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Exclusive: Interview with Badmaash Beauty creators Beena Alvi and Maryam Shah

How often do you see South Asian women represented in the beauty industry? Unfortunately, it's extremely rare. With all the talk about inclusion we're still not seeing as much diversity as we should be. Thankfully we have two talented Desi women ready to be the change.

We had the pleasure of chatting with Beena Alvi and Maryam Shah – the powerful women behind the brand Badmassh Beauty. The duo met just a year and half ago when Beena was directing a marketing campaign. During the campaign she noticed a lack of diversity and fought to include a South Asian model. Her determination paid off and Maryam was featured in the campaign. They instantly became friends and knew they wanted to continue working together!

What inspired the creation of Badmaash Beauty?

We noticed there was a huge gap in the market for beauty products that make inclusivity a priority rather than an afterthought. Being South Asian ourselves, we know we wanted to address this starting at home, meaning our own community. We wanted to create a brand that was for South Asian women, by South Asian women that not only has products made for our various skin tones, but also speaks to our experiences and the problems that exist in our community, and at the same time truly empowers women. We hope we're able to achieve this through our actual products, branding, and charitable angle.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in creating Badmaash Beauty and how have you overcome it?

Definitely the importance of approaching the issues we're addressing with sensitivity. While we want this to be a brand that doesn't take itself too seriously and is fun, we are also very aware that there is a fine line between humor and simply being insensitive. It helps our cause that we're from the background we're marketing this to, but sometimes it's easy to get emotional about certain issues out of passion without realizing that some of things we discuss may hit too close to home for our girls. So for that reason, it's important for us to constantly keep ourselves in check about the message we're delivering and how we're delivering them.

Are there plans to expand the brand and products?

Yes. If we see success with the current collection, we are definitely open to expanding our products and evolving the brand.

We're so excited for the release of Badmaash Beauty! We love their fun aesthetic, designed by one of our favorite artists, Saher Sohail, known on social media as ThePakistaniMarthaStewart. The branding is extremely relatable with product names like the Nazar Magnet eyeshadow palette and lipstick shades like Nangi & Badtameez.

There is a serious lack of representation for South Asian women in several industries particularly beauty. Considering how large the market is for Desi women, it's really shocking to witness the lack of inclusion We're proud to have two strong women like Beena and Maryam working to make a change! We're looking forward to seeing our sisters brand continue to grow!

Check out socials for Badmaash Beauty, Beena and Maryam below:

Badmaash Beauty

Instagram: @badmaashbeauty

Beena Alvi

Instagram: @queenbeena

Mariam Shah

Instagram: @maryamishah

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