By Aarti Kapur Singh
From a glam, tantrum-throwing supermodel in ‘Fashion’ to a 70s-era actress in ‘Once Upon a Time in Mumbai’ to the gorgeous, naughty rebel in ‘Tanu Weds Manu’, and more recently, the ‘Queen’ of everyone’s hearts, super-stylish actress Kangana Ranaut has done it all. A talented actress, Kangana is admired for her ease in portraying any character she takes on, and she’s establishing herself as a Bollywood icon with panache. So what makes up the essential Kangana? She tells us in her own words….
“I have style, and it is evolving”
This should not be taken as under-confidence, but perhaps the extra effort I put into dressing up was propelled by this impression that I was from a small town. I don’t desire to ape anybody, but I definitely wanted to prove that not having a bloodline or a last name that mattered in Bollywood wasn’t going to stop me. Of course my experiences as an actor who was exposed, thankfully to various influences, has also shaped my sense of style. I think Indian designers are doing some great work. I love Tarun Tahiliani’s creations. Then there’s Sabyasachi Mukherjee and I’ve recently come to love Reza Sharaffi’s work quite a lot.
Among international designers, Stella McCartney is my absolute favourite. I also like Alexander McQueen’s dresses but they are a bit dramatic so I would wear them for the movies, and not for everyday dressing. I also like Armani, Dior and Versace. My sense of style depends on my mood; if I want to dress up or do something out-of-the-box, I go ahead. I do have a fetish for quirky shades and unusual frames. On the other hand, I have a girly side too. I own a very romantic Miu Miu necklace from Paris with a huge stone that was inspired from Breakfast At Tiffany’s.
Style is something that grows with you – it is part of your own evolution as an individual. In my personal life, if it’s a formal event and I have to meet a lot of people, I would wear an elegant cocktail dress but if I’m going out with friends on the weekend I don’t bother much and just go out in shorts.
“My hair takes up most of my grooming time..”
With Maggi noodles for hair, isn’t it obvious?! (Laughs) Sporting various hairstyles in films can damage your tresses. There have been films where I’ve worn my natural curls but then I’ve also had to get it poker-straight for a few, and then I’ve had to sport a completely different style in others! All that drastic styling and the use of chemicals have taken a toll on my hair and I’m beginning to lose a lot of it. I pamper my tresses regularly with intensive repair treatments. Three times a week, I treat my hair to hot oil and steaming.
“Don’t rely only on makeup to look good..”
I do yoga regularly and eat a balanced diet. I firmly believe that you can’t get away with treating your skin badly and then expect make-up to do wonders for you. It won’t! The base of good make-up is healthy, hydrated skin. Once you eat right, drink loads of fluids and include exercise in your daily schedule, make-up can work its magic for you. I eat every two hours, consume high protein foods, drink lots of water and keep the right attitude. Being happy is what translates into a beautiful woman.
“I’m not fussy about makeup..”
You can’t be loyal to a single label when you have to create so many different looks. I pick from a lot of different brands depending on the effect I’m going for, the occasion and my dress. On film sets, if I’m portraying a dramatic character and need intense make-up, I would choose a brand such as MAC for my face, eyes and lips. But when I need to create a less dramatic look or for my regular daytime look, I go for a lighter base like YSL and Armani lip shades. I also like Chanel’s make-up, especially its shimmer products. You will usually find no makeup in my bag except for Nuxe Gentle Radiance Emulsion and Lancome Juicy Tube in Raspberry Ice. I am partial to peach and pale pink shades. The NARS Multiple Duo in Orgasm or South Beach, MAC Lipstick in Viva Glam 5, Benefit Posietint, Bare Minerals Powder Foundation in Light and Stila Eyeshadow Quad in Marrakesh are some of my favourite products. I must always scrub my face with REN Jojoba Microbead Purifying Facial Scrub.
“My fashion icons and sensibilities are not purely Indian..”
I don’t know if that is a good thing or bad – but that is me! My fashion icons range from Marilyn Monroe to Audrey Hepburn to Sonam Kapoor and Lady Gaga. I find Akshay Kumar to be very stylish too – but I think his wife Twinkle should take a lot of credit for that. I wish I could have been a muse to Alexander McQueen…