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Style Meet Kulfi, the New Makeup Brand Celebrating South Asian Beauty

01:17  17 february  2021
01:17  17 february  2021 Source:   vogue.com

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a woman wearing a purple shirt © Photo: Courtesy of Kulfi Beauty

“I always felt the beauty world was intimidating. Like I didn’t belong,” Priyanka Ganjoo, founder of Kulfi Beauty, tells Vogue over Zoom. “So, I knew I wanted my brand to be celebratory and fun.” Ganjoo, 34, achieved her goal with a playful new beauty brand, Kulfi, launching today. Starting with a range of moisturizing aloe-vera and safflower seed oil-infused eyeliners and an inspiring content platform, the brand is meant to celebrate South Asian and diverse beauty.

Ganjoo, who previously worked in consumer strategy at the Boston Consulting Group, decided to start her company with a set of eyeliners—also known as kajal—in five shades, ranging from an earthy terracotta to a bright purple. “If you look up the cultural factors of kajal, it’ll say it works to ward off the evil eye,” she says. “But we think kajal can be used for more than that—a way to express ourselves and express our beauty.” The names of the liners are meant to evoke self-confidence, from Rain Check (“That mood when you’re like, ‘I’m too busy for you right now—I’m doing a Vogue interview,’” Ganjoo says with a laugh) to Nazar No More, which implies that a nazar—an amulet known to protect against the evil eye—is no longer needed, given each person’s ability to “define beauty through their own gaze.”

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a close up of a woman © Photo: Courtesy of Kulfi Beauty

The brand’s name reflects its overall playfulness: Kulfi is an Indian frozen dessert, which Ganjoo settled on after she reflected on the moments she felt happiest growing up. “Delhi was extremely hot in the summer,” she remembers. “Eating Kulfi on those super hot days were some of my favorite moments. That sweetness and joy is exactly what I want to embody with the brand. And Kulfi is also colorful, creamy, and full of texture. I want beauty to feel like a playground—that kind of carefree experience I had when I was eating that ice cream.”

Starting a business in the middle of a pandemic wasn’t quite so carefree, of course. To stay sane in the midst of it all, Ganjoo has a few go-to activities. “It’s the small things that keep me grounded,” she says, like going for walks on the High Line and along the Hudson River Waterfront in her neighborhood; making herself tea—namely strong chai from One Stripe Chai Co or Wagh Bakri with oat milk and lots of sugar “for a pick me up and a burst of productivity.” Another wellness go-to is cooking for herself (miso-glazed salmon or cod with steamed vegetables are recent favorites). “When I'm feeling fancy, I'll make Korean-inspired dishes such as bibimbap and different banchan or paneer wraps from scratch,” she says.

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a close up of a person © Photo: Courtesy of Kulfi Beauty

Ganjoo sees Kulfi expanding its product range in the near future. She’s currently testing out concealers. (“It’s the most stunning formula. I’ve been taking my time with it.”) The website will continue to be populated with encouraging stories on topics like combatting colorism and the confidence that comes with cutting your hair short. Eventually Ganjoo hopes to highlight mental health organizations. “In general, in immigrant communities and South Asian communities, mental health is not something that anyone speaks about, you're just always supposed to be perfect and not wonderful,” she says. “So this is something that's going to come in the future—us partnering with mental health organizations to create guided conversations, workshops that can open up those dialogues.”

a woman wearing a purple shirt: Kulfi Beauty founder, Priyanka Ganjoo. © Photo: Courtesy of Kulfi Beauty Kulfi Beauty founder, Priyanka Ganjoo.
chart, bar chart © Provided by Vogue

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