If you’re someone who likes to dabble in make-up and beauty products and has been online anytime in the past decade, chances are that you’re aware of Debasree Banerjee and her unique brand of beauty. Certified beauty guru and founder of Debasreee Beauty, Banerjee is one of the busiest names in the space.
The influencer recently took some time out to create a stunning statement eye look for HELLO! to help us figure out the perfect way to stand out (for all the right reasons!) this holiday season. In between creating the looks-intimidating-but-is-super-easy eye make-up and preparing for her own wedding, Banerjee sat down to chat with us about her journey, and her beauty line, and share tips on how to recreate the look effortlessly. Here’s an excerpt from our chat…
HELLO!: You’re one of the foremost content creators in the Indian beauty space. How did you start on this journey?
Debasree Banerjee: “It all began with my blog, All She Needs, which I started some 11 years ago. At that time, beauty blogging was in its nascent stage. I used to watch all the beauty influencers that are so big right now, right from when they were just starting out. But nobody was doing the kind of make-up that I was interested in. No one would wear make-up to college, but I would show up in full make-up and people would be like ‘What is wrong with you!’ (laughs). I wanted my own community and to create my own trends and I knew that I could build this online. I didn’t have the right equipment or confidence to be on camera initially, so I began with just a blog, and it slowly started growing from there.”
H!: What’s been your biggest learning in all these years?
DB: “Staying true to yourself and not trying to create an online persona is extremely important. And your credibility is your biggest asset. I think these are some of the biggest lessons, I would say. Another thing that I had to learn was that you have to remain super disciplined because this is not a traditional career path where you have a fixed routine. It’s very easy for me to overwork, or even underwork. So, one of the things that took me a while to understand was to discipline myself. The third thing I would say is that I had to learn to delegate. In the beginning, I was clutching on to all the responsibilities. I was doing everything, from ideating to editing videos. It soon led me to burnout, so I had to learn how to delegate my work responsibly.”
H!: The Indian beauty space has changed drastically over the last decade. What’s the one change that you’re waiting for though?
DB: “That’s a great question! Everyone always asks me about the changes I’ve observed, but I’ve never been asked about the changes I’d like to see! (laughs). When we started off, beauty content creation wasn’t recognised as serious work and it was really difficult for brands to understand that they need to pay us for the work they were asking us to do. Or even for traditional media to take this format seriously. It started changing over the years, especially during the pandemic. What I would like to see in the future is brands not treating influencer collaborations as ads and letting creators ideate and work on campaigns the way that they want.”
H!: The standards of beauty here in India are still a little regressive. It’s changing but there’s still a lot more change required. Have you personally had to experience some of that regressive thinking?
DB: “I feel like with so much exposure to beauty content, there are two sides now. People are more aware of what’s right and what’s not, especially in terms of body image issues. But at the same time, you have people asking for home remedies for tan removal. This is not something I personally condone. There are also times when people ask whether they should get their skin bleached or not.”
H!: When did the idea for Debasreee Beauty come to the fore? Is it a career milestone you always wanted to achieve?
DB: “My product line started because I couldn’t find a white eyeliner in the Indian market! I always knew I wanted to start a beauty brand of my own. I knew that social media could vanish suddenly one day and I wanted to make sure that I had a backup. I saw the demise of Vine and knew that it was all temporary. A website is something that you own and it’s your legacy. During the pandemic, I realised that there was a gap in the market, especially in colourful pigments, and that was my window.”
H!: Can you tell us more about the look that you’ve created for us? Maybe a few tips for our followers to help them achieve it perfectly?
DB: “I just wanted to include all the colours that there are! (laughs). The final look might seem intimidating, but it’s not. You’d definitely need a little bit of patience while creating it. The look is perfect when you want to practice self-care, where you can just experiment with your make-up and spend some time with yourself. You can start with any colour that you want to work with and create your own shapes. The look that I created forms a butterfly-like shape, so you need a little steadiness for it. So, rest your finger on your cheek and use small strokes. Don’t try to finish everything in one go. This is my most important tip for even when you’re trying to apply winged eyeliner. Use small strokes or dots and connect them together, instead of creating one whole line at the same time.”
H!: If we asked you to create a Debasree Makeup Survival Kit, what would that kit entail?
DB: “It would have a lip balm, a sunscreen, a powder to mattify everything, a tinted moisturiser with SPF, mascara, and a Debasree Beauty liquid liner!”
H!: What’s next for Debasree?
DB: “We’re trying to expand more in the eye segment and working towards including colours in more ways than we have now. Personally, the biggest change in my life is going to be that I’m getting married! So that’s taking up a huge chunk of my time at the moment and I’m just super excited for the future!”