She’s like the proverbial warrior waiting to strike an unexpected yet knockout punch. And while at that, mesmerizing us with the way she looks, performs and moves. Katrina Kaif has had an unusual journey into Bollywood. She has faced every curve ball thrown at her (be it her accent, her acting skills, comments and criticism) with grace, finesse and a hero’s attitude. And successfully turned each challenge into an asset and advantage. One of the actors in the top league today, she wowed us with her Madam/Sir role in Bharat and is shooting for Sooryavanshi and Phone Booth. She has recently turned into a beauty entrepreneur with her line of cosmetics called Kay Beauty and is prepping for being Hindi cinema’s first female superhero in Ali Abbas Zafar’s upcoming film Super Police. Manju Ramanan chats up with the gorgeous Katrina Kaif.
You have been the representation of fitness and beauty. Were you always inclined towards this space?
Yes, always. I grew up in a family of six girls. Needless to say, I was always surrounded by make-up. So, I learnt to play around and experiment with it from a young age.
I have always believed that a healthy body results in a happy and positive mind. Taking care of your inner well-being and mental health is extremely important, things like mindfulness, meditation just a few minutes a day can really help. I also like challenging myself by mixing my workout plans. Working out is not all about being thin. It is about improving your stamina and strength. I really do love working out. Without it, I am not the best version of myself.
How many hours do you dedicate to fitness daily?
I believe that it is not necessary to workout everyday but I try to stick to my six-day routine. I generally work out for at least 45 minutes a day. Strength training in the gym, Pilates and yoga are a part of my workout regime. While strength training helps me work on my core, Pilates and yoga help me focus and stay calm. Free-hand exercises like lunges and squats are great and can be executed in 20 minutes.
What was your most challenging role when it came to fitness?
There are two films that required me to work very hard on my physique – Tiger Zinda Hai and Dhoom 3. While Tiger Zinda Hai required me to pull off some high-octane stunts, Dhoom 3 was all about executing some difficult dance moves. I have been doing an intensive high mix of squats, lunges, push-ups and Pilates along with strength training at the gym with my trainer and friend, Yasmin Karachiwala for Tiger Zinda Hai. For Dhoom 3, I did some rigorous workout sessions for about 10-hours a day to work on my flexibility and core strength. Apart from my regular exercises, I spent a lot of time in acrobat training.
What is your diet like these days? Do you cook?
It is important to watch what you eat. Contrary to the popular notion, I include ample carbs in my diet. I try to stay away from gluten, refined sugar and dairy products. Even now that I am at home, I am making sure that I do not binge on junk and fried food. I have a clean diet.
I have begun a little bit of cooking during this lockdown. I have tried my hands at making pancakes, omelets and salad. I am slowly getting there but I know that I can be a good cook someday (laughs).
Do you think beauty is skin deep? Why or why not?
I have always maintained that beauty-products are meant to enhance your personality rather than beautifying you. We are all beautiful and unique in our own ways and we need to celebrate that. The world has defined beauty as something which I think is all about vanity. I believe that we are the most beautiful when we are happy.
What is your skin care regime during the day and during the night?
During the day, I apply a basic moisturizer. It helps my skin stay hydrated. The secret to a good skin is drinking lots of water. I have also begun my version of an ice bucket challenge where I dunk my face in a big bowl full of ice-cold water before applying make-up. At night, I massage my face with coconut oil before washing thoroughly.
Why did you choose beauty as a business?
Right since my days as a model, I have been fascinated with make-up. All of my make-up artists will tell you about how I keep asking them questions about cosmetics and beauty products. That has been and that continues to be the basis of why I’m always intrigued to try out new products. Makeup has been an innate part of my journey- from runway to the big screen, and finally I rendered my love for it to launch Kay Beauty, my first ever Beauty Brand! I could imagine no better beauty partner in India than Nykaa to launch this brand. Not only do they have a deep understanding of their consumers, but also this amazing reach which will allow Kay Beauty to be available to everyone across India. I always wanted to create something I strongly feel about, something where I can be involved with right since its nascent stage. I see so many women suffering from low self-esteem, thinking that they aren’t beautiful. I wanted to let them know that make-up should be fun! I wanted to own a beauty label through which I could give out the message that we should learn to celebrate ourselves.
Tell us about the making of Kay?
