In my beauty bag: Ina Bajaj

INA BAJAJ:The spa founder's beauty icon is Cher, thanks to her silky locks and long eyelashes.

INA BAJAJ:The spa founder's beauty icon is Cher, thanks to her silky locks and long eyelashes.

As founder of East Day Spa and Spring (both have branches in Auckland, Wellington and Bali), Ina Bajaj knows a thing or two about pampering. Here are the beauty products and treatments she always turns to.


I like to stick to products that give me results but routine is the key word. I use the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm – it's 100 per cent natural, removes my makeup effortlessly, smells great and leaves my skin feeling nourished. I am never without my Heal Gel face moisturiser, this has been amazing for normalising and healing my skin.

Due to my Indian heritage, I had it deeply instilled in me to avoid the sun from a very early age. This was mainly due to the Indian pursuit of "fair skin". As a result, I really don't like the sun, and rely on the SPF in my Smashbox CC cream.                             

Fortnightly Elemis Tri-Enzyme facials are must. When I feel my skin is starting to look dull, this facial always refines by removing the surface dead skin, making my skin smoother, dewy and healthy looking. For the face and the mind I really enjoy facial reflexology from one of my Balinese therapists.

My secrets to good skin are plenty of water, regular facials and, most importantly, avoid stress as it wreaks havoc on my skin. When my husband was diagnosed with cancer my skin became like that of a pubescent teenager.


I was 14 I loved going to the Mary Quant counter at Kirks in Wellington. For foundation, I don't like anything too heavy. I use Smashbox CC cream, which gives great coverage without clogging my pores, and it doubles as my sunscreen.

I love MAC lipsticks - hot pinks, bright oranges and wild reds are my go-to colours. I love MAC Lady Danger. My handbag is filled with lippy, lippy and more lippy.

I adore my Stilla eyeshadows; navy blue is my favourite. I keep makeup to a minimum at the weekends. CC cream followed by a dusting of MAC illuminator highlighting the cheeks and, of course, lipstick.

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I use Kevin Murphy's Plumping line – it's like Lilash but for the hair. It contains floral and citrus scents, making it feel fresh, invigorating, but still sweet and feminine. It really works! My favourite stylist is Matt Benns at Stephen Marr. Matt knows hair, and he's amazing at it.

I am totally obsessed with my hair and having dead-straight hair is my holy grail! When I am in New Zealand I use Kevin Murphy products, masks, heat protectors and GHD irons to achieve the desired look. In Bali, my other home, NOTHING works and I resort to either a pulled-back top knot look, or a china doll bobbed wig!


Does DIY nail polish still exist? It's 2015 and with the number of spas and nails bars available, at least a monthly visit is mandatory. Hailing from Indian heritage and partly living in Bali, I am very partial to what we call there "nails with bling bling". If your nails sparkle, you sparkle. I like nail art, but sometimes I am conscious of my age and don't want to appear mutton dressed as lamb.


A friend of mine generously gifted me Kilian scents and since then I have been completely obsessed. I love all the Amouage range too.

Over the years, chronologically from my teens to my 50s, I've worn Charlie, Just Musk, Miss Dior, Chanel No 5, Eau Arpege, Happy, Issey Miyake, Bvlgari, Jo Malone, Diptyque, Serge Lutens, Amouage and Kilian.

Being hair obsessed I only have baths on days I don't wash my hair (which is quite often). On my personal bath menu are magnesium flakes, which ease and relax muscle tension and assist if I need help sleeping. My latest indulgence, soon to be arriving at East Day Spa, is the Neom Grapefruit, Rosemary and Lemon Bath Oil. It boosts my energy and is so refreshing. 


I love swimming and like to start my day off with a few lengths of the pool. However, I am going to join the rest of the world and explore the benefits of yoga this year.

My beauty philosophy is that when you are happy within, it will show on the outside. For me, I surround myself with people I love, family, friends, my dogs, and involve myself with work that helps others too. Take time to invest in yourself, use good-quality beauty products to feed the skin, stick to routines with beauty – that is the key.

For travelling I wear no makeup, spray with MAC travel Prep and Prime Mist to keep the skin hydrated and feel refreshed. I take travel-size Aromatherapy Associates bath oils so I can have baths on the go. I pack my charcoal toothbrush. Charcoal is brightening and detoxifying, a perfect holiday companion. Finally, water, water and more water.

My favourite beauty shopping experience is at Liberty in London's West End. Liberty is always at the forefront of new products and their staff excel in product knowledge and enthusiasm.

My beauty icon is Cher. When I was young Cher had the biggest lashes, the silkiest black hair and I thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world. I wanted to be just like her!

The one product I can't live without is my GHD straighteners. I am obsessed with straight hair.

My best beauty quick fix is my Beauty Blender - it applies my makeup perfectly. You stipple on the foundation and the sponge does not absorb much product.

A beauty mistake from my past was that I wore far too much makeup in my teens and 20s and never got facials. My pet beauty hate is products that are tested on animals.

If I could wave a magic wand, I wish that I could zap zits instantly.

- As told to Melissa Williams-King

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