EXCLUSIVE: ‘Beautifying with a cause’ is her mantra, reveals Lavanya Vikram!

Founder Blush N Curls Ladies Salon and Spa, Skin Anatomist and Lifestyle / Beauty / Fashion/ Travel / Food Influencer – Lavanya Vikram talks to Aakanksha Naval-Shetye about her unique initiatives for domestic help, the need to use chemical-free products and working relentlessly to create an awareness about it

You have always been vocal about spreading awareness for the need of having chemical-free products in beauty treatments, what prompted that?
The intention was very simple – to work towards a safer community – not just for the patrons, but also for the beauticians and staff who work at the salons. The ratio of salon workers who lost their lives due to cancer as a result of inhaling the hazardous chemicals which are life-threatening was as high as 62 per cent by the end of 2019. But this could easily be prevented by avoiding the harsh chemicals in beauty products used by salons. Hence we decided to bring this shift to make it safer for pregnant ladies, breastfeeding mums, kids, and teenagers. All the products we use are either organic, natural, or vegan.

Your salons have gone chemical-free since a long time now, but was it easy to implement? What are the challenges you face regarding these products?
It was a roller-coaster ride to educate customers about why our products or services are different, especially when they look at the cost part of it and compare us with other salons. We definitely look like a regular salon and spa, but we operate in a very different way. From the moment we receive an inquiry to the process of service and post-service too, we maintain full transparency of the products we use. For two-and-a-half years, I would sit at the reception and educate every single customer about the need for these chemical free products, and also did television interviews, educated through our YouTube Channel and our social media and we still continue to explain our uniqueness and concept of going chemical free. We have received much recognition too along the way.

“Dream with eyes wide open and never give up on them. Whatever your passion is, make it work and see how you could fly.”

What’s the vision ahead as an entrepreneur?
The priority is to have a Blush N Curls in every part of UAE, so we cater to larger base. There are many more plans in terms of expansion and God-willing you will see many other segments too.

You’re a foodie, a beauty and a travel blogger, how do you maintain a balance there, especially with your skincare?
I watch what I eat. Although being a Food Influencer makes me try and explore new cuisines, I avoid foods that are too oily, fried, etc. If they can’t be avoided, I make sure to detox the next day by switching to healthy homemade stuff – salads, fruits, and workout and also drink a lot of water.

So my skin doesn’t get affected now when it comes to skincare. Also I ensure I don’t overload it with many products, I read the labels, understand my skin, and use products accordingly. I try and avoid using makeup and if I use it, I ensure removing it as soon as I reach home and double cleanse and moisturize the skin. I exfoliate twice a week and apply a nice mask. I make sure to tone my skin every day, and apply a serum, eye cream, day cream, and SPF 30.

As an entrepreneur and an influencer, what’s the one thing that you wish you could tell as many women as possible?
Dream with eyes wide open and never give up on them. Whatever your passion is, make it work and see how you could fly. For every negative comment think of it as a stepping ladder to move ahead. Make your criticisms your strengths, if it’s relevant… work on them and fly higher. So, work hard, have patience, and keep the persistence on.

Can you tell us more about your campaign of providing free services to domestic-helps?
We started this initiative in 2018 when two house-help came to our salon for a small service, but then changed their mind as they felt AED 20 is too expensive for them. So we offered them the service free of charge! This had me thinking about how these women look at these things as luxury and not a basic need. So we started this initiative of giving free services to House-helps – where anyone can nominate their House-help and out of our four short-listed Luxury Services they could choose one and come back next month for another one and so on. As of today, we have approximately 260 House-helps enlisted with us as happy customers and we are really happy to be a part of their lives and give them one of their basic needs as a woman.

You have been supportive of other start-ups as an influencer, what advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
I always tell aspiring entrepreneurs that if they are looking to start a business just for the heck of doing it without getting involved, then it’s better not to do it. If you have a passion for something and want to make it as a business, you will succeed with flying colors. Never give up no matter what situation arises as one door closes, another one opens. Persistence and patience is the key to success.

Tell us about your upcoming projects.
In terms of business, we are definitely expanding and you would get to hear something soon as Blush N Curls will arrive at one more new location. As far as the influencer part, I’m collaborating with some amazing brands and some amazing stuff will be up on my Instagram feed, so do check out @lavya2107

Quick five with Lavanya!

  • What’s the most common mistake you see in beauty regimes?
    Daily use of sheet masks, use of Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid as it’s not recommended for all skin types.
  • What’s the one beauty tip, you would advise women across ages should follow?
    Love your skin and just as you eat well, hydrate your skin well too and make sure to take care of your skin by giving it proper nourishment and getting a proper facial which involves Massages and cleansing (not machine ones) at least once a month. Don’t experiment too much.
  • Three make-up products every woman’s make-up kit should have?
    Matte lipstick, kajal pencil, loose powder
  • Three things every woman should follow daily as a ritual?
    Cleanse and tone, Serum – Day Cream, SPF 30
  • A make-up hack every woman should know?
    Always carry loose foundation powder which would enhance your skin tone, matte lipstick you could add on lips, cheeks, eye-lids, and Kohl (Kajal) to define your eyes and you are ready to rock and roll.




For Media, advertisement & events query contact us on mayur.panchal@starzmediainc.com / aakanksha.naval@starzmediainc.com