Where do you live?
What is your personal style in three words?
Easy, effortless, comfy chic.
Favourite Sunday Dinner?
A thin crust pepperoni pizza.
Best Hostess Gift?
Apart from beauty, I’d say baking, alcohol and coffee. I’ve already got my own brand of cookies called Cookiyaan as a side hustle, hoping to have my own cafe-by-day-bar-by-night establishment by the time I’m 30.
How do you celebrate beauty in your daily life?
Beauty to me is all about your personal aesthetic. From your go-to makeup look to your favourite coffee cup, everything speaks volumes about you, and I strive to let my aesthetic reflect through every bit.
Describe your skincare routine?
I like to listen to my skin everyday as opposed to using multiple products just because. I start my morning with a gel-based cleanser or an exfoliator (2-3 times a week), followed by a gel-based moisturiser (I have combination skin) and sunscreen if I’m stepping out. I cleanse my face once again at night and use a nourishing night cream or sleeping mask. Face masks are my favourite kind of treatments and I make sure to use one twice a week — the one I use depends on how my skin feels and what it needs, whether that’s exfoliation, hydration or a dose of brightening actives.
Can you tell us how your career as a writer and beauty editor developed?
My first internship was with a student-oriented online portal back when I was in the 11th grade. That convinced me that journalism was my calling and I found myself on the Gold Coast in 2013, pursuing an undergraduate degree in the profession. I interned throughout my degree, writing for multiple on campus publications and getting myself as much editorial exposure around the city as possible. I then moved back to Mumbai and got my first post-university internship with the features department at Vogue India in March 2015. Next, I found myself taking on an internship with the beauty department at Elle India, who went on to hire me as Beauty Assistant. I’d always been interested in beauty, but I honestly never thought I’d be able to build a viable career that marries it with my love for writing. A year later, Vogue India came knocking with an opening for the position of Digital Beauty Writer for Vogue.in. Come January 2017 and I was back at my old office building (Conde Nast India), taking on a role that was immensely challenging but in hindsight, truly rewarding. I then decided to take the plunge to upskill and quit Vogue at the end of 2018, moving back to Australia (Melbourne, this time) in March 2019. I spent all of last year getting a post graduate diploma and working with some of the coolest names in Australian beauty, an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world. Snapping back to 2020, I’m now Associate Beauty Editor at an upcoming beauty start-up while also freelancing for some fabulous publications locally and around the world, and I couldn’t be happier.
Was there a mentor in your career?
Yes, my late professor Mike Grenby from my undergraduate days was the one person in my life I’d truly consider a mentor. He knew of — and celebrated — my every career move and always helped me make sense of the chaos in my mind. He passed away last year, and every time I find my by-line on a new publication or come across a new opportunity worth celebrating, I toast to him.
Three tips for people who want to start freelance writing for magazines (hard copy and digital).
- Until you’re standing at a “yes”, you’re always at a “no”. Do the research, send that email, reach out to that publication, even if you think you don’t stand a chance. Because maybe you do, you just don’t know it yet.
- Read the magazine, hard copy or digitally. Understand the kind of content they publish and pitch your ideas accordingly.
- Always tailor your email to the person and publication you’re writing to and make sure your subject line is crisp. Take a few days before you follow up but make sure you do. There’s no shame in hoping for a response, as long as you’re being professional.
What advice would you give the younger version of yourself?
Don’t fear failure — everything really does work out. Nothing will teach you as much as the bad days do.
If you could be teleported anywhere in the world for dinner?
It isn’t the fanciest of places, but right now, it would have to be the Opera Bar next to the Opera House in Sydney. I spent a sunny afternoon there accompanied by a beautiful pesto prawn pizza, portion of fries, a local pale ale and a very close friend, and I’d go back in a heartbeat.
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