Health & Beauty

Ramie Veerappan Reignites The Light This Diwali With Sephora

November 2, 2021

Sephora Canada has unveiled its second Diwali campaign in celebration of the Diwali Festival of Lights in November. Reignite the light this year as you get ready for the Festival of Lights, with the perfect assortment of products to achieve bright and bold Diwali looks. Featured looks include Supercharged Glam, Dramatic Eyes, Power Pout and Cast a Glow, all brought to life with a range of products available at Sephora, and with the help of four new local Canadian collaborators in distinctive Diwali beauty looks. We chatted with them all, including Ramie Veerappan, to find out about their favourite Diwali traditions and describe what the holiday means to them. —Noa Nichol

Hi! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start.

Thanks for considering me for an interview. When you’re 86 years old, there’s a lot to cover – over 8 decades! But I’ll try and summarize as best as I can. I was born in South Africa during the Apartheid regimes so I grew up in a harsh segregated society, which in some ways has fostered a strength and resiliency in me. I studied nursing in England and emigrated to Canada in the 70s. During my career I was a nurse, midwife, family planning counselor and a pharmaceutical sales representative as well as an entrepreneur. I am a single mother and have a wonderful daughter. Even though I’m retired, I still own and operate a tour agency specializing in travel to South Africa. I love reading, I’m a member of a book club and I do line dancing every chance I get. I have a large family and we often get together to play cards, go on picnics and go dancing (Pre-COVID!).

How did you hook up with Sephora Canada for its 2021 Diwali/Festival of Lights campaign? What about the partnership made it a perfect/poignant fit?

I think one of the agents seeking talent came across The Timeless Project, where I was one of the women profiled. They gave me a call and asked if I’d be interested in being part of the Diwali campaign. I have never modeled or been part of a campaign, but it sounded exciting and I thought I should just go for it. After I said ‘yes’, I started feeling pangs of anxiety and nervousness. Sephora is such a huge company and I thought ‘what have I signed myself up for?” I did a bit of research on Sephora and saw they had several inclusive campaigns and promote BIPOC brands and businesses. I immediately felt that I should do this, as I would represent not only a South Asian woman but also an ‘older generation’. It really did feel like the stars had aligned and I could contribute to a brand that believes in inclusion and of course, I think representation matters. On the day of the shoot, I met some Sephora team members and they were so warm and welcoming, it just underscored that this was a good fit for me. Now that the campaign has been launched, I’m so proud to be part of it and I hope that I’ve inspired women of colour and women who are older! I think as an elderly woman, it’s important that we’re able to embrace beauty and feel welcome at Sephora stores.

For those who don’t know, what is Diwali a celebration of? What does it mean to you, personally? Any special/fun traditions that happen annually at your home?

Diwali is one of the most important days for Hindus. I’ve celebrated it my entire life. When I was young, my mother would start preparing weeks in advance. On Diwali day, we would wake up at the crack of dawn and do prayers and the rest of the day was spent with friends and family. When we arrived in Canada, I would try and take the day off work, and remember back then, not very many people knew what Diwali was. But we never missed celebrating this important day of light over darkness! We light our diyas (candles) and put them all around inside and outside our home. We make all kinds of lovely treats and I make parcels to share with my neighbours and friends. I also attend a Diwali dance and gala where we get glammed up for a beautiful evening of celebration.

The past year, in particular, has had a focus on diversity and acceptance. As we near the end of 2021, how do you use your platform to impact others when it comes to these topics?

I believe very strongly in diversity, inclusion and equity especially given that I grew up in a society where those values were not even on the radar. We need to go beyond celebrating diversity and acceptance or tolerance. We need to truly become an inclusive society otherwise we run the risk of tokenism. I think it’s important for people to tell their stories and gain a deeper understanding of each other. We live in a time of great division and misinformation, we need to truly listen to each other so we can build a society of inclusion and equity. I don’t have too many platforms but when I do get a chance to talk to younger people, I always tell them to believe in themselves and try to contribute to the betterment of society in every way that they can.

Back to Diwali, what do you do to get glammed up for the holiday? What are some of your favourite Sephora-sourced products to use this time of year?

I love to wear one of my bright and beautiful saries and all the jewelry that goes along with it. As for make-up, I use numerous Sephora products. My new find is a SEPHORA COLLECTION Glossed Lip Gloss  and a beautiful Too Faced Mini Eyeshadow Palette called “Lets Play”.


  1. Joan Pierre

    November 4th, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    I am so proud of you Ramie, stepping out and making a difference, you have been the same since I met you over 30 years ago, always a spark and the life of the party.

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