Q&A Anoushka Shankar


Post by Thandie.
Don’t you want to just look at Anoushka Shankar all day long? She’s a genetic fantasy. Growing up between London, Delhi and California she’s been a professional, recording sitar artist since the age of 16. She’s a multiple Grammy nominee, has collaborated with her father (the late, great Ravi Shankar), Herbie Hancock, Sting, and Lenny Kravitz. She conducts, writes (music and published books), acts, and is Mother to a son with her husband the brilliant screen/stage director Joe Wright. She is also a passionate activist on behalf of Animal Rights, and outspoken in her support of V Day – whose goal is to END violence against women and girls.
I met Anoushka in 2013 at ‘London Rising’ – Anoushkaan event heralding V Day’s global campaign One Billion Rising held at the Cafe de Paris right.  We both got ready backstage – and I took sneaky peaks of her applying her make up and prepping her hair. I realised how intimate it is being in the presence of a woman engaged in the ritual of beautifying – especially when they’re about to perform in front of an adoring crowd. Seeing her on stage was electrifying – her skill, power and radiance was simply stunning.

We’re thrilled she was able to make time to answer our questions – a window into the heart of a magnificent artist.



1. What is your earliest make-up memory?

Watching my mother put lipstick on. It was fascinating and alluring. I loved trying on her makeup.

2. I feel most beautiful when…

Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 14.15.42

Anoushka marries director Joe Wright as her father Ravi Shankar and Nora Jones look on

I’m deeply loved-up and feeling romantic vibes.

3. When you were a child, what was your Mother’s beauty routine?

Quite simple; not nearly as elaborate as mine can get! She always had great lipstick to match the tones of her beautiful silk saris, strong black eyeliner and beautiful bindis in the perfect size that would draw attention to her eyes without overwhelming her face. She’s always epitomized a classic Indian look in a way that, to me, no one else can match.

4. Is make-up a chore or a delight?

Generally I enjoy makeup very much. Sometimes I get too focused on looking “perfect” and that ruins it. When I approach makeup as fun, I’m more likely to slick on a daring lipstick or do an unusual shape of eyeliner and feel more joyous and heightened as a result. I try to keep remembering it’s just fun.

5. Did your father refer to your Mother’s beauty, and how?

My father was a deep Romantic. He always expressed, both through gestures, gifts, and words, how much he adored and appreciated my mother. He responded and noticed whenever she dressed up and frequently complimented her. He set the bar high!

6. What’s been your worst beauty mishap?


Nothing comes to mind as particularly traumatic. But sometimes I’ve made the mistake of trying something for the first time on a night I’m going to be very photographed, and I wouldn’t really recommend that! Certain tones can clash with skin under bright lights in a way that can be hard to tell when putting makeup on in evening light.

7. If you could give one beauty gift what would it be?


8. Where’s the craziest place you’ve done your make-up?

I can do a full face of makeup without a mirror in a moving car.

9. What would you like to see more of in the beauty industry?

Women above 35 advertising products not to do with ageing. A ban on photoshop as it’s false advertising. Diversity.

10. When was the last time your mascara ran, and why?

I just performed a memorial concert for my father on his birthday this April and burst into tears during my first announcement in front of everyone. However I must say that vulnerability felt honest and seemed to help create a very intimate and loving concert environment.  I did kick myself afterwards for not putting waterproof mascara on though!101113-anoushka-shankar-306-1381503025


Follow Anoushka on Twitter

See Anoushka’s website & tour dates here

Anoushka supports the charity Plan India


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