In the dominant imagination, the history of immigration has been defined by dysphoria. It’s the constant discomfort of never really feeling like you belong anywhere. It is the experience of being too foreign to the West and too westernized by one’s country of origin. It’s alienating, and for many it’s a hard truth. But for Pritika Swaup, its dual cultural identity has always been a source of pride. “I never felt caught between those two identities,” she shares. “On the contrary, I feel nurtured by both.” And now, this deep understanding and honoring of her identity is also the founding principle of her business.
As a multiple hyphen, Beauty Prakti is not Pritika’s first or only venture. As an international model and global ambassador for Operation Smile, Pritika’s reach has always been far reaching. By creating a brand founded on the mission of empowering all women, Pritika hopes to help people around the world celebrate their unique beauty, backgrounds and talents.
This perspective is evident in the way she reflects on her career and weaves her personal experience with her professional pursuits. “From my childhood until today, I have seen very few people who looked like me in any type of media in the West. As a young model I was practically the only one, and even today I am one of the very few Indian models in the business. I felt compelled to create a brand that was inclusive and offered a true representation of global beauty.
Pratika founded Prakti Beauty to launch a new type of beauty practice, inspired by traditional Indian and Ayurvedic practices while catering to modern Western lifestyles. “American-Vedic beauty,” she calls it. His entrepreneurial instinct reflects the number of people who adopt Ayurvedic practices in their daily life. Tongue scraping, oil pulling and herbal remedies have seen global adoption, and Prakti Beauty is helping to make these practices all the more accessible.
But what about his own routines? As a beauty and ritual expert, Pritika Swarup’s morning routine is worth emulating. Read on to find out how she balances a productive morning by prioritizing 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 numerous cosmetics companies, I couldn’t understand why there had never been an Indian-inspired brand to reach a global scale. It was then that I identified a white space in the market between traditional Indian Ayurvedic brands and Western brands. There was no brand that bridged the gap and had the ability to appeal to global consumers. Prakti, from the outset, was intended to resonate globally.
How do you hope to make a difference and move your industry forward?
Born and raised in American Indian descent, I never felt stuck between these two identities. On the contrary, I felt nurtured by both. This is how the hybrid concept of Prakti was born. 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 was inclusive and offered a true representation of global beauty. I believe Indian beauty deserves center stage. Prakti’s greatest mission is to inspire – I want to inspire women to fearlessly pursue multi-dimensional, fulfilling lives.
How did you integrate Indian remedies and Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia into your care?
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 incorporate them into modern, luxurious bases that are a vehicle through which the ingredients become even more effective.
I wanted to honor and create luxurious and rich ritual experiences that people can realistically use today. Prakti has reinvented traditional Indian beauty rituals into more practical, more effective sensory practices. Most homemade skincare rituals don’t translate to the modern world, so instead of losing the benefits 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 would you give to someone considering a career change?
Learn everything you can about the industry you’re trying to get into, then get started. There will be many bumps along the way, but that’s just the process. Never let that discourage you.
How are you going after your dreams?
Let your passion lead you to 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 alarm clock?
I wake up at 6am to morning calls to catch up on the end of the working day in India. I usually sleep six hours.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
I drink a full bottle of water. It cleans 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 for myself in the morning because everything usually comes to me at the same time when the clock strikes 7 am.
Describe your morning beauty routine from start to finish:
I like to take time for my beauty and skincare routine. In the morning, a light cleansing cream, PritiPolish Instant Glow Exfoliator, followed by moisturizer. If I have more time, I either use a detox or moisturizing mask (depending on my skin’s needs) then I use a cold jade roller all around my face to stimulate blood circulation. My skincare routine is pretty simple (I’ve learned over the years that less is more). If I go out, 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 possible.
What are your morning media rituals?
I read the news, check my email, and scroll through Instagram to catch up on anything I’ve missed.
What are your favorite books?
Right now I’m reading great expectations and steal the fire. My favorite book is between Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut or Dorian Gray’s photo by Oscar Wilde.
What do you always have on your bedside table to ensure a smooth and successful morning?
A bottle of water, Aquaphor, and MahaMask.
What’s your favorite prep soundtrack?
Apple Music “Chill” playlist.
Do you have a daily uniform?
A cozy sweater and jeans. I dress up a lot for work and events, so I like to keep it simple and comfortable at home.
If you had an 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 attribute your success to one thing or time, what would it be?
Always believe in me.
I never leave the house without: MahaMask
If there were more hours in the day, I: Sleep more.
Healthiest morning habit: drink hot water with lemon. And meditation.
The worst morning habit: being “too” comfortable in bed
One thing I want to be known for is: inspiring women to be their best while living multidimensional and fulfilling lives.
The one thing I fear the most is: loss of control.
When I feel this fear, I: remember to take one step at a time to get to a comfortable place.
The book I always recommend is: Steal fire
The 3 traits you need to be successful in life are: Resilience, Kindness, Optimism.
Bath or shower? Bath—with crystals.