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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Green

Colored by Nature and Inspired by India, Mango People Makes Clean Beauty for All Shades


by Olivia Green | WeINSPIRE Reporter

HERCULES, Ca. — Sravya Kalyanapu, founder and CEO of Mango People, has always been aware of what truly clean beauty looks like. “I remember being at home and seeing my mom going through the kitchen to see what she could put on our faces. This included things like honey, strawberries, milk, oils, or whatever she could find,” said Kalyanapu. “My mom used to always say that if you’re going to put it on your skin, make sure it’s good enough to eat.”

There are several components that one might consider while walking through the beauty aisle. Most are concerned with prices or how colors will look on their skin tone, but what one may not consider are the ingredients that their beauty products are made with and how they affect long-term health. Operating on the assumption that only safe products are sold is not always accurate. In fact, associate professor of medicine at Harvard, Dr. Kathryn M. Rexrode, said, "products are tested to make sure they don't cause short-term problems, such as skin irritation. But they're not tested for long-term safety." Essentially, some of the most common ingredients found in cosmetics, like cocktails of petroleum-based chemicals, can introduce carcinogens into the body especially considering that according to theNational Library of Medicine, regular lipstick wearers consume approximately 3.7 pounds of lipstick in their lifetime.



As Kalyanapu got older and began to explore the beauty industry on her own, she was jarred by the lack of clean beauty products available because even some brands who market themselves as all-natural continue to implement petroleum-based products in their formulas. In addition to this, as someone with darker skin, it was a struggle to find makeup that was both clean and shade inclusive. “I remember going to Sephora or drugstores to look for makeup, and as someone with brown skin and darkly pigmented lips, I always had a hard time finding nudes that didn’t make me look washed out or ashy,” said Kalyananpu.

“I was absolutely disappointed with the misrepresentation of clean beauty, not to mention the lack of shade ranges for people of color, so I had to go back to my South Asian roots. We have always been big on using nature to beautify ourselves,” she added. “I remember my mom telling me how our ancestors used to use rocks to make kajal, a type of eyeliner. They used to use red river clay as blush or eyeshadow. I just thought that was so beautiful! Why are we trying to create all of these things in a lab when we already have nature to use?”

This became the spark that led her to create Mango People. The clean, non-toxic, and people of color inclusive makeup brand that uses fruit pigments and natural ingredients in their formulas. Like her mother, Kalyanapu started her formulations in the kitchen and with her background in chemical engineering, she was able to create pigments from hibiscus flowers, berries, ayurvedic plants, and multitudes of other natural ingredients so the products are literally good enough to eat. “It took me about 5 years to figure out the formulation and to genuinely have a shade range that’s truly inclusive, not just for the sake of marketing,” said Kalyanapu. “I wanted to take into account different undertones and hyperpigmentation in order to make the products effective for all skin tones.”


“Whenever you think of India, one of the first things you think about is mango, and mango butter is one of the key ingredients that we use in our products. The brand is made for us, for the people, so Mango People just made sense,” said Kalyanapu.

Courtesy of Mango People

Since its launch in September of 2020, Mango People has received extensive praise from its online community. Customers leave reviews and comments that speak to the void in the beauty industry that Kalyanapu has helped to fill. One customer sent an email noting that she had spent over thirty years looking for a nude lipstick that complimented her skin. After trying hundreds of brands, she finally found her perfect shade at Mango People. “That brought me to tears because all I’ve wanted to do was make people feel beautiful,” said Kalyanapu. “I don’t want anyone to feel left out as I did, so the fact that I have all of these people expressing how they feel included makes me so happy.”

Courtesy of Mango People


Despite the positive responses, Kalyanapu has continued to deal with the obstacles of running a small business during a pandemic. Issues with delays and manufacturing have continued to cause her to feel self-doubt; however, the consistent positivity and transparency that Mango People has with its customers continue to motivate her. Kalyanapu’s deep passion for what she pushes her to wake up every morning and continue to inspire other beauty lovers. She sets a new precedent for clean and inclusive brands in the beauty industry. “I wasn’t passionate about my chemical engineering degree. I did it because it’s a safe career, and you’ll have a job for sure,” said Kalyanapu. “I remember in university, no matter how hard I tried to work, there was always a barrier. I could only do so much because I had no genuine passion for what I was studying. In comes Mango People, and there have been so many long nights and no weekends, but I’m still excited for Mondays! I can’t wait to keep going.”

To learn more about Mango People and their clean products, check out their website!



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