The last time we spoke to Masaba Gupta, in February, the multi-hyphenate youth icon had given us a hint of venturing into beauty and wellness. We now know it’s LoveChild, Masaba’s cosmo-wellness beauty brand that has just launched. Vibrant and cool packaging, a Masaba signature, is feel-good. LoveChild will be available online at LoveChild.in and nykaa.com. We chatted with the young achiever ahead of the launch.
Congratulations for LoveChild! Tell us all about it!
It’s a very special brand for me. I don’t think I could come up with a decision whether I should name it LoveChild or sort of continue under the same mother brand. I just found LoveChild such a wholesome and meaningful name purely because I have been linked to it my whole life and I just wanted to make it a positive. Usually, whenever it is written, it is written in a slightly negative connotation, but I thought it’s time to make it a positive.
I also found it because it was a completely new brand, had a completely new team, even though the only common factor is really me, I just felt it was time for me to launch my own beauty brand. You’ve seen the associations we have done, but I have had my eyes on beauty for a while, maybe six or seven years. But you know, when you are a growing brand you kind of take what you get and I think all I got was a collab, but now we are a much stronger brand today and we have the ability to form our own brands. I am kind of done with collaborations. I wanted to have my own baby and wanted it not to be just a beauty brand, but also a little bit of skincare and wellness.
The first drop we launch is going to be lipsticks, anti-anxiety oil, face mist, nail paints, female hygiene wipes... I just feel like what was happening in the beauty space was people were giving the idea of beauty from the outside too much importance.
That’s always been the case...
When I am stressed out, my skin doesn’t look as bright. I just wanted to be like, if you don’t want to use lipstick, we have other products and you can spray on some brightening mist. Eventually, we’ll also be launching lip balms, foundation and perfumes.... This brand is my gift to all my followers. Even though the brand is age agnostic, it is for the girls who haven’t been able to get an entry into the mother brand. Clothing, and that too bridge-to-luxury clothing, is not something that everybody can get a piece of. This is literally my way of inviting them to experience the brand. We are operating at a competitive price point (starting at Rs 100).
You have the Midas touch...
Please touch wood and touch everything around... once you see the logo, you’ll understand, it is definitely from the House of Masaba, but I just think I didn’t want the brand to have baggage, both in a positive and negative way. I do want to start building multiple brands under the same House of Masaba umbrella that will operate at different price points and fulfil different product needs.
I decided that we need to hire the best people from the beauty and FMCG industry. We have hired people who know nothing but beauty. This space is a tricky space. If you don’t get it right and try to leverage a team that doesn’t understand the space, then things can go wrong.
It is definitely vegan and paraben-free and cruelty-free, which is no animal testing and some products are also gluten-free. What’s interesting is that the packaging is all recyclable.
Have you started the curation with things that you like?
Yes but then I got outnumbered by a survey! (Laughs) That’s what’s so amazing about beauty... I can say that I love hot pink and nude but it’s not a colour that everybody can pull off. Of course, I decided that when I do my brand of beauty, I will first do 10 nude shades that can fit different skin colours. What’s nude for me may not be nude for you. I wanted them to be wearable and I also wanted to have two different formulas... one is Mad Matte because it literally goes on to your lip like a tattoo and then we have a Bullet Lip, which is a lovely satin luxurious matte finish. It is not transfer-proof but it is really hydrating and for people who like creamy lips at all times. All of our products have stuff that’s good for your skin. Our Liquid Lip has squalene, macadamia oil, caffeine, marula oil. So, it’s not like it’s ripping your skin of natural textures. I have been using it every day. What you see is a mix of my favourites and what will be everybody’s favourites.
This is a step towards a holistic presence of the brand...
Absolutely. The first thing I came up with when I thought of the beauty brand was there will be a blog which is just going to have my favourite tricks, tips, hacks... not just on make-up and skincare, but also on which meditation makes you glow, what’s a quick, five-minute thing you can do when you are on your way to work, what can you do just to feel better and look better. So, we are not just trying to sell people a product, but also the lifestyle or telling you what the lifestyle behind it is. If I don’t have more than 15-30 minutes for a workout, what can I do to quickly get my blood flow going and look plump, hydrated and fresh. We need to give people an insight into not just my lifestyle, but also my mum’s or people that I admire. I intend on doing podcasts in the future where I will get guests who’ve had incredible wellness, skincare and make-up journeys. Eventually we are just another beauty brand that’s joining the crowded market and this really will set us apart, hopefully.
Talking of your mom Neena Gupta, she is looking younger by the day and is too cool. What is she loving from the beauty range?
She used to say, I want a red, one that I can wear at my age and that doesn’t look too garish and also four nudes because on some days, I want to look like I am not wearing anything but I am wearing a beautiful colour or sometimes a slightly peachy nude or a brown nude. A nude for every mood.
Most women are not satisfied with the way they look. Your thoughts on that...
I think as cliche as it sounds, it lies in trying to look like someone else or being somebody else. Every girl somewhere in her head is stuck with two things: when you are 18 years old, you have an idea about how you’ll get married and what you’ll wear and you get stuck with the idea of what a man’s role is... come sweep you off your feet and fulfil and complete your life. The same way with beauty... a woman is stuck with the idea of the same Spice Girls poster in their bedroom. I think all of us had a poster of a really beautiful, perfect-looking star on our bedroom walls. Our whole lives, whether we know it or not, at a subconscious level, that is the standard we are trying to achieve. The posters will keep changing but our standards will keep rising. The fact of the matter is most of those standards are sometimes not achievable.... I think that’s the problem. We try to fit into a box and try to find ways for the world to accept us. If we accept ourselves the way we are, we’ll be much happier. I won’t say we’ll be more popular, but happier.
What are you loving at the moment?
I really like terracotta brown or red. It’s inspired by Priyanka Chopra. There used to be so many images of her wearing that colour and I would always try and find it. She’s got olive skin and it looked so lovely and I thought it would be lovely to do a terracotta brown which is not too bright. So, it’s got a lovely cinnamon colour. I am loving chocolate, cinnamon tones in lipsticks, eyeshadow.... I am also loving my anti-anxiety oils because I am so stressed out! (Laughs)
Priyanka Chopra is so badass...
She is cool and one person who is like, I am going to live my life on my own terms. (Laughs) She is the one whose poster should be up on our walls. She is living her best life... that’s very important.