30 South Asian Brands you Need to Shop from this Holiday Season

This has to be one of the best seasons for us South Asians — we’re surrounded by love and light, quite literally, throughout this festive season. With Dussehra, Karwa Chauth, Dhanteras, Diwali, and Christmas happening one after the other, you know that there will be an abundance of sweets, flashy outfits, holiday parties and beautiful gifts coming your way, that’s for sure!

It’s safe to say that we usually have our mithai and outfits all sorted, but what usually gets us are the gifts. Am I right? What makes for the perfect gift for your loved ones? Well, you don’t have to look any further now there’s a South Asian brand for almost anything and everything you need — each one uniquely finding ways to bridge the gap between our hyphenated identities. Grateful to have worked with every small business on our line-up below and look forward to many more!

[Read Related: DIY Diya Garland: Fun Craft for Diwali]

1. ‘Milk and Cardamom’

Give the gift of delicious food to your favorite chef, through this cookbook — they’ll have a ball of a time in the kitchen!


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2. Banglez

Find the perfect jhumkas, necklaces and more at this Toronto-based jewelry store. The special women in your life will love their one-of-a-kind collections!


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3. Hi Wildflower Botanical

Pick up a hand-crafted perfume for your all your favorite people — each of their scents uses botanicals sourced from all around the world; they even sell lipsticks, so take your pick!


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4. Nuriyah Official

A gift that will make an impact all over the world. Nuriyah handbags are crafted by women in Afghanistan, India, and Turkey, and 5 percent of each purchase goes to the Malala Fund and Ramana’s Garden Children’s Home.


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5. Soma Ayurvedic

Give the gift of balanced skincare with Soma Ayurvedic products which are made with natural ingredients, giving you a whole new skincare experience.


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6. Modi Toys

Inspire curiosity through miniature toy versions of Baby Ganesh and Baby Hanuman! Help parents teach their kids about their roots and bring them closer to where they come from.


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7. Scrumptious Wicks

A candle from Scrumptious Wicks will give you all the feels of home and yummy food — they make candles inspired by South Asian culture, food, and family.


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8. Anuja Toila Jewelry

Your lady love will admire a piece from Anuja Toila Jewelry — they say each item is made with the designer’s love for fashion, art, and beauty.


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9. Joban Beauty Official

Joban Beauty’s coverant is just what some people need in their life. What’s their coverant? A deodorant that not only provides underarm freshness but also conceals and color corrects. Unheard of, right?!


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10. Live Maiya

Grab your favorite fitness buff that yoga mat they’ve been eyeing for the longest time. Live Maiya has just what you’re looking for!


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11. Visha Skincare

Visha Skincare has products ranging from eye creams to cleansers. You can’t go wrong by giving someone the gift of good skin, and that too through Visha. They’ve also got a mommy line every mom-to-be needs their hands on.


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12. Lark Adventurewear

Do you know somebody with kids? Believe me when I say that they’ll appreciate a onesie from Lark Adventurewear. Each one of their pieces is made keeping a child’s comfort in mind — they use sun-safe bamboo essentials.


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13. Live Tinted

Every beauty buff dreams of splurging at Live Tinted. So, why not make that dream come true? May we suggest they’re highly popular, all-vegan, Huestick?


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14. Desi Babies

Share your love for reading with little kids. Gift them colorful books from Desi Babies and make their Diwali that much brighter.


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15. ‘The Healthy Indian Cookbook’

Do you know someone who watches their macros? If so, this book is just what they need — and you need to give it to them! A mother-daughter duo teamed up to make a cookbook that reflects healthy Indian eating, without compromising the flavor.


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17. ‘Indian-ish’

This critically-acclaimed cookbook is just what you need to inspire you to cook South Asian flare — every single recipe is bursting with flavor!


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18. Ranavat Botanics

All-natural ayurvedic skincare inspired by the beauty rituals of Indian royalty — founded by Michelle Ranavat — and featured by Allure, Brydie, Vogue. From hair and body serum to facial serums, toniques and masques, Ranavat pledges two percent of proceeds to helping women escape human trafficking.


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19. Virani Jewelers

There’s nothing more important than family, and one family to shed light on are the Virani’s — known for their bespoke fine jewelry. Based in New York City, Virani Jewelers is one that has been passed down from generation to generation and now under the leadership of their son, Aqib Virani.


