatric nurse and I wanted to work with children. Luckily for myself and my husband, we just opened up a children’s arts school in Mumbai and it’s amazing.”
Pretend to like a director’s work for a role:
“No, I haven’t. If I have to pretend then that means that I don’t like his work, but just want to work with him.”
Cried from exhaustion:
“I don’t know if I ever cried knowing it’s exhaustion. But it might be that someone has pushed my buttons so much and I am so tired, then maybe I cry.”
Googled my own name:
“Yes, I have. I want to see what’s popping up and the kind of nonsense that people are writing about me. There’s also so much craziness happening in India, I want to know why?”
Stalked a celebrity on social media:
“Stalking is a strong word. I may have followed a few celebrities, but not stalked them.”
Given someone your fake number:
“Absolutely. Most girls in this room would agree with this. We have all done it. It’s just a part of growing up.”
Snuck out of the house:
“When I was a teenager, yes I did. You must have seen it in my biopic series. Sometimes you have to break the rules.”
“Sunny is an iconic model... Three-and-a-half years ago when she launched her perfume, Brands4U did the distribution and the response was tremendous. And when she told me that she wanted to launch her own cosmetics, I wanted us to be the lucky ones... She will be stocked at Brands4U and the first Lulu store in Abu Dhabi,” said Vijay Samyani, founder and director of Concept Brands Group.