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Writer, activist, presenter… Simran Randhawa is making her British-Asian identity her signature. ASOS Magazine met up with her to chat about representation, beauty standards and what's in her makeup bag. Read the full interview only in the Autumn 18 edition of ASOS Magazine, available to buy right here.
ASOS Magazine meets Simran Randhawa | ASOS Style Feed

Picture: ASOS Magazine

On her makeup musts

I make sure my base is dewy. NARS Sheer Glow foundation is my ride-or-die. NYX has a brush liquid eyeliner – I find it easier for creating a traditional Indian winged look – and Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate is my fave for natural contouring.

On beauty standards

I made a documentary about how Eurocentric beauty standards impact people of colour in the UK today. Of all the interviews I did, my mum's was super-emotional. When she came to the UK after getting married, she felt greater pressure to be lighter than she had felt growing up in Malaysia. She'd tell us to stay out of the sun because she thought you needed to be lighter to get more opportunities.

Representing heritage through beauty

I spent 21 years rejecting my culture. I would say, 'We can't go to Asda on the way home [from temple] because I don't want anyone from school to see me in my cultural clothes.' When I went to uni I struggled with my identity. Over time I gravitated towards my culture for comfort – cooking curry or going to the Asian beautician to see other brown people. Through that, I unlearned everything that I'd internalised.

Her Instagram inspiration

My cool South Asian girls inspire me. My fave is Sanam (@sanam) from Rihanna's BBHMM video. A lot of the messages I get are from Indian girls between the ages of 13 and 18, which is sweet! Social media gets a bad rap but it provides more direct and diverse representation than traditional media.

Her desert island products

Urban Decay Naked Skin or NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer.


The Autumn 18 issue of ASOS Magazine is out now – get your copy here.