How did Luscious Cosmetics pioneer a new age beauty industry in Pakistan?
While makeup obsession has been around forever, lately it appears to be growing on a new level in Pakistan. Makeup influencers, beauty brands and skincare communities are popping up in all different corners of the internet catering to people of all ages, shapes, sizes and colors.
For Pakistani people using makeup, it’s a little bit of a struggle to get their hands on the best quality products so easily. There are many retailers that import products from outside of Pakistan however those products are often sold at a hefty price and still without the guarantee of being original. This is why Luscious Cosmetics has been a lifesaver for quite a few people ever since its inception.
Luscious Cosmetics is Pakistan’s largest homegrown beauty brand
It is clearly a pioneer in modern makeup brands because of its product line that is for all skin types. It also experienced global success even when it was released in a world where there was no social media to amplify its message with “targeted marketing” and “influencer collabs” when it launched back in 2007.
Luscious Cosmetics was founded by Mehrbano Sethi who wanted to bring inclusivity in makeup based on her own struggle in finding the right products for herself and those around her
As an undergrad student in the US, Mehrbano would try to find products that matched her desi skin tone on makeup aisles in the US but to no avail. Clearly, 13 years ago the makeup industry hadn’t evolved to be inclusive and understanding toward the needs of women all around the world. Because of this, Shehrbano made her perfect shade herself by mixing different hues. Soon after, her friends with different ethnicities also came to her to ask for her help with mixing shades. This eventually gave her the idea of starting a brand that was inclusive of all skin tones.
For Mehrbano, the idea for the brand came at a tough point in her life because makeup was a hobby for her at that time. Mehrbano was initially planning to have a career at United Nations, however, after her mother passed due to breast cancer, she became extremely depressed and all her plans went up in the air. Her father encouraged her at this time to pursue something that she was passionate about as her mother would be disappointed otherwise. This led to Mehrbano remembering how happy she had been while mixing shades in college and so, she took the first steps to forming this brand.
Despite all odds, this woman-led Pakistani brand was a massive success
Mehrbano launched her brand in 2007 when social media was in its nascent stages so couldn’t be easily used as a tool for marketing. She was just a 26 years old Pakistani girl trying to bring her dream to life. Because of her youth, being a woman in Pakistan and lack of experience in the beauty world, retailers were hesitant of taking her on. She did not let that deter her from continuing to seek her space in a world that wasn’t initially very welcoming. All her hard work paid off with Luscious Cosmetics becoming a cult favorite product not just at home but also in Dubai. By 2012, the brand had expanded from one woman to 40 employees and a sales force of 60, with women at the helm of most counters.
Luscious Cosmetics is all vegan, cruelty-free, long-lasting and comes with an impressive range of products
The brand has been cited as one of the first all-vegan and cruelty-free brands. The products are also made to last long in the intense desi heat which works wonders for the Pakistani skin.
The makeup line sells around six different lip products and 15 different shades. It also comes with a variety of eye and face products including, but not limited to, powders, contours, highlighters, foundations, eyeshadows and mascaras. The products also retail at relatively cheaper prices as compared to its international competitors yet delivers on quality.
This Lahore based brand also believes in giving back to the community
The company has taken great initiatives to include the transgender community of Lahore into the mainstream workforce and also gifted them beauty products to make them feel valued. Luscious Cosmetics has also been known for donating a large amount of money to charities. In 2019 they reportedly donated about $100,000 worth of products for charitable causes.
These gestures of inclusivity go a long way into making it a brand, we Pakistanis can be proud of.
Mehrbano Sethi and Luscious Cosmetics are proof that women really can do it all if they’re given the right tools, even when their industries aren’t really ready for them. Here’s to women leaders and women-led companies!
Cover Image: bu.edu/lusciouscosmetics.pk
This post has been sponsored by Luscious Cosmetics