Interview with Nikita Upadhyay - Author of Roots to Radiance

1) Can you tell us about your health & beauty journey and what inspired you to write 'Roots to Radiance'?

For me the concept of beauty and wellness goes deep. I come from an extremely small town of Central India that to this day doesn't have the best access to things. I grew up around DIY-ing, and Ayurved-ifying my beauty regime with my mom who would formulate oils, face masks, hair masks and more in the kitchen with herbal and organic ingredients. After graduating from my life as the head of magazine(s) I knew I was ready to publish a book that summed up my experiences of being born in the world of Ayurveda and having such an intricate experience of herbs, roots, plants, concoctions, and formulations with the world. I am also grateful to my readers worldwide that made this book what it is today.

2) What do you hope readers experience and take away when they read Roots to Radiance?

The biggest takeaway from my book for a reader is taking control of their life. The solutions to so many of your problems are in your kitchen...and when you go down the path of taking the holistic route, you realize how you can improve the quality of your life by taking matters into your own hands. When the pandemic happened and everyone was forced into taking charge, my book was trending on Amazon for months because of salons and spas being shut, taking instructions off a holistic book was something people experienced a newfound power in.

3) In your opinion, what role does beauty play in boosting self-confidence and self-expression for individuals?

Beauty is self expression! The definition and course of it is unique for every individual. That's the beauty of beauty.
Some may not embrace their uniqueness right away but beauty has its way of finding confidence in your uniqueness eventually.
Everyone eventually lands on their carefully curated path to a regime that is specific to their needs and requirements...that itself is projecting confidence in your uniqueness.

4) You have gained a significant following in the beauty space. How do you maintain strong relationships with your followers?

Saying things as they are and being honest with my audience is something (I feel) I'm best at. I think I also do a good job documenting my life. Sometimes I bump into my followers who ask if the xyz problem that I posted about has been resolved now...and that just shows me the power of communication and storytelling in the digital age.
Having authority on all things beauty is an honor granted to me by my audience which is why it is important to deliver on my promise to give people honest suggestions, answer their burning beauty questions, making weekly or monthly wellness recommendations and to answer DMs with utmost attention to detail.
...and if I can say so myself––having good humor doesn't hurt either.

5) What are 2-3 brands you admire in the beauty space? These could be makeup, skin, hair, etc. Feel free to share why you love them.

Every once in a while a beauty expert is faced with the dilemma of narrowing down their favorite products and this is one of those times. There are many brands that I love...but what instantly occurs to me at this point would be make-up from Chanel Beauty,Tom Ford Beauty, Kosas, and Valentino Beauty.
I love TF and Valentino for their amazingly formulated lipsticks and Kosas for their foundations.
There's also a new indie beauty brand called Gen See that makes my signature eyeshadow that works very well for asian skin tones. There's only one hair care product that is constant in my routine and that is the Roots by Nikita Upadhyay Oil-in-Serum for the scalp. A one of a kind anti-aging product for the scalp. It's not sold in the States yet...but I would love to change that.

6) Many customers highly value sampling services. Could you elaborate on the significance of personally validating individual products when it comes to discovering an effective beauty routine?

It's hard not to love the efficiency that comes with sampling a product..I mean, what's not to love? one gets to try a product and make an informed decision based on the experience they have with the samples before making a big purchase (which could've very well been something they don't end up liking later).
There's freedom, there's efficiency, there's flexibility and luxury of changing your mind that comes with the option of sampling products. Getting to sample from a buffet of products is empowering in more ways than you know.