Aishwarya Rai Bachchan can't do without kajal. But it's her daughter Aaradhya's eyes that she is in love with. TWF correspondent Sreya Basu chats up with the actress in Mumbai. IBNS | 2 years ago

How would you define Indian beauty?

There can be a lot to be said about being Indian and that itself is beautiful because as people, we are very rooted. We hold our values to our highest esteem. We are very simple people and I was taught very early - simple living and high thinking. We are aspirational, hardworking, but we know to retain respect, love, commitment, conscience and tradition. I have been able to practice mutual fellowship to a large extent. Being Indian is being extremely beautiful.

What is your favourite piece of make-up?

Being an Indian, using kajal is synonymous with us (women). We love using kajal. We use it every day, on special occasions ... it gives us a feeling of being ready to go anywhere we want.

Of all the films you have done so far, which has been your favourite eye make-up look so far?

That is very difficult for me to pick. I had the pleasure of essaying such diverse roles within whatever a female lead is offered in our film industry, that I am really thankful. I have played contemporary roles to historicals, as well as been part of fictional and realistic cinema. But one thing you will see in all films that I have used kajal for all my characters. That shows when you are playing an Indian woman, irrespective of what era, strata, or what walk of life you come from, you do end up using the kajal.

Today's actresses consider less is more when it comes to wearing make-up. Do you agree?

Yes. I believe too much fuss takes away from accentuating just what needs the attention. As a woman, using kajal for accentuating your eyes and a little bit of lip gloss before leaving house is enough to make you feel ready. But as a woman in showbiz, where we are photographed all the time, you feel the need to be a little more prepared for it.

What is your beauty secret?

Well, there are a few things. If you are talking about the exterior, then I have to thank my father (Krishnaraj Rai) for marrying my mother (Brindya Rai). Because I have to thank them for my genes. I have nothing to do being born with this physicality. My face and features are all because the two of them came together and God blessed. I am very grateful for that. Then, having stepped in this world of showbiz gave me the opportunity of working with incredible professionals who helped me look like what you see me today. They make me look beautiful in front of the media or celluloid.

As a child, we generally get attracted to our mothers' make-up boxes. Does Aaradhya (Aishwarya's daughter) like anything particular in your make-up box?

It is too early for her. I may be a brand ambassador of L'Oreal Paris (popular cosmetic brand) but I won't favour that.

You are said to have most beautiful eyes in Bollywood. But whose eyes do you feel are beautiful?

My mother and my daughter Aaradhya. I am besotted with Aaradhya's eyes.

(Posted on 28-12-2013)