It was years ago after a meeting with Nykaa – Falguni (Nayar) and Reena (Chhabra), when we decided to work together on our beauty brand, Kay Beauty, and finally it went live in 2019. It has helped me fulfil my dream to own something I can call my own! Kay Beauty is a true representative of who I am – I wanted to create a beauty brand that said what I think about make-up and what do I expect from my make-up. I also asked myself a very demanding question – how can we get more out of makeup? That is what I wanted Kay Beauty to be – a bridge between high glamour and care, so all of us can be glamorous without any guilt. Kay Beauty stands for #MakeUpThatKares, as each high-performance product is enriched with skin loving ingredients that have been hand-picked to care for your skin. It was also very important for me that the collection was versatile enough to cater to different skin tones, ages and emotions. With the range of shades and buildable formulas every woman can find their look, whether it’s quick glam or ultra-luxe! I am very thrilled as our brand completes a year this month since its inception. You can expect some exciting colour cosmetics and face products in the coming two months! We will be touching approx. 200 SKUs at the end of 2020 and in the coming years Kay Beauty will grow into a full-fledged makeup brand catering to all beauty needs. Under #KARE initiatives, we will be extending a helping hand and empower women from different walks of life. We will continue to support causes close to our hearts and help build a better tomorrow.
What is your input in adding your experience to the brand?
I have been working on Kay Beauty closely with the Nykaa team, every step of the way. I have been involved in all the aspects such as packaging, the ingredients in the products, the shades, the formulations, marketing and even how we wanted the first campaign picture to look. It gives me immense pleasure to be a part of the brand which I can call my own.
I also wanted to make sure that we take our time before launching the products rather than flooding the market by unveiling them all at once. I wanted and still want everyone to give enough time to understand the products. I have taken all the knowledge I’ve gained in the course of my career and put it into these beauty products!
Our brand launch video campaign ‘It’s Kay To Be You’ came up after some brainstorming on mine and Zoya’s (Akhtar) part, which is a message to all the women out there that it is completely fine to accept your imperfections, hence #ITSKAYTOBEYOU.
What is your favourite make up hack?
I love eye liners! After I apply them, I smudge them around the corners of my eyes because it renders a softer and natural look to them. That is why we’ve added the Smokey Kajal in the Kay Beauty kajal range, as it is super quick and effective for a smoky eye in less than a minute! I suggest all women try that out because a good eye make-up has the power to transform you. Apart from that, I like blending my foundation with my fingertips for a natural finish, I can vouch for it that it works like magic!
5 beauty products that must be in your bag?
An eye-liner, mascara, foundation, a perfect shade of a lipstick or lip gloss and my moisturizer. I love putting on mascara (you must try out my Kay Beauty length & volume mascara because it is sensational!) because it helps enhance my eyes and I have always maintained that a good liner and lip shade are everything that you need to feel confident. A moisturizer with SPF is a must for me because my skin tends to turn red due to the hot and humid climate here.
Do you see beauty overshadow talent in an actor sometimes?
No, never! It is your talent and soul that makes you beautiful. If you are hardworking and passionate about what you do you are in it for the long haul. Many believe that showbiz is a vanity business and it is your looks that determine your longevity in the industry. But I do not subscribe to that notion. If you want to be a successful actor, you need to be talented, hard-working and have a positive personality. Confidence in the self is important and confidence is beautiful.
Name the actresses you find beautiful?
I honestly find everyone has their own unique beauty which is exactly what our campaign has also been about – every woman is unique and beautiful and in their own way
Name three Bollywood dancers you absolutely adore?
Madhuri Dixit is my ultimate inspiration when it comes to dancing. Then there is Hrithik Roshan who is so effortless. You have to be really good to match up to his energy.
How did you spend time during the lockdown? How did it enhance your creativity?
I kept myself busy by doing a lot of introspection, reading, meditation, my workout, and doing the household chores. I was also very busy working on the upcoming product launches for Kay. Every day we have worked on that front. Apart from that, I had also been reading scripts and narration. The lockdown made us all introspect on how blessed our lives are and how much we take things for granted. It also helped me polish my cooking and kitchen skills (laughs). I respect everyone who does this on a regular basis. I also worked very hard with the team on Kay Beauty throughout the lockdown, where we came up with some exciting properties on the @Kabalarian Instagram page and continued to tirelessly work on the launches that you will be seeing in the coming months!
Where are you likely to head out once the lockdown ends?
There were days when I really missed being on a shoot. So, I am really looking forward to being back on the sets soon.
Tell us about your memories of the UAE? When you come here for the first time?
I think the first time was for a film shoot. I have shot a lot in the UAE for my films. I always have the most wonderful time – it’s one of my favourite places to shoot.