Having clocked in almost two decades in the film industry, Katrina Kaif's name has become synonymous with decadent glamour. And while waking up in the morning as Kaif would have usually required intervention from a benevolent fairy godmother, the glamazon has now made the process easier with the launch of her eponymous beauty brand, Kay by Katrina.
Seeking cues from her own glamorous aesthetic, the makeup line offers high-impact formulas underscored with nourishing elements like chamomile and marula oil. One look at the product lineup, and the starry connection is unmissable—the metallic lip toppers come in a bevy of shades called Starlet, Leading Lady, Cover Girl and Show Stopper, while the lip colour that the star herself wore to the Vogue Women of the Year Awards 2019 is an easy day-to-night candidate named Billboard.
At the launch, the star introduced her maiden offering to the world under the banner, #ItsKayToBeYou. Close friend Zoya Akhtar was called upon to write the feature, which brought together a slew of buzzy names, including Saina Nehwal, Nayanthara, Kusha Kapila and Raja Kumari, among others. The model-turned-actor credits her early days on the job for introducing her to the world of makeup. "Having started modelling around the age of 16, makeup is something I've always understood, experimented and played around with. Launching my own beauty brand felt like a natural progression," she said at the launch in Mumbai. Reena Chhabra, CEO of Nykaa Cosmetics, added, "When Katrina came to us, she had just two aspects to her brief. First, that the makeup had to be long-lasting and second, it had to be good for the skin."
The comparisons were soon to follow, and industry watchdog DietSabya reported the similarity between a campaign photo from Kim Kardashian's KKW Beauty. However, Kaif maintained that any similarities were merely an unfortunate coincidence. "The work of every creative collaborator on this campaign has been entirely original," she said, while Kapila added, "Our only brief for this campaign video was to be ourselves. We weren't given any specific direction; we were told to simply be ourselves and bring our own energy and vibe into it."
But it would be remiss to attribute these record-breaking statistics to mere star power. Rihanna's nuanced lexicon of inclusivity meant that her product offering included a ground-breaking range of 40 foundation shades. This proved to be a gamechanger as multinational heavyweights began carrying more shades than ever before to cater to all skin tones. The call-to-arms for the beauty industry to do more than just lip service is today fondly referred to as 'The Fenty Effect'.
Kardashian, meanwhile, expanded her skincare offering with the launch of a limited-edition of Crystal Gardenia scents inspired by the therapeutic powers of crystal healing. Offered in quartz bottles, the product took cues from Kardashian's own experiences with energetic crystal healing after the attack she faced in Paris. Needless to say, the fragrance clocked in $10 million in the span of 24 hours.
On the home front, the world of celebrity and beauty have often found a merry intersection. Kareena Kapoor Khan has co-created her own makeup line with Lakmé Absolute that included pout definers, cheek and face contours, while Disha Patani collaborated with M.A.C Cosmetics on a handpicked curation of lipsticks. While they opted for standalone collections, others have ventured further with a long-term business model. After a splashy launch in July this year, Masaba by Nykaa has its sights set on a dedicated timeline of new product drops every six months. Doused in the designer's signature prints, the lip colours from the premier offering are designed to flatter a wide range of skin tones.
Former Miss Universe Lara Dutta, meanwhile, found herself on the receiving end of incessant questions about her skincare regimen post-pregnancy, and decided to bottle her knowledge with the launch of her own brand, Arias. In an interview, she revealed, "We are continuously bombarded with new products online. Today, there is a new algae product that is supposed to change your life around and tomorrow, there is a new chemical that is the latest rage… I think it gets confusing. I am 41 today and if you look at my skin, I might know a thing or two about what to do with your skin." The cruelty-free lineup features 11 facial toners, face washes and masks, serums, and day and night creams that are devoid of parabens or chemicals.
For Kaif, the driving force has been her desire to offer utility for on-the-go women. "All of us can agree that when you're running late for work in the morning, you just want a few key products that will give you that extra glow, and on-the-go makeup is what this first collection is all about. The idea is that even if you have just these key products, you can really highlight your features. I believe everyone is most beautiful when they feel the most like themselves, and they are the happiest in their own skin. I never want makeup to look like it's overpowering you or sitting on your face. It should blend in seamlessly, and properly care for your skin," she signed off.
The 48-piece collection offers long-wear lip crayons, pigmented lip liners, metallic lip toppers, kajal and eyebrow pencils. With the next drop teased a month from now, the coming weeks will serve as the litmus test for her beauty empire.