The Kalaakriti series aims to highlight the stories of different artists with South Asian backgrounds. In today’s installation, check out Radhika’s story about her work as a beauty blogger and YouTuber!
Radhika is a beauty blogger with a YouTube channel called The Rad Life Channel. She uses both Youtube and Instagram to talk about all things hair, skin, and makeup. Through her work, she hopes to share her favorite products and easy tips & tricks for applying makeup!
Social Media: Instagram: @theradlifechannel Youtube:@TheRadLife
How were you introduced to your work?
I still remember my first Bollywood dance performance at the age of five, when my mom put some red lipstick on for me on my lips (using the same lipstick for my blush, of course). Ever since then I've loved doing my hair and makeup for dance performances, parties, and get-togethers. I have continued to learn more about beauty products and techniques to do hair and makeup. Even nowadays I can spend hours watching beauty YouTube videos and shop at Sephora and Ulta!
At what point in your life did you feel that following this passion was what you wanted to do?
I always wanted to start my YouTube channel, but of course, my "inner voice" and self doubt always came in the way. I know 2020 has been an unprecedented year, but for me this has been a year of growth. I finally took a minute to reflect and realize that this is the time I should take a leap of faith and do something with my hobby and passion!
What would you like the world to know about your work and the realm that you're working in?
Looking at my page it may seem like it's all about glam and dressing up, but I want my followers to know that beauty truly does come from within, and makeup should be fun! We are all beautiful with or without it.
“Beauty truly does come from within, and makeup should be fun! We are all beautiful with or without it.”
In the South Asian community, there’s quite a stigma against people choosing careers that are “non-traditional.” When choosing to follow your passion here, what are or were some challenges you’ve had to face? How did you get through them and what helped you through the process? If you’re still going through it, what has been helping you so far?
Unfortunately, there is a stigma around non-traditional careers in the South Asian community, but I've always believed it is important to do what makes you happy. At the end of the day, I remind myself that it will be me who has to live with every decision I make. I never want to look back and wonder "what if I didn't follow my passion and start that channel?"
What are your opinions on maintaining a traditional art form vs modernization?
Personally, I think that there's beauty in both! I am genuinely interested in traditional art forms, like certain traditional dance styles, but I also think that modernization is equally important. The best is finding a way to blend both, like wearing a traditional sari with a modern/bold makeup look.
Are (or were) there any individuals that you have looked up to or directly had a mentor-mentee relationship with that helped you find your footing in this world?
I have always looked up to Deepica Mutyala! I have watched her YouTube channel for years and followed her brand Live Tinted. I respect and look up to her journey and the path she has paved for herself. Her mission is clear through her brand, in which she has created a space for everyone, especially the South Asian community. Saying "she's goals" would be an understatement!
How is your identity affected by the work you do in this field?
Having this channel does a few things for me. It has allowed me to be more confident in myself, and worry less about others opinions about me. It allows me to use my creative side and passion for makeup to create videos and content for my page. I love to incorporate my culture into my different looks, whether it be wearing an Indian outfit or jewelry!
“I love to incorporate my culture into my different looks, whether it be wearing an Indian outfit or jewelry!”
What’s something you’d tell your younger self ? What’s some key advice that you wish you had or wish you had heard? What’s something you wish you didn’t do?
I wish I had told my younger self to stop worrying about what others think of me. It really only holds you back! As an adult, I like to live my life for myself and the only opinions that truly matter to me are the ones I want to matter - like family, and my closest friends. I also wish I had more confidence in myself because you really do have to believe in yourself before anyone else will. On my channel and page, I like to put together South Asian inspired looks and I'm so proud of where I come from. This wasn't always the case growing up. I never taught those around me the correct way to pronounce my name, didn't talk about being Indian, nor did I like bringing Indian food to school. Now I have learned to embrace my culture and show my followers what my traditional clothing and jewelry looks like!
What advice would you give to someone who's struggling to follow their passions due to various pressures? How would you guide them if they came to you for advice?
I dealt with a lot of the personal pressures (lack of confidence and just getting in my head) and I promise the best advice I have ever gotten is to just START! That first step to create your blog, post your YouTube video, or post that picture for Instagram feels like the hardest step. The best feeling is being able to look back at how far I feel I've come since starting my channel.
What changes would you like to see when it comes to how your work is perceived in the mainstream media? What would you like to see representation-wise?
A lot of the looks on my Instagram are inspired by my culture, and I would love to see more South Asians represented in the beauty industry. Brands have gotten better at this - there are quite a few that offer more products that better suit my skin color and type. I'd love to see this continue. It would be great to see more South Asian women in the beauty space because I think we need to see more faces from a similar background in this industry.
Can you list 3-5 accounts/people that you think are worth knowing about in your field?