Journalist and model Simran Randhawa talks to us about her career highlights, earliest beauty memories and why jasmine is her favourite smell
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After getting frustrated in sociology class over not finding anyone who was writing about societal issues in a relatable way, journalist and model Simran Randhawa took matters into her own hands and started a blog. Writing about everything from beauty to heritage and mental health, Simran’s frank style and openness about her own struggles and pressures earned her many fans and led to editorial roles at LAPP and gal-dem.
Of Indian heritage, Simran grew up between London and Johor Baru in Malaysia, and part of her work is resisting the narratives typically assigned to Indian girls. “I’m invested in telling my stories outside of the stereotypical realm Indian girls can tend to be seen in in the media,” she tells us. Earlier this year, when working with Esteé Lauder Companies as both model and creative director on their first cross-brand editorial, Simran used the opportunity to represent her South Asian culture, choosing a team of mostly South Asian artists, from the hair stylist to the henna expert and the photographer. Now working on a podcast and experimenting with documentary as a story-telling vehicle, we spoke to Simran about her earliest beauty memories and why jasmine is her favourite smell.
What’s your career highlight?
Being the muse and creative director of the first cross-brand editorial for Estée Lauder was definitely a big moment for me. They approached me with the idea as they liked my vibe, but I’m super grateful they let me do whatever I wanted to and supported me showing off my culture. The reception to it was so humbling.
What 3 beauty products are in your bag right this second?
My Avene Thermal Water Spray (so refreshing), MAC Penultimate brow marker in brown (for touching up my faux freckles) and my LanoLips lip balm.
What’s your earliest beauty related memory?
In Malaysia, I must have been around 5 or 6 and it was the day of my Masi’s (mum’s younger sister) wedding. I have a clear memory of sitting by her feet whilst someone painted her toenails and another did her wedding henna on her hands.
What’s your favourite smell and why?
Jasmine. Without a doubt. Not to keep banging on about Malaysia but there was a temple in another town that my family used to hold 3-day prayers every year. All of my extended family would come from all over Malaysia and it was a really special time, and in the temple, there were jasmine flowers that you’d smell as soon as you walked in. I look for it in perfume now.