Exclusive: Heartbreak High’s Ayesha Madon spills on her beauty routine

Including the $20 mascara she swears by

Editor / February 15 2023

Heartbreak High may have been a reboot but Ayesha Madon is one of a kind. 

Before stepping into her role as Amerie Wadia in the Netflix breakout series, the Australian actor shared her singing voice with the world, debuting her first single “Outside Of The Party” in 2020 and her latest release “Fish & Chips” in 2022.

And while we await further news on Season 2 of Heartbreak High, plus a pending tour announcement (you didn’t hear it from us), Madon can add beauty ambassador to her soaring list of accomplishments. 

After discovering her skin responds best to a minimalist skin care routine, her partnership with New Zealand born and made brand Okana was a natural fit. As the brand sets to launch in Australia (today!) with 12 products under its belt, BEAUTYcrew spoke to Ayesha Madon all about her beauty routine.

From her shiny hair secrets to the products she thinks are underrated, here’s a peek inside Madon’s bathroom and top-shelf essentials.

On her skin care routine…

My skin has changed dramatically over the years. And especially in my teenage years, I did grapple with some definite, unfavourable skin things. But since then, I've just been trying to find what works for me. And I think I’ve finally found that it is just minimalist skin care, very few ingredients and all-natural.”

Practicing what she preaches, Madon is loyal to the Okana PM routine in the evening. She begins with the Mango Apricot Sorbet Cleanser ($24.95 at okana.com.au) followed by the Natural Apple Foaming Cleanser ($19.95 at okana.com.au)

Ayesha Madon for Okana

“I double cleanse now, which is a new thing of mine. It gets all my makeup and all the oil from the day.”

But her favourite steps come after cleansing, with the Cucumber & Lettuce Toner ($17.95 at okana.com.au), which “is awesome”, and the Berry Blend Night Moisturiser ($28.95 at okana.com.au).

“I have combination skin so it can really vary but it leans more towards dry. Of late I've really liked having dewy skin and the toner has been really good [as] it’s just really moisturising.”

Mango Apricot Sorbet Cleanser

Cucumber & Lettuce Toner

Berry Blend Night Moisturiser

On how she gets her hair so shiny…

“If I’m honest, I don’t think about my hair a lot. I think that’s probably the trick. I’ve never dyed it, I don’t really use heat on it and I don’t wash it that often.”

The one thing she does do? Coconut oil.

“You’ve got to oil that sh*t up,” she says about creating her slicked-back hairstyles. 

“I’ll usually wash it that night if I’m slugging it. It’s actually quite good because you oil it, slick it back and then by the end of the day it’s like a hair mask.”

“I'm really not an expert and I feel weird imparting my weird home remedy sh*t. But it’s an Indian thing Indian people just like to use coconut oil on their hair as a hair mask, and I guess incidentally, maybe it helps.”

As for the bobby pin cross-style synonymous with her character Amerie? Madon is a big fan off set too. “Bec Blissett was my hairstylist for the job and we worked together on that style. Since then I’ve just been doing it all the time.”


On makeup and music during Heartbreak High

Since filming Heartbreak High, Madon says she’s become a lot more experimental with her makeup.

“We would shoot scenes from different timelines every day so I could often have five different makeup looks in a day. And it would all be stuff that I don't really do with my makeup. But after Heartbreak, I love playing with colour and all of that jazz.”

The trends she’s loving right now? “Dewy eyelids and a good lip combo.”

Her favourite current pairing is the Mecca Max Pout Pencil Lip Liner in ‘Classy’ ($16 at MECCA) layered with a clear gloss.

Pout Pencil Lip Liner in ‘Classy’

Outside of hair and makeup, Madon shares that another key part of preparing to play Amerie was music. “The writers made me [a playlist] which was amazing because, you know, they invented the character, so it was great to hear that musically.”

“And then I made one and I would write at the top of my script which song I was going to listen to before filming that scene.”

Labyrinth and Billie Eilish were common appearances but Madon says it was always a vast mix of music with lots of different genres.


On her beauty regrets…

“I was so self-conscious growing up and, I mean, part of me doesn't regret it because I feel like you have to go through that to get to the other side but one of my biggest ones is that I used [to use] makeup to cover my face.

And I think if I could go back I'd be like, ‘you can not wear makeup, like it's fine, you can go to school and not wear makeup and you're still pretty’, that would be it.”

On her beauty favourites…

Underrated budget buy?

MECCA MAX Whip Lash Tubing Mascara ($25 at MECCA)

Favourite serum?

Okana Probiotic Eye Serum Skin Firming ($49.95 at okana.com.au)

Favourite sunscreen?

“I was using the MECCA one but now I'm using a spray one by Naked Sundays (SPF50+ Hydrating Glow Mist, $39.95 at nakedsundays.com) it smells like watermelon and I love it.” 

Favourite foundation?

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place SPF10 Foundation ($65 at Myer)

Favourite eyeliner?

“Anything from Priceline. Whatever is on special, I buy.”

Whip Lash Tubing Mascara

SPF50+ Hydrating Glow Mist

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place SPF10 Foundation

We stan an affordable beauty queen.

Main image credit: Getty

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Samantha McMeekin was BEAUTYcrew's Editor from January 2020 to June 2023. She has worked as a journalist in the beauty and lifestyle industry for over 10 years. In 2019, she was nominated for Best Digital Writer at the BSME Awards for her work on GLAMOUR UK. If you ever meet her in person, she'll probably try to guess which fragrance you're wearing (she's got a humble 60% strike rate).