Around the second week of May, actor Sonakshi Sinha had posted an image on Instagram wearing a rock on her ring finger and that, a new chapter is about to begin in her life. While speculations led to rumours about the actor being engaged, little did we know that she would be creating her first beauty business, SOEZI.
As the demand for nail products and services increases, nail art and manicures have proven to be a bright spot in the beauty category. And Sonakshi’s new beauty brand is a godsend for people who are looking for a quick fix to beautify their nails in no time. “In our country, there is a huge void when it comes to press-on nails. No mainstream press-on nail brands exist here. That is why we thought that this would be a really good product to start with,” she explains what made her start SOEZI.
Acting might be in her genes but it’s not just limited to it, entrepreneurship runs deep within her. An already passionate painter, Sonakshi and her brothers, Luv and Kush, had also started a new art venture post-pandemic. But nail art is something that the actor picked up during the long pandemic. “I'm an artist anyway, but nail art was something that I did for a while to keep myself entertained during the pandemic (laughs). Honestly, I did it all by myself. I just try to make art on my nails,” she tells.
Along with Sonakshi, behind SOEZI lies another boss lady, Srishti Raai. Raai's exploration sprees on the cosmopolitan streets back in the UK and USA made her realise that the international market had many press-on nail options available which India was lacking. “I am a creative person so I've been involved in everything that is required me to be there creatively for SOEZI. As for Srishti, she is the business mind behind it, so it's like a good marriage of creative and business minds, and that's how we run Soezi - there's major participation from both sides,” Sonakshi tells.
What is SOEZI all about
“When we were looking for names, I was very clear that I wanted a brand name that started with the letter ‘S’ because both of our names’ initials start with the same. When I started thinking about the qualities of the brand as I tried them on and tested them over the last year, my first thought was how easy it is, which is how ‘SOEZI’ was created,” she explains on coming up with such a quirky brand name.
Needless to say, there’s no better feeling than having pretty nails and SOEZI strikes the right chord. Press-on nails have long been avoided due to the low quality and short-term longevity of the available brands, as well as the fear of damaging natural nails. SOEZI envisions minimising this fright, “I've been trying these press-on nails for over a year. I've gone on vacations and changed them every day for different shoots too. I know how long the glue stays on and how long you can keep it on. So you see, I have been quite involved in this whole process of creating SOEZI, knowing my strong points and I can tell, it’s the best part.”
The nails are designed in a way that it's easy to put on, convenient and versatile enough. “Over the last one and a half years, we have done a lot of research into what is trending in nails, nail art, and what type of nails women prefer. We've gone into the details of what women from different professions and different walks of life would like to wear. And we came up with the designs - keeping a lot of basic colours, swirl designs, eggshell designs, Marbella nail art and much more. So, a lot of research has gone into the designs, and here is how we came up with the first collection,” Sonakshi explains. Available in a variety of styles, effects and designs, from basic, pastels to chromatic, the website also allows customising the press-on nails to the shape and length of one’s desire.
In an exclusive conversation with Zee Zest, Sonakshi reveals more about her love for manicures, and why it’s time to tap into the burgeoning nail care industry.
1. What inspired you to launch your own beauty label?
As a creative person, I have always believed beauty and makeup are forms of art in their own right. Although the subject of beauty was always on my mind, I just wanted to come in with something that I feel very passionate about. I am involved in myself as a person too, so I think that really was the thought behind starting SOEZI as well.
2. What should one expect from SOEZI? How do you think the brand fills the press-on nails void in the Indian market?
There is no mainstream press on nail brands. So, SOEZI definitely fills the void here. When I started trying it, I just realised how simple and accessible it would be for every woman to just get a pair of press-on nails that are reusable and can be done over and over. Again, there are so many designs to choose from, and I think that's the kind of access, I wanted other women and even, men to have. I know that a lot of people are interested in nails and keeping their hands looking pretty, but do not have the time, budget or the patience to go and sit at a salon to get their nails done. Basically, I'm one of those individuals, so if it made my life so easy, I really think that it would make a lot of people's lives easier.
3. Which are your favourite picks from the line?
There's an entire collection of my favourites on the website. Honestly, I use them a lot - when I'm going out for an event or when I'm shooting. In fact, I did a shoot just yesterday where I had five different outfit changes and I changed my nails according to the five outfits. That's how easy these press-on nails have made my life. Otherwise, you would have to sit and paint your nails according to each outfit, wait for it to dry, and then change. So, all I have to do here is to take one set off and stick on the new ones. It's become a staple for me.
4. Dos and don’ts for keeping nails in perfect shape?
I think keeping them well-groomed is important. Don't mess around with them too much and definitely moisturise your hands as much as you can. I think these just make manicures last longer. I like filing and keeping my nails in shape most of the time by myself, I find it therapeutic. So, I think that is something that every girl or a man can do. And of course, nail health is very important, make sure you're getting the right vitamins.
5. What is Sonakshi Sinha's skincare and beauty regime like?
My beauty regime is quite basic. I like to keep it more organic than anything else. Staying hydrated is very important to me, and it does wonders for my skin. I think it's very underrated. Because of my profession, I'm constantly exposing my face and skin to make-up. So, it's important for me to let my skin rest. Cleansing and moisturising have also been an important part of my daily care routine. I have recently started icing my face, which really helps in keeping it tight and supple.
6. Who is your biggest beauty inspiration and why?
It’s my mother (Poonam Sinha) because she's someone who's always been so prim and proper when it comes to presenting herself. Even at this stage, her skin is something to be envious of (laughs). She has one statement style which is her big bindi, and her beautiful eyes and lips which she has continued for so long. I think to have that kind of commitment to your look and present yourself is commendable. She's definitely my biggest beauty inspiration.
7. What are your thoughts on the Indian beauty industry and the next big trend, especially in the nails category?
I think honestly the beauty industry right now is thriving. When it comes to products and the direction in which the industry is moving in, I feel it's looking up really good. For nails, I think press on nails is going to be very big in the future because like I said, it's just easier to put on. It's more accessible and doable. You don't need to depend on anybody else to do your nails anymore. When it comes to this category, I feel it has a very bright future.
8. Movies, an art venture called House of Creativity, and now a beauty entrepreneur, how do you manage it all?
I'm a multitasker. I think that comes with being a Gemini and I enjoy it. I need to keep doing something different to keep going, it doesn't feel like too much work to me at all (laughs). It just feels like I'm growing and doing everything that I want to do. I'm enjoying the process while at it.
9. What is the greatest lesson you have learned in your entrepreneurial journey?
My favourite thing about being an entrepreneur right now is just being a part of making something out of scratch from nothing. I think that whole process has been so exciting for me. It's something I have never done before. I've been so busy concentrating on my acting profession, that will always be first for me. But, I've really enjoyed this process of getting into the whole nitty-gritty of making a product - trying it, testing it, being a part of the business conversations that go on, the marketing side of it, and the creatives behind it. I've been a part of everything, and it is something that I enjoy doing so much right now.
The greatest life lesson I've learned in this journey is that you have to just go for it. You have to follow your dreams and confidence is key. Anything you do with confidence will be appreciated. I'm learning every single day and I never want this journey to stop.