When it comes to beauty products, most of us like to follow influencers. We become invested in their beauty journeys. Every year, we see a new face in the world of beauty, trying on new products and making us want to try them too. But in an ocean of beauty influencers, there are few who can be trusted with their unrivalled knowledge of products they recommend. Beauty journalist and author Vasudha Rai is one of them. Her Instagram is an open, honest, helpful space that talks about her own experiences and educates people.
Her authentic approach is what makes people invest in her recommendations without batting an eyelid. Her Instagram strategy? “I never recommend anything that I wouldn’t put on myself,” says Rai.
Former Beauty Director for prominent publications such as Harper’s Bazaar, India, Cosmopolitan India and Women’s Health, she is someone who comes armed with years of knowledge. Whether it’s honest product reviews, breaking down confusing formulas, the science behind skincare or trying out new skin treatments, this (skin)fluencer has become the go-to person for easy-to-follow advice on all your skin concerns.
But how did she start? After graduating in Fine Arts, Rai took on a few writing jobs while figuring out her next move. It was during this time when her friend recommended her to the editor of Cosmopolitan magazine. Things worked out, she got the job and she started a new chapter as a beauty writer in 2002.
Today, Rai is one of the most prominent beauty journalists in India. After working for the top magazine publishers in the country, Rai focussed on new ways to share her wisdom. The idea of modernising age-old practices of Ayurveda had been on her mind for the longest time. She is big on traditional methods of beauty and experiments with different ingredients quite often. She finally put all her knowledge in a book titled Glow: Indian Foods, Recipes and Rituals for Beauty, Inside and Out which became an instant best-seller in August 2018.
Naturally, when we thought of women who inspire us with their immense dedication for our #WomenWhoWin series, we had to reach out to her. In a candid conversation with POPxo, we got her to tell us about her journey, her take on beauty and her go-to beauty products.
I wake up quite early between 5.50 to 6. The first thing that I do is feed the birds outside. And then meditate. Next, depending on how much time I have, I’ll either do my entire morning routine which includes oil pulling. If I am short on time, then I simply go for a walk and have my tea. Then breakfast, which usually consists of smoothies or seed bread. Post that, I do my face massage and shower. Then I work till about noon and eat my lunch which consists of a proper Indian meal. After that, I might take a nap or work. I’m mostly a morning person, so I’ll get most of my work done in the morning. In the evening, I have my tea and go for a walk or practise yoga or workout with my personal trainer four times a week. At night, I don’t eat carbs so it’s mostly a salad. And at night, it’s my normal skincare, massaging my feet, reading something very soothing and off to bed.
I’ve had several turning points in my career. One turning point was when I landed the role of Beauty Director of Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health. That’s a really powerful role and that was the springboard board when everybody got to know about me. The second turning point was me quitting the job and actually started my own thing as that really established me as an independent personality perhaps. Biggest turning point was writing my book because the book is still doing so well. That added something really solid to my credentials.
The first is that I am a hard worker. The second would be that I don’t look at what other people are doing. And third is that I am not much into following trends. My work and suggestions are not based on something that’s trending.
Keep your head down and keep doing what you’re good at doing. In personal life too, you just have to carry on with your own life and not really look left and right. Just take care of yourself and put in a lot of effort from your side and the best things will come to you on their own.
I guess my book would be my biggest achievement. But I am coming out with my second book so maybe that’ll be my biggest achievement.
One should be genuinely interested in beauty. A lot of people want to get into beauty because of the freebies that you’d be getting, sure, that’s an interesting part of it but you have to be genuinely interested in it. Do not get into it because it’s happening because ultimately you wouldn’t do well. Only be a part of this industry if you find it fascinating.
I think beauty ultimately is how you feel about yourself. You can have the most beautiful skin, the best makeup products but if you’re not confident and don’t feel great about yourself from inside, it’s pointless. Work towards feeling good about yourself.
I wanted to write this book for a long time. I read so much about Ayurveda and the lovely ingredients that we have. However, all the knowledge that was available was scattered and pretty technical. I wanted to write a book that would help modernise ancient knowledge and make it readable.
As of now, I enjoy using a prescription strength retinol because I want to avoid/postpone injectables. I massage my face every day and am very much for massages as they tone and sculpt the face well. I love using DIY masks with natural ingredients. More often than not, you’ll find me sitting with a chocolate-coloured mask writing emails and writing my books. I love creams and serums from Biologique Rechereche. Recently, I used valmont Hyaluronic Acid which was quite expensive but nice. I also keep using Creme De La Mer by Lamer on and off.
Kasturi manjan, orange peel, honey and a little bit of milk in it. I put that on for an hour and it’s perfect for brightening.
I sleep on time every night. So there’s no need for me to unwind. I make sure to never skimp out on sleep, that’s the most important thing in my life.
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