Priyanka Chopra On The Joy Of OTT Met Gala Looks, Taking Her Make-Up Off And Improving Representation

Photo credit: Steven Ferdman

Once you’ve landed the title of Miss World, starred in and produced over 70 films, recorded three singles, written a memoir that reached The New York Times Best Seller List, fronted two ELLE covers, launched your own haircare line, campaigned for health and education for underprivileged children in India and married a Jonas brother, it would be understandable to slow down a little. Which is exactly what actor, activist and Max Factor’s new Ambassador and Creative Collaborator, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, is not doing.

After over a year of lockdown, missing loved ones and looking ahead to the future, ELLE UK caught up with Chopra Jonas from the set of her new show Citadel to chat all things joyful beauty. From puppy puddles and her husband Nick Jonas’ smile, to wearing elaborate make-up looks to the Met Gala and discussing how her role with Max Factor is affecting meaningful change in the make-up industry, the multi-hyphenate star is determined to find beauty in everything…

Photo credit: Tom Munro for Max Factor

Photo credit: Tom Munro for Max Factor

What is it about beauty that sparks joy for you?

‘I find joy in beauty every single day. Finding beauty in everything is how I enjoy life. That feeling when it first starts raining and you can see the plants and you know they’re all anticipating it. The smell of the air changing – that’s beautiful to me. When I come home and my puppies come running at me and I see their eyes and they’re all over me and I’m on the floor. Puppy puddles are one of the most beautiful things to me.

‘I think looking for beauty in small things is so important, whether it’s your partner’s smile, or a great meal, or, you know, just looking at the night sky and making sure you actually see it versus just taking it for granted.’

Photo credit: FADEL SENNA

Photo credit: FADEL SENNA

How did beauty play a role in your own self-care during the pandemic?

‘I think going through the pandemic and being at home, I’ve learned to start choosing myself more. I’ve learned that prioritising not just my physical health, but my mental health is so important. How I feel about myself makes me feel equipped to deal with the world in a much better way.

‘Taking my make-up off is so ritualistic for me. I come home from work, have my evening shower and take off my make-up. I feel like I’m taking my day off, you know? I’m done with whatever stresses happened when I was outside of the safety of my home – I just wash it off and I put on my pyjamas and let go of my insecurities and fears. It’s a ritual I’ve done for years.’

What is it about make-up that’s so powerful to you?

‘Make-up is so hugely transformative. I’ve been working on a show called Citadel for a year now and every morning I sit in the glam chair, I put on my make-up and I transform into my character. I wear the lipstick she would wear, I wear the foundation she would choose, I read my script for the day and when I leave that chair, I’m her, not me.

‘Even in my personal life, make-up is such a great way of expressing myself but also feeling comfortable with who I am. To look in the mirror and see myself before I put the make-up on and be comfortable with that version of me – the one without perfect eyebrows, wearing glasses and sweat pants. Even then I still feel beautiful because I feel comfortable in my own skin, and for me that’s the best foundation for make-up.

Talk us through your own make-up stash…

‘I’m for sure more Marie Kondo when it comes to my personal make-up stash. I’ve got loads of lipsticks, mascara, a lash curler, brow pencil and powder, and some concealer. Pretty basic if I must say, but that’s entirely intentional. My on-set make-up stash, however, is the full works.’

We missed you at the Met Gala this year, tell us about some of the epic make-up looks you’ve worn in the past…

‘The Met Gala is always amazing, because it’s transformative, right? It’s not like a normal red carpet where you pick a dress according to the movie that you’re premiering, it’s different. The Met Gala is like a masquerade ball, so those looks have always been fun to do. I love doing elaborate make-up and having those references – when I’m doing a red carpet appearance I love a good reference, I try to find one for every major carpet that I do but it’s usually a feeling rather than a person.

‘I’m looking forward to wearing joyful make-up at either a date night or night out with my friends and family very soon!’

As the face of Max Factor why is it so important for you to be a role model for representation and diversity in beauty?

‘It’s been a fight for me. Growing up there were so many make-up brands that weren’t inclusive of my skin tone. Since then, my generation has made a big noise around inclusivity and it gives me so much joy. The number of foundations that Max Factor has is so good – I wear Warm Caramel and it’s exactly the shade that that I would have wanted growing up. And that’s what evolution is all about. I’m so grateful to be with a legacy brand that has recognised and catered to what the world is demanding. To be that face, to be the diversity that I never saw when I was growing up is something that I’m very proud of.’

How can the beauty industry become more inclusive?

‘We need to walk the walk and not just talk the talk – don’t just be ornamental about diversity. You can change advertising, you can hire people like me, you can make everything look inclusive, but it has to be more than that. There has to be shades and colours that are inclusive for everyone. It shouldn’t be a check in the box, it should be normal.

‘Diversity is not the need of the hour – that need has always existed, it’s just been ignored. And now it’s hard to ignore. It’s very important to expect better from the beauty industry and I’m really grateful to be associated with brands that are willing to do that. Because make-up should spark joy for everyone.’

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