We’ve had our eye on Indian film actress and former Miss World Priyanka Chopra for a while. A Bollywood megastar, Chopra now leads an impressive cast (including Straight Outta Compton’s Tate Ellington) in her first American television show—ABC’s new drama Quantico, premiering tonight. The show has received one of the warmest welcomes (without even airing yet) in television history, and it’s positioned to extend Chopra’s fame (and face) across the United States.
We caught up with Priyanka to find out how she stays remarkably calm, friendly, and stunning throughout her transition into the American limelight. Despite having emerged from several days of travel and a premiere event, Chopra took the time to share life-changing beauty secrets she’s learned along the way.
Keep scrolling for the full interview.
BYRDIE: You have been an international film star for years and are arguably the most successful Bollywood actress to date. How do you stay Zen under all that pressure?
PC: Breathe. Also, I think it’s important to find what calms you and have that on you at all times—to help ease the stress. I binge-watch TV shows whenever I get a free moment. I put on my headphones and switch the world off and concentrate on what’s on the screen in front me. It allows me to disconnect and find my center again—just be, and not have to think about anything. Music also does that for me.
Apart from that, I love what I do, and I love everything that comes with it, and that’s what keeps me going! Yes, sometimes I get tired, irritable, etc. That’s when I turn my laptop on and put on the headphones. That is my meditation. The rest of the time, I’m raring to go, chasing my dreams one minute at a time!
BYRDIE: Does the “Hollywood” ideal of beauty differ from Bollywood’s?
PC: I don’t think it does. I think beauty is beauty wherever you go—and for me, beauty starts with confidence.
BYRDIE: Has living in the U.S. and Canada impacted the way you do your hair and makeup day to day?
PC: It’s pretty much the same for me because my hair and makeup are entirely dependent on what I’m shooting for, irrespective of the location.
BYRDIE: Is there a beauty trick you picked up from your Bollywood days you are still using?
PC: I try to take really good care of my skin and hair because they take such a beating on a daily basis. I use a bunch of natural remedies: mostly hair and face masks.
BYRDIE: Is there a traditional Indian beauty secret you swear by?
PC: I have tons of beauty secrets and recipes that have been handed down from one generation to the next, so to speak, and they still continue to work like magic. Let me give you some examples.
Give your hair a great natural deep-conditioning treatment by massaging warm coconut oil into your scalp and hair. Leave it one for about an hour and then shampoo it off. Do this about once a week and you will soon see results.
A really easy mask to create that will help brighten your skin and take away the dullness uses yogurt as the key ingredient. Just mix equal parts of yogurt and oatmeal (about one to two tablespoons each) with turmeric (about one to two teaspoons). Mix, apply, leave for half an hour, and wash off with lukewarm water.
BYRDIE: You won the Miss World title. We imagine you must have picked up some incredible beauty shortcuts during that experience. Is there something that stands out?
PC: Actually, at that time, I picked up a lot. Can’t say that they were all right for me, though! I was 17 at the time and just getting used to all the makeup and styling, so everything was a lesson for me. It took me some time to realize that what works for someone [else] doesn’t necessarily work for you! So my biggest learning [experience] was to understand myself first: my skin type, my tone, what colors worked for me, etc.
BYRDIE: Let’s talk about your amazing lips. Are you loyal to any one product?
PC: Thank you for the compliment! For me, it’s all about keeping my lips moisturized, so I can’t live without my lip balm. I like to use something with a hint of color—Burt’s Bees (the one with the hint of red color) and Maybelline’s Baby Lips in Grape Vine ($4), are my go-tos, currently.
BYRDIE: Do you have a beauty icon?
PC: Julie Andrews and Audrey Hepburn, and Gayatri Devi—graceful, ageless, beautiful women!
BYRDIE: You’re traveling a lot between India, Canada, and the U.S. right now. Do you have any tips or tricks to looking good on little to no sleep? You always look stunning and fresh-faced.
PC: The trick is to actually get some sleep. I love long flights, and that’s usually when I catch up on all my sleep. Apart from getting some rest, here are a few ideas of very simple things you can do which will have you looking a fresh as a daisy when you get off a plane.
Drink lots of water—it keeps you hydrated. The air pressure and the cabin air can dry you out quite a bit!
Moisturize as much as you can—face, body, hands, any part you can reach!
One more little secret: I use a moisturizing face mask like the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask ($135), just about 15 to 20 minutes before landing, and it gives me a great moisture boost.
BYRDIE: Can you describe the beauty philosophy of your Quantico character, Alex Parrish?
PC: Keep it simple, fresh, and minimal. She’s an FBI agent, so her makeup is minimal, and her hairstyles are functional.
BYRDIE: How about Priyanka’s?
PC: It’s pretty much the same for me when I’m not at work. I like to keep it light and natural since I spend so much of my time in full hair and makeup during shoots.
Quantico premieres tonight at 10 p.m./9 p.m. CT on ABC. Let us know what you think of Chopra’s American debut in the comments!