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20. Journ Beauty


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Journ — created by Sarah Shah — is skincare-focused-cosmetics that will conceal specific skin concerns for a flawless look and also help improve them over time. With five color correctors meant to conceal dark circles, hyperpigmentation, redness from acne and more, it’s the newest South Asian beauty product to add to your makeup bag.

21. Niyya


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The perfect companion for this chilly weather ?? — featuring the salaa, sabr and tahara mats

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Contemporary multi-purpose prayer mats — American made and 100 percent woven cotton — the perfect present this holiday season.

22. Ihsanishan Design


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Ihsan-Ishan is a new design company created by artist Sangeetha Kowsik, who is a Parsons School of Design graduate, with a degree in Arabic Calligraphy. Ihsan-Ishan aims to educate the world about lesser-known stories, concepts and ideas through art and design. Products include textiles, art prints, and accessories.

23. Chamak Society


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When your man’s gonna want to raid your closet for that Tee ? ? ? ?: @raashidesaiphotography ? @nikhil.saboo @gayatribahl

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Cha-mak: an Urdu adjective describing shine, glow, bling, sparkle, luminosity or flashes of light. Alina Shaikh, the child of Pakistani immigrants but born in the borough of Queens, New York wanted to merge her two homes in a brand. She created Chamak Society, a New York City-born streetwear brand that used the lush fabrics and textiles of Pakistan and natural grit of New York City fashion.

24. Blume


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A self-care brand founded by two South Asian sisters that’s all about helping you become the very best version of yourself. A hundred percent chemical-free tampons with no harmful dyes or bleaches and the opportunity to build a box that comes to your doorstop monthly with add-on products including oil for acne-prone skin, face mist, deodorant, essential oil for cramps and a face wash.

25. Aavrani


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Harnessing the power of India’s ancient beauty rituals, Aavrani has reimagined luxury skincare by curating best-in-class ingredients, formulating all-natural, highly effective solutions, and returning to a deeper, more authentic meaning of beauty. The aavrani ritual is a complete skincare routine comprised of four powerful steps that work together to achieve your most radiant glow: dual-purpose cleanser + mask, toner, moisturizer, and eye treatment.

26. Indigrow Kids


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Indigrow Kids makes playtime and bedtime a little more Indian with contemporary books and games including an alphabet storybook, on-the-go flashcards, a giant floor puzzle, a card game perfect for the whole family, and many more. Each one oozes of nostalgia, a dollop of laughter and a whole lot of fun for children up to four year old.

27. Ladki Power 


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Empower yourself with some Ladki Power gear. Brown Girl Magazine’s exclusive label offers hoodies, crop tops, and tee shirts for you to rock — go ahead, feel stylish and unleash that #ladkipower!

28. Vasanti Cosmetics


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Get the best of skincare products by shopping at Vasanti Cosmetics this Black Friday. May I suggest their Liquid VO2 Color Correcting Concealer, specifically meant for olive skin tones and work wonders?!

29. Pyarful


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No gift is complete without a greeting cards that celebrates South Asian culture and its people. Order a set to give throughout the year no matter the occasion via Pyarful.com.

30. Brooklyn Delhi


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A line of condiments and sauces you never knew you were missing in your kitchen pantry. Developed in 2014 by chef and cookbook author Chitra Agrawal in her hometown of Brooklyn, the new-age Indian-American products have come a long way from local food markets to rave reviews by national food critics to selling at Whole Foods, Portland Safeway & Albertson’s and other local specialty stores across the country.

And there you have it, folks! Just when you thought you didn’t have any festive gift ideas for your loved ones, we’re giving you 20+ South Asians brands to take inspiration from, and support.

By Sandeep Panesar

Sandeep Panesar is an editor, and freelance writer, based out of Toronto. She enjoys everything from the holiday season to … Read more ›

South Asian Creators Claim Their Space at the Cannes Film Festival

Ever since we can recall, the Cannes Film Festival has been a merger of movies and glamour. On one side, there are hand-picked films — ready to premiere and make their mark in the world of entertainment — and on the other, audiences and paparazzi alike are served epic moments in fashion.

The festival, aimed to preview upcoming films from all over the world, invites a wide variety of guests that span the film fraternity, of course, but more recently, has opened its doors to many digital content creators, including renowned South Asian creatives.

