“When I’m working I feel like I’m more strict and diligent with myself and my skin,” says actor Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, who made her professional debut starring as Devi Vishwakumar in Netflix’s teen comedy series Never Have I Ever. “When I’m not working I tend to make excuses and say it’s okay—just use a face wipe.” But her ideal routine goes like this: For efficiency’s sake, she cleanses with two products at once (one cream gel, the other a cleansing oil), massaging the combination into her skin with a silicone cleansing scrubber. To remove lasting mascara from the night prior, she opts for Lancôme’s formula, followed by a face mist, antioxidant-rich serum, hydrating moisturizer, reparative eye cream, and Supergoop!’s glowy SPF. Then it’s onto makeup.
“It’s always so hard to color match as a woman of color,” Ramakrishnan notes. Her solution is to mix two foundations: Pur’s 4-in-1 formula for coverage and Armani Beauty’s for the right tint. “Most of my makeup tips, and makeup hacks, have all been from my grandma; my grandma’s a baddie,” the 20-year-old recounts. “I’m very thankful for my mom and grandma for the way that they raised me because many South Asian people were told ‘don’t go out into the sun, don’t go play in the sun because you’re going to get darker and that’s a bad thing.’ My parents, my grandparents, they never did that. Hopefully, moving forward, other young little South Asian kids and kids of color have that experience, because colorism is whack.”
The real star of her glam makeup look is the eyes. She preps lids with a bit of concealer and KVD Beauty’s primer before diving into an orange-hued smokey eye—complete with a bold wing and mascara on her top and lower waterlines. Huda Beauty’s faux lashes provide the finishing touch. “Bam! Who doesn’t love lashes?”
“This,” she says, motioning towards her face, “is very influenced by TikTok, social media, and just seeing people do tutorials of what works for their face and how they achieve that.” When it comes to red carpet looks, she likes experimenting with different aesthetics. “But my one thing is it will always be consistently smart,” she says while blending in a Charlotte Tilbury blush. “I don’t dress like I didn’t think about it.”
As she countours, Ramakrishnan reflects on her gratitude for Never Have I Ever executive producer Mindy Kaling. “I could talk about [Mindy] for days because truly she means so much to me. I don’t know really if I could’ve asked for a better first boss because she truly has my back and I always feel super safe with her.” And with a bit of highlight, lip gloss, and a spritz of setting spray, Ramakrishnan is ready to go.
Originally published in Vogue.com