ELLE Exclusive: Cover Star Selena Gomez On Launching Rare Beauty In India And Using Beauty As Therapy

Rare Beauty

An actor, a pop star, a philanthropist, and the founder of Rare Beauty, Selena Gomez, is an icon, who wears many hats with equal ease. She has a career trajectory that defies pigeon-holing, she’s a singer, an actor, a beauty mogul- she could rest on her laurels. But she doesn’t. Selena is out there, championing body positivity, feminism, and showcasing the real definition of beauty when the world was getting attuned to seeing it with filters. 

Unfiltered, raw, and unique – Gomez has found her happy place in being rare and celebrating it with the launch of her much-hyped beauty brand – RARE in India. The brand was launched in September 2020, and it was on the shelves with the likes of Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics and Rihanna’s much-loved Fenty Beauty. So what is it that Rare does differently? “With Rare Beauty, I want to remove the pressure to look a certain way and celebrate that we are all unique,” says Selena Gomez.

Ahead of the launch of her brand in India, exclusively with Sephora, ELLE India spoke to the Cover Girl about everything Rare, the India launch, mental health and using beauty as therapy.

ELLE:We know that you named the brand at the time of the release of your album Rare, what is the underlying explanation for the brand being named RARE?


Selena Gomez: Rare has been an important word for me for a long time. It’s saying you’re authentic and you are meant to be who are, and you’re rare. I want each person to feel as though they’re special and unique and rare.

ELLE: Whether it’s as a singer, actor, producer or even an entrepreneur, your work lays heavy emphasis on dismantling the stigma around mental health – when or how did it become a significant part of your voice?

SG: I knew I wanted to be the one to tell my story, and I wanted to create a safe space for people to talk about their journeys with mental health. I hope I can use my platform to show people they are not alone. That’s why launching Rare Impact was so important to me – we donate 1% of all sales globally to the Rare Impact Fund and have continued to partner with incredible foundations supporting mental health resources for young people around the world.

 ELLE: You have been quite vocal about dealing with mental health and the role of beauty to help navigate it. How did the creation of your brand contribute to it as therapy?

SG: Therapy is a really important part of my life, but connecting with this amazing community we’ve built in being vulnerable and having open conversations about mental health has been one of my favourite parts of this journey. It’s been very therapeutic and uplifting.

ELLE: Talking about Rare Beauty, how involved are you in the development of the products?

SG: I’m very involved! I have an amazing team – I’m always sending ideas to them for new products when I get inspired. I want our products to be made with everyone in mind, so that’s a big focus when we’re working on developing something new.

ELLE: Also, the names of the Rare products are emotionally relatable – Joy, Happy, Affection – how did you plan on these?

SG: I want using makeup to be fun – I love naming the products with positive affirmations and kind words. The collection Kind Words was inspired by the idea that we should be more mindful with the words we use with ourselves. I love that you can pick up a lipstick and give yourself a compliment.

ELLE: Rare Beauty Lip oils are the most recent drop. How do you decide on the category and product drops? What should we expect now?

SG: I love the Soft Pinch Lip Oils because the texture is unlike anything other lip oil I’ve used. I was inspired to create something that does what the Soft Pinch Liquid Blush does for your cheeks, but for your lips. I’m not allowed to say anything yet, but I’m really excited about what we’re launching next! Follow along on Rare Beauty’s Instagram for news later this month.

ELLE: You started wearing makeup early on, of course, because of the nature of your work. Any tips that you can share from your experience for young girls who are attracted to wearing makeup?

SG: You don’t need to wear makeup to look and feel beautiful, and you don’t need to try to look older. I spent a lot of time trying to look older when I was younger, and I wish I knew there is plenty of time to grow up. Makeup should be something to have fun with and to enhance what makes you unique.

ELLE: In one of the press events, you mentioned that you created Rare to give a safe space for people. Did challenging the existing beauty norms make you nervous?

SG: I think it’s a conversation we all need to have. There is so much pressure today to look a certain way - I have felt it and I have so many friends who feel it too. With Rare Beauty, I want to remove that pressure and celebrate that we are all unique.

ELLE: As one of the most followed female celebrities on social media, you’ve managed to defy the need for perfection by posting real and raw images time and again. What would you want your young and impressionable audience to learn from this?


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A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez)

SG: You are not defined by a like or a comment. It’s important to remember that what you’re looking at is edited – there are so many filters and people are posting their best moments, not their worst. Take a scrolling break when you need one.

ELLE: Lastly, what does it mean for you and Rare Beauty to enter the Indian market and what are the brand’s plans for us?

SG: We have had so many requests on social media to come to India and I am so excited we’re finally here. I can’t wait to see how everyone uses the products. We are also expanding the Rare Impact Fund to India with support from two local mental health organisations – I’m thrilled that we can expand this initiative globally.

Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez is launched exclusively at Sephora India and is available nationwide across all Sephora stores and online at Sephora.nnnow.com 

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