Most of us remember Roshni Chopra as the scheming Pia from the wildly successful 2006 TV series Kasamh Se and a number of reality shows where she was either a participant or a presenter. But over the years, Chopra has become a permanent fixture on our Instagram feeds with refreshingly authentic content ranging from lifestyle and beauty to fashion.
“My background has been in acting and while I loved it, you’d always get a script which is essentially somebody else’s vision and you have to submit yourself to that vision as an actor. What I enjoy about content creation is the intimacy and the authorship, and how personal content on Instagram was,” she says as we catch her in between her many commitments for a chat about her journey as a content creator and all things beauty.
Chopra claims that her natural curiosity and penchant for going deep into any new subject that caught her interest have helped her a lot in building a truly organic presence online.
“I really enjoyed the response I was getting when I would put out something extremely organic and personal. I realised that it’s not insignificant. There are thousands of people saving these posts and, in some way, this is creating an impact for the brands that I had been working with because they would get back to me with how much sales and traction we’ve managed to generate for them. I decided to make it more structured and to bring about some organisation to this and be more committed to it.”
While her social media presence is focused on holistic living, her beauty content has managed to set her apart from the seemingly endless list of content creators out there. Her knowledge and research-backed posts have led to her feed becoming a safe space for beauty and skincare enthusiasts and beginners. Chopra credits her healthy attitude towards beauty to her stylish yet down-to-earth mother and grandmother and the blissful absence of social media.
“For them, beauty was mostly about DIY recipes and hacks. Rather than wearing loads of make-up, they focused on basics like eating well, meditating, moving your body, and taking care of the skin. So, for me, beauty has always been about loving yourself and feeling beautiful from the inside. That’s a very strong foundation and luckily we didn’t have social media while growing up and nothing skewed my image or perception of myself. I would look in the mirror and think I was Aishwarya Rai! You just didn’t compare yourself so much to strangers.”
Speaking of social media, Chopra acknowledges the double-edged sword it represents. While it grants unprecedented access to information, it also bombards individuals with an overload of content, making it challenging to discern what to trust and follow. She believes that beauty content should serve as inspiration and reminders rather than strict guidelines.
“What I think, and this is true for all beauty content that’s out there, is that none of it is directly applicable to anyone. These are just ideas and inspiration boards. When I share a full routine or when you see me put potato juice-soaked cotton pads under my eyes, it’s not to tell you that you should also do that. It’s there to serve as a reminder that ‘Hey! Look after yourself. Enjoy the process and figure out what’s best for you.’ It should never be ‘Oh, she does this so I’m also going to do this’.”
But she admits that she has not been immune to the clickbaity wonder of Instagram content, revealing that while some hacks have been game-changers for her (rice water, infused with rosemary oil, and frozen aloe vera facial), there have been many that have left her baffled, including one involving bananas and Botox, “Someone online was saying banana was better than Botox. Banana peel is very enriched but it’s not better than Botox! DIY natural remedies are great but they’re not permanent and you’ll start to really see their effects over consistent use. This is also another reason to not trust anything you read online blindly!”
While she loves balancing her skincare routine with a mix of chemical products, there are two DIY hacks that have been passed down through generations in her family that have become an unconscious practice for her. “The Kari Patta (curry leaves), Rai (rapeseed), Methi (fenugreek seeds) and coconut oil mixed with a little bit of coffee is something that is amazing. You brew this concoction at home and use it. I don’t have any grey hair thanks to this oil! I think that really works. The other one is the classic North Indian beauty remedy of using a Besan (gram flour), Honey and Dahi (curd) face pack. You go out in the sun and you come back and you just use it. It’s a habit now.”
This aligns with her outlook towards over-complication of beauty and skincare routines, something that she has learnt to avoid and hopes to propagate to her followers too, “The way all of the marketing works is to make you believe that you need something that you really don’t. So many expensive creams and things like that are marketed to make you think that you have to save up a lot to buy that product. Actually, the best skincare you can use is available at pharmacies at half the cost,” she says,
“Take the French, for instance. Beauty is entrenched in their culture and they rely so much on pharmacy beauty and skincare products, most don’t even buy anything from big brands. India is an emerging market and a lot of big brands are pumping crazy amounts of money into it for marketing. Even I’ve been prey to that trap where I’ve thought to myself that ‘No, you have to buy that product only’, but after you’ve tested hundreds of products like I have, you realise that some of the most efficient products are not that expensive and are often easily available in your own home.”
Are you taking notes, people?