Beauty is a debatable term, especially now. How do you understand it, accept it, explain it? Genetics, the traditional societal norms, the advanced air-brushed technology or social media approval? Times are changing. The white skin phenomenon that has been the benchmark of ‘beautiful’ seems to be challenged by the change in the consumer’s outlook and how they perceive it. India has witnessed a strong movement in terms of the definition of beauty and how we need to evolve in the same direction. Actor Radhika Apte is one such name who is clearly a disruptor when it comes to acceptance of beauty in all forms. She has not only proven herself to be one of the most talented and versatile actors of our times but she has also challenged the pretentious norms of what beauty must look like and how it goes beyond the physical. The Ghoul actor has become the first-ever brand ambassador for Clinique India and she is looking forward to inspiring women to be real, natural and authentic.

“Since its inception, Clinique has paved the way for the beauty industry in delivering innovative, high-performance skincare ahead of its time, while uploading its foundation of inspiring confidence and embracing natural beauty at the heart of everything it does”, says Rohan Vaziralli, General Manager, Estée Lauder Companies India, on this collaboration. He adds, “Similarly, Radhika is a trailblazer in her line of work – through the roles she portrays to empowering women to focus on inner beauty. She is fresh, dynamic, young, strong-minded, natural and genuine, making her the perfect expression of Clinique.

Radhika Apte talks to us on becoming the first-ever brand ambassador for Clinique India, the changing standards of beauty, the obsession with fair skin and why beauty lies in simply being happy. Some excerpts from the interview:

You have become the first brand ambassador of India for Clinique, one of the prominent international beauty brands in the world. In India, even though the standard of beauty is changing slowly, what does this mean to you?

I am proud to be living in an age where beauty is about individuality, where women are encouraged to embrace their features and their flaws. Being Clinique’s brand ambassador has encouraged me, even further, to inspire young women to be real, natural and authentic in everything they do, without forgetting that beauty lies in simply being happy!

There has been a certain level of obsession associated with fair skin across the world, especially in our country. Do you feel this is the beginning of the changing representation/face of beauty?

Beauty, today, is all about liberating and unifying men and women. It’s in the many shades of our skin, our features that we can truly celebrate something that’s real and lasting. I’ve long admired Clinique and stand by its philosophy of empowering, inspiring and delivering happiness by celebrating natural beauty through great skin.

You are not someone who obsesses over having an image. What is that you care about the most, as a star, as a woman and as an actress? What was the first thing that came to your mind when this association happened?

I am somebody who likes to be real in everything I do. I don’t like to hide anything. You need to own your skin including your flaws. And that’s what Clinique has always been about. I don’t think there’s a better way of starting this year! To be a part of the Clinique India family is special because it’s a brand that’s authentic and believes in enhancing your natural beauty. Also, because they’ve never had an ambassador before, so this is a massive honour.

How do you define beauty?

Beauty to me is compassion.

5 must-haves in your beauty kit?

72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator and a face spray, Clinique Moisture Surge, my lip balm, a matte red lipstick, a really good make-up remover.

What is your beauty regime like?

72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator twice a day. I cleanse, tone and moisturise. I drink a lot of water , sleep a lot and I remember to stay happy.