With a more vast guest list comes a more recent debate: Cannes is a film festival and not a fashion showcase. Kickstarting the debate this year was none other than ace Bollywood director, Nandita Das, who in an Instagram post shared:

Sometimes people seem to forget that it is a festival of films and not of clothes!

In short, Das wants Cannes’ narrative to continue to focus on films.

[Read Related: Cannes Film Festival 2022: Red Carpet Representation at its Finest]

But of course, there’s been a paradigm shift in the guest list over the last few years; this shift has allowed talents from various industries — including lifestyle content creators, entrepreneurs, etc., who showcase their work in fashion and beauty like fine masterstrokes — to walk the carpet and represent their craft, making space for others in their industry.

Influential names like Dolly Singh, Kaushal, Diipa Buller-Khosla, and Shivani Bafna — all of whom made a raging impact on the red carpet this year — weigh in on the significance of representing South Asian artists/influencers on the red carpet, and how they feel they’ve been part of this paradigm shift at Cannes Film Festival.

Diipa Buller-Khosla

I believe that each step we take at events like Cannes sends a powerful message of diversity, cultural richness, and artistic excellence. Representation matters, and the presence of South Asian creators on the red carpet at Cannes helps broaden the narrative of beauty, talent, and creativity. It allows us to showcase our unique perspectives, narratives, and contributions, ultimately contributing to a more inclusive industry. By actively participating and making our presence felt, we help create more opportunities and spaces for South Asian creators, encouraging others to share their stories with the world.


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Since 2015, the first time I walked the red carpet, till this year I have always been invited by L’Oreal Paris, one of the main sponsors of the event. It has always been such an honor to be invited to the festival through the makeup brand that I have been using for almost two decades, and, before my social media career began. Personally, I feel a sense of acknowledgment from such a prestigious brand, and its head office teams that sponsor Cannes Film Festival, and value the work I have done and continue to do as a South Asian content creator within the beauty space. Makeup, hair, and beauty will always play a big role within the film industry and it’s something I have always created my content around which is why I am proud to attend.


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Dolly Singh

This is a proud moment not just for me but also [for] my peers and the entire content creator ecosystem given that we have reached such new global stages and presence. Of course, as you said, such film festivals, once considered as an exclusive hub for a congregation of the finest acting talents have, in the last few years, opened their arms to more people from the entertainment industry.

This is not just a sudden phenomenon with a burst of Indian creators at the festival this year but there is increased participation from non-film and non-South Asian celebrities across various spectrums from different sides of the world. Along with the many filmmakers, actors, producers, etc I also met some amazing influencers and entrepreneurs from other sides of the world. It’s amazing to represent India and celebrate and champion the advent of the digital ecosphere on such a prominent platform.

The confluence of actors and creators signified the amalgamation of traditional cinema and new-age digital influence, highlighting the transformative power of creative expression and how festivals like Cannes have become more forthcoming and progressive in their approach.

Cannes, like any other prominent festival, boasts of a red carpet that is synonymous with fashion and glitz, and I wanted to use this opportunity to represent all the amazing Indian fashion designers on the carpet besides, of course, attending the screenings. As someone who is just not an influencer but also an actress, I thoroughly enjoyed all the red-carpet screenings and meeting like-minded film talent from around the world at the event. At some point in the future, I would like to be attending Cannes for a film I’ve featured in.


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Shivani Bafna

Creators are often placed into boxes of where they belong and the rooms they can be a part of. Being on the red carpet dismantles the ideology that there’s a cap on how far we, as creators and as a South Asian community, can go and what we can achieve.

The Cannes Film Festival has always been viewed as the epitome of a glamorous event — everyone who attends looks like they’re living their best lives. I used the platform to share an authentic message of what the experience felt like for me. To represent all of us who doubt our potential, experience imposter syndrome, and are nervous to find their place, yet continue to push through to achieve their dreams!

As the first Indian American influencer to walk at Cannes, I hope I can inspire young women to confidently ask, ‘Why not me?’


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There’s no doubt that the Cannes Film Festival is centered around films, and continues to be a unique space for the global film fraternity to bring their art and showcase their aptitude. But, creators like Bafna, Singh, Buller-Khosla, and Kaushal — a special shoutout to Raja Kumari for being instrumental in paving the way as well — have their own set of responsibilities to fulfill upon their invitation to the prestigious event. Their will to represent their South Asian identities, celebrate their industries, and continue to hold space for their peers makes their presence at Cannes more than just clothes.

