Photography: Greg Adamski
Stylist: Gemma Louise Deeks
Words: Amy Sessions
Hair and Makeup: Katharina Brennan at MMG Artists
Welcome to the first ever Beauty Issue of Emirates Woman, which celebrates self-care, inner confidence and women who are piloting the billion-dollar industry.
From the beginning, EW has championed inspiring, strong and passionate women and has always been the first to spot the next big name. We also appreciate that beauty is in our cultural DNA so what can be more fitting than featuring an entrepreneur and founder of the future global makeup empire, Barkha Shewakramani, on the cover.
Originally from India, she launched Barkha Beauty in 2019 with cruelty and paraben-free Matte Liquid Lipsticks that became an instant hit – even Hailey Bieber is a fan.
Not only does Barkha ensure that all the products are responsibly made – a percentage of profits are donated to charities close to her heart, including support for victims of acid attacks.
How did you decide what the DNA of Barkha Beauty was and do you feel that has changed or evolved since launching?
The search for a perfect nude matte lipstick led me to creating my own. I always knew that the ethos of my brand would be to enhance what’s god given rather than to alter it to something different. I wanted to create an accessible, vegan, cruelty-free beauty brand.
What are the biggest hurdle since starting and how did you overcome it?
Beauty is a very competitive industry. The biggest challenge for any new brand is how to stand out and for any existing brand it is how to stay relevant.
Do you have any mentors or guides and how does this help navigate the right path?
I follow my gut and think of myself as my most difficult consumer. Today’s customer is incredibly well informed and aware of ingredients, branding, marketing and more, so as a brand we have to be very careful about what we create. It is a well thought-out process.
Why do you think Barkha Beauty has already amassed such a loyal following in such a short time, including the likes of Hailey Bieber and the Hollywood crowd?
Most of the young Hollywood actresses find me relatable and approachable and our journey started first as a friendship. Over time they developed a sense of trust in me and I believe they support our brand ethos. Our products are manufactured in an all women run factory in Bulgaria. Over time I’ve have donated a chunk of profits to Harmony House which is a non-profit school for children in Delhi, India.
What advice would you give to your younger self starting out?
I would’ve taken out time to study cosmetology and finance management.
If you had not launched Barkha Beauty which other role would you choose career-wise?
I would’ve been a skincare specialist which is actually what I’m studying now. I’m currently studying for a diploma in organic skincare.
Barkha Beauty Matte Lipstick collection is available online at barkhabeauty.com
To read the full interview, pick up a copy of June’s ‘The Beauty Issue’ or download it here
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Feature Image: Emirates Woman