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14 Successful Indian Beauty Entrepreneurs Share Their Beauty Routines

Founders of your favourite beauty and makeup brands share beauty and self-care rituals they swear by.

Aparrna Gupta

From a customer perspective, the beauty industry is buzzing, with a new brand entering the market every week or even sooner. And behind every startup beauty brand, there is a driven entrepreneur who chose to pivot and go against the tide. Entrepreneurship is a state of mind, not a designation that you write on your resume. It is more than the initial excitement of launching a brand from a scratch, planning a name, getting a team in place, and seeing your brand reach the customers. It is consistently creating a system, setting up a culture, and nurturing a team. It can be as overwhelming as it’s rewarding, and it’s a founder’s responsibility to be calm when things are not going as per the plan, which is very often.

We spoke to 14 successful Indian beauty entrepreneurs on their ideas of beauty and delved deeper into their wellness routines to tap into what keeps them productive and focussed in midst of their chaotic daily schedules. Keep scrolling:

1. Shamika Haldipurkar, Founder, d’you

The beauty brand d'you focuses on innovative and high-performing skincare products that work to be your one-stop solution for all skin problems. 

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What does beauty mean to you?

My idea of beauty has evolved into being more self-accepting and pursuing what pleases me. While I hate to admit it, maybe growing up at some point was about pleasing others.

What beauty routine do you follow daily to look good and feel good?

I start my morning with haldi and lemon in warm water. Then I sit with my cup of coffee and under-eye patches (that I store in the freezer every night) and go over my emails and task list for the day while the cold eye patches de-puff my eyes and the coffee works its way into my system, and I feel more awake by the minute. Post that, my skincare routine is simple. I only oil cleanse in the evenings, so morning is just a splash of water on the face, and then I go in with D’you Hustle + IMD followed by sunscreen. Currently, I love sunscreens by Joseon and a’pieu. When I want a bit of a tint, I use the new Colour Correct L’Oreal tinted sunscreen. In the evenings,I never skip an oil cleanse. Never!

What is the self-care ritual you practice to keep yourself centred?

As life has gotten busy, I find it increasingly hard to have an unplanned day. So I must take the first 30 minutes of the morning to set up the day mentally.I don’t even want to be spoken to that time. One of my favourite de-stressing activities is painting. My mom is an artist, and she instilled a love for art in me from a very young age. While I don’t get to dabble in it as frequently as I’d like, it’s an activity that never fails to ease my anxiety.

2. Aishwarya Sawarna Nir, Founder, Global Beauty Secrets

Skincare brand, Global Beauty Secrets imbibes women's collective wisdom from across the world by combining scientific knowledge with ancient rituals and beauty secrets. 

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What does beauty mean to you?

Beauty is being able to see and bring out the best in me and others. Rather than looking at beauty as aspirational and becoming insecure, I have started developing a more loving and nurturing relationship with myself.  

What beauty routine do you follow daily to look good and feel good?

I love oil cleansing—so it’s either oil cleansing with our Tsubaki Blend oil or the Chandani Avahana Ubtan face mask, followed by the Ghee Salve application. I swear by Beni lip balm throughout all seasons to keep my lips healthy and nourished. My grandmother used besan, milk, and kesar as a face mask for her skin, which I naturally incorporated into my routine. My grandmother is also very spiritual, so it’s incredible how disciplined she’s about her lifestyle even at this age.

What is the self-care ritual you practice to keep yourself centred?

I have started early morning walks—I enjoy strolling about in nature when the world is just waking up, and the air is so fresh.Recently, from my mother-in-law, I picked up the art of dressing well to show up as the best version of myself.

3. Niloni Shah, Co-founder, The Pink Foundry

The Pink Foundry includes products that come with a unique formulation of clinically proven ingredients and Tria-DermTM action that stimulates and boosts the skin. 

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What does beauty mean to you?

When I was younger, I believed beauty was an external thing, that beauty meant glamour. Today, beauty, to me, is much more of a holistic concept. It is a form of self-care and self-love.

What beauty routine do you follow daily to look good and feel good?

My skincare routine is pretty basic: cleanser, serum, moisturiser, sunscreen, and exfoliation once or twice a week. I am a big lover of the ‘natural dewy look’, so once I am done with my skincare routine, I apply a little bit of blush and lipstick—then I am good to go for the day!

What is the self-care ritual you practice to keep yourself centred?

