In the mainstream imagination, the immigrant story has become defined by dysphoria. It’s the constant unease of never quite feeling like you belong anywhere. It’s the experience of being too foreign for the West and too Westernized by home. It’s alienating, and for many, it’s a difficult truth. But for Pritika Swarup, her dual cultural identity has always been a source of pride. “I’ve never felt caught between these two identities,” she shares. “On the contrary, I feel nurtured by both.” And now, this deep understanding of and honor she offers her identity is the founding tenet of her business, too.
As a multi-hyphenate, Prakti Beauty is not Pritika’s first nor only venture. As an International Fashion Model and Global Ambassador for Operation Smile, Pritika’s scope has always reached far and wide. By creating a brand founded on the mission of empowering all women, Pritika hopes to help people everywhere celebrate their unique beauty, backgrounds, and talents.
This perspective is evident in the way she reflects on her career, and how she weaves her personal experience with her professional pursuits. “From my childhood on to today, I’ve seen very few people that look like me in any type of media in the West. As a young model, I was virtually the only one, and even today, I’m one of very few Indian models in the business. I felt compelled to create a brand that is inclusive and offers a true representation of global beauty.”
Pritika founded Prakti Beauty to pioneer a new type of beauty practice, one that’s inspired by traditional Indian and Ayurvedic practices while also catering to modern, Western lifestyles. “Ameri-Vedic Beauty,” she calls it. Her entrepreneurial instinct reflects how many people are embracing Ayurvedic practices in their daily lives. Tongue scraping, oil pulling, and herbal remedies have grown in their global adoption, and Prakti Beauty helps make these practices all the more accessible.
But what about her own routines? As a beauty and ritual expert, Pritika Swarup’s morning routine is one worth emulating. Read on to discover how she balances a productive morning with prioritizing the practices that keep her grounded and nourished.
What inspired you to create Prakti Beauty?
I created Prakti to bring Indian beauty to the forefront of the global industry and directly into the hands of my generation. Through my exposure to the beauty industry and working for many cosmetic companies, I could not understand why there had never been an India-inspired brand to reach a global scale. That’s when I identified a white space in the market between traditional Ayurvedic Indian brands and Western ones. There was no brand that bridged the gap and had the ability to appeal to global consumers. Prakti, from the outset, was meant to resonate on a global level.
How do you hope to make a difference and push your industry forward?
Born and raised in America of Indian heritage, I’ve never felt caught between these two identities. On the contrary, I felt nurtured by both. That’s how Prakti’s hybrid concept came about. Prakti’s global approach combines the cultural richness and spirituality of India with the energy and technologies of the West.
The inspiration behind the brand comes from so many of my personal experiences. It really is an extension of who I am.
I also felt compelled to create a brand that is inclusive and offers a true representation of global beauty. I believe that Indian beauty deserves a place center-stage. Prakti’s greater mission is to inspire—I want to inspire women to fearlessly pursue multidimensional, fulfilling lives.
How have you incorporated Indian remedies and Ayurvedic pharmacopeia into your skincare?
Ayurveda was a great place to start because of its holistic philosophy of treating the whole self. We take the most potent Ayurvedic and Indian ingredients and integrate them into modern, luxurious bases that are a vehicle by which the ingredients become even more effective.
I wanted to honor and create luxurious, rich ritual experiences that people can realistically use today. Prakti has reimagined traditional Indian beauty rituals into more convenient, effective, sensorial practices. Most homemade skincare rituals don’t translate to the modern world, so instead of losing the benefit and beauty of these rituals, Prakti makes them more available and accessible to women. And it’s just as natural, pure, and clean.
What advice do you have for Someone Thinking About Making a career change?
Learn everything you possibly can about the industry you are trying to move into—then start. There will be lots of pitfalls along the way, but that’s just the process. Never let that discourage you.
How do you go after your dreams?
Let your passion drive you toward your dreams and never give up!
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is different for me, so I don’t have a typical schedule. It depends on whether I’m working from home (Zoom calls, team meetings, etc.), shooting on set, or traveling for work.
What time is your wake-up call?
I wake up at 6 a.m. for early calls to catch the end of the work day in India. I usually get six hours of sleep.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
I drink a full bottle of water. It flushes out the stomach and balances the lymphatic system. This supports the immune system.
What rituals set you up for success?
I start my day with stretching, meditation, and setting my intention for the day. It’s very important for me to have some time to myself in the morning because everything usually comes at me at once when the clock strikes 7 a.m.
Describe your morning beauty routine from start to finish:
I love taking time for my beauty and skincare regimen. In the morning, a light cream cleanser, PritiPolish Instant Glow Exfoliator, and then a moisturizer. If I have more time, I use either a detox or hydration mask (depending on what my skin needs) and then I use a cold jade roller all around my face to stimulate blood flow and circulation. My skincare routine is pretty simple (I’ve learned over the years that less is more). If I’m going outside, I always wear at least SPF 40. I don’t wear makeup every day because I wear makeup for shoots, events, etc. I like to let my skin breathe as much as I can.
What are your morning media rituals?
I read the news, check my email, and scroll through Instagram to catch up with anything I’ve missed.
What are your favorite books?
Right now, I’m reading Great Expectations and Stealing Fire. My favorite book is between Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut or The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
What do you always have on your nightstand to ensure a smooth, successful morning?
A bottle of water, Aquaphor, and MahaMask.
What’s your favorite getting-ready soundtrack?
Apple music’s “Chill” Playlist.
Do You have a daily uniform?
A cozy sweater and jeans. I dress up for work and events a lot, so I like to keep it simple and comfortable at home.
If you had one extra hour every morning, how would you use it?
What are one or two things you do every day to live a more mindful life?
Meditation and breathing exercises.
If you could pin your success down to one thing or one moment, what would that be?
Always believing in myself.
I never leave the house without: MahaMask
If there were more hours in the day, I would: sleep more.
Healthiest morning habit: drinking hot water with lemon. And meditation.
Worst morning habit: being “too” comfortable in bed
One thing I want to be known for is: inspiring women to be their best selves while living multidimensional, fulfilling lives.
The one thing I fear the most is: loss of control.
When I feel that fear, I: remember to take one step at a time to get to a comfortable place.
The book I always recommend is: Stealing Fire
The 3 traits you need to succeed in life are: Resiliance, Kindness, Optimism.
Bath or shower? Bath—with crystals.
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