Bright, brazen and unabashedly bold, SUVA Beauty is undeniably, a brand like no other, much like its founder Shaina Azad.
You don’t have to be around Shaina for long to notice her enthusiasm, beaming smile, and ultra-fun personal style. And if you take a quick glance at SUVA Beauty’s Instagram, complete with vivid swathes of glitter, neon hues, and a cheeky bio that states, “WE MAKE RAINBOWS JEALOUS,” it’s abundantly clear that Shaina gives SUVA Beauty her all.
In 2015, when we last caught up with Global Makeup graduate Shaina Azad, she already had an impressive resume. On top of her background in International Relations and Foreign policy, she was busy with a flourishing career as a bridal Makeup Artist. She was also juggling her work as a Makeup Instructor, running a fun and informative YouTube channel, and the launch of SUVA Beauty, a brand inspired by the cheerful and vivid shades found in abundance in Fiji (the brand is even named after Fiji’s capital).
Well, since then, she’s shown zero signs of slowing down. Shaina has been crafting innovative products like SUVA’s signature Hydra Liners™, winning celeb fans like Doja Cat and the Euphoria cast, and even changing the world with her philanthropy.
Before starting SUVA Beauty, I was doing a lot of different things: Makeup on set for TV/film, bridal Makeup, and of course, working at Blanche Macdonald as a Makeup Instructor
You have such an impressive and varied background. How did you end up founding your own makeup brand?
“Before starting SUVA Beauty, I was doing a lot of different things: Makeup on set for TV/film, bridal Makeup, and of course, working at Blanche Macdonald as a Makeup Instructor.
I had SUVA Beauty in my mind for…two years before launch. I wanted to create a high-quality, pro-grade brand that everyone could use. I went through plenty of sample batches and had countless sleepless nights.”
In the first year of the brand, I realized that SUVA Beauty was no longer a side gig and required all of my attention to make it grow. Now, I am 100% SUVA Beauty focused!”
So much has happened for SUVA Beauty and your career in the last few years. What’s changed?
My days of bridal appointments ended about one year after I launched the brand, and it has been an amazing ride since! As much as I enjoyed taking makeup appointments, SUVA Beauty brings a completely different level of satisfaction for me. As the founder and CEO of SUVA Beauty, I get to make impactful decisions and lead the ideation, planning, and implementation of new and long-term business strategies, all whilst indulging my passion for Makeup.”
Blanche graduates understand the dedication and hard work required to be successful.
You make a point to work with and hire your fellow Blanche grads. How has that been?
I’m a former student and instructor at Blanche, so I have a deep understanding of the curriculum, teaching methodologies, and the caliber of education. Blanche graduates understand the dedication and hard work required to be successful. The industry is highly competitive and those who are willing to put in the effort to hone their craft deserve an opportunity to shine! By hiring Blanche graduates, I am able to support the next generation of makeup artists and help contribute to the growth and evolution of the industry as a whole.
The products created by the SUVA team are so unique and innovative. What inspires each new launch?
We are always trying to inspire creativity with new colours and textures! We really want to bring the customer back to a time when they were able to create art without the worry of what other people thought.
With SUVA, I have focused on developing creative styles that are easy to accomplish but also inspire people who are a little afraid of Makeup to add that touch of colour. SUVA Beauty is inspired by the vibrant culture and natural beauty of Fiji. From the tropical-inspired colour palette to our positive energy, SUVA Beauty is a celebration of all people and the beauty that comes with diversity.
You’ve worked with some big names, like Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (of Never Have I Ever), Doja Cat, the Euphoria cast, Allure, Fashion Magazine, Vogue, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and CNN. How do you create relationships with celebs and the media?
We’re so proud of the strong relationships we have with professional, working makeup artists. The pro-industry is where my roots are, so it’s always been important to me to support those who continue to work in film and TV.
Once our products (like our neon Hydra Liners™) have reached the hands of one artist, it can spread like wildfire. We’ve been lucky to get so much support and love from other artists.
Incredibly, most of the amazing celebrities and media platforms that love and feature SUVA Beauty are connections that have happened organically!
By hiring Blanche graduates, I am able to support the next generation of makeup artists and help contribute to the growth and evolution of the industry as a whole.
Euphoria, in particular, has had a MASSIVE impact on makeup trends. What does it feel like to be directly involved with something that had such a huge cultural impact?
The funny thing about film and TV productions is that you never know what’s going to strike a chord with audiences!
Our team met Doniella Davy, the Head MUA on Euphoria, early in 2019 while they were filming. She bought our products at a tradeshow we were exhibiting at in LA. At the time, nobody could have predicted how big Euphoria would be. And as a brand, you definitely don’t have any guarantee that your products will be used in production. But when you have the right combination of factors occurring at the right time, it’s like you’ve won a jackpot!
We’re very happy that Doniella decided to use the SUVA Beauty Hydra Liners™ during production and extremely grateful to the fans of the show who have become new fans of our brand.
Along with your accomplishments in Makeup, you’re also devoted to causes like the Rainbow Relief, SUVA’s in-house mentorship program, the Forum, WeBC, and Voices of Muslim Women. What inspires your philanthropy?
Anything that speaks to me and our team is where I want to focus our efforts. If I could help everyone with intention and purpose, I would. But that’s not realistic for me, and it’s not fair to those who need the help. We do extensive research into each organization we partner with to ensure that our support is directly allocated to those in need.
I used to work in the NPO space, so I know many organizations out there do not fairly allocate funds and donations to where it’s needed most. Our focus is on women in business, children in need, or support for the LGBTQIA2S+ community.
What’s next for you and SUVA Beauty?
SUVA Beauty was a trailblazer in the graphic liner category, with our Hydra Liners™. We’re so proud of that! We also hope to become a world leader in colourful eyeliners. I also want to bring more exciting products that inspire creativity. I love creating art-inspired makeup looks. So we want to continue to create products that let people get creative.