I love makeup and skincare. And so my trips to the mall are often spent entirely browsing through the makeup and skincare aisles. I want to know what’s new, what’s trending and what might work for my skin. In the recent times, I have noticed that all sorts of shades, complexions and textures in the skincare category are being catered to. Which makes me extremely happy because about time, don’t you think?
I don’t want to sound old (though I am) but when we were growing up the definition of beauty was severely limited. White, flawless and photoshopped were the only images we saw. Anusha Dandekar, known to lots of us as a VJ (she’s so much more than just that), was looking at the same images. So when she sat down with me to explain why she launched BrownSkin Beauty, I could relate. Here was someone who was finally talking about the things that bothered me, affected me and was looking to change the narrative.
We caught up with her over a zoom call with her newly launched products sitting at my desk, smelling of cinnamon and all things good. She was sharing the details about the brand and the products and I was fighting the temptation to take a lick of one of the products (I didn’t, don’t worry).
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ELLE:What inspired you to create BrownSkin Beauty?
Anusha Dandekar: There are two things that inspired me to create BrownSkin Beauty. One is growing up a brown girl in Australia and needing representation all over the world, and two was coming to my own country, which is India and realizing that brown is a bad word and it should not be. We wanted to create a skincare brand that would proudly change the way we look at ourselves and our brown skin along with how skin and skincare are viewed in India. Our aim is to see our customers have a beautiful experience where they feel confident about being who they are and feeling great about what they are using on their faces and body.
ELLE: What makes your brand different?
AD: It’s called the BrownSkin Beauty and I don’t think it could be any more different than that. Also, the fact that we are the pioneering change in the beauty industry and where we make everything inclusive. We want to talk to all brown girls out there. That means if you’re on the fairer side, or deeper darker side or anywhere in between, we want you to know that you’re beautiful. Our packaging is environmentally-friendly and the prices are affordable because we want you to not only feel good while using them but also whilst buying them. We really want it to be for everyone!
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ELLE: What’s your vision for BrownSkin Beauty?
AD: My vision is to that one day I don’t have to sit and explain that we all are beautiful. I want everyone to feel that and feel empowered by their skin colour, by the way, they look, their flaws and whatever it is – embrace it. We have great products that work and so my vision for this brand is to to be known worldwide and for everyone to feel flawless, beautiful and be comfortable going #filterfree
ELLE: That’s a wonderful thing. You launched this brand recently. Tell us 5 ways the Indian beauty market surprised you
First, the way everyone embraced our brand – BrownSkin Beauty, was really beautiful yet necessary and about time. The beauty industry needed this to happen. The outpour of love and girls saying they feel great in front of the mirror, accepting who they are and the shade of brown they were born and feeling confident in it, was not just a surprise on how our brand can make such a difference, it made my heart so full.
Secondly, we have seen that there is more acceptance towards homegrown brands among customers and we are so proud to be made in India by Indians!
Third, our brand launched during the pandemic and in that time we have seen a rise in skin product sales over makeup and the rise of conscious consumerism. There is an awareness and increasing attention on personal grooming, consumption patterns and constant dialogue towards sustainability, cruelty-free and much more, we added to that by being the pioneer of inclusiveness, which gave one more beautiful thought to conscious consumers
Fourth, there was a Boom of e-commerce for a start-up brand like ours
And lastly, our country after years of conditioning still embraced their Indian skin types and tones! We knew it was going to be difficult to be the first and only voice out there to break the beauty standards that had been maintained for so many years. While developing our products we had that as the main objective in mind, always! And it was beautiful to see so many embrace it, embrace themselves! Everyone just needed a voice and we are happy to be able to give them to that. Because whatever your brown, it’s beautiful!