Mira Rajput is a Beauty Nerd!

The 29-Year-Old On School Life, Destiny, and Co-Founding Beauty Brand, Akind

Mira Rajput [Image courtesy: Instagram]

The Word.: Tell us how the idea of launching Akind came about.
Mira Rajput Kapoor: “Launching Akind was a natural progression for me…from my journey as an everyday girl, then a consumer, and then evolving into a skincare nerd.

Over the years, as my beauty choices evolved, I craved efficacious products, but I wanted to keep my routine simple. I wanted to create a brand that would help people take charge of their skin by encouraging them to listen to their skin. A healthy skin barrier is also equally important to me—it is the first step to achieving great skin.

And that’s why we created three types of products that focus on building the barrier, keeping the skin balanced, and protecting it. I conceptualised the brand as a consumer first.”

TW.: What’s your skincare philosophy?
MRK: “My skincare philosophy is ‘less is more’. I began my skincare journey by experimenting with many DIY beauty concoctions. I was scared of using harsh formulas, products that might do more harm than good… That’s because I have seen my mother follow a simple routine since I was young. But then there are times when you also need products that deliver results. So then I began looking for products that would help my skin—that’s when I introduced acids into my routine, because my skin is prone to congestion, and they really worked for me. I started slow, and, now, acids are my skin’s best friend.”

TW.: Tell us more about the ‘Build, Balance, and Defence’ formula Akind products are based on.
MRK: “Akind has three ranges—Build, Balance, and Defence—that promote skin health. The ‘Build’ range works on building the skin’s barrier with ingredients like ceramides and peptides.

Then you have ‘Balance’, which focuses on balancing the pH levels of your skin. It features actives like glycolic acid, lactic acid, and gluconolactone—in fact, the moisturiser in the Build range also has probiotics.

Then we have ‘Defence’, which features two kinds of sunscreens, a make-up friendly formula, and a sunscreen stick, which is great for reapplication.”

TW.: How did you learn about the deeper nuances of beauty?
MRK: “I have always been a bit of a nerd. I was a science student, and, growing up, I enjoyed studying chemistry. And then, in the 12th grade, I switched subjects to biology, just a few months before my board exams. I think I was just curious…curious to learn how the body works, how it reacts…what works, what doesn’t.

While working on Akind, I studied Ayurveda. I have even studied cosmetology because I wanted to understand how ingredients work with each other. So learning has been a very integral part of my personality. And then there’s ‘trial and error’, which helps you understand things even more, being aware, reading up a lot. Usually, I stay away from viral ingredients, but, sometimes, I want to know why those viral ingredients work, or don’t work for people. I think I’m just an inquisitive person.”

TW.: While working on Akind products, who were your ‘guinea pigs’
MRK: “Me! I did the initial testing for all the products to ensure they were ready for my friends and family to try. Once I was confident, I made my mother and sisters try them out as we all different skin types. Then, my friends and make-up artist, of course. Then I made Shahid [Kapoor, her husband] test the products because he’s brutally honest, and he loved them! Once we had his stamp of approval, I was like ‘Okay, we have a winner on our hands’. It was a lot of fun.”

TW.: Tell us about collaborating with Tira to co-create Akind.
MRK: “So we started working on Akind in November 2022. They [Tira] came to me a few weeks before that, and I was so surprised that they wanted to collaborate with me, and that they felt that I could add value. And this wasn’t just an association, you know, we have co-founded Akind together.

It’s truly humbling because I have always been curious about skin and now to be able to work with Reliance Retail [Ventures Limited], is amazing. Akind is the first beauty brand under their own brand’s portfolio, and the reach that we get through their online and offline channels is great. It’s a dream come true.”

TW.: Mira, are you a morning person?
MRK: “I am now… Now that I have two children, I have no option but to be a morning person.”

TW.: And do you have a morning ritual?
MRK: “I do. I am not bright and shiny first thing in the morning, but I am not grumpy either. I like an hour to myself after the kids have gone to school, which I use to meditate and gather my thoughts before
I begin my day.

