Skincare and makeup that nourishes and is perfect for Indian skin? That’s Luaer for you. The brainchild of Pallavi Mohoni, a chemical engineer by profession (who worked very hard at creating a conscious and holistic lifestyle for herself), Luaer’s range of five lipsticks focus on being clean, comfortable, and conscious – ideal for the new-age millennial. From nude to deep reds, each of these shades are tried tested and created for Indian skin tones for four years. The clincher? Names in Urdu that read like poetry – take for instance the very pretty brown, Ahi, which we tried. It was buttery soft and highly pigmented – a true nude for Indian skin tones. Then there’s Rewa, Noon, Imaan and Eka, all stunning and some of them were even spotted on the Instagram stories of many a Bollywood star.
It was while studying in America that Mohoni realized she wanted to do something in the beauty space. Her great grandmother, a lady of immense poise and timeless beauty, was also a beauty alchemist who used to create her own formulations, based on recipes handed down the generations. “So I wanted to build a beauty brand that not only used these natural sources but helped nurture and preserve these wonderful beauty recipes created in the lifetime of my great grandmom to counter the ephemeral, and at times detrimental, effects of modern day chemical cosmetics,” explains Mohoni.
So Mohoni took on the challenge of creating a clean beauty brand, one that is minimalistic but potent. The research concentrated on creating specific makeup solutions for Indian skin tones and bodies. Luaer started in 2017 with the intention of creating a new space in the Indian beauty. The name Luaer means ‘glow’ in French, pointing to the inner radiance we are all born with.
The label also recently launched their makeup remover – also very effortless, effective, and clean. The label has been conscious in its approach, creating products that take time and don’t read like a laundry list of offerings. “Luaer is a brand born out of reverence for all that is natural, and our strong belief that beauty should be enduring as opposed to being transient,” explains Mohoni. We spoke to her at length about the work.
What makes Luaer different?
Honesty of thoughts and values, consistency of actions, and respect for the sagacity and intelligence of our customers. Knowing the damage inappropriate chemicals can do to your skin, I’d always dreamt how nice it would be if we had cosmetics which nourished your skin instead.
Tell us a bit about the bestsellers.
Rewa and Ahi are our best-selling lipsticks. Choice of the shades came from a whole lot of trials I did with different Indian skin types and tones. With my first five shades I wanted to introduce all the hues a woman must have. It was also important for us to make shades that worked for all Indians. Although we only have five shades so far, there’s definitely something for everyone.
Where does Luaer stand in terms of sustainability?
Sustainability is the very essence of our brand, its birth came about due to our strong belief that beauty is enduring and sustainable. All of us are naturally beautiful and our lipsticks only play a small part in underscoring this inner beauty. And what better than use natural ingredients for this, as did my grandma.
When we launched, our packaging was also one of the things we focused on to bring out the element of sustainability. We work with a local paper recycler who supplies us with the paper we need to pack our boxes.
Who is the Luaer customer and what is he/she looking for in beauty?
The Luaer customer is a mindful and conscious person who understands the importance of using clean ingredients, someone who knows that beauty is within, and makeup is just a way to enhance that. The Luaer customer is also very proud of her roots.
How is it building a lip product from scratch?
It’s probably one of the toughest makeup products to start with because it’s essentially a mixture of oils and waxes. To make it perfectly soft but also hard enough to stay on a stick is another challenging affair. Developing a lipstick which did just that and did not cost a bomb was the biggest challenge I faced.
Being a chemical engineer myself, it did not take me long to figure out substitutes for the typical chemicals that go into a lipstick, but to get the proportions right so that it would deliver on desirables like smoothness, gliding ease, long-lasting and run-free colouring etc was a challenge. This meant long hours and days of exacting trial and error. I’ve been on this since 2014 and it has taken time to perfect the formulations through trial and error.
You can buy Luaer at the parent site, Begin Again. Lipsticks start at Rs 900