Ruchi Page is a name you’ll want to remember.
Since launching her beauty-related Instagram in 2017, Melbourne-based digital creator Ruchi Page has built an intimate yet powerful following that turns to her for inspo and advice on a daily basis.
And finally, the Australian beauty industry is taking notice.
Take a squiz at Ruchi’s IG page and you’ll no doubt get the hype. With retro glam looks, dewy skin tutorials, an apparent love for gold foil (same), and a mission to educate her followers on inclusivity in the beauty community, Ruchi’s a breath of fresh air amongst the sea of heavily-curated beauty influencers we’ve come to expect from the platform. Her content strikes a stunning balance of Tumblr grit meets luxury editorial shot from the comfort of her home (especially right now!). She threads information about social justice, self-esteem, and mental health throughout her content, and its this authenticity that has both consumers and brands desperate to hit that follow button.
Though she may not be the biggest influencer in Australia’s beauty industry, we reckon she’s on the fast track to that title. Ruchi’s recent work with Adore Beauty and Priceline has solidified her as the new up-and-coming “it girl” for a generation that wants more from their role models than just bikini pics and selfies. It’s this unique dynamic that drew us to Ruchi in the first place.
We caught up with the digital creator on the importance of promoting a message beyond yourself, finding success despite being locked down, and her hopes for the Australian beauty industry.
Born in India and adopted by Australian parents as a baby, Ruchi discovered beauty at an early age. “My parents love celebrating my Indian roots,” she told Centennial Beauty. “[This] sparked my fascination with Bollywood glamour.” Her interest in Bollywood shifted to magazines around the age of 12. “Girlfriend Magazine was the rage and so was becoming a solid fangirl of Avril Lavigne’s statement eyeliner and tie phase. From eyeliner, I became obsessed with drenching my face in ultra, shimmery bronzer…My Year 10 school photo haunts me to this day,” she jokes.
Then, Ruchi found YouTube. “YouTube entered my life at age 19 and [so did] my obsession with MAC Cosmetics after binge-watching a bunch of Jaclyn Hill videos.” She calls Jaclyn’s OG videos “pivotal” in her journey with makeup and credits the creator for inspiring Ruchi to spend her entire paycheck from her casual job at beauty stores like M.A.C Cosmetics and MECCA.
“Food and living expenses didn’t matter because my face was beat to the Gods.”
Like many beauty lovers, the 26-year-old has turned to makeup over the years to help her through dark times. “It became my sanctuary and happy place, as corny as that sounds,” she explains. “There were moments in my life that felt out of control and unsafe, but when I was saturated in highlighter, experimenting with eyeshadow, or dedicating some time to myself with a face mask, I felt a sense of stability and safety that wasn’t comparable.”
But Ruchi’s journey with makeup hasn’t always been positive.
Growing up in a small town, Ruchi struggled to identify with people who looked like her, and the lack of representation in the Australian beauty industry didn’t help. “It was clear that I was uncomfortably different. It seemed that the world had accepted [traditional] beauty standards and I would forever need to comply with the media’s perception of beauty.”
As Ruchi transitioned her social media presence to beauty-focused content, she made a conscious decision to use her platform to address the complicated relationship she, and many other BIPOC, have with the beauty industry. “Diversity within the Australian beauty industry has definitely been a focal point with my content,” she tells us. “It stems from experiencing this weird acceptance and acknowledgment that brands just don’t cater to people with deeper skin tones. Seriously, I just accepted that this was my reality.”
Ruchi says certain experiences have changed her, like not being able to find a deep enough bronzer and being turned away from makeup counters because they didn’t have a foundation shade that would suit her skin tone.
“There was a huge gap and it affected deeper skin tones who are willing to spend dollars on this industry. It really woke this rage inside me,” she says. “Oh and the amount of times I’ve heard, ‘You don’t need foundation anyway, you’ve got brown skin’ is actually scary. Like you… I would love to have the opportunity to wear it.”