The importance of a good routine shows on your skin and body, and your mental health.”

TW.: Is there any book that has truly, deeply influenced you?
MRK: “My favourite book has to be Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. I worked on a paper in college with that book as my primary source, and I just love the perspective. I like all her books…and love The Forest of Enchantments and Oleander Girl. I also like All the Right People by Priyanka Khanna—it was a ‘popcorn read’.”

TW.: How you would define your style and how has it evolved over the years?
MR: “My style is very minimal and fuss-free. A shirt tucked into jeans is my go-to look. And I enjoy wearing dresses for special occasions.

But style and clothes are not something that I give much thought to… I’m also in that phase where ‘dressing up’ is just something that I do, not the only thing that I do.

Something that’s found its way into my closet—and overcrowding it—is co-ord sets, because they’re so easy. And I love jewellery, that’s something I enjoy curating and collecting.”

TW.: Mira you had once said that you hate packing a suitcase. Tell us more.
MRK: “I have gotten very good at packing a suitcase now. The reason I don’t like packing a suitcase is because it just gives me a lot of anxiety, and takes the thrill away from enjoying the holiday. But now, with co-ord sets, packing has just become a breeze. But if I could, I would still not pack a suitcase.”

TW.: How would the people closest to you define Mira?
MRK: “I think the people closest to me would define me as someone who is very family-oriented, not afraid to express her opinions, and yet, very respectful of others.

My sisters tell me that out of the three of us, I was the only one who ever really argued with my parents. The two of them just listened… I was the one questioning the norms, you know? [laughs].”

TW.: Do you believe in destiny?
MRK: “Yes, I believe in destiny…I believe everything is meant to be. But destiny doesn’t take away your effort, your dedication, and whatever free will you have. I think believing in destiny allows you to take a step back and say, ‘You know what, whatever’s meant to happen will happen’. So you don’t fret over the small stuff or the big stuff; you just deal with life from a lens of acceptance.

TW.: Is there anything not many people know about you?

“What people may not know about me is that I am a very spiritual person—it is my core. It dictates how I look at life, how I behave, and the way I accept challenges.

And I believe in karma—I have some strong principles that I hold on to.

I also recognise when I have made a mistake. I am someone who’s always working on myself basis the constructive feedback
I receive.”

TW.: And when you’re having a bad day, what do you do to turn it around?
MRK: “If I am having a bad day, I just like to be quiet and patient because reacting is not the solution. I like to keep my feelings in control because I know that whatever’s happening is not anybody’s fault…it’s just circumstances. On a lighter note, I like to watch an episode of Schitt’s Creek.”

TW.: You are now juggling multiple roles, how do you maintain balance in your own life?
MRK: “Balance, for me, is about identifying my priorities first…then everything else follows. It doesn’t mean that the other aspects of my life don’t get importance. But, for me, my family comes first. My kids come first.

And now that I am an entrepreneur, that balance won’t get destabilised. I am a Virgo, I like to compartmentalise and do everything well. I am not a typical multitasker with several tabs open—I like to finish one thing and move on to the next. My day starts and ends with my family, but I am equally focused when I am at work. I feel balancing is just about being organised—I know that if my priorities are taken care of, then I can add other things to the mix and give it attention as and when required.

I am also grateful for a great support system at home and my family that allows me to do a lot of things the way I do. Having said that, it’s a constant effort to balance things and you have to make an effort to make it easy for you—it’s not gonna come easy.”

TW.: What are your favourite products from Akind?
MRK: “How do I pick my favourites…it is like picking a favourite child. You really can’t! But if I had to recommend the must-have products, I would pick the On Cloud Nine Lightweight Moisturiser, because it’s so lightweight but very hydrating. And I would recommend the No Shade Sunscreen Primer SPF 50 PA++++ because it is non-greasy and doesn’t leave a white cast. You can wear it under make-up as it has a velvety texture, it blurs the skin in the most beautiful way, and product sits extremely well on it. It is a solution-driven product.”