Growing up in Bahrain, Shaikha Dana Al Khalifa always had a love for heritage and fashion, paying close attention to garment detail as she closely watched her talented seamstress grandmother in action...


Now, the pioneering style icon is one of the first Arab creatives to collaborate with London-based e-tailer Avenue32.com, has been named 'Best Dressed' on a variety of coveted lists and recently curated her own pavilion at Jewellery Arabia 2014 – which brought together a selection of international and local jewellers.

Buro 24/7 Middle East recently caught up with the super-chic Shaikha, to take a peek inside her make-up bag and find out how she keeps her stunning glow...

What 5 pieces in your make-up kit can't you live without? 

Green Bar's 'Face Elixir', Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser in almond, Dior Show 'Black Out' mascara, MAC's 'Give me Sun' and Green Bar's 'Green Balm'.

Shaikha Dana Al Khalifa

Talk us through your daily beauty regime...

My basic beauty regime involves a lot of food because good hair and skin cannot be achieved through products alone. In the morning I start with warm water and a squeeze of lemon and a probiotic pill followed by a green juice #OverdressYourInsides right? Then I wash up without any soap in the morning followed by SkinCeuticals 'Phloretin CF' and a few drops of Green Bar's cold pressed rice oil 'Face Elixir' – which is rich in vitamin E. I follow with a coat of Dior Show's 'Black Out' mascara, I sometimes dot some Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser on my cheeks instead of a bronzer when I'm going super minimal, otherwise it's a swipe of MAC's 'Give Me Sun'.

I feel like lipstick is a bit much for work in the morning so I go for a creamy almost lip-colour colour from MAC called 'Taupe' – I use it so much I go through about six a year. At night I clean off all of my make-up which is now mostly mascara, with warm water and Dermalogica facial wash followed by Skin Ceuticals 'Hydrating B5' topped off with Green Bar's 'Face Elixir'.

Shaikha Dana Al Khalifa

What do you do to elevate your look for an event or night out? 

My day and night look are somewhat similar. I'm all about a dewy skin, so I'll start with Green Bar's 'Face Elixir' – make sure it's blended well – and then I'll follow with Laura Mercier's tinted moisturiser mixed with MAC foundation in NC45, this is a trick I've been taught at photo shoots and I only dot it around my cheeks. I then follow with a several coats of mascara, a flick of eyeliner and some lipstick. Recently I've been in love with MAC's 'Cherry' lipliner – it has major staying power. The hair of course needs to be sleekly blow dried, I normally always wear my hair down although recently inspired my best friend, I've been doing a middle parting low ponytail.

What's your beauty secret weapon?

Clean food and tons of water. I've been eating healthy my entire life, but last year I visited a naturopath and did a month-long detox that cut out all refined sugars, dairy, wheat and grains, reduced my intake of animal proteins and cut out coffee entirely... I thought my life would end without coffee, but my skin just got much, much brighter. The before and after difference is so evident, I am convinced that everything we eat comes out in our skin.

Shaikha Dana Al Khalifa

Whose beauty look do you most admire?

Jennifer Connelly, I love her always-natural look and her skin wrinkles naturally in all the right places. Also Jennifer Lopez – whom I've seen in real life – has skin that looks like its been painted by Botticelli, she literally glows.

What do you do to keep fit and healthy?

Exercise is a huge stress reliever for me. I am very unpleasant to be around if I haven't worked out – it regulates my mood. I weight train twice a week, it is important for women to have the right amount of muscle mass because as we grow older our bones get weaker and having muscle means your bones are protected. I go horseback riding once a week, the stables I ride in have vast lands surrounding them with very tall bamboo plants and palm trees – it's so calming. I love being outdoors around the horses plus it is so liberating to jump and canter.

Shaikha Dana Al Khalifa

Which treatments do you invest in each month?

I'll do a hydro-facial for bright fresh skin, which includes a light peel and with my weekly blow dry once a month I'll do a hair treatment where you sit under a steamer so that the conditioner penetrates the deep layers of the hair. It's genius, my mother swears by it. I also go to Pranic Healing sessions which is a system of energy medicine that utilizes prana (life-force) to balance, harmonize and transform the body's energy processes. Pranic Healing keeps the body alive and maintains a state of good health.

What's your favourite beauty destination?

My parents' house is the place of ultimate beauty. We have a huge garden that my grandfather started almost 50 years ago, the trees are ancient, it's so pleasant being around so much nature. It's my haven where I feel safe, happy and loved and there's plenty of super clean food, which my sister Reem – founder of Green Baris – is always making.

Shaikha Dana Al Khalifa

If you could only take one product to a desert island what would it be?

Green Bar's 'Green Balm' without a doubt. It's a moisturiser, anti bacterial, lip balm, hand cream... It is everything.

What's the best beauty advice you have ever received?

My grandmother has beautiful dewy, plump skin – I asked her years ago how she looks so young and she said lots of salad, lots of water (she knows!) and never, ever stare at your face in the mirror!

Shaikha Dana Al Khalifa