Expert Speaks: Interview With Model-Turned-Celebrity Stylist Coleen Khan

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weddingsOnline speaks with celebrity beauty stylist Coleen Khan regarding latest trends, beauty advice and what it takes to make the classic and timeless Indian bride.

1)      WOL: It’s a true pleasure interviewing you, Coleen. When, why and how did you choose this career, and what gave you the push and perseverance to go ahead?

Coleen: My mom had a salon while I was growing up, and, I spent quite some time there. Then, a couple of my friends decided to do the hair and beauty course in London (Moris Master) and I thought of joining them. This was way back in 1989…and I haven’t looked back since…(laughs). Naturally, I must credit my mom for being my inspiration. She always taught me to be independent and do something on my own. Later I trained with Wella’s colour course. Currently I keep updating my skills in hair and beauty from time to time. Of course, my career as a model in the early 90s also helped.

2)      WOL: At weddingsOnline India, we love the classic and traditional bride. Can you give a few hints to our modern readers as to how they can incorporate the timeless ‘Bollywood’ look of an era bygone in their wedding day style?

Coleen: You know, if you see any of the wedding photos of current Bollywood heroines, you will notice that even they like to keep things traditional when it comes to weddings. Take the example of Aishwarya Rai, she was a completely traditional “temple” bride but she also added some modern elements like Swarovski crystals. Same is true for Vidya Balan, or even Kalki. The latter kept her wedding traditional but infused some modern elements in her Sangeet and Mehendi ceremonies. The same advice holds true when brides come to me. I tell them about things that are in vogue: but one thing is always true about Indian weddings- we want things traditional. Braids are in vogue but instead of traditional flowers, one could use orchids or fresh seasonal ones that help infuse modern elements. My advice always is: “Pick your style….don’t run after trends”. You can also be more traditional on the wedding day but opt to go modern with the cocktail parties, or sangeet etc.

3)      WOL: What is the favourite part of your job?

Coleen: People- I love meeting and interacting with them. Today, all my clients are my friends- I even have some of my clients’ children coming to me when they are getting married!

Coleen Khan for weddingsOnline interview

4)      WOL: What bridal beauty trends are on right now, and which ones do you use and love?

Coleen: Like I said before, trends come and go. Thin eyebrows are out-thicker are in. I also like the trend of doing only one feature instead of doing everything together. For example, if a bride has lovely eyes, I recommend doing the winged or the cat eye and play down the lips with gold or nude. I like the subtle with the retro twist. I also recommend choosing colours other than red- such as white with gold lehengas. Recently, I also saw a black leather lehenga on the ramp!

5)      WOL: What are the 3 must have products in every new bride/bride-to-be’s makeup or bridal trousseau?

Coleen:  Ceramic straightener iron- you can do so much with this tool. I also recommend a basic makeup kit containing a tinted moisturizer plus Blush and Mascara.  And, last but not the least, a couple of pre-draped saris…you would be invited for so many functions post wedding and if you do not know how to wear a sari, the pre draped ones are must-have.

6)      WOL: Coleen’s Hair & Beauty Salon in Khar sounds like the perfect solution for a bride to be who is undergoing all the stress of planning her big day. What is your main objective and role as you prep her for the events?

Coleen: Okay, so our bridal packages start 6 months before the D-day. We advise a bride regarding colours and styles that would suit her if she needs help with that. Alternatively, if she has already purchased her dress, we recommend makeup to suit that. Brides to be having certain skin issues also get advice regarding treatments to opt for so they are ready and glowing in time for their wedding.

7)      WOL: Where do you see yourself and the Salon in the near future?

Coleen: I plan to expand..I want to start franchises in my brand name, and also wish to teach in this field.

8)      WOL: What has the beauty and fashion industry, especially your past as a model and now life as a celebrity stylist, taught you?

Coleen: This has actually been a 2 way street. Most people think that given my status as a model-and celebrity, I would likely be a snob. People tend to think, “Oh she has been on TV, she will be very expensive, or it will be a very fancy place with high end clientele etc”. That is not true. Today I have a diverse clientele ranging from CEOs, to celebrities to the receptionists working next door. And I make sure that all of them feel comfortable and that things are affordable for all. My experience as a model has of course come in handy in infusing a sense of style in everything I do, keeping myself abreast of trends and of course it does help to have a name and having people recognize you.

9)      WOL: Finally, what is the secret to your youthful looks?

Coleen: (laughs) I must thank my genes. Of course I try to eat healthy and workout-(I hate working out). Today, my priorities have changed- I make sure that I am at home when my daughter returns from school and I always try to balance work and home. Until the time my baby was born a decade ago, I used to work all 7 days, but today, I am slowing down …


weddingsOnline India wishes Coleen the very best for her future endeavours.

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