Independent beauty brands are consistently ramping up their efforts to be more conscious, inclusive and environmentally responsible. The clean beauty movement has taken the world by storm but a good way to adapt to a nature-friendly and non-toxic beauty regimen is by exploring homegrown labels, most of which rely on locally-sourced ingredients, small-batch production and also steer clear of toxic parabens.
Here are three Kolkata-based beauty innovators who are working with conscious production and are also transparent about their brand philosophies:
Started in 2017 by Aishwarya Biswas, Auli is a cruelty-free skincare brand that binds together the age-old benefits of Ayurveda with scientific formulations. Auli creates effective skincare concoctions that fuse active ingredients with Vedic ones. The Auli Luminous Scalp Cleansing Shampoo, for instance, has honey, olive, milk, neem oil, castor oil, jojoba ester along with keratin, glycerin and a lot more.
“We educate people first, about the products and about their skin type, and we hope they’ll come back for a consultation,” says Biswas.
Their most popular product is the Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid serum called the Power of C. This lightweight formula gets absorbed into the skin easily making it plump and hydrated.
Biswas herself is a trained cosmetologist who makes sure that all the ingredients that go into her products are non-toxic. Auli also has a range of cleansers, face gels, toners, serums and even hair care products!
Harsha Jain started her skincare brand in 2020 with the vision of creating ‘natural, homegrown, effective and luxury handcrafted products.’
Jain believes in the power of conscious living and the importance of sustainability. Her brand is eco-friendly and also socially conscious.
“The idea behind starting this venture was to empower urban women from disadvantaged backgrounds and help them become agents of change in their micro-communities,” shares Jain.
Jugni’s hair oils have received a lot of love from users. Made with locally sourced ingredients, Jugni’s products are cruelty-free, all while being 100 per cent natural, non-GMO and non-toxic.
“Our products are made in very small batches, and are made to order. We do not use additives, artificial colours or fragrances and do not use ingredient heavy recipes, so you can benefit truly from the best of ingredients,” adds Harsha.
The brand also features lip and foot scrubs, body lotions and bath scrubs.
Created by fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers, Debasree Banerjee and Nikita Mariani, #debasreee is a vegan and cruelty-free beauty label that uses water-activated pigments.
Their line of bright pot creams can be mixed with water to create eyeliner, lipstick or even body paint for vibrant make-up looks.
Their pot cream range is called D/Fine which is an expression of Debasree’s personality.
“We aim to build a community that believes in breaking definitions when it comes to make-up, and is experimental and gender fluid,” said Debasree.