All images in the featured photo are from the influencers’ Instagram feeds.

By Sandeep Panesar

Sandeep Panesar is an editor, and freelance writer, based out of Toronto. She enjoys everything from the holiday season to … Read more ›

17 Ayurvedic Beauty Brands on our Radar Right Now

Holistic beauty trends are more prevalent than ever — that makes ayurvedic beauty brands incredibly sought-after, as well. Do you find yourself asking what your beauty products are actually made of? A lot of us even resort to food products for a skincare routine such as honey for face wash.

The term “Ayurvedic Beauty” is getting more recognition outside the South Asian world as well.

Ayurvedic beauty is coined upon the term “Ayurveda,” which originated in Hindu culture as the basis of utilizing the five life forms — air, water, ether, fire, and earth — to heal the human body.

[Read Related: The Budget-Friendly Beauty Guide you Need This Spring Season]

Ayurvedic beauty brands focus on using herbs and natural ingredients to create their skincare range and consumers around the world are attracted to these natural products.

Scroll down to see some Ayurvedic beauty brands founded by South Asians.

Soma Ayurvedic

Is your skin feeling a little dry this winter? Nourishing your skin with body oil will lend it the right amount of moisture — Soma Ayurvedic’s jasmine body oil can do that trick! Shop the oil, and their full line of products, here.


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Sama Tea

If you’re familiar with author and podcast Host, Jay Shetty, then you may have heard of his tea line, Sama Tea. Herbal teas provide many natural benefits. Has it been a stressful week? Try their lavender rose chamomile tea for some TLC. Check them out here.


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Sahajan Skincare

Know the Netflix show “Ginny & Georgia?” Loved the actress’ fresh-looking skin? Sahajan Skincare is behind that glow! They’re a must-try, featured in both Vogue and Elle India. See their full range of products here.


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Shaz and Kiks

This unique company showcases its brand with an emphasis on ‘holistic.’ Whether it’s bad hair days or excessive shedding, not only do Shaz and Kiks provide the products to help but also break down the science behind the problem. Go on your very own shopping spree by clicking here!


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Looking for accessible ayurvedic beauty products? Look no further! Ranavat is now in Sephora. With a beauty line that covers both hair and skin, there’s something here for everyone. See for yourself here.


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UMM Skincare

UMM Skincare is known for its brown sugar body scrub, made with natural ingredients, and Bakuchi oil known to improve signs of aging and hyperpigmentation. Try it for yourself by shopping here!


Give your skin the best by adding ZAILA to your daily skincare routine! Click here and start shopping!


This brand is all plant-powered, and we’re here for it — you should be too! Check out their full range of products here.

Inde Wild

Are you looking for brown skin-friendly sunscreen filled with nutrients? Look no further. Inde Wild has its very own SPF 50, with natural substances such as liquorice extract and cica, and it’s a mineral SPF suitable for all skin types. See what the brand is all about and shop it here.


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Mango People

I’m always in the market for brown girl-friendly lipsticks, and ones that are made of natural ingredients are a huge plus. Mango People does just this with their unique lipstick colors that suit all brown skin tones. Try them out here!

Kama Ayurveda

Need to swap out your shampoo for something better? Try Kama Ayurveda’s Ayurvedic Hair cleaner, infused with a variety of herbs and pulses with key ingredients like vetiver, tulsi, rose, moong beans, and shikakai. They have a variety of products to choose from so start with your hair and keep shopping for more here!


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Forest Essentials

According to Forest Essentials, night time is the best time for hydration. Check out their night cream, filled with nutrients to enrich your skin. You can shop their wide variety of products here.


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Koppen Ayurveda

A brand made for modern living, their essentials are all worth a shot! Start shopping here!


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Looking for a new face mask to try? AAVRANI has a variety of face masks and explains in detail when you should apply the mask during the week depending on your skin type. Take a look here!


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Plant-based skincare, anyone? Delhicious has got everyone covered, so click here and fill your baskets!


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Pratima Skincare

Just getting into skincare and don’t know where to start? PRATIMA skincare has starter sets, with basics, that every woman can use such as vitamin C serum, essential oils, and collagen creams. Grab yours now by shopping here!


