When it came to deciding who would take home The ELLE Global Icon of the Year Award at the ELLE Beauty Awards 2022, Deepika Padukone was the most unanimous and loudest choice. And rightly so. The 36-year-old actor turned entrepreneur has had a glorious last few years. Just a prefix for this year includes a much-debated and applauded performance in Gehraiyaan, followed by the launch of her global self-care brand, 82°E. As one of the most followed actors on social media, the global influence she has on her audience is immense. So naturally, we were hooked on the launch of her brand. From what it was to what it looked like and how it aligned with Brand DP, we wanted to know it all. We caught up with our digital cover star of the month on the day of her brand launch, and the conversation was exactly what you would expect from Deepika: calm, collected and nuanced.
A global self-care brand with skincare as it’s inaugural category is an extremely niche space, and for Deepika, the drive lies in the very fact that it’s an uncommon combination. “My main idea is to educate people about the importance of self-care and indulging in it without the guilt. Especially in our country, where women are always multitasking and switching roles, there’s always that feeling of guilt when you pause and take time for yourself. While in the last couple of years there seems to be a lot more awareness about putting oneself first, I feel that we still struggle with the idea of putting our own needs over somebody else.”
“Self-care is also an extremely individualistic thing, and that is exactly the pulse of what we’ve tried to achieve with our brand,” she continues. “If you were to look at the brand’s film on self-care right now, you’ll see different girls doing different rituals. How did we come across these rituals? We spoke to a bunch of women and asked them about their own rituals. For someone, it’s brewing a cup of tea, while for someone else, it’s spending time with their pet. For me, self-care is something as simple as lighting a candle. Of course, self-care is not just these rituals; it’s a combination of many things. But the main idea is to do it and own it without guilt. I think that is precisely what I wish to achieve with my brand.”
In the global market of celebrity-led brands, how does 82°E extend into her own personality? “I’ve been on this journey of self-care right from the time that I was a little girl. Maybe I wasn’t able to articulate it as self-care, but I still did it. And that is what makes this brand such an authentic extension of who I am and my core beliefs. The only difference between my self-care rituals back then and now is that today I do it unabashedly and without any guilt. While 82°E is a self-care brand, and we will continue talking about specific categories and products, there is also a connection between the act of self-care and mental health, which resonates with me. A large part of my own self-care rituals is to nurture my mental health.” And what is it that is keeping her mentally happy at the moment? She takes a long pause before she lets me in. “One is, of course, gratitude. I feel abundant gratitude for everything that’s going on in my life right now. The second is the people in my life, my support system. Be it my husband, my family, my friends or my team.”
Growing up in a society where taking time off is considered weak or selfish, I ask Deepika how she manages the balance between hustling and slowing down. “I’ve always known the importance of nurturing myself as much as I nurture the people or the relationships around me,” she replies.
As a global disruptor in the truest sense of the word, what gets her out of bed? What keeps her motivated? “Just a sense of purpose,” comes the quick reply. “I cannot get myself to do something without it being meaningful and purposeful. I’ve always been driven in this manner, and I know that if I am doing something, I will do it well. And meaningfully, mindfully and purposefully! That’s what keeps me going. Thinking of how I can, at this stage in my life and in my career, positively impact people’s lives through my work and everything else that I do?!”
My last question begs itself: how vital is self-care in her every routine? “Amidst all of the chaos and the madness, it is my self-care routine that truly keeps me grounded.” Touché Deepika.
ELLE India Editor: Ainee Nizami Ahmedi; Fashion Editor: Zoha Castelino; Words: Ainee Nizami Ahmedi; Hair: Gabriel Georgiou (anima creatives); Make-up: Anil C; Production: Imran Khatri Productions; Editorial Assistant: Riya Suresh; Assisted by: Komal Shetty, Kawya Gharat (styling), Anish George Oommen (photography); Brand Coordinator: Aangi Nahta; Artist’s management agency: Spice