About six years ago, when Erica Fernandes floated into our living rooms with Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi, a daily soap on prime time television that became an instant hit for its refined script and nuanced performances, she captured the imagination of millions who not only loved her for her acting chops but her refreshing, minimal make-up look. Her effortless poise, broad smile and twinkling charcoal black eyes packed enough charm to fuel her meteoric rise to the top of the heap. “Kuch Rang gave me the confidence and the validation every newcomer in the industry needs,” she has said. Three seasons of Kuch Rang… and a couple of successful serials plus a few music videos later, Erica continues to rule the hearts of Indian television fans.
Not one to rest on her laurels, Erica launched her YouTube channel eight years ago to share her curated wisdom on what it takes to look luminescent with or without make-up, and to have glossy tresses like hers.
In an exclusive email interview, Erica shares tips and advice on summer skin and haircare routine that is simple to follow.
When did you realise that you wanted to be an actor?
From the time I remember, acting is all I wanted to do. As a kid, I used to love performing scenes from my favourite films before the mirror. I grew up watching Indian cinema and it has always fascinated me and inspired me. After all these years, I have no regrets and I’m glad I opted for this profession. While working on the sets of Kuch Rang… and Kasautii Zindagii Kay 2, I not only had a lot of fun but made friends for life. We created some wonderful memories that we still cherish. At times I feel the behind-the-scenes videos with the co-stars and crew are more fun that the serial itself.
Did you face any objections from your family, considering none of them follows this profession?
I wouldn’t say there was objection from the family, but they were definitely reluctant initially as they weren’t sure if I had much of a future in this field. Once I proved myself, they have been very supportive.
Over the years you have garnered a huge following on the various social media channels. What inspired you to embark on this journey?
I have always enjoyed sharing fashion, make-up and beauty tips which have proven beneficial for me. Encouraged by the response, I decided to launch my YouTube channel in 2014. Most of the tutorials are focused on offering easy DIY beauty solutions to busy girls and women who are either overwhelmed by the variety of products on offer or simply do not have the time to follow labourious routines. Over the years, my subscriber base has grown to 1.5 million and the love and affection I have received is proof that I am on the right path.
Does this kind of fame and exposure bother you, considering stars usually live a fish bowl life?
I am very conscious of what I post on my social media handles. Everything is not for public consumption. The sooner you realize it, the more you will enjoy life’s special moments instead of trying to capture them for a post. That is how I have managed to maintain a balance between my personal and professional life.
How has erratic work hours and irregular meal times impacted your overall health and how do you stay on top of it all?
You are right. It is absolutely vital to follow a certain discipline and not have too many cheat days. I keep a tight leash on my diet; a regular skincare routine has helped me with my skin.
Talking of skincare routine, what are some of the basic pointers we need to keep in mind especially in summer?
The secret to glowing skin lies within you – your metabolism. And for good metabolism proper hydration is vital. But sometimes drinking water is not enough. I advise people to add basil seeds or sabja to their drinking water. Its cooling property helps in detoxing your body; it's a great gut cleanser as well. These benefits ensure you have glowing skin and gorgeous hair. Washing your face regularly with a gentle face wash, moisturizing often, and using a sunscreen are very important too.
Vitamin C is another miracle mineral. It is not only an immunity booster but also nourishes the skin and gives it that healthy glow. You can either add it to your diet or use a moisturizer or a serum enriched with Vitamin C.
Talking about a moisturizer, use a light one that does not form a thick layer on your skin and does not make you sweat much.
What do you suggest women with extremely busy schedules do to achieve healthy glowing skin?
It is important to understand that skincare routines need not be elaborate. A good cleansing, moisturizing and protective routine is all that is required for radiant skin. Initially you might not understand your skin type and may end up experimenting way too much which might prove to be harmful. So my advice is: do not experiment too much. Seek your dermatologist’s advice on how best to take care of your skin. The same rule applies to your hair.
You have clearly mastered the art of the no make-up look where your radiant skin does all the heavy lifting. What is the secret? How can we achieve this luminescent look?
It is all about prepping your skin. Use a good nourishing mask and then a primer before applying any make-up. Keep a soft hand while using any product. Start with a lightweight foundation and a concealer to cover the blemishes and then a lightweight compact for that clean smooth skin. Do not deviate much from the nudes or pink colour palette. These pointers will not only help you to look radiant but ensure your make-up does not melt in the summer heat.
Last but not the least, tell us about your future plans.
Apart from television serials, I have starred in two music videos as well with Harshad Chopda and Rohman Shawl. I am also in the process of finalizing a few other projects, details of which I cannot reveal at this point.