Sheil Jain studied economics and psychology at NYU, but while investing in companies and thinking in numbers were skills she enjoyed, it was the billboards in New York that would always grab Sheil’s attention. Declaring herself a branding nerd, pleasing branding aesthetics were simply something that Sheil had an eye for. Only when studying international brands for investment opportunities did Sheil realise that she should start a company of her own. Gush Beauty is the product of that realisation.
Sheil felt disconnected from the current beauty narrative. From 14-step beauty routines to spilling makeup bags and hour-long YouTube tutorials, the beauty industry was getting overwhelming, and things needed to evolve. Sheil then took it upon herself and set out to build an easy-to-navigate brand that’s fun, functional and fuss-free products. This thought set her brand vision for Gush Beauty – to create a line for the women of today, the ones who love beauty but want it to be simple and curated for their lifestyle.
Though Sheil made sure to do her homework to perfect every step of the process, from product development to sampling, she knew that communication was vital. Keeping the consumer as its North Star, Gush Beauty got friends, bloggers, professionals, skincare enthusiasts, and everyone to share their experiences and what they liked, loved, and hated about makeup. With common concerns like a mountain of products, lack of time, and lack of convenience, Gush Beauty, powered by this feedback, created easy and effortless makeup that didn’t require extra tools, tutorials or skills. She’d send email blasts to college students, talked to Sephora advisors and even called makeup artists home to understand what kind of makeup today’s generation wanted. Sheil began speaking to others in the industry and sent emails to virtually any manufacturer to learn everything about makeup. She put together a brand deck and sampled makeup products from across the globe! Sheil finally landed on co-formulators from Italy and Korea (Gush Beauty only partners with CPMG certified manufacturers), and finally, after two years of ideation, Gush Beauty launched in Jan 2022. Did you know that Gush Beauty tests over 2000 samples a month? Sheil and her team do this so that only the best ingredients and the perfect formulation move forward. Testing is still an integral part of the Gush Beauty process, and each product is sent to beauty experts and daily consumers alike to receive honest feedback from start to finish.
But, of course, Gush Beauty is more than where the products are made because Sheil’s one true passion is brand aesthetics. Graphics were essential to her, and she knew that she wanted to convey information through new-age formats like Instagram reels. Sheil wanted the brand vision to shine and keep Gush and makeup light and fun. “We want to talk to them as the way they would talk to their friend,” says Sheil, and I’ll say that they’ve done just that!
“ I wanted a product that I could use with my fingers. What took a while was the texture because we wanted it to be cream-based so that you don’t need brushes to apply it. It had to be easy, quick, on-the-go makeup. We started talking to our manufacturers about how to combine three products into one nifty little product. The goal was to have all of your makeup needs in one single palette.”
When I say that this has become a makeup bag essential, you know that this was really, really good. I moved to a different country recently, and I could take very few things with me, but all of the Gush Beauty products that I tried came with me. This product is the quick fix to any makeup woe. It’s easy to apply, you don’t need brushes, and the consistency is so creamy. It’s blendable, and you can control the pigmentation. You can trust that this will be coming with me everywhere!
“I love the name!
When we were ideating Play Paint we thought about the current pain points with liquid lipsticks. What didn’t work for me was that it was intensely drying and that I didn’t have any control in terms of the buildability. That’s why we call this a fluid stick. It’s nourishing but at the same time, it’s long-lasting. We took the best of a lip balm and of lipstick and put it together.
We spent a lot of time with makeup artists and beauty advisors to understand what kind of shade families do well with Indian skin tones. There was a lot of consumer testing and the next line is just nudes!”
The theme of Gush Beauty, for me, has been buildability. Whether you want a minimal makeup look or the perfect one for a night out, these play paints allow you to choose. They’re gorgeous, and the shade range is fantastic. I can’t wait for the nude range to launch because Gush Beauty simply cannot fail.
“The philosophy was this – As an Indian woman we love kajal but as a gen z consumer we also like eyeliner options. How do we give you the best of both worlds? The liner is a sketch pen-like eyeliner so that it’s perfect for beginners. The other side is a kajal that is smudge proof, has vitamin E and has moringa oil.”
I love the innovation behind this eyeliner. This contraption will suit all your needs, whether you’re in the mood for kajal or winged eyeliner. When I opened the package, I tried out the kohl on the back of a friend’s hand, and we gasped at its creaminess and pigmentation. It glides on when I tight line (and doesn’t smudge at all!), and the other end offers me a precisely pointed wing. I love love love this.
What’s next for Gush Beauty?
“Multiple launches, foraying into parts of your makeup and skincare routines. We have nail paints, more makeup and skincare with a twist. Skincare has become difficult! Korean 11 step routines and all of these active ingredients that you need a chemistry degree to understand. We are making skincare fun, easy and functional.”