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    There are few Indian fashion designers who have stepped beyond apparel and evolved into a lifestyle label. Masaba Gupta in that regard stands alone among her peers. From ready-to-wear collections and tech products to watches and beauty, Gupta has ensured her name extends to more than clothes.

    Gupta has the personality and influence to pull it off. The daughter of cricket legend Vivian Richards and actor Neena Gupta, she knows her mind, and better still, understands what Indian women want. The newest feather in her cap is a beauty collection in collaboration with Nykaa – a line of beautiful nail colours and lipsticks called ‘Lips and Tips’. The packaging has Gupta’s stamp all over, and the quirky hampers, bright colours, kitschy prints, the shade range, everything showcases her essence and gumption.

    This however is not the first time she has ventured into beauty. Her Lip Crayons in association with Lakme were a hit a few years ago, and her beauty collaborations tie into Gupta’s vision to eventually create her own beauty path. At the eve of her collection launch, we caught up with the star designer and influencer to tell us how she has built this line, and why she thinks #Masabaforall (the hashtag she promoted through her collection) is here to stay. 

    Masaba X Nykaa

    Nykaa x Masaba – how did it happen

    It was two years in the making. I love makeup and have been toying with the idea of an Indian homegrown label that’s affordable, quirky, and very fun. As a teenager, I never had much access to makeup and I couldn’t buy expensive stuff. So for me, it’s about finding a good formula, packaged beautifully, and something that’s price-friendly. And that’s where Nykaa came in. We thought of building a small collection of ‘Lips and Tips’ and start the beauty portfolio from there. I wanted a collection that screams print and has an identity. And now, there’s more coming. Why stop at this? These days, everyone wants to try new products, people are experimenting with makeup, are open to new ideas, and we’re working on it. 

    Favourite lip colours from the Masaba x Nykaa collection

    My all-time favourite is Nimbu Paani, a beautiful peachy nude. I also like this brown-pink nude called Cool Guy. These are colours I want to wear. I also wanted bright pinks and reds – they were all I wore when I was younger.  Beauty has evolved now, but ideally, I’d say everyone needs one red, one pink, and one nude. 

    Masaba X Nykaa

    Thoughts on brown girl makeup

    A lot of makeup artists don’t know how to do makeup on brown girls. The point is, your face doesn’t need to look a completely different shade – that’s when you know it’s not good. There is a need to celebrate brown skin. As a brown woman, I should not mix two foundations to get what I want, I should have the shades for me ready. Brown skin is my priority – it’s my skin. So many girls have written to me about loving the collection and that’s my goal now – to do more brown-skin-friendly beauty. 

    Beauty and Masaba

    Beauty will be a focus for me, and I will see it building up in the same way as my clothes – they go hand in hand. I personally take to beauty – it’s an eventuality in my life plan. Masaba is a lifestyle brand, not just a fashion label. While growing up I had tough skin to deal with and I was a different colour too so I see beauty differently. If I can make a success story out of that, why not? My plan is to make my brand kitsch and conventional.  

    One reason why Masaba x Nykaa is a must-buy

    Price points and packaging make a big difference and the fact that it is a collector’s item. Let’s not forget that the colours take to Indian skin beautifully.  

    What’s in your makeup bag

    A Masaba x Nykaa lipstick, a cream blush, the best mascara, a good under eye concealer like Nars, and setting spray. 

    Masaba X Nykaa

    Other beauty brands you love

    I love many. Nars Caramel is a great shade. I also love Fenty Beauty and Emporio Armani foundations. Huda Beauty has some great shades too. 

    Easy prep trick for skin and lips

    I use lots of ice for my open pores and top it up with lots of hydrating moisturiser. A primer and a setting spray are a must. As for the lips, I use a M.A.C Lip Scrub and use a L’Occitane Lip Balm to nourish and prep the lips.

    Latha Sunadh
    Deputy Editor
    When she's not trying on a new serum, researching on yet another classic fragrance and sharing lip balms with her 5-year old daughter, Latha Sunadh keeps it reined in with a nice song and a good book. Special skills include obsessing over handmade, home-made and handcrafted luxuries.