Nurse, humanitarian aid worker and writer Roberta Gately once said, “Lipstick is really magical. It holds more than a waxy bit of color; it holds the promise of a brilliant smile, a brilliant day, both literally and figuratively.”
Makeup, after all, is an expression of individuality. And this is what Sabrina Suhail idoes as she blends micro-trends and addresses macro-consumer needs in her custom-fit, clean makeup studio that reflects personal choices, preferences, moods and personalities.
A true Bangalore kid of the ‘80s and from a family of entrepreneurs, Suhail had a fun upbringing, spending holidays at her grandfather’s tea estate in the Nilgiris.
While she graduated in chemistry, botany, zoology and psychology, she realized that her passion lay in the fine arts.
“I did a short stint in event management while still trying to find my feet in a career and realized that my artistic side needed an anchor. I joined a makeup course in 2006, and that kickstarted my career … I was so adept at this that I could (and still can) a smokey-eye blindfolded. It was a decade after this that I decided to study organic chemistry to understand formulations to create makeup that was clean and good for the skin. I set up Sabrina Suhail LLP in 2018.” She launched her own brand of beauty products because she saw a huge gap in clean beauty in India, one in which quality and a the rich variety of skin tones were not getting addressed.
Tinge of Passion
‘Make up by Sabrina Suhail’ had been the identity of her brand for years, but Suhail wanted the brand to be distinct from her name.
“It was a conscious decision to move away from my identity as a makeup artist for features, ad films and weddings, to move into a full-fledged brand with the product at the core,” she says. “After all, the makeup brand is not about me, it is about a great 100% natural product that is suitable for the consumer. The rebranding of Tinge was planned almost a year ago.” Tinge offers handmade, customizable makeup to address the varied Indian skin tone. It is 100% vegan and cruelty-free, and safe on the skin.
According to Suhail, the Indian skin tone ranges from a magical pale gold to golden bronze from the north of the country to the south.
“We have one of the easiest undertones to put any color and look fabulous.” she says. “While our veins reflect a green undertone and the area below our eyes has a slightly purple undertone, we have an overall yellow glow to the face. For anyone who understands makeup and colors this is a rich canvas to work with. But this is not addressed by large beauty brands. Customized makeup puts the wearer at the center of it, giving the confidence to the person by fitting individual needs … Customized makeup also gives one the freedom to express and a lot of the clients get more experimental with colors. We also do not distinguish makeup as being only for women. Even men or users from any gender orientation have started buying foundations, concealers and even eye-make. As a makeup artist and brand, this is delightful to see.
”Being a boutique brand with limited marketing budgets and more focus on personalization, Suhail admits she has her work cut out for her. “The licenses and documentation are a very practical challenge that one faces.”
For Suhail, it is her mother who has been her pillar of strength right from day one.
“The support she gave me every time I wanted to try my hand at something was … unconditional. If I failed at something, she would guide me with rethinking the approach and navigating through things that were not making sense … and try new things.”
While Suhail describes Tinge as this is both her work and passion, she is also interested in animal welfare.
“I contribute my time to rescue and rehabilitation with some Bangalore-based organizations – and individually as well,” she says.
Suhail says she finds inspiration within herself, not outside.
“Naturally, positive energies from people around me, my animals and plants, keep me grounded and looking ahead,” she says, while offering her advice to young women who want to be entrepreneurs:
“There will never be a better day than today to get started. One must ignore naysayers and jump in, to navigate, make mistakes and then finally figure out things. Being true to your goal and why you started the business in the first place is a good anchor to come back to when you feel lost.”
This article appears in the June issue of SEEMA Magazine, check the rest of it out here!