The Indian beauty industry is going through a big change. Newer labels launch with niche marketing programmes, colours are getting more vibrant, ingredients much more diverse and, ever so quietly, there’s skincare and makeup exclusively being made keeping in mind the specifics of Indian skin tones. We already wrote about Luaer, an organic label that is all about small quantities, Pahadi Local, another niche label targeting unique, homegrown, organic ingredients, and Dr. Sheth’s and Organic Riot, both looking to add value to the Indian consumer by formulating products that really speak to Indian skin. Now, say hello to the newest label that is out to add inclusivity into makeup with their bold campaigns and bigger values: Fae Beauty.
We’ll admit the brand’s packaging did remind us of the early days of Glossier, a label that made few but impactful products, and Fae seems to be heading in the same direction. Their Instagram page features off-beat celebrities like model Aaliya and designer Nitya Arora; the skin tones darker represented are darker; every size is exalted; and all genders celebrated.
But what exactly is Fae? Fae Beauty stands for Free and Equal Beauty – beauty that’s real, authentic, transparent, and truly representative of the women of colour. Their arsenal currently includes six buildable matte lipsticks (Rs 800), and these are just the beginning for this label that’s aiming to create more interesting products for millennials in the coming months. The label is geared to create a new, more relate-able, and inclusive experience for women in India. Individuality is the cornerstone of real beauty and Fae looks to give that to women in India. Plus, the products are vegan, feature clean ingredients, and names like ‘Too Dark’, and ‘Too Cheeky’ for example. We spoke to Karishma Kewalramani, Founder of Fae, who has even bigger plans for her beauty brand.
What makes Fae special?
Fae Beauty is an alternative beauty company that creates beauty products for everyone. It is a brand that cares deeply about inclusivity, a thought process that has been adopted by companies around the world but remains side-lined in the Indian beauty space. Inclusivity is ingrained in the brand’s DNA, and the idea of being inclusive drives key decisions at the company, be it in terms of the shade range of its products, or the individuals chosen to represent the brand in its launch campaign. The company hopes to change the way beauty is perceived in India, and to pull real people into a conversation that has long been reserved for individuals who have fit traditional standards of beauty. Fae is building a community with a voice that can be used to determine all future product development decisions. A community that is empowered to feel free and equal to express themselves the way they want.
With so many homegrown beauty labels coming up, how does Fae stand out?
The beauty space in India is booming, and a lot of brands are beginning to adopt a conscientious approach to the ingredients in their products. However, I find that there is a gap in the Indian beauty market for a brand that is not only trendy but made with clean ingredients but more importantly focusing on diversity and inclusive at the core of its DNA. At Fae, our first priority will always be to create cleaner products that suit everyone. And diversity and inclusion is not a trend for us – it’s an ethos that we will not compromise on.
Your social media features interesting models – women who are real. What’s the idea behind it?
An inclusive approach to beauty was integral while casting for our launch campaign. We tried to question the status quo in the beauty industry – why weren’t beauty companies casting individuals with different skin colours and textures? Why were people of different body types not represented in beauty? Why weren’t beauty companies in India involving gender-fluid individuals into the conversation? We decided to break free from these conventions by casting as many real individuals as possible – individuals who we truly felt represented the diversity that we see in India.
What are the colours you think will warm up to Indian women?
Every shade that we have developed was done specifically keeping people of colour in mind. While trying to shortlist the colour palette for our launch collection, we surveyed groups of women with different skin tones and textures to try and understand a range of colours that were guaranteed to suit Indian skin. Furthermore, we formulated our products such that the lipsticks adapt to their user’s skin tone to give each individual a custom colour when they wear a Fae lipstick.
What are the future plans for the brand?
Our goal with Fae will always be to bring innovative products to market that are made to suit the entire spectrum of skin tones in this country. We don’t envision ourselves creating products that already exist in the market, but try to adopt a unique approach with our R&D and use customer insights and feedback to bring new makeup technologies and products to our community.
The label has launched five of their buildable matte lipsticks and they are available on faebeauty.in and also Nykaa.com.