Fashion and beauty blogger, Aanam Chashmawala, is a force to reckon with. All of 292k followers, and counting, this body positive icon is known to make heads turn and kickstart conversations on the conventions of beauty. Her upcoming beauty brand, Wearified, is another step in that direction. By Bayar Jain
T+L India: Tell us about Wearified and how it came into being?
Aanam Chashmawala: When I first started buying foundations as a young teen, I struggled matching my shades. I was always mixing different tones or invariably buying the darkest shade in the range—which is quite something as I’m a medium! It made me wonder what other girls were doing and how they were managing. It all seemed to feed into a beauty standard that was set by the fair-skinned West. From that point on, I began making little observations about such inconveniences, especially for Indian skin-tones.
At the same time, I realised I loved the finish of an all-matte bullet but it didn’t work for my very dry lips. I had to either spend 10 minutes prepping up my lips or tug them left and right to get it off at the end of the day, which only damaged my lips further.
When I became a fashion and beauty blogger in 2011, I realised that there were too many brands telling women ‘how to…’ and ‘why to…’. There wasn’t anyone who was becoming one with us as an audience, and telling us to celebrate our own individual selves. There was this weird ‘you must look like this’ element constantly being sold to us passively. And frankly, I had a problem with it. So, in 2017, I started doing my research and building a base, at least conceptually. And after a whole lot of conceptualising, surveys, time, and honest conversations about beauty with my wonderful audience later, here we are.
T+L India: What are some challenges you faced while setting up the brand?
Aanam Chashmawala: One of the main challenges I faced was getting a manufacturer and a lab who understood what I was looking for. We spoke to dozens of companies, but either we weren’t on the same page from a development point of view or they just didn’t entertain me because our order quantities were so minuscule compared to the bigger multi-national corporates in the game. In 2020, we finally found the right partners who were patient enough to go back and forth with me to fine-tune the formula and that gave birth to products like Wearified Butter and Matte Longwear Lipstick.
T+L India: What makes Wearified stand apart from other makeup brands in the Indian market currently?
Aanam Chashmawala: For starters, I think there are very few creator-led brands in the country at the moment; and even fewer in the beauty space. And even fewer, if you look at the beauty space. I don’t think of Wearified as a ‘brand’; I see it more as a community-led project. I’ve always discussed beauty with my audience as an accessory. I would listen to their feedback on the things that they were using. Keeping my ear to the ground has given me the priceless asset of knowing what the audiences are really missing and wanting. Because of this, I’ve been able to create a product, something that was just an idea, into something real and concrete.
T+L India: Vegan beauty products, especially with respect to animal-testing, are picking pace. How does Wearified fit into this?
Aanam Chashmawala: I knew we’d be vegan even before we got into production. It was non-negotiable for me. I wanted to make sure we were safe for everyone to use, irrespective of allergies or choice, while also keeping in mind kindness for other species. Our Wearified BMLL are vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, talc-free, fragrance-free, toxin-free and alcohol-free.
T+L India: Your three favourites from the Wearified collection?
Aanam Chashmawala: This is like asking a mother who is her favourite child!
Every lipstick is genuinely unique for us because we’ve played around with undertones and shades to the best of our ability. We’ve even named them uniquely, connecting them with special moments in our life. For example, I got married on January 26. Then, I mixed two-three lipsticks and liners to create a pink tone I wanted. That pink tone has been recreated in a solid bullet lipstick called 26th Jan.
Another example is a wonderful shade of brownish-nude, that compliments most skin tones. It’s also my mother’s favourite, so we named it Shabbo, inspired by what my father calls her. This way, it is an homage to both of them.
And, of course, we have a solid, stunning tone of berry—a deep maroon shade in the collection called Gerry Berry, after my husband Geraard. The shade BBRL is a bright, perfect red. It is named so because the first time that I wrote about a bright, red lipstick on my blog was back in 2011-2012, and the title of the post was The Bold, Bright Red Lipstick.
T+L India: A secret makeup tip you swear by when on-the-go?
Aanam Chashmawala: When in doubt, I apply less product and blend more.
T+L India: An overrated makeup trend that you think we can ignore this year?
Aanam Chashmawala: I think its time for comfy classics. To be honest, I’m done with trends at the moment.