Since transforming my life to working from home and quarantining for the past 9 months due to the pandemic, I’ve noticed a major shift in my focus when it comes to my interests. Normally there’s a 50-50 split for my love of fashion and beauty, but with all of my face-to-face interactions being over Google Meet or over the phone, my fashion game has turned down a few notches, while my skincare game has boosted 5000 notches.
As I've been exploring more and more beauty brands I've noticed that clean beauty has been all the rage the past few years, and even more so in the past year. What many don’t know is that this way of “clean beauty” traces its root back to the South Asian practice of Ayurveda, one of the oldest approaches to holistic healing. It primarily focuses on promoting a balance between your body and mind using only your body and ingredients from the earth. From what I’ve found many, if not all, South-Asian owned beauty brands have an element of Ayurveda already embedded in their products if not blatantly stated.
I’ll be the first to admit a few too many beauty deliveries arrived at my door this past year, but I have no regrets. With my shift in focus more towards beauty, my focus also shifted towards supporting South Asian brands more. Luckily, I have yet to have been disappointed and can only speak highly of each of these brands as they’ve been truly changing the beauty game and making and impact on the beauty and brown community making it worth every penny.
They are just *chef’s kiss*
Founded by Rooshy Roy who grew up with Indian roots in Detroit, Michigan, Aavrani celebrates her duality by uniting both influential worlds she grew up in: modern-day beauty + ancient, all-natural rituals.
Like many South Asian kids growing up in America, Rooshy admits to growing apart and separating herself from her Indian roots, however stress and non-natural beauty products brought her back to the Ayurvedic rituals she experienced growing up with her grandmother.
Her products are the gateway to sharing the secrets of India beauty rituals that many South-Asian kids grew up with to the rest of the world. Plus, the brand gives a portion of all proceeds to their partnership with the Indian Shanti Bhavan School to help provide disadvantaged youth with an education.
After going viral on YouTube in 2015 with her red lipstick colour correcting hack, Influencer + founder Deepica Mutyala’s success story began on social media. She became a voice for the “shades in between” and launched Live Tinted as an online beauty community focused on inclusivity and diverse beauty. There she discovered that she wasn’t the only one struggling with hyper-pigmentation. And in 2019, the beauty brand fully launched with their Huesticks: a 4-in-1 multistick meant to be used as a colour corrector to balance discoloration and dark spots.
The line is vegan, and cruelty free and filled with her passion to dismantle the colorism she experienced growing up and in the beauty industry. Her brand and her social media presence serve as a platform “focused on underrepresented people in beauty, and their journeys with culture and identity.”
* Personal Note: I wrote a whole blog post about how Deepica helped me in owning my brown skin and realizing the lack of representation the Brown community has! She’s so vocal about the movement and played such a huge role in owning my identity *
Founded by Sravya Kalyanapu, Mango People Cosmetics channels Ayurveda medicine with a line of “essential makeup products” formulated with bio-adaptive botanicals to protect, stabilize and calm the skin. With a foundation of natural ingredients and pigments extracted entirely from natural elements that benefit the skin, the line of multisticks, highlighters, and bronzers are beneficial for your skin from the outside in.
Fable and Mane is rooted in sibling founders Nikita and Akash Mehta’s Indian heritage and personal experiences. After experiencing moments of stress, Nikita reminded herself of the Indian tradition of hair oiling and the times when her grandmother would massage her head with blends of plant oils to longer, thicker, and more lustrous hair.
Similar to Aavrani, Fable and Mane’s hair products serve as a gateway to sharing the secrets of India beauty rituals that many South-Asian kids grew up with to the rest of the world. Plus, the brand gives a portion of all proceeds to their partnership with organizations that protect wild life.
Founded by sisters Taran and Bunny, Blume serves as a safe space for “young women to learn, grown, and become their badass selves.” The sisters questioned why periods and entering womanhood was such a taboo subject when puberty is a pivotal time in a girl’s life. In effort to reverse this, Blume’s goal is to ensure girls grow up to feel good about their bodies and celebrate their transition into “womanhood.” Their ultimate goals is to “create a new generation of thriving, confident, informed young women who are eager to become the very best version of themselves.” With self-care products ranging from facial oils to heating pads to facial sprays, each product is the perfect addition to every woman’s (and everyone else’s) self-care routine.
*My personal favourite is the Stargirl Face Mist – the perfect scent, and so refreshing *
Like many first-generation Indian-Americans, Michelle Ranavat founded her skincare and haircare line after coming to terms with her Indian roots, and learning to own who her identity. She wanted to reclaim her lost years pusing her culture away and learn to finally celebrate her culture.
With the name “Ranavat” literally translating to “royal,” its comes as no surprise that her inspiration from the kings and queens of Rajasthan who wanted to live forever, and the ancient products they used to “achieve” their wish played a heavy hand in the brand she wanted to create.
In Michelle’s mind, a product is a product, the real goal of Ranavat is to #ClaimYourCrown. After living two entirely different lives growing up, Michelle built a brand that shared all parts of her with the world. The Ranavat line of skincare and hair products aim to empower.
What are your favourite products from these brands? Do you follow any Brown Beauty Brands that you love and support? Share them all with me!