Mansi Mahajan is madly in love with life! If she’s not on her mat contorting into an astavarraasana, she’s whipping up her homemade range of skin care, climbing mountains, deep sea diving, or fire fighting for her business venture. With a Masters in Media Production from Griffith University, Australia, Mansi came back to India in 2006. Her abode of wellness, House of Kapaali, plays host to spiritual workshops and yoga retreats to restore the much-needed sense of balance in our modern way of living and being. Mansi is also a certified Yoga Alliance teacher, having completed her teacher training from Mysore in 2014.
What is the most important thing you have learnt from your profession about skincare?
Your skin is really an indicator of what’s going on inside your body. It is important to be aware of what you put in and on your body. If you wouldn’t eat it, you shouldn’t apply it either because 60% of what you apply on your skin gets absorbed by it in as little at 26 seconds and goes right into your blood stream. Use wholesome plant-based skin care that is good for your body and soul!
What is your daily skincare regime?
Since Manasté, my homemade skincare range of all natural, mostly organic and good enough to eat products, was born out of a desire to create skincare that is instinctive, so I stick to a ritual I’ve created for myself. I exfoliate almost daily using Manasté scrubs alternating between the decadent coffee scrub, the grapefruit, mint or cinnamon scrubs. I drown myself in the Manasté body butter for the body and for the face I use the wrinkdonkulous cremé. By night I use the makeup remover made especially by me, for me! And say good night to my skin with the Himalayan soufflé.
Has your beauty routine changed much over the years?
It’s been through a radical transformation, from buying chemical laden beauty products containing parabens, paraffins, and petrolatum that clog pores, creating a build-up of toxins, and disrupting hormonal activity. I now apply clean and green products, most of which I whip up in my kitchen.
What did the women in your family—or any other important women in your life—teach you about beauty?
The women in our families have always lived inextricably with nature; treating skin aberrations with plant based home remedies. Back to basics is the best solution to our problems whether they are related to the mind or body. My mum also has absolutely radiant skin. And I know it’s not just what she applies; it’s also what she eats which is responsible for her natural glow!
Do you have any natural cures for breakouts or any other skin issue?
The skin and the gut a closely connected. Therefore, it is important to eat foods that are balanced and especially foods with a low glycemic index. For break outs, a great remedy is applying aloe vera gel, after cleasing the face and before moisturizing. A great DIY clay based weekly exfoliation for acne prone skin is by mixing equal parts bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar, leaving on for 45 minutes, and rinse with warm water.
What is your most favorite makeup and skincare product?
I love the organic makeup by RMS Beauty, especially their natural illuminizer, which is plant based and gives a beautiful radiance to the face. For the skin, my favorite product has to be Manasté’s whipped body butter. Its powerful ingredient cacao butter is a super food for the skin and its velvety chocolaty sublimity is simply irresistible.
How do you style and care for your hair?
I oil my hair with organic mustard oil and cleanse it with Manaste’s soon to launch shampoo and conditioner. I also apply a blend of organic Indigo power and henna to the hair for that beautiful auburn tint and deep conditioning. I avoid heat based styling and prefer to create a voluminous and texturized look with a natural sea salt spray.
Do you have any tips or advice for de-stressing?
Meditate every day! Even a few minutes of deep breathing has the power to transform your state of mind and let your inner radiance shine through.
Who is your personal beauty icon and why?
I think Frida Kahlo was truly iconic in so many ways! From her unbridled talent to her sense of reckless style and attitude, she exudes beauty in its most quintessential from. It was impressionable for me when after a car accident; having lost a leg, she said: “Feet, what do I need for you when I have wings to fly”?
Finally, what is your overall beauty philosophy?
I always say that beauty is an inside job! If you feel good, you look good. Beauty is more about wearing the right attitude, and living your life with a deep sense of gratitude. A world that is bursting at its seams with excesses, beauty is a degree of sensitization, of moments of consciousness, of a sense of awareness of the world around us. We all have to awaken the Goddess energy that is inherent in us all if we want to create beauty in and around us.
Thank you so much, Mansi!
(Photos courtesy of Mansi Mahajan. Interview by Aarti Kapur Singh)