Being diligent in my skincare routine brings me peace and calm. I take my sweet time doing my skincare every day and do not rush it. To me, consistently keeping your skin barrier healthy and constantly being hydrated and protected is most important. I also love experimenting and using different face masks at night once in a while.

4. Masaba Gupta, Founder, LoveChild

Masaba’s new venture, LoveChild is a brand that is a hybrid between beauty, skincare, and wellness. It aims to bridge the gap between makeup and skincare and to promote self-expression and the freedom that comes with it. 

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What does beauty mean to you?

I think beauty comes from good skin and good skin comes from within. If a woman is not feeling her best, it shows on her skin. Back in my childhood, I remember being a gypsy girl for a school play and I wore my mom’s red lipstick and did my own winged liner—which was actually a droopy line. I remember putting on lots of rouge. My mom used to use very minimal makeup. I used to see so many women wearing a whole lot of makeup, but I always wanted to be minimal. Beauty is all about keeping it natural for me. I like to keep it uncomplicated and easy.

What beauty routine do you follow daily to look good and feel good?

I like it uncomplicated and easy, but I do love lipsticks. A bright pop or neutrals, I always have two to three shades in my bag to switch things up. The LoveChild bullet lipsticks in the shades Barfee, I Claim, and Caramel are my current bag staples. Also, over the years I’ve struggled with PCOS and the weight gain it caused, coupled with acne issues. With some trial and error, I’ve found out what works for me. Our health and our body are the greatest gifts we have. Investing in them daily, little by little, goes a long way. Fitness is an integral part of my daily life while yoga and meditation help me find balance. My morning workout is non-negotiable. I’ve found that my fitness routine also helps me focus better at work throughout the day.

What is the self-care ritual you practice to keep yourself centred?

Oiling my hair and doing my face yoga regime every morning is a great time for me to disconnect and charge up for the day. I listen to ‘Ik Onkar Satnam’ while I do this and it really relaxes me and preps me for the day. Ik Onkar was my mother’s caller tune for ages and every time her phone rang in the house it made me feel great.

5. Armaan Mann, Founder, Dame Essentials

Bringing all things silk, Dame Essentials is a brand with 100 per cent pure Mulberry silk pillowcases and sleeping masks. 

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What does beauty mean to you?

Confidence, happiness, and kindness now mean beautiful to me. Over the years, I have started looking inwards. When I eat right and take care of myself emotionally, mentally and physically, I feel beautiful.

What beauty routine do you follow daily to look good and feel good?

I start my day with a big glass of chilled fruit and vegetable juice that sets the mood for the day. I set aside 15 to 20 minutes for my beauty routine morning and night, which is therapy for me.

What is the self-care ritual you practice to keep yourself focused?

Going out for a meal with my daughter keeps me centred, makes me see the world with new eyes, and calms me down. I love hygge, so candles, comfortable seating, and a cosy environment grounds me. Nothing beats the feeling of a warmly lit room with a great smell at the end of the day.

6. Prachi Bhandari, Co-founder, Aminu

Clean and vegan skincare brand, Aminu is all about offering multi-tasking and high-performing products with botanical, marine extract, vitamins and mineral-rich ingredients. 

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What does beauty mean to you?

Beauty is a gift of existence, genes, and experience. I believe everybody is innately beautiful. It is in simplicity, in innocence, in being spontaneous, and in our growth of consciousness.

What beauty routine do you follow daily to look good and feel good?

Cleanse, moisturise, and protect is something which I do every day. I wash my face with Aminu’s AHA Face Wash, use Aminu’s Hydrating Cream on my face and neck, and finish off with Aminu’s Mineral SPF 50 on my face and neck. I also use MAC eyeliner and wear MAC lipstick in nude shades.

What is the self-care ritual you practice to keep yourself focused?

Feeling my skin and textures of skincare products as I massage them in, while reflecting on my inner self, gets me to a state of mindfulness. Weekends are all about slow rituals, from meditating to cooking to self-care. I enjoy gently, slowly scrubbing my feet, arms, legs, and belly with tender strokes and paying attention to each curve, expressing gratitude for so many ways my body serves each day.

7. Diipa Khosla, Founder, indē wild

Newly launched wellness brand, indē wild, marries the power of Ayurveda and the innovation of chemistry in their products. The brand focuses on different skin types, tones and textures, especially for South Asian women. 

What does beauty mean to you?

While I’m so very proud to be a desi, I grew up in a culture where society defined beauty. We were told to lighten our skin, wear coloured contacts, remove body hair, etc if we wanted to look “beautiful”. It’s my personal mission to change the narrative through indē wild. We do not edit skin in our photo and video content, and proudly so.

