Issue 38 / Aniya Nandy: The Cool-Girl Makeup Artist Takes Us Behind The Scenes Of The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

Aniya Nandy: The Cool-Girl Makeup Artist Takes Us Behind The Scenes Of The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

Feb 26, 2016

From New York Fashion Week to the glitzy Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, makeup artist Aniya Nandy is always on the scene. 

Aniya Nandy exudes cool. She’s a natural beauty with the raddest hair and gorgeous tattoos — she looks so cool that it’s a bit intimidating. Then you start speaking to her, and you realize that she probably has no idea just how cool she is because she eases into conversation with you like you’re old friends (which made her even cooler, to be honest).

Nandy is a biracial beauty — her dad is Indian and her mom is Dutch — who grew up in Toronto and has become a sought-after makeup artist, working backstage at New York Fashion Week and the renowned Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. She’s rubbed shoulders with the likes of Adriana Lima and has worked closely with designers like Canada’s own Mikhael Kale. Nandy got her start, like many other makeup artists, working for MAC.

“It was a great experience because you work on so many faces in a day,” she told me. “You learn about skin types, skin conditions, races, eyes, lips, ages — so I highly recommend it to anyone who is an aspiring artist. Even if their end goal is not to work for a counter . . . the amount of experience you get there, fantastic.”

Nandy eventually found herself assisting backstage at Canada’s Next Top Model.

“The key artist on that was my mentor Susana Hong, she's an amazing artist. And she asked me to work on it with her. I had assisted her before, but this was kind of a big deal in Toronto at the time.”

Some time later, Nandy was working the Toronto fashion scene and was asked to accompany Mikhael Kale to New York where he was shooting the lookbook for his upcoming collection. The trip itself marked a turning point in her career.

“Being in New York shooting that, I felt really inspired. I felt like new blood was running through my veins,” she said. “It was something I hadn't felt in Toronto in a little while. And I didn't realize until I was there. I then realized I wasn't growing enough [as an artist].”

A few months later, Nandy made the move to New York. She began working backstage at New York Fashion Week and was soon asked to be on the makeup team for the Victoria’s Secret 2015 runway show. The team was led by Dick Page, who Nandy had worked with during fashion week. And the experience sounds as insane and cool (there’s that word again) as you’d expect.


Backstage at Michael Kors fashion show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week New York.
Photo Credit:


“It was surreal,” Nandy said. “You try and keep your cool and act like this is an everyday thing. But inside, you want to rip out your phone and take a picture of all the models. But at the same time, you just want to be incognito.”

She continued: “The social media aspect is tenfold. There is 300 times more press backstage doing the Snapchats with the girls, Instagram posts, writers asking them what's their top ten tips . . . the press element is huge. With the other fashion shows I've done, it's been tamed, it's not that much. Where this was like, I'm talking hours.”

Being that I was in the presence of someone who’d worked on Kendall Jenner’s face, I had to ask her for some tips for my fellow brown girls. We took it back to basics and talked about foundation. Nandy gave me a step-by-step guide on what to look for when choosing the right foundation for your skin colour and type.

How to Choose the Right Foundation

Step 1: “You want to look for a diverse line in colour, especially for South Asian women.”

Step 2: “Next would be looking at the types of foundation [the brands] have. Do they have only full coverage? Or a tinted moisturizer or a powder? Things like that.”

Step 3: Finding the right undertone is a huge element when choosing the right foundation, especially for South Asian skin. “Typically for South Asian skin, you're looking for a warm undertone. So if you're looking at all the foundations, maybe they are dark, but they all seem kind of red with a pinky undertone, it's not necessarily a great choice. As a makeup artist, I tend to pull more yellow because it's more flattering.”

Step 4: You might need an entirely different colour for your undereye area, which is where concealer comes in. Because the undereye area is typically darker, Nandy suggests going for peachy or pink undertones.

Step 5: Match the colour to your neck and chest.

Step 6: “Get a sample and take it home. Sometimes, for example, if you have oily skin, over time the foundation oxidizes, it goes darker. Or maybe it makes you more greasy. You need to try it out for a few days. And a lot of times [stores] have a great return policy.”

Get the Look

Adriana Lima at the 2015 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
Photo credit: Woman's Day

Dick Page keyed the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, creating a look that was fresh-faced with fluttering lashes. “Dick Page created a look that was flirty yet effortless,” Nandy said. “I was honoured to be on his team.”

He shared the look with Into the Gloss. Here’s how to achieve it at home.

On the Face:

Use a darker foundation instead of bronzer. Apply a bright red blush on the apples of the cheeks and a bit on the tip of the nose.

On the Eyes:

This year, the models donned fake lashes. In previous years, models would sneak to the bathrooms to add their own fake lashes, so Page decided to just add it to the intended look. They used a brown shimmery colour on the lid, with a black cream eyeliner on the upper lid. This was finished off with a touch of highlight on the inner corner of the eyes, using a pearl shade.

On the Lips:

The lips were fairly simple — a rose-coloured lipstick with pink gloss on top.

The look was finished off with a touch of shimmer all over.

Main Image Photo Credit: Aniya Nandy 

Rosemina Nazarali


Rosemina (@RoseminaN) is a writer and content strategist who has a special place in her heart for beauty. She’s always on the pulse of current trends and loves trying new products -- especially if they are brown-skin worthy! When she’s not playing with makeup, she’s travelling, going to concer...


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