Padma Lakshmi may be 47 years old, but not everyone believes her.
“My secret is my diet,” the Top Chef host and bestselling author tells PeopleStyle for our 5 Questions video series. “I think the reason people don’t believe I am the age that I am is because I always ate well in my 20s.”
“What you eat shows up on your skin, on your hair, on your nails [and] on the whites of your eyes,” she continues. “And people don’t realize that!” Still, Lakshmi admits she’s still one to indulge in a guilty pleasure or two every so often — “I also ate a lot of crap in my 20s!” — but overall, she credits taking care of herself from the inside-out as as the secret behind her youthful glow.
“I really didn’t take sun or at least, not without a lot of sunblock. And I eat 50 percent fruits and vegetables, fruits and vegetables of all colors. That really, really makes a difference,” Lakshmi says.
Feeling strong and beautiful is important to the star, who just launched a capsule collection of makeup products with M.A.C Cosmetics geared toward women with medium skin tones.
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That’s why it’s important to her to pass along substantial beauty wisdom to her daughter, Krishna, 8.
“[I teach her] that beauty comes from within,” says Lakshmi. “Beauty is skin deep but that ‘dumb’ and ‘ boring’ are to the bone. We can buy you beauty but we can’t buy you smarts!” she says. “Pay more attention at school because that is what is going to make you more powerful.”
That said, Lakshmi can’t deny that her daughter is already becoming a miniature fashionista in her own right. “She does like her clothing. She likes to come into my closet and say, ‘All of this will be mine!’ I think she’s going to be bigger than I am, so she will wear them all to her eighth grade winter formal and that will be it,” the star says.
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When it comes to her own closet, Lakshmi prefers to keep the pieces she invests in classic and simple.
“Try to buy pieces that are of quality as much as your budget allows, but that are more classic,” she says. “I prefer simpler clothes and a lot of different accessories, a statement blazer or something a little eclectic that I can take from outfit to outfit that really changes it.”
For more style and beauty revelations from Lakshmi, check out the full 5 Questions video above.