What beauty routine do you follow daily to look good and feel good?

When it comes to skincare and makeup, I use minimal products. For skincare, I use a cleanser, indē wild serum, a moisturizer and sunscreen. For makeup, a little concealer, a bit of blush, highlighter and lip balm.

What is the self-care ritual you practice to keep yourself focused?

When it comes to your skin, I think diet is a super important factor. I eat clean and fresh products, and I feel my skin reaps the benefits. Then keeping a simple and clean routine day and night will do wonders.

8. Dhruv Madhok, Co-founder, Arata

Arata is a leading homegrown, vegan, natural personal care brand that started its journey with a simple, clean and genius ingredient-led solution for hair styling.

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What does beauty mean to you?

Over the years, I’ve realized that you could look wonderful according to conventional beauty norms, but nothing can compensate for being radiantly energetic. Being upbeat and carrying yourself well is reflective of beauty. So, it’s not necessarily looking a certain way but just grooming yourself. The minor touches about trimming your hair and taking the time to dress up—shows that you take care of yourself.  

What beauty routine do you follow daily to look good and feel good?

My grooming routine is pretty straightforward. I use a simple, clean facewash, face cream, styling gel, and hair cream. Especially for men, I’ve noticed using styling products, trimming your beard and parting your hair makes all the difference!

What is the self-care ritual you practice to keep yourself focused?

I wake up relatively early and have my morning elixir—turmeric, honey, ginger, and lemon boiled in water. It’s good for gut health and overall immunity. It also makes for a delicious drink! I follow it up with black coffee, a workout and journaling before starting work.

9. Esha Tiwari, Founder, Kastoor

Kastoor is a modern-day ittar brand to bring the supremacy of ittars to suit the modern scent sensibilities and pay homage to the history and fragrant culture. 

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What does beauty mean to you?

I am someone who had major acne for the most part of my girlhood years. I was obsessed with it and tried everything under the sun to have clear skin which was synonymous with being beautiful. Then coming from a small town to a big city in my early teens, I was bombarded with beauty trends and have dabbled in fair amounts with the tangible aspects of beauty and that's okay. Understanding beauty is a journey. The current idea of beauty for me has a lot of intangible elements. I find kindness, vulnerability, open communication, and having a spine extremely beautiful. A mix of tangible and intangible, beauty is in a plain white shirt, big hoops, a bun, and mascara and also in a natural blush you get running that extra mile after you almost gave up.

What beauty routine do you follow daily to look good and feel good?

I am extremely basic with my beauty routine—a moisturizer, sunscreen, and a night serum/mask at max. I love good makeup, which for me, is a creative reflection of the mood I am in. Pack it with lots of movement (exercise) as a lifestyle, learn to drink ample water to stay hydrated, and surround yourself with people who genuinely make you happy!

What is the self-care ritual you practice to keep yourself focused?

Ah many! For me, playing with the sense of smell to elevate my mental and emotional well-being is a ritual. I have vagabond blood. Just packing bags and leaving for a new place spontaneously and the idea of meeting new people is therapeutic. The mundane chores aren't a waste of time but rather mindful for me. Just relax by doing laundry with some jazz in the background! I write a lot and follow a more sustainable lifestyle of work, rest and play and not a burnout-to-vacation pendulum.

10. Shubhika Jain, Founder, Ras Luxury Oils

A farm-to-face luxury beauty brand, Ras Luxury Oils brings products focused on aromatherapy and formulated towards making sensorial beauty that has the power to perform and transform.

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What does beauty mean to you?

My definition of beauty today is to be balanced in my mind, body, and soul. The idea of beauty has evolved to an idea of holistic beauty with the outer radiance complimenting the inner glow of the soul.

What beauty routine do you follow daily to look good and feel good?

I religiously follow the cleanse, tone, treat, and moisuriser routine for my face—using all Ras products of course. I also massage it with oils and face tools every alternate day. The Rose Nectar face mist is also a must-have for me. I have a mini bottle of the Rose Nectar, Face Elixir and Lip Balm everywhere—my handbag, my car cabinet, my work desk, my nightstand, everywhere.

What is the self-care ritual you practice to keep yourself focused?

I swear by yoga, exercise, and meditation. At least an hour a day, I dedicate my time to go for running or workout without fail. The physical workout followed by meditation anchors me, grounds me, and allows my body to reach a state of flow that has a direct impact on the rest of day.

