New Delhi: Bollywood Actor Katrina Kaif launched Indias first celebrity makeup brand, Kay Beauty, a year ago. The line was created in partnership with leading omnichannel lifestyle retailer, Nykaa, with a vision to deliver high-performance, long-lasting, ultra-glam makeup products that also care for the skin.
Celebrating a year of success the actor turned entrepreneur, turned investor, recently signed an agreement to invest an undisclosed amount in Nykaa through a secondary transaction. Kaif’s investment is in alignment with Nykaa’s vision to be India’s most trusted and dynamic retailer and Kay Beauty’s aim to be a full-fledged beauty brand in the future, offering over 200 SKU’s by the end of 2020 with an exciting line-up of colour cosmetics and face products ahead.
To coincide with the first anniversary of Kay Beauty, Kaif also unveiled a campaign titled “KAYCONVERSATIONS” that will feature a series of inspiring stories of women who have stood out with their inner beauty and strength. The first in series is a film featuring Athlete, Mobility Coach & Movement Specialist Ayesha Billimoria, forthcoming films will feature the stories of Vedika Agarwal of NGO Yein Udaan; Plus Size Models & Body Positivity Influencers Varshita Tharaney and Sakshi Sindhwani, Airbus A320 Pilot Ritu Rathee Taneja and Actress Tripti Dimri of much celebrated supernatural thriller “Bulbul” fame. These women have patiently faced hurdles, rejection and doubt, to patiently remain dedicated to their craft and reach success.
IANSlife caught up with the gorgeous star to find out all the details about her venture.
Most international celebrities who have a strong fan base like Victoria Beckham or Rihanna, have branched out into the beauty business.
How does it feel to be one of the first Indian actor to have your own cosmetic line?
Kaif: People who know me know that I have been fond of make-up ever since my runway days. Every time I worked with a make-up artist, I used to be very intrigued with the different kinds of beauty products laid out before me.
I wanted to understand how they are made for individual skin tones and what the different textures or formulas are! I have always had a very interesting relationship with makeup as I have had the privilege of working with so many professional makeup artists along the way, so it also helped me learn a lot about makeup and pick up on lots of tips and tricks.
To sum it up, makeup has been an innate part of my journey- from runway to the big screen, and finally I rendered my love for it to launch Kay Beauty, my first ever Beauty Brand!
I always thought that I would want to own a beauty label someday. It was years ago after a meeting with Nykaa – Falguni (Nayar) and Reena (Chhabra), when we decided to work together on our beauty brand, Kay Beauty, and finally it went live in 2019. It has helped me fulfil my dream to own something I can call my own.
When it comes to make up one size doesn’t fit all; should women play with products to see what works best for them?
Kaif: Of course! There is no set rule when it comes to make-up. Make-up is something that should be fun; not daunting and we have applied this principle while creating Kay Beauty products too! You can mix and match your lip shades and you can come up with something that perfectly suits your lips. I love playing around with my kajal and liner.
Most women like their liners to be on point, but I think that a little bit of smudging and blending hurts no one! It creates soft-rimmed eyes and renders an element of depth to them.
That’s why we’ve kept it super simple with Kay Beauty – the products are not only high on performance, but also super easy to use, travel with and very versatile. For eg, you can pick up our ‘Kay Beauty Lip Crayon’ to flaunt a pout or dab it on your cheeks for a quick blush or use the ‘Kay Beauty Eyeshadow Sticks’ to get an eye look in no time!
Do you agree when it comes to makeup less is more, and why?
Kaif: I love going for a natural look. The only make-up product that I wear on most days is an eye-liner, some mascara and a little bit of foundation. Every time I apply an eye-liner, I smudge it a little to give a soft and more natural look to my eyes. As for the foundation, I use my fingertips because this helps me blend it to perfection. I love nude lipsticks too, be it glossy or matte textured. Billboard shade in our lip crayon and the Smokey Kajal (as a liner too) are my faves! I have always said, and I maintain that a great shade of lipstick and a flick of eyeliner have the power to completely transform your look!
Makeup tools you cannot do without?
Kaif: Earlier, when I was getting used to the city, I would get burns and rashes on my face very easily due to the humid climate. So, I would make sure that I always carry a moisturiser with SPF in my bag. My skin has gotten used to the weather here but a moisturiser continues to be a must for me. I cannot do without a night cream and coconut oil either. While night creams have been an important part of my bedtime ritual ever since I was a child, I use coconut oil to remove my make-up before going to bed.
Have you enjoyed the make-up free staycation thanks to home sheltering?
Kaif: Even though I have been doing some studying and researching on make-up products, I am not required to put on make-up every day. It is important to let your skin breathe and so, one needs to have lots of water throughout the day. Of course, my work as a beauty entrepreneur requires me to try Makeup swatches. My current skincare routine encompasses thorough cleansing, toning and moisturising. I have also been making lots of masks at home. I use mineral mud masks and other masks which are made using eggs, honey and curd.
