A former adult and television star, an actor, an entrepreneur and also a mother of three, Sunny Leone has always forged her own path, and in doing so, she has shocked and surprised many, but she is very clear that she does not regret any of her past choices.
The Indian audience gave a lot of love and respect to this Canadian-Indian who now calls Mumbai home. Sunny has maintained that she is a businesswoman first and artist later because she can spot an opportunity from a distance. No wonder, she was in Dubai today to launch her cosmetic brand StarStruck by Sunny Leone.
"I love Dubai and I come here all the time. This time, we are launching StarStruck which is my cosmetic brand and I am so excited to promote it. It is an amazing feeling to launch my product here because the best of the best things are always available in Dubai," said Sunny, who met us at the Grand Hyatt Hotel before heading off to Dubai World Trade Center to launch her products at the Concept Big Brands event.
So is she among those celebrities who just lend their names to a cosmetic brand because they are popular? Sunny's answer to our question reminded us of international pop star Rihanna who is known to send a product back to laboratories multiple times unless she is satisfied with the quality.
"I have experimented from the formula to the texture to colour on myself and others for a long time. So if you go through my social media over the last two years, I have been wearing my lipstick and gloss for every event. Even before launching the products, I wanted to test it on myself and make sure it does not get dry, or patchy. Also, I am glad that no animals were hurt during the testing," revealed Sunny.
Before meeting us, Sunny was busy in her room making sure that her kids, who had accompanied her to Dubai, were well fed and well dressed.
Sunny who seems to have embraced motherhood wholeheartedly told us that her life has completely changed post motherhood. "It is nerve racking. This morning was a perfect example - I had to ensure that my kids were well fed and dressed. Then I realised that I had to get dressed and put on my makeup. In the process, I forgot to have my breakfast. Espresso has become my favourite thing in the morning these days.
"Yes, my life has completely changed, but for the better. I am glad that I wake up and see these three gorgeous babies with me every day. This is my daughter's third or fourth time in Dubai and the boys are coming here for the second time. They love it. They get vitamin D, beach, and great food," she added.
Sunny is also like any of us who is part of multiple WhatsApp groups, and her favourite one is the 'mommy group' which is why she made sure to send them samples from her brand as long as they gave some critical feedback.
"When I launched the brand, I tested the lipsticks on all the other mommies from my kid's schools. We have our 'Mommy Special' WhatsApp group. I wanted the working mother or mothers who manage at home to use my product.
Mothers are hypercritical about everything. Most mothers stick with a product for a very long time if they like what they are using, unless they are like me who always wants to try something new."
She wants to take her cosmetic line even further beyond lipsticks and perfumes. "I want to create a five-minute makeup kit because that's how fast I can do my makeup. If I have to go out and get to my office, then I can do my makeup very quickly but to come here, I started my makeup at around 7.30am and I was ready by 9.30am, so yes it took quite a while," she concluded.
'My husband is my best friend'
Sunny has been married to Daniel Weber for more than 7 years now. He also overlooks all her work. What is the secret behind maintaining a personal and professional bond? "Lots of patience and I think for us it is about being best friends and being able to work together. We are husband and wife and not everything is roses and flowers all the time. We respect each other and we like working together. I love that I can tell him that I want to create my own lipstick or perfume line and he says that let's do it. We are beyond proud that we are here in Dubai launching our beauty line."
Kids come first
Sunny's life now revolves around her kids but the actress also tries to take out an hour out every day for herself. And invariably she has been spending that time working out in the gym, "Even though my diet is the same, there are times when I completely forget to eat. My kid's nanny is the one who reminds me that I need to feed myself during times when I am so lost doing multiple things."
On the #MeToo movement
"I can't speak for anybody else and I can only speak for myself. As an artist and as an individual, I believe that when you work in the entertainment industry, if you put in the time and work really hard then you can ask for different things. Every woman has different issues. I worry about how I want to run my business and how I am going to feed myself and my family.