Designer Natuka Karkashadze on ageing gracefully and her non-invasive approach to beauty

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The perfect retinol routine and sleep positions to keep fine lines away, N-Duo’s co-founder gives the lowdown on the Georgian way to approach beauty.

Author

Shriya Zamindar

Photographer

Tornike Aivazishvili

Make Up

Anna Todua

Womenswear label N-Duo’s Natuka Karkashadze makes balancing work and kids, all while maintaining a flawless exterior, look like a walk in the park. Her Instagram provides moodboard-worthy fashion inspiration along with wholesome family content to keep you wanting more. We spoke to the chic mom and designer on the secrets behind her enviably youthful glow.

The Tbilisi, Georgia-born mother of three has been part of the fashion circuit long before starting her label in 2014. Growing up under the influence of a fashion-forward mother and two sophisticated grandmothers, she caught the family fashion bug young. “I was fascinated by the way they dressed,” divulges Karkashadze. Her mother spent hours dressing up young Natuka, which she fondly remembers as “fitting days”. She began her career in fashion as a contributing writer for Elle Ukraine, Glamour US and Harper’s Bazaar Kazakhstan. Eventually, she established her label, N-duo, which she now runs with business partner and confidant, Anum Bashir (Desert Mannequin on Instagram).

Good taste in fashion and knowledge of beauty runs deep within the females of the Karkashadze family. Her mother believed in a holistic approach to beauty. “She firmly believes that the path against natural ageing is actually what causes premature ageing,” says Karkashadze. “The goal is to age gracefully and just look after yourself while on that journey.”

Mind Over Matter

Talking about her beauty secrets, the Georgian designer believes that work starts from the inside out. “I think that confident women are the most beautiful, and confidence comes from other things. When you love yourself you glow from the inside.”

While the world has been obsessed with adding products to their skincare routine, Karkashadze started with a minimal routine. “I’ve only upgraded my routine in my mid-thirties,” she says. The solution to good skin in her playbook is to simply preserve it by not falling prey to the hype of commercialised products. “Be cautious with trendy treatments and over-exfoliation, and listen to your skin. Just because everyone else is doing something doesn’t mean that you need it too,” reasons the designer.

“I think that confident women are the most beautiful, and confidence comes from other things. When you love yourself you glow from the inside”

Things haven't changed much for her skin post her pregnancies, she says, recommending fixing the big three– hydration, food and sleep. The latter, however, is also Karkashadze’s biggest struggle since donning the mom hat. “The hardest part of being a new mom is getting a proper night’s sleep,” she admits. A helpful tip she gives is sleeping on the back and using a silk pillowcase, which keeps the face from creasing.

Charting The Routine

The mind and body quotient aside, she has a well-researched routine mapped out. “I always double cleanse at night, first with an oil cleanser, then with a gel cleanser. I follow up with vitamin A serum– my favourites are the Cosmedix serum 16,” declares Karkashadze.

She’s also an advocate for using Retinol, and she has been applying it since before it became a fad. “It’s my second year of the retinol journey and I can already go for a stronger version but I love going slowly and being consistent,” she says. The designer also swears by Drunk Elephant’s Marula Oil.

“Age is a privilege, women just have to accept the idea of ageing and celebrate it”

On retinol night-offs, she substitutes it with the IS Clinical Active Serum or Skinmedica TNS Advanced+ Serum. For eyes, she prefers the IS Clinical Youth Eye Complex and the Cosmedix Opti Crystal. She also religiously uses Dr Dennis Gross' LED mask five days a week. The LED light helps in healing along with supporting regeneration and strengthening the skin barrier. As part of her morning routine, Karkashadze cleanses her face with micellar water and applies Vitamin C serum and sunscreen.

The N-duo founder’s philosophy is to keep things preferably au-naturel. “I want to use products to enhance my natural features and not change or hide anything.” For her daily makeup, she keeps it minimal with lip balm and tinted sunscreen. For occasions, her favourite go-to products include the Armani Luminous silk foundation, a Chanel bronzer, and the Laura Mercier translucent setting powder.

The Beauty Mantra

Karkashadze’s ultimate beauty philosophy is to steer clear from invasive cosmetic procedures. She believes, “Once you go too far, you can never go back to how you looked before.” Women are under too much pressure to look younger, she feels, but also finds that everyone looks the same owing to what she calls their “overfilled faces.” Commenting further, she says, “Age is a privilege, women just have to accept the idea of ageing and celebrate it.”

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