After years of feeling under-represented, Ruchi launched a lifestyle blog and slowly began introducing video content to her social media. “I’ve always been a solid fan of being ‘extra’ and wanting to showcase confidence no matter your size,” she explains. “As a curvy woman, I valued seeing those types of posts and wanted to jump on board.” This created a ripple effect, bringing the message of inclusivity, diversity, representation to the forefront of Ruchi’s content no matter the context.
“In a world of Kardashian inspired beauty (which is stunning by the way), I wanted to step away from that concept of beauty and be my own type of beautiful, whilst encouraging others to do the same.”
Despite her stunning work and important message, Ruchi says her growth has been slow and steady— which she now sees as a blessing, as this allowed her to focus on the content she wanted to produce rather than focus on the numbers she was attracting.
“After slowly narrowing down my content to be the best representation of who I am as a creator, I solidified my vision and that’s when I noticed the jump in opportunities.”
Her first major opportunity? Being paid by Ole Henriksen, who approached Ruchi about using her content to promote the brand on the Sephora U.S. website. “Soon after, I was then asked to partner with [Ole Henriksen] for their new face cleanser launch. So that was pretty surreal, as a micro-influencer I just didn’t think those opportunities would ever come my way.”
With multiple paid campaigns under the belt, Ruchi has a message for fellow micro-influencers and smaller creators that are struggling to gain traction.
“It sounds cliché but do not give up,” she says. “Narrow down what you want to create and why you want to create that piece of content, stay purposeful yet true to you.”
In terms of equipment, she says cameras and lighting are not must-haves to create amazing content. “If you have a smartphone and natural light, you’ve got a recipe for great imagery.” She also warns mico-influencers about the danger of burnout. “Be consistent and post regularly but don’t burn yourself out. If your mind doesn’t want to be creative for a couple of days, let it recharge.”
A trained teacher, Ruchi encourages creators to step outside their comfort zone. “I recommend reaching out to brands and never feel shy or defeated by rejection because you’re just one step closer to success,” she prompts.
“Be so good that they can’t ignore you.”
Ruchi admits the Australian beauty industry is showing more diversity as of late, but she also emphasises that we have a long way to go— particularly surrounding tokenism, or what she calls “the diversity sticker.”
“Brands such as Adore Beauty have been a huge part of the change in diversifying beauty standards. I’m definitely noticing more brands using people of colour in their campaigns,” she notes. “However, this is just the beginning and I think the beauty industry [must work with more POC] when formulating base products to avoid assumptions. It would be nice to stop seeing campaigns with [only] one person of colour and have brands slap on the ‘diversity sticker.'”
Ruchi believes one of the biggest ways the industry can bring about change is to launch inclusive shade ranges from the get-go, rather than waiting to release deeper shades down the track.
Though she’s currently locked down with the rest of Melbourne, the future is looking bright for Ruchi.
The creator plans to use her growing platform to open up even bigger conversations around abusive relationships, body confidence, and fostering a positive mindset. Of course, she also hopes to land some exciting campaigns soon. Her dream collaboration? “Oh that’s easy, Fenty Beauty. I feel like Fenty is every diverse creator’s dream collaboration,” Ruchi says. “Rihanna really shook the makeup world when she dropped 40 foundation shades in her first launch. She really showed the beauty industry what they’ve been missing.”
If there’s one thing Ruchi wants people to take away from her story, it’s that everyone deserves to feel “accepted, sexy and powerful.”
“I want people to know they are not limited,” Ruchi finishes. “I want people to push their boundaries and seek the unknown. Know you’re unlimited and be crazy enough to chase your dreams because that’s when it will [become] a reality.”
“I hope that the people who follow my journey can be proud of who they are and feel a sense of belonging when they view my content. If I stayed in fear that I wouldn’t be accepted in the beauty industry based on my skin colour, stretch marks, and excess body to love, I’d really be kicking myself right now.”
You can follow Ruchi’s journey here.