“Self-care is like observing your body, because once you start doing something, your body will react to it. And you will either feel very energetic or will feel totally zapped out of energy, and that’s how you know what is good and bad for your body.”
Besides her prolific career in Indian films, on television, and in music videos, including the iconic Piya Basanti Re, Nauheed is also a beauty influencer with a unique perspective.
In an exclusive interview with Global Beauty Secrets, the actress discusses self-care, beauty and more.
What made you pursue acting and theatre?
Everything in my life is simple and I like to keep it simple. I started my modelling career when I was only 14 years old. This industry happened out of pure luck for me and it is such a wonderful industry to be in if you have your morals in place. It opens the world to you, and you get exposed to so much. I am eternally grateful for it.
Tell us about your experience with beauty growing up in India.
To be very honest, I come from a household where much attention wasn’t paid to beauty rituals, although, I was exposed to a lot of Ayurveda, basic home remedies, and products off the shelf. My work also requires me to travel a lot, and because of this, I was exposed to a host of brands, products, etc., and I did experiment with a lot of products. In fact, my older sister today regrets not following suit and wished she had not made fun of me and used all the products that I use. I did start at a fairly young age. I probably started using products when I was 27-28. And yes, it is all thanks to my parents because of the exposure they gave me with traveling. Also, I need to travel for work, which gave me a lot of exposure as well.
What is a typical day like for you?
I cannot sit still. And something like this only happened over the past few years. In fact, I would love my lazy days. I still love my lazy days, but I generally like to do something at that time. I wake up in the morning, have my cup of tea, take my dog for a walk, and feed the birds. On my day off, I like to chalk out the rest of my week because it makes work so much easier and organized. Apart from that, I just like to visit my mum. I like to keep it fairly simple, honestly. Just laying back, watching TV, eating some ghar ka khana, and chilling out. That’s a typical day in my life.
Could you tell us a few traditional beauty rituals you picked up from your family members while growing up?
I have only met my maternal grandma and her only beauty regime was to moisturise, moisturise, and moisturise! Also, we are Parsi-Indians, so our skin is fairly light. Honestly, we never really did that much. But I think in my household there was only one pack that we used: a haldi and honey pack. And my sister only uses this till date, while I use all the other stuff. This was one pack we used a lot as children. Because we used to get tanned so easily, my mother would always rub besan all over our skin. That was our go to ingredient.
What is your definition of self-care? What is your skincare regime?
Self-care is so subjective because self-care starts from thinking about what you’re putting into your body. And as I got older, I realised that what you put in your body mirrors what is going to be on the outside. So, I genuinely believe less is more and simplicity is key. I don't drink coffee. I try to stay hydrated as much as possible. Even though I love coffee, I know it dehydrates you so much that your skin starts to look and feel dry. So, I tend to stick to green tea. I like simple food. I gave up meat years ago and I did dabble with being a pescatarian for a while. So that keeps going on and off depending on how my body reacts. Self-care is like observing your body because once you start doing something, your body will react to it. And you will either feel very energetic or will feel totally zapped out of energy and that’s how you know what is good and bad for your body.
Could you tell us a few DIY tips for effective skincare?
I have normal to dry skin. And dry skin in the winters. My skincare routine is very simple. When I wake up in the morning, I don't use a face wash. I just like to wash my face with water, after which I lather on moisturiser. I try to follow the cleanse-tone-moisturise regime, but now there is so much access to mists that the whole toner game has changed for me. I prefer using mists and just moisturising afterward. I do it once in the morning and then I use night creams and under-eye creams at night. I think a lot of people don't realise that you should observe your under-eyes. If you start seeing small whiteheads, that’s because you’re over-moisturising. I think something like this only comes with experience.
Could you tell us a few of your favorite beauty ingredients?
My favourite beauty ingredient would be gulab (rose)! I think everything with roses is just magical for me. I am very big on floral ingredients. Apart from that, bakuchiol works wonders on my skin. With bakuchiol, you have a natural extract that serves to hydrate and reduce blemishes. Dahi (yogurt) is also a great moisturizer for your body.
Do you have a favourite cultural ritual?
One of the most prominent Zoroastrian rituals that we follow for every special occasion, like birthdays, weddings, ceremonies and stuff, is the ritual of showering a person with rose petals and milk. Milk and rose petals are very big in Zoroastrian rituals, in our beauty regimes and in our culture.
Tell us about the women that inspire you.
The woman that inspires me would be my mother. My mother is the best thing that ever happened to me. We have gone through so many phases where she has been a mum and a mentor and a teacher. And today she is my best friend. I have realised that mums really are the best. I don't know how she handled our tantrums in our childhood and our rebellious phases. I think my sister and I have turned out pretty well and it is all thanks to my mum.
What is something you strongly believe in that a woman needs in her life.
Financial Independence and the will to balance life. It’s hard for a woman to slow down and take time to do the things that truly bring her joy, but a woman should never neglect the part of herself that ignites her. A woman who takes the time to follow her passions, whatever they may be, understands that life is too precious to speed along without enjoying the ride because passion is contagious. Watching someone pursue her dreams is just about the most beautiful experience human beings can have.
What makes a woman beautiful according to you?
Our strength. Us women, we are the pillars to the society we live in. Tenacity, whether in one’s career, personal life, or physical health, is inspiring. Nothing is more beautiful than a woman who refuses to give up.