We are so excited to share our interview with Mehir Sethi, the founder of True + Luscious! True + Luscious launched at the beginning of 2020 as a clean beauty brand. Their goal is to combine skincare and makeup for beautiful, colorful, products that won’t harm your skin.
Mehir Sethi’s own journey with hormonal acne and 15 years in the beauty industry led her to create a brand that she felt was missing from the market.
Their Angel Eyes primer is the hydrating savior that replaced my more expensive, not as good non-indie alternative. I’ve also been loving their new brow pencils for a naturally thick brow look that also conditions the brows. After trying their products, I had to learn more about the brand. Here is our interview with the mastermind behind True + Luscious!
IM: Your brand, True and Luscious, launched in May 2020, a few months after the Covid-19 outbreak became a global pandemic. Was it hard to launch when you did? How did it alter your launch strategy?
We built a small but loyal customer base before we officially launched, which helped immensely. The first few months were challenging to say the least but I have a long-term vision for the brand, and experience building brands with patience. I think that got us through. In terms of strategy, we spent 10% of our marketing budget at launch, conserving the rest.
IM: Clean beauty is a term that has many meanings these days. It can be hard to define what it actually means. What makes True + Luscious clean?
I wanted to create a makeup brand that focused on skin-health and wellness during the massive rise in clean skincare. Our mission is to avoid irritants and ingredients commonly found in color cosmetics that interfere with skincare. We also want to address customer concerns that using our makeup would undo the results of their skincare routines. This means that our products and brand fit neatly into the “clean” category as established by retailers and the media. As a founder and product developer, clean means a holistic approach to better ingredients, Earth-friendly packaging, sustainable ingredients and wellness. We especially try to stay away from fear-mongering and extreme positions that some clean brands are choosing to adopt.
IM: Your brand is 100% vegan. Was it difficult to formulate your products with that as a core value of the brand?
I created one of the world’s first all-vegan color cosmetics brands in 2007. So, I had already gone through the steep learning curve of vegan formulations, which helped immensely as I can be personally involved with product formulation and ingredient sourcing, along with my chemists. It still poses a challenge as we continue to innovate. But it’s an important pillar of the brand from a sustainability perspective.
IM: You’ve worked in the beauty industry for 15 years prior to launching your own brand. What did you learn during those years that you brought over to True + Luscious to make the brand successful?
I’ve learned so much about beauty in general – and color cosmetics in particular – during the course of my career. I am still learning as formulation science evolves. I bring the belief that quality and value win over customers and keep them coming back to True + Luscious. I’m bringing my knowledge of color to a skincare-focused market with the goal to create harmony.
IM: What is the hardest part of owning your own brand?
Beauty has emerged as one of the most competitive in consumer goods. The hardest part is trying to break through the noise (as a privately owned and bootstrapped brand) and competing with VC-funded brands that don’t necessarily have profitability as a goal.
IM: What is the most rewarding part of owning your own brand?
There are so many rewarding aspects to owning your own brand, your own business, that make the challenges and sleepless nights worth it. For me, one of the most rewarding parts of owning a brand is creating value for my customers. I also love creating jobs and income for everyone involved, from the manufacturers we do business with, to employees and independent contractors who help fuel our growth.
IM: I’m in love with your Angel Eyes Eyeshadow Primer and thrilled that I finally found an indie dupe to the one I’d been using for years. How hard was it to create an eyeshadow primer that was hydrating, yet lasts up to 16 hours?
Angel Eyes has come to embody the True + Luscious philosophy perfectly. It has an eyeshadow gripping performance that would satisfy the most discerning makeup artists with a formula that includes hydrating botanicals to soothe and protect the delicate area around your eyes. Our products take a problem-solving, practical approach to makeup.
IM: You can only have 3 True and Luscious products for the rest of your life. I know. It’s a difficult choice. But if you could only have three, which 3 products would you choose?