Rowi Singh’s presence online is unmistakable: her creative way with makeup, lucid colour palettes, bold sartorial moves and ability to intertwine all the above with nuanced cultural commentary is nothing short of revolutionary. It’s this multifaceted approach that’s carved her out as one of Australia’s most prominent creatives — not only does she have an aesthetically amazing social presence, but there’s substance behind each and every grid post.

Singh has also always been vocal about her thoughts and lived experience when it comes to identity. As a South Asian woman who grew up in various cultural contexts (including in Sydney, Singapore and Connecticut in the United States), a firm sense of self didn’t come naturally. Instead it was fragmented, and something she’s only really come into recently — of which makeup and creativity have played a huge role.

It’s this honesty that saw us tap Singh for a profile relating to the latest fragrance from Marc Jacobs. Perfect Intense is the latest instalment in the hugely popular Perfect franchise, and is inspired by Jacobs’ personal mantra, “I am perfect as I am”. While it is a fragrance with delicious notes of daffodil, jasmine, almond and sandalwood, it is also created to empower the wearer. Perfect Intense is almost like the antithesis of perfection, and more so encourages realness, authenticity and self-love (the good bits, and the bad).


So here’s Rowi on her version of perfection, creativity, identity and how fragrance plays a role. She’s candid and open — exactly the same offline as she is on.

Keep scrolling for the interview.

Image: @rowisingh / Instagram

We’d love for you to share your thoughts and experiences growing up as an Indian Australian, and how this shaped your identity?

ROWI: Growing up I had a confused identity, to say the least. I’m a South Asian woman who was born in Sydney, then moved to Connecticut USA at 7, had an American accent for a quarter of my life, moved to Singapore, and then back to Sydney. I experienced multiple culture shocks which caused an identity fracture at a pretty young age. Displacement was second nature. The constant readjustment was jarring; that feeling of never being Indian enough to be Indian, or Australian enough to be Australian. It was only after high school were I really started to own my muddled sense of self. I finally felt comfortable being neither Indian or Australian enough because I carved out my own space between two cultures. And I’ve found a whole audience who resonate with my exact experience. I started dabbling in makeup just for fun, without knowing that my artistry was going to completely change my life.

When did you first identify as a creative person, and how has that translated to makeup? It would be wonderful if you could talk through your journey as a creative and the amazing body of work you’ve created in the beauty industry.

ROWI: I use makeup and artistry as a medium for self-expression; a visual portfolio of my lived experiences as an Australian Indian woman. My inner child pops out when I play with makeup. I had this creative inkling when I was younger; that there was an art form out there that I hadn’t discovered yet because it wasn’t necessarily ‘conventional’. As a brown woman, a creative career path just wasn’t on the cards. The external, social and cultural pressure to pursue financial stability over passion was always looming. Regardless, I delved into creative makeup looks as a hobby in University, painting my face with bold, brash colours on the weekend as a form of expression and escapism. I could easily shapeshift into a more confident version myself with a couple of brushes and a palette. Along the road I ended up resigning from my stable corporate job as my platform grew and I fell more in love with bringing my concepts to life.

I absolutely love being unapologetically brown in my content. I pride myself on creating this natural fluidity between my culture and my creative concepts. I try to do so only when it feels right, because I’m wary that pushing my culture too often can come across as me capitalising off my own heritage for financial gain. But at the end of the day, it absolutely fills me with joy. Pushing the bounds of beauty is thrilling and exhilarating. I love unlocking new skills the more I practice. I love how therapeutic it is to be still for 2-3 hours and hyper focus on an idea of mine. I love how many opportunities I’ve had, purely from pursuing my passion.

Image: @rowisingh / Instagram

“A good fragrance is like capturing a memory in time. It can be so nostalgic and elating. Perfect Intense is a reminder of who I am and how far I’ve come. Somehow the fragrance feels both powerful and delicate. I feel empowered yet perfectly vulnerable; a testament to my nature”

What role does fragrance play in how you present yourself to the world, and how does Marc Jacobs Perfect Intense make you feel?

ROWI: A good fragrance is like capturing a memory in time. It can be so nostalgic and elating. Perfect Intense is a reminder of who I am and how far I’ve come. Somehow the fragrance feels both powerful and delicate. I feel empowered yet perfectly vulnerable; a testament to my nature. It sounds strange when I say that out loud, but it makes perfect sense to me.

What is your interpretation of the message “perfect as I am”?

ROWI: It means that I’ve never been more stable, more confident, and more happy with who I am today. Little me would be proud.