D'you

Shamika Haldipurkar, founder of d’you on why the brand made it to Alia Bhatt’s favourites list

In the ever-evolving landscape of beauty, where trends come and go, Shamika Haldipurkar firmly stands her ground that ‘less is more’, and how multitasking but minimal skincare will be the unbeatable trend. As the Founder and CEO of d’you, homegrown skincare brand, she rewrote the beauty narrative when she launched her brand with a single-SKU offering. We find it very interesting how a lawyer, hailing from a family of doctors, became the creator of award-winning beauty products.

In a captivating conversation with Lavenderoom on the eve of her sunscreen (unkissed) launch, Haldipurkar shares her journey, insights, and the secrets behind d’you’s revolutionary products that have captured the hearts of not just everyday enthusiasts but also Bollywood heartthrob Alia Bhatt.

D'you founder
Shamika Haldipurkar, Founder of D’you

1. What inspired d’you’s most popular product, and what makes it a favourite of celebrities like Alia Bhatt?

“I think the secret for d’you In My Defence’s (IMD) success is that it solves for one of the MOST BASIC ask from an Indian consumer, which is that they want a simple moisturiser that is very nourishing but not heavy or one that doesn’t leave the skin feeling greasy. Sounds simple right? But textural elegance is not always the easiest thing to balance in cosmetic chemistry. I think what IMD cracked very beautifully with its formula is that the lipid content is high (ceramides, cholesterol, fatty acids) and YET it is so lightweight and non-greasy. It’s a simple USP, but one that can’t so easily be solved, unless you use innovative and newer formulation technology.”

Alia Bhatt

2. Could you share a pivotal moment or decision in your journey that significantly shaped the direction of d’you?

“I think deciding not to raise funds has been a key decision in my journey in building d’you. It gave me the freedom to build d’you to see my vision through without any outside or investor pressure; and being able to do that has been pivotal in how d’you is today. It also pushed me to ensure I’m building a sustainable business without cash burn.”

3. As the founder, what personal ethos or beliefs do you ensure are reflected in d’you products?

“Personally I’m a huge critic. Something has to be really outstanding to wow me, and I extend the same standard of excellence when I develop products at d’you. This is the main reason we don’t launch products so often. A product has to be really unique and innovative, and I have to genuinely believe that with that product we can elevate a certain category in beauty, and only then do we launch a new product. Another aspect of my personality (I think) is that I’m a very genuine and authentic person. What you see with me is what you get. And I believe we’ve infused this quality into d’you’s personality too. As a brand we strive to be candid, upfront, genuine, transparent and authentic with our customers and community. We will never lure purchases through false promises, or use unethical marketing practices to sell beauty products.”

D'you in my defence

4. What’s your favourite d’you product for a daily beauty routine, and why? Also, can you share a unique tip or hack for using this product?

“My ride or die is IMD moisturiser, but my favourite hack is to wear it with the Hustle serum. I love mixing it with my blush for the most natural highlight glow-like effect.”

5. Looking ahead, what are some exciting developments, goals, or new product teasers you have for d’you?

“We just launched a new product today, which was the most requested product from the brand – a sunscreen. It’s long been in the works, so I am very excited to finally present our newest baby unkissed to the world! We do have a few more launches planned this year and next. We are also looking at offline expansion this year, plus establishing an international presence in a couple of geographies.”

d'you Sunscreen unkissed

6. As a successful founder, what key advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs in the beauty industry, and what do you know now that you wish you knew at the start of your journey?

“My one key advice would be to not get into this industry to make money or because beauty is “hot” and “booming” right now. Get into the industry if you genuinely understand beauty products and are passionate about it. Domain knowledge is important for beauty as well as business of beauty. The industry is fast and more saturated than ever before, and the only way to stand out (and survive) is to have excellent products. 

For the second part of your question, my honest answer is nothing. There’s nothing I know now that I wished I knew earlier, because my journey as an entrepreneur has been one of immense learning at the right time. There were many things I didn’t know how to do or go about when I started 4 years ago, but because I didn’t know the standard way of doing those things is why I carved my own way of doing things. And that’s what made my brand different. That’s why they say every entrepreneur’s journey is like their unique thumbprint. No two people’s journey will be the same, so while we can take inspiration from other people’s journeys – what you pave will be your very own unique journey.”

7. Besides D’you, what’s your go-to makeup, fragrance, or hair product for a quick beauty fix, and why?

“Here are some of my beauty favourites:

Skincare: Paula’s Choice 10% azelaic acid booster; because I have rosacea prone skin

Makeup: Charlotte Tilbury’s Flawless Filter primer and KVD Apple Bomb foundation; both absolute essentials for a flawless base

Hair: Kérastase shampoos & conditioners, Redken and K18 mask for my colour treated hair

Fragrance: Currently obsessed with Baccarat Rouge 540”

Also read:

11 EMPOWERING HAIR AFFIRMATIONS THAT WILL HELP YOU MANIFEST HEALTHY TRESSES 

What is intuition? And how can we make the most of it?

12 Best Content Creators Every Beauty Enthusiast Must Follow, According to a Beauty Editor 

Author

  • Aparrna Gupta

    Transitioning from crafting stories for The Asian Age and Bombay Times to setting beauty trends in Verve, Aparrna Gupta’s journey has always revolved around resonant storytelling. Her prowess in content creation is unparalleled, with articles featured in renowned publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel India, Lifestyle Asia, Elle, and Femina. She also excels in content ideation, trend identification, mood board creation, and product styling. Her expertise has proven invaluable to homegrown brands, enabling them to authentically connect with their audience.

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