Mindy Kaling has made a career out of playing — and writing — exceedingly familiar characters. Who doesn't have a Kelly Kapoor in their life, creating — and reveling in — gossip every second of the day? How many woman do we know like The Mindy Project's Mindy Lahiri, who's just trying to figure life out while stumbling quite a few times along the way? Even off-screen, Kaling is all about presenting her most authentic self, with a candid Instagram account that includes everything from no-B.S. beauty tips to an impressive meme collection.
For her most recent brand partnership, Kaling is keeping things just as real by endorsing the budget-friendly, Walmart-exclusive shaving brand joy. We talked to Kaling about her relationship with body hair, her top skin tips, and the beauty advice she'll be passing down to her one-year-old daughter, ahead. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Do you remember the first time you ever shaved?
"I think I first shaved when I was 13 or 14, and I didn’t exactly need to. I was a late-bloomer, so I looked forward to things like shaving your legs or getting a bra because it made me feel mature. I remember my mom was so horrified because she believed in that old wives' tale that once you start shaving, then your hair grows in much more."
What made you want to partner with a shaving brand like joy?
"I like how simple they are. It is just a really good razor that works super-well — it’s not trying to be a philosophy and they're not taking themselves too seriously, which is something I try to do, too."
How has your relationship with shaving evolved — especially since becoming a mom?
"In my 30s, because I was on-camera and my character on The Mindy Project would wear these microscopic skirts, I was doing it all the time. After I had my baby, I definitely have gotten slightly more relaxed about it; the frequency that I shave has changed. It was my birthday the other day, and I was like, 'Oop, gotta get out the ol' razor again!'"
What are you going to tell your daughter about shaving?
"I would hope that she would not feel pressured to do it too soon, or feel like she needs to fulfill any traditional standards of femininity. For me, it’s part of my self-care, like putting on makeup or doing my hair. It just makes me feel confident. I hope she has a ritual that does that too, whether it’s shaving her legs or another form of care that makes her feel good."
Beyond shaving, what’s the best beauty tip you’ve recently learned?
"I would always break out on flights and I thought it was because there’s bacteria in the circulated air. I thought, I'll just wash my face on the plane, but I kept on breaking out. I realized that there is so much bacteria after you clean your face that it especially goes into your skin. Now when I get on a plane, I cover my face with a really thick layer of Aquaphor so nothing can penetrate it. I take it off when I land, and I never break out anymore."