11. Ritika Sharma, Founder, Boddess

A beauty retailer, Boddess brings global and cult celebrity beauty brands along with homegrown ones to the Indian market.

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What does beauty mean to you?

It means confidence. I don’t think there is anyone I have met who is confident inside but doesn’t look beautiful. I think women go through a real shift in how they perceive themselves and how the world perceives them from their teens to their twenties and thirties. Having been in the industry for several years, one mantra that comes to mind is “in a world full of trends, dare to be a classic”.

What beauty routine do you follow daily to look good and feel good?

To feel that I have taken care of myself, I start with movement in any form of workout, cleansing with suitable beverages, followed by a simple skincare regime (cleanse, moisturize and an SPF – non-negotiable).

What is the self-care ritual you practice to keep yourself focused?

Lots of Indian women will have a similar answer—the famous champi. Growing up, my grandmother would cover her long tresses in oil of her choice—sweet almond, coconut, bhringraj; sometimes developing her own recipes. In a more holistic sense, nothing can centre you more than pulling out the yoga mat in your home studio and bringing it to the street. I highly recommend it.

12. Shritama Mukherjee Sahni, Founder, TGM Beauty

The lifestyle beauty brand, TGM Beauty revolves around the idea of holistic, inside-out beauty. The brand believes that just applying products to the skin is not enough but it's also about nurturing the body on the inside. 

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What does beauty mean to you?

When I was a kid, I thought beauty is how you look after applying makeup. Now my definition of beauty is feeling healthy, happy, and comfortable from within. It's about letting my skin, body, and mind breathe.

What beauty routine do you follow daily to look good and feel good?

I start my day with TGM Beauty's Glow Inside Out Powder. That's my go-to skin supplement that keeps my skin healthy, nourished, and hydrated from within. I follow it up with my morning yoga to get the happy hormones flowing.

What is the self-care ritual you practice to keep yourself focused?

Yoga in any form, whether it is my morning routine or sitting in vajrasana after my meals, or listening to yoga nidra while sleeping. Yoga is the best way to experience "feeling good" in your body, mind, and soul.

13. Aastha Khandelval, CEO, Tvachamrit

Tvachamrit is a handcrafted skincare brand that is formulated on Ayurveda ingredients and rituals.

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What does beauty mean to you?

Growing up, I used to think a girl was beautiful only if she was light-skinned, tall, and had extremely thick straight hair. It was only limited to physical appearance versus now when I know that beauty is a sum total of your personality. You can learn to carry yourself well, you can learn to be beautiful.

What beauty routine do you follow daily to look good and feel good?

I start my day by oil pulling and have a glass of hot water with 1 tbsp of either ghee or coconut oil (depending on the season). I do all this whilst burning dhoop (that my mom makes) in my diffuser. For bathing, I use my ubtans with curd or water.  Post shower, I apply an after-bath body oil that I’m testing for Tvachamit. I love this step! All this I do whilst listening to a song or chant depending on my mood! I finish off my morning routine by applying a drop of Tvachamrit face elixir oil on my face and then applying sunscreen on top!

What is the self-care ritual you practice to keep yourself focused?

When I’m feeling anxious and need to feel centred, then I sit quietly in the mandir at our house. That really calms me down! I light up an agarbatti and put some flowers around. Whenever I do that, I feel like I’m getting blessed! I also ensure at that time I have either mogra flowers/ rajnigandha or desi gulab around me! I love the smell of these three flowers!

14. Rubeina Karachiwala, Founder, Ruby’s Organics

Plant-based makeup brand, Ruby's Organics brings multi-functioning beauty products with bio-actives and skin-loving ingredients that work as an extension of skin care.

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What does beauty mean to you?

Beauty to me is rooted in self-expression. In my early teens and twenties, I believed beauty was defined by the standards laid down by the media. I simply mimicked what I thought was perceived to be beautiful. But over the years, I learned that only you can define what beauty means to you and that it simply has no boundaries.

What beauty routine do you follow daily to look good and feel good?

Nutrition first, sleep second, and skincare last. Being a makeup brand founder, I obviously adore makeup and I use it every day in different ways to express my state of mind.

What is the self-care ritual you practice to keep yourself focused?

I start my day with coconut water first thing in the morning, have a high-fibre diet to cleanse my system, and maintain good digestive health. And to manage anxiety, I regularly practice meditation. 

Photo: Instagram/masabagupta; respective brands
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