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Fable & Mane

Struggling with hair care recently? Fable & Mane includes various hair oils in their collection that help grow and nourish your hair. Not only that, they have a scalp detox line as well — definitely worth checking out. See their full range of products here.


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[Read Related: 10 Clean Beauty Products That’ll Have you Winning on Earth Day]

In a world that’s becoming more conscious of holistic living, embracing Ayurvedic beauty in your day-to-day is a step in the right direction, and these brands are here to help you get started.

By Hrishika Muthukrishnan

Raised in North Carolina, Hrishika Muthukrishnan spent 18 years thinking there wasn’t much to the suburbs before she discovered how … Read more ›

Ankush Bahuguna: “My Favorite Makeup Hack is to Underpaint”

If I DM my friends a bunch of videos on any given day, one of them is almost always an Ankush Bahuguna reel. When I first stumbled upon his content, I saw him as an actor and a comedian, lifting our mood up during the lockdown one video at a time. However, his day-to-day content is more than just that — Bahuguna is changing the landscape of the beauty industry by making (and holding) space for men who aspire to be makeup artists and who have a passion for all things beauty.

[Read Related: The Art of Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes]


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Content creator, makeup enthusiast, actor: Which title do you resonate with the most? And, why?

A creator is the word I’d resonate with the most — that’s what got me here — creating comedy, creating beauty content. Even as an actor, I’m very collaborative. I tend to weave nuances around a character and make it my own. I believe, no matter what you do, your work should be unique to you and that can only happen when you build it up yourself.

How did “Wing it with Ankush” come about?

Till three years ago, I used to work for a media house that had a whole team of stylists and MUAs working on every shoot. So when the world went into lockdown, I realized I would have to don all those hats myself. I used to [regularly] shoot videos with my mother and she didn’t know anything about makeup either. So I had to try my hand at it — I would do her makeup and we’d shoot videos together. Soon I realized how much I enjoyed learning a new skill from scratch. I used to paint as a kid, so makeup just somehow made sense. It felt like even though I had a whole lot to learn, it came naturally to me. I decided I would journal these experiments [on] a ‘secret’ page called Wing it With Ankush so that I can look back at it five years from now and see what I was up to [during] lockdown. I didn’t tell anyone about it. But people eventually discovered it and there was no looking back!

One word for gender stereotypes?

One word: Ingrained. It’s so deeply ingrained in us that we find it hard to just accept people the way they are.


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How is (or isn’t) India evolving in terms of stereotypes?

We are definitely evolving. It’s a slow process but there’s hope. There’s a long way to go and for starters, I wish people could give non-cis people as much respect, appreciation, and credit, as they give to cis people like me, especially in the beauty space.

Must-have makeup products for men?

Makeup ‘must-haves’ are very subjective across all genders. Some people can’t do without a full face of makeup, while others could care less. I feel nothing is a must-have. [D]on’t wear makeup because you feel you need to, wear it only if it makes you feel good. My must-haves would be a color corrector, concealer, and powder.

Favorite makeup hack ever:

My favorite makeup hack is to underpaint. Apply bronzer and blush before your foundation. It’s so much more natural looking.

Let’s talk about your career in entertainment. What does comedy mean to you?

Comedy is a defense mechanism for me. It’s also self-expression, to be honest. That’s how I go about my day — finding humor in mundane things. Comedy is how I see life.

Beauty Influencer Of The Year Male (Popular Choice) — Ankush Bahuguna! Congratulations! You left your audience with these words in your Instagram post: “There’s always been too much self-doubt and too little self-worth.” How does one overcome that feeling of self-doubt?

As someone who has grown up constantly feeling inadequate, it’s difficult for me to not give in to self-doubt, literally every day. But I guess the idea is to be as kind and forgiving to yourself as you are to others. If you’ve come this far, you must’ve done something right. Right?


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Absolutely right!

We can’t deny that Ankush Bahuguna is going out of his way to put a smile on our faces with his day-to-day content — reels, photos, Insta stories, and more! All while paving a new path for himself and, like we mentioned before, holding space for those who aspire to be them one day. Ankush continues to push the envelope one makeup tutorial at a time, showing the modern world that it’s time to take men in makeup seriously because they’re here to stay!

The featured image is courtesy of Dream N Hustle Media.

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By Shezda Afrin

Shezda Afrin is an aspiring physician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the age of four, it was quite normal of her … Read more ›