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My Beautiful Life: Actress Yami Gautam who wooed a million hearts (interview)

Let’s talk about your childhood?
I was born in Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh as my parents are both pandits from there. But I was brought up in Chandigarh. My grandfather started a school for the underprivileged in Chandigarh and that is why we moved from Himachal to Chandigarh. It was a small school, where even I would teach while in school. He was also the one to have started the Ramlila in Chandigarh. I have memories of going on a cycle with him to get it started. My dad had directed a serial called India’s Most Wanted and is now vice president with PTC channel based in Chandigarh. While post my grandparents not being there, the school and Ramlila have both shut down, my father believes that somewhere it is those blessings that every subsequent generation we have has grown, in terms of being more successful. My dad studied theatre and I am an actress in Mumbai. I was a good student at Punjab University and that is why the director of the university did not want to hand over my transfer certificate to me as he felt I should complete my studies. I was a kind of geek and was happy to be a champu oiling my hair and going to give my exams. All my friends were Sikhs, Jats and Punjabis. I learnt Punjabi from my neighbour and can now read and write it.

Beauty Philosophy: I’m a believer in home-made recipes and concoctions, so I stick to natural or herbal products as much as I can. I also meditate regularly to de-stress.

Beauty Ritual: No matter how long my day has been, I never forget to remove my make-up and slap on some intensive moisturiser before I go to bed.

Day Look: I like to keep it very simple and natural—just some light pink cheek tint, mascara and a nude lip balm. I wear sunscreen religiously, and my favourite is La Roche-Posay Anthelios— it has a high SPF content, but the texture isn’t greasy.

Night Look: For the night, I like subtle smoky eyes with lots of kajal and mascara paired with nude lips. I’d love to experiment with bold lips in pop colours some time—it’s something I’ve never had the courage to try, but it looks like a lot of fun.

Home Recipe: I make my own face exfoliant at home, using finely ground rice powder mixed with milk or yogurt. I also treat my skin to a honey, rose water, glycerine and lemon face pack. The honey moisturises and the lemon removes impurities.

Hair Secret: My hair is naturally straight, and I maintain its texture. My weekly indulgence is an egg-white and olive oil hair mask that deep-conditions and adds incredible shine. I also love warm oil massage with coconut oil—it’s deeply relaxing as well as very nourishing.

Fitness Files: I jog for 20 minutes and do hot yoga for 90 minutes every alternate day—yoga is my secret to healthy, glowing skin.

Heaven Scent: Dior J’Adore and Calvin Klein Forbidden Euphoria.

Make­up Must­-haves: I’m a big fan of M.A.C liquid foundation. For my eyes I use mascara by Maybelline, and for just a hint of colour on my lips, a strawberry lip balm by The Body Shop. I swear by the kajal my grandmother makes using pure ghee or almond oil. It’s very soothing, and I like that it’s completely chemical-free.

Diet Discipline: I start my day with fresh pomegranate juice on an empty stomach to detoxify my system. For breakfast, I have an egg-white sandwich, a banana shake and almonds. Before lunch I have a mini meal of fruit, to keep my metabolism going; and dal, vegetables or chicken curry with chapati, curd and cucumber salad for lunch. My evening snack is a brown-bread sandwich or homemade bhel, followed by grilled fish for dinner.