Mukta Purain, the founder of online organic skincare retailer MissPalettable, talks about her outdoors-loving family, her New Year’s resolution to improve her cooking skills and why the Home Alone movies will always keep her company.


My Friday routine has changed this last year because I’m now a mum to a one-year-old son. Fridays are always just about him. He loves the outdoors and swimming, so we take him for walks in the morning and evening or to the pool. Now that the weather is good we go to Kite Beach or JBR with him.


We moved to Dubai from Singapore three years ago. My husband Sameer and I grew up in Singapore and lived there all our lives, except when we moved abroad for university, so we felt like we needed a change of environment both on the personal and professional front and thought a new place would help us grow as people. I’ve always been connected to Dubai because I’ve had family here and I’ve spent many childhood holidays here.


I come from a finance background, so I was overseeing the finances and accounts of the family business before we launched MissPalettable. Our electronics trading business is based in Singapore but we’ve had an office in Dubai since 1994. I also used to trade on the foreign exchange market.


I’ve never been part of the beauty industry but I’ve always been passionate about skincare and cosmetics because I’ve always believed that if I take care of my skin so I don’t have to wear a lot of makeup. When I moved to Dubai, I realised there wasn’t much variety when it came to organic and natural skincare brands here, especially upcoming indie brands, and I found myself constantly purchasing things through friends and family visiting from overseas or I’d buy it online and get it shipped here. I realised I can’t be the only person facing this problem and that’s how the idea for MissPalettable came.


As a family, we’re big fans of the outdoors and love going to the beach. We’re massive foodies as well – so that’s why we like places like JBR, Kite Beach and La Mer where you can be out and try new places to eat at too. My current favourite places to dine out at are Il Borro Tuscan Bistro, Coya and Slider Station. I do enjoy cooking but I’m a terrible cook and that’s my resolution for 2018 – to improve my cooking skills.


I’ve always loved learning and playing different musical instruments. I used to play the saxophone in high school but I stopped playing it after a while. I picked it up because I was always curious about it. I even gave the guitar a go when I was in university but that didn’t last long either. The piano is something I still play – I started when I was five and even gave the trinity music exams.


I’m a huge Marvel fan, so I’ve always thought it’d be really cool to be in the shoes of Tony Stark (Iron Man) and play with all those cool gadgets – I love gadgets. It would be really cool to live his life. Another person I’d love to be for a day is Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl; I just loved her style – I would love to have her wardrobe.


Sun is Shining by Bob Marley sums up my life. It’s a very uplifting song and it’s just one of those that’s always resonated with me. I want to wake up to that song so it sets me up for the day. It’s just a perfect song to breeze through life.


It’s great running a business with your spouse. Sameer and I are on the same wavelength most of the time and it’s great to be working with someone who understands you and gets you and there’s a sense of camaraderie. We both have our own [skill sets] and we complement each other.


My optimism is my superpower. I always stay positive and truly believe in the idea that the universe always gives you what you want. Even when I’m having a bad day I know that when I look back at this in a couple of days or a week from now or even a month, I will know why it happened. That something positive is going to come out of it. My dad has taught me a lot about tenacity and never giving up. Growing up, I’ve seen him work hard and reach his goals – that’s where my entrepreneurial spirit comes from.


On our bucket list we’ve got South America and South Africa. These are destinations we really want to explore and we just haven’t had a chance to go to yet. I’d also like to go back to Italy – we went to the Amalfi Coast last year and it was such an amazing trip. It’s so beautiful, so calm, it’s just a whole different world. Going from a city like Dubai that’s really busy, to a place where people are relaxed and enjoy the simple pleasures of life was amazing. And the food is just wow. All that pasta! I can eat pasta every single day and never get bored of it. Any and every kind of pasta and sauce ticks the box.


I’m currently reading Amish Tripathi’s The Immortals of Meluha and I love it. It’s such a unique book because it’s Indian mythology that’s written in millennial language, which makes it so much easier to relate to. I just love the way he writes. With films my favourite is the Home Alone series – it reminds me of my childhood and it has so much Christmas spirit. It’s one of those movies I want to sit down and watch again with my son and tell him how much I loved watching it as a child.


My most cherished possessions are photographs – of my childhood, of today, of my son. They are memories that are always going to be around. When you look at a photograph you can go back in time and enjoy that moment.


Michelle Obama, Warren Buffet and Queen Elizabeth II eating a home-cooked meal at my house would be fantastic. I’d invite Michelle Obama because she’s a girl boss, she resonates with so many women and she’s so proactive when it comes to female empowerment and I just feel like she’d have some great advice on life. Warren Buffet is for the finance junkie in me – I want to talk to him about investments, and Queen Elizabeth because I share birthdays with her and I’m watching The Crown now, so I want to know from her what life was like back then.


I had the idea for MissPalettable a few months after my son’s birth; it felt like giving birth to two babies. To see both of them grow and live have been the proudest moments of my professional and personal lives.


… precious and needs to be taken care of whether it is externally through healthy skin or internally through positivity and gratitude.