With a glowing resume that includes modeling for some seriously coveted brands like MAC Cosmetics and Fenty Beauty, it makes sense that supermodel Pritika Swarup knows how to keep her skin glowing. Swarup has rightfully earned many impressive magazine covers and features (including DuJour!) because of her natural beauty, but it is her list of other accolades that truly set her apart. Currently a student at Columbia University, the 24-year-old Virginia Beach native founded Praetorian Management LLC, a secondary market investment fund, worked as an Investment Analyst at NYC-based investment firm New Legacy, and most recently, has been working on launching her own beauty and skincare line called Prakti.
Inspired by her Indian roots and experience in the modeling world, Swarup created Prakti to bring Indian beauty to the forefront of the industry and directly into the hands of her own generation. “I always felt the absence of my culture in mainstream media and the beauty industry growing up, and especially when I started working in fashion at the age of 17,” she says. “It was then that I realized how much Indian beauty and holistic wellness were significantly underrepresented in the market. The clear lack of inclusivity and true representation of global beauty, not only Indian beauty practices, but the beauty of Indian women and all women, disturbed me to my very core.”
Swarup admits that her own challenging experiences working with different makeup artists in the past have really reinforced her belief that beauty comes from the inside and that makeup should amplify that. “I’m Indian, which means I have a combination of olive and yellow undertones. Cosmetic brands hadn’t created a foundation that fit my skin tone until much later in my career,” she says. “Even two years ago, I was shooting a campaign for a major brand, and they used a foundation that was at least four shades darker than my skin tone. I looked in the mirror and didn’t even recognize myself.”
Although skincare has always been a top priority for Swarup, she has grown to love the playfulness of makeup and how it can be used in so many ways. “I love that makeup can change your whole look and attitude and completely transform a mood during a photoshoot. I live for becoming a character on set and embodying a role for the day. Makeup allows you to express yourself to an even greater extent than just words.”
By fusing the cultural richness and spirituality of India with the modern technologies of the West, Prakti aims to bridge the gap between the two worlds and empower all women to embrace their beauty. “The ultimate goal is to pull the curtain back on modern India to reveal the holistic beauty and rituals of the East, and at the same time, inspire young women everywhere to pursue multi-dimensional, fulfilling lives, fearlessly,” Swarup says.
Below, Swarup tells us more about what we can expect from her new all-inclusive, Indian-inspired skincare line.
Tell me about the brand’s name, Prakti!
Prakti is a fusion of two words that seamlessly express the ethos of the brand–Pritika means loved one, and Shakti is the Hindi word for female power/energy. Shakti aligns with our brand’s purpose to inspire women to pursue multidimensional, fulfilling lives. I’ve built this brand to go beyond the beauty space as a tool to empower women and connect in a meaningful way.
Any must-have products from Prakti you already can’t live without?
I’m super obsessed with all of the products in our first lineup. PritiPolish – Instant Glow Exfoliator is insane! I use it every day and it leaves my skin feeling SO soft and glowing, like never before. It’s a physical and enzymatic exfoliating experience that really gets the job done. The product has a few unexpected amazing surprises while in use, so stay tuned for that!
How do you think makeup and skincare should work together in someone’s routine?
I believe taking care of your skin is most important, and makeup should be used to amplify your natural beauty. More skincare and less makeup.
What is your top skincare tip for someone struggling to find their routine or isn’t sure where to start?
Don’t use too many products. Identify your type of skin and specific needs and then keep it very simple. I stick with the basics, or what I call, the four P’s: purify, protect, pamper, and polish. I’ve integrated these pillars into the foundation of Prakti as well.