Do you think work from home has left women doing a lot more than they normally would and how important is it to take out some R&R time to indulge in feel good activities?
Kaif: Well, the lockdown, has taken a lot of adjusting for everyone, especially those who don’t have help at home – these are unprecedented times and everyone is trying to find their way. While work continues at home, it is indeed important to take out time from your schedule and engage in activities that help you stay mentally calm and physically fit. I love working out and I have been working out at home and on my terrace throughout this period. My trainer and friend, Yasmin Karachiwala, guides me through video calls at times. I have been doing sets and free-hand exercises that include warm-ups, lunges, squats, planks, push-ups and mountain climbers. Making time to speak to friends and to stay connected is also important.
Excerpts from the interview with Reena Chhabra, CEO Nykaa Brands
Tell us about the influencer & brand relationship with Katrina on board?
Chhabra: Bringing Kay Beauty to life has been an amazing journey to witness Katrina’s passion, care and commitment to each product. These unique formulas meet her exacting demands for products that are high performing, professional and ultra-glamorous, all while caring for the skin. Her heart and soul are in every product and together we look forward to growing the collection with her to a full-fledged beauty brand for the Indian audience. She works very closely with our team on all aspects of Kay Beauty products, shades, formulations, packaging, marketing and campaign shoots etc.
Katrina being one of the biggest stars in India, brings in her own influence given the massive fan-base that she has acquired over the span of her acting career. She also adds her unique voice and style when creating content for the brand’s social media channels which is always a treat for the customer.
I would also like to add that the influencer outreach for Kay Beauty has also been very effective, since the beauty content creators have been very supportive of the brand and the products have been received very well by them. Katrina has also been very thoughtful in getting involved in the nitty-gritties of the influencer program personally and sharing her suggestions/thoughts on the same, while also engaging with them at different events to understand their feedback on Kay Beauty.
Please share some of the consumer trends from the collection and the products which you feel have been real winners.
Chhabra: It’s been a year since Kay Beauty launched and we are thrilled with the amazing response and feedback we have received. All our consumers have been raving about the product line and its quality. Kay Beauty was created with a vision to deliver high-performance, long-lasting, ultra-glam makeup products that also care for the skin. Women are now switching to makeup that is gentle on the skin, and Kay Beauty is built on the principle of #MakeupThatKares. The brand takes pride in creating products that are long lasting, easy to use, with buildable formulations and infused with skin nourishing ingredients.
I feel all our products are the hero products but some of the leading categories would be our Matteinee Lip Crayons, Matte & Metallic Eyeshadow sticks, Smokey Eye Kajal, Gel Kajal, 24 Hr Kajal, and HD Setting Loose Powder, HD Translucent Loose Powder and HD Illuminating Loose Powder. Most recently our Kay Beauty Illuminating Highlighters have received phenomenal feedback.
When it comes to makeup inclusivity is unisex makeup is the way forward?
Chhabra: Make-up is for everyone and it is something one should have fun with. Our aim with Kay Beauty is to be inclusive where we have a wide spectrum of shades for all skin tones and the products are easy to use and versatile in nature. The idea is there is always something for everyone!
For unisex make-up, we have always seen male makeup artists, actors and male youtubers using makeup and getting very creative with it. I am so stunned to see some of the fabulous male content creators doing flawless makeup tutorials. We already have Colour Correctors, Contour Sticks, kajals, brow pencils, loose powders by Kay Beauty that some of the male content creators have been using from our range! Makeup should be celebrated by everyone and as a brand we will continue to launch products to delight all our consumers.
Work from home has had a lot of women increase their use of makeup for zoom and video calls, do you find this reflects in your sales?
Chhabra: Yes ofcourse, as far as the makeup portfolio is concerned, the Eyes and Nails categories have seen a growth. There has been an increasing demand across the Kay Beauty range of products and not to forget, the the Nail Nourish Nail Lacquers, be it in pastels, vibrants or nudes! Even the Lip category has seen a steady demand!
Consumers are focusing on self-love while working from home — be it dressing up for a professional/ personal video call or be it a home-style mani/ pedi to pamper themselves!
What CSR practices were implemented by the brand during the COVID?
Chhabra: At the heart of Kay Beauty is the message of #MakeupThatKares. The #Kare initiatives are chosen with a vision to give back to the community by supporting causes that are close to our heart and help build for a beautiful tomorrow. During COVID-19, Kay Beauty stepped in to support the De’Haat Foundation in their work to aid daily-wage earners in rural Maharashtra.
The Kay Beauty contribution was given towards the De’Haat initiative to ensure daily-wage earning families living in the villages around the Bhandara district have food and basic sanitary materials. The De’Haat Foundation was founded by Vrundan Bawankar in 2018 with a vision to support single mothers and provide quality education to their children in the village.