By BR Kellie
Is there anything more exciting than discovering a new beauty brand? Why yes. Yes there is… Discovering a new beauty brand that’s based in New Zealand, vegan and cruelty-free!
The brand? Ahimsa Cosmetics! Creators of gorgeous lipsticks that are free of nasty chemicals, hydrating on the lips and full of nature’s best ingredients.
Being the curious cats that we are we needed to know more, so we got in contact with Shivana Rajendran the owner and Managing Director of Ahimsa Cosmetics, and she kindly agreed to let us go Behind the Brand!
Shivana, thanks for chatting with us! We’re in awe of women who take charge of their lives and follow their passion. We know you were a lawyer for over a decade… what was it that made you change direction and go into the cosmetics industry?
Hi! Thank you so much for this opportunity! When I first embarked on my legal career, I had set myself personal goals that I had wanted to achieve. Once I had reached those goals, I felt it was the right time to pursue a new challenge and direction.
I have always had a love and passion for makeup and cosmetics. Growing up I used a lot of the mainstream brands, however after researching their policies and practices I realised that many of them still condone animal testing practices and are packed full of harsh chemicals. This is extremely disturbing to me. So, I set out to create a brand that is synonymous for natural ingredients, healthy, vegan and cruelty free.
My daughters are also a huge motivating factor in my life. I want them to see their mum try new things and that no matter what, if you put your mind and energy into something, magical things can happen!
How did you come up with the name ‘Ahimsa’ – and what does it mean?
Ahimsa (pronounced A-him-sa) is the Sanskrit word which means to not cause any harm to any living creature. This philosophy represents our brand perfectly. My husband and I sat down many a night and brainstormed different names, but Ahimsa was the name that really felt right. When the word Ahimsa is rearranged it spells Simhaa which means Lioness, the symbol for my brand.
What’s the philosophy behind Ahimsa Cosmetics?
Ahimsa Cosmetics is all about beautiful, bold, luscious, healthy, natural, vegan and cruelty free lipsticks! But Ahimsa also has a deeper meaning in that it represents the power of the lioness – the female energy – the power of women. Ahimsa is all about embracing the power of women and standing in our own truth.
What makes Ahimsa Cosmetics different from other lipstick brands?
Ahimsa cosmetics is unique in that our lipsticks hit the big three requirements – being Natural, Vegan and Cruelty Free.
A lot of the other more natural brands on the market are not vegan and many of the vegan brands on the market are not natural! Ahimsa lipsticks are also beautifully bold and leave your lips feeling hydrated and soft.
We love that each lipstick is named after an animal and the feeling that animal evokes. What made you choose to market your lipsticks in this way?
Thank you, yes, I love the animal names too. It was such a fun process deciding the different names for my lipsticks. I had many hours brainstorming with my closest friends and family! Anyone that knows me knows that I am a passionate animal welfare advocate. I have been a vegetarian for over 20 years and have naturally embraced a vegan lifestyle. It was a natural choice for me to have my lipsticks uniquely named after beautiful animals and the feelings that these incredible animals personify.
What about Ahimsa Cosmetics do you think will most excite New Zealand beauty lovers?
I think New Zealand beauty lovers will love the feel of our highly pigmented colours, the fact that it is hydrating, natural and cruelty free. It has been said that over a lifetime, women consume kilos of lipstick! Imagine all those chemicals! This was a huge consideration for me when creating my brand and that is why I am so delighted that my lipsticks are as natural as they get! I am so excited with the results and I really think the rest of New Zealand will be too.
What is your best-selling shade?
Kiwi is one of our most popular selling colours.
What is it about this shade that makes it so popular?
Kiwi is a beautiful soft everyday wear colour. It will match any outfit, is long lasting and really looks super luscious and stunning. I love Kiwi too.
What’s your favourite shade from the Ahimsa range, and why do you love it?
Its so hard to say! I really love them all… I think Lioness is my evening wear favourite! And during the day a Flamingo, Kiwi or even a Jaguar!
Finally, can you give us a hint about what is next for Ahimsa Cosmetics?
I would love to add more incredible lip colours to my existing collection, including a vitamin-rich lip balm stick too. I would also love to develop some matching lipliners as well.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions, Shivana! We not only love how committed you are to creating quality cosmetics that are kind to nature (and to us!), but also how passionate you are about the power of women. We can't wait to watch your brand grow, and we wish you every success.