Anisa International knows beauty brushes. Launched in 1992 by Anisa Telwar Kaicker, the company has fostered an unmatched expertise in the tools that make-up artists depend on. At the end of October, however, Anisa International reached the scores of women who preen their visages on their own, every day. It launched the Frida Kahlo Limited Edition Brush Collection – a line of six brushes and a cleaning pad – on the online retailer, Amazon.
Inspired by the artist whose creative legacy and personal fortitude remain a symbol of femininity and resilience over half a century after her death, the Frida Kahlo Limited Edition Brush Collection offers not only every-day tools but also a conduit for self-expression.
To learn more about the collection, we talked to Anisa Telwar Kaicker.
What about Frida and her personality inspired you and how does this translate into the collection itself?
When it comes to what she did, Frida was very fashionable, very fashion-forward. She was very expressive creatively. She viewed art as a way to transform her life. That is what beauty does and that is what our brushes do. They are transformative – that is what beauty is about. So, I saw a major connection with Frida and her artistry in her life.
The Frida Kahlo Limited Edition Brush Collection is the first line you are directly launching to the end consumer. Why did you decide to do this?
We have been doing what we have been doing for a very long time. The landscape of beauty is changing fast. It is so much more dynamic than it has ever been. The consumer is so much more savvy, so much more engaged when it comes to make-up and tools. She is also a little bit more confused. She is also looking for solutions all the time. So, it just makes sense that we want to help in uncovering more information – what does a beauty consumer truly want and need. For us to that, we need to have a more direct connection to her, so we can then help our current customer base even more.
Brushes are our business – this is what we know, what we do, what we design. For our current customers it is part of their business, it is not all of their business. For us, it is all of our business. We want to be leading the innovation in this category. So, I think, doing this through a license and through a distribution channel like Amazon, we are going to better understand what is the price point, what is the design, what is the confusing design that she doesn’t understand, how can we help her more, how can we help the make-up artist more. I think it is going to be this lab of information that gives us intelligence to support our customer base more.
How long was the collection in the making?
It took awhile, because Frida was so dynamic and I kept thinking about Frida and I think it was hard for me to design that way. It took us six months or more because I wanted to think about who Frida would be today, if she was still alive in the world that we live in. So, it was, “Ok, if she was alive today, this is what I think she would want.” So, it took us a little while to get it right.
What is the process of creating brushes like?
We are fully integrated. We own our own factory. We work with our team – we sit down and trust our inspiration. We start to work on the handle, the handle shape, what head we think would be really purposeful, what are some designs that we do not see in marketing today but we think will be interesting, or what are some designs that we know and think everybody should have, what we include that our customers will be able to clean them. This is a conversation and because we have been doing this for a while, we have a lot of archives to bring forward and help inspire us.
How have brushes evolved over the years?
Oh my Gosh, they have evolved so much because they used to be made from animal fiber, pretty much every brush you wanted – you want powder brush, you want soft brush, your give-away bush and promotional purchase for Christmas. It just didn’t have the value to say, “Hey, this is my tool. Make-up doesn’t just jump on my face – I need to have the right tool.” And what happened – make-up started to evolve – the foundations, the powders, the complexion products – so that you had to have the right fiber and the right handle shape for the brushes. Customers believe now that they need a technical tool that will really work and when they see the improvement and they have a great brush, then they keep wanting to have that.
What is some of the initial response you see to the collection?
What I think is great [is that the collection] is giving awareness to Frida. Not everyone knows Frida. It also educated people about her and her hardships. What is fun is to get to talk to people about her and see how they are emboldened that through her challenges, through everything she had to endure, she always felt creative. Nothing kept her down very long. Frida was the original selfie – she painted herself. She is inspiration to this day. We all have to endure something and we can choose how we want to endure it – that is the message we are sending.
What is your favorite brush, the one you cannot do without?
I love a good complexion. Everything starts with good skin, so with a really beautiful foundation brush I can use foundation and concealer. Most likely, it will have some curve to it so it can get to all the edges and everything on my skin. Foundation brushes are my definite go to.