In 2004, Vanita Parti began her journey towards building what today is known as BBB London. At the time, the beauty scene in London wasn’t placing enough emphasis on the importance of brows. She wanted to take the industry by storm by reintroducing the art of threading, an eyebrow removal practice that originated in India.
“Before Blink (BBB London’s brow bar) opened, threading didn’t really exist in London and it was such an effort to get a quick brow appointment anywhere,” she tells thirteen lune. “Eyebrows have always been an absolute priority for Indian women and so I knew once we introduced threading combined with a bar style concept, the Brits would love it. Now eyebrows have become a global staple in anyone’s beauty regime and I like to think that Blink put this on the map.”
Some of her earliest memories of beauty growing up actually revolve around threading and hair removal. “Hair removal was vital from an early age and we made our own wax out of sugar and honey and I was marched to a threading salon in India at the age of 13 to get rid of my monobrow,” Parti tells us. “We also used [a] homemade face mask from yogurt and honey with turmeric mixed in. My mother’s view was very much that beauty could be addressed at home and that less is more.” It was this mentality that quickly influenced Parti’s own views when it came to beauty.
In fact, Parti’s beauty philosophy is quite simple. “The smallest lift can have the biggest impact and with that comes confidence,” she adds.
“Beauty is different for everyone, but it doesn’t have to be the big things. The smallest touches can make us feel fantastic and so we should indulge and enjoy.”
Get to Know – Vanita Parti
Where are you from?
I have always been a Londoner but from Indian heritage. My parents were first generation immigrants in London and India is very close to my heart. Bringing Indian beauty concepts to the UK was a lovely way to celebrate both cultures.
What does self-care look like in your life?
I think it is whatever lifts your spirits. Lockdown has certainly made everyone realize what may have been missing in their lives but also what they now miss in their lives. For me, finding time to read, listen to podcasts, think about my business and do some yoga have been a treat but I miss chatting with my friends regularly and visiting the cinema, shops and galleries. It is why I live in London and that is my therapy. We need external inspiration to move forward.
What inspires you most about the beauty landscape and industry today?
Beauty is really opening up in so many respects to share cultural tips across the globe, to be transparent, to be visual, and to be inclusive. It has been interesting watching this journey and being part of it. I love the fact that smaller brands can have a voice and digital changes the landscape as it allows indie brands to shout a little louder rather than let the big players drown everyone out.
What has been the biggest challenge in starting your business?
The biggest challenge was to persuade department stores to embrace a new concept. Eyebrows in public were a ‘no-no’ but someone advised me to be “unashamedly persistent’ and I was.
What has been the biggest win thus far?
There have been so many but being awarded an honor by the palace was an endorsement that Blink, as a brand, was recognized for being about so much more than just eyebrow shaping. It celebrates employing 200 women from an ethnic background, for providing a much needed service to the Brits and for giving money back to India through charitable contributions.
What would you like to see more of in the beauty industry when it comes to diversity and inclusivity?
We have made big steps towards this but unfortunately brands find it easier to invest in the shades that sell the most. If you are in a minority, you can be forgotten. I still search for an under eye concealer that works with my skin tone. I would also like to see issues that other cultural skins suffer from, addressed more such as pigmentation and dehydration. It would be great to see yourself in more marketing content from the big brands. The smaller digital brands are certainly embracing this as a key part of what they do rather than token gestures.