Kala: Brand Introduction

We were asked to create a new-to-world, mass-market beauty product brand that breaks established category codes. 

[This was a student project for the VCU Brandcenter. We were asked to create a new-to-world, mass-market beauty product brand that breaks established category codes.]


The Problem

Beauty products have historically promoted thoughtless addition. Their advertising can seem borderline unethical, promising to “make you look thinner” and to “give you fuller lashes.”

Although some beauty companies have attempted to alleviate these unrealistic standards by encouraging consumers to love and celebrate themselves as they are, outside of some hopeful (and moving) communications campaigns, we’ve yet to see products introduced that were actually designed to guide users to accomplish that goal.

Additionally, simply encouraging consumers to wear less makeup is not a solution. Many individuals feel empowered when they wear makeup, and demonizing the products themselves is unproductive.


Our Solution

If the beauty industry has historically been about thoughtless addition, there’s a need for a product that’s about thoughtful subtraction. A line of products designed to balance mind, body and spirit, preparing the user to then go about whatever beauty routine they prefer in a more thoughtful way.

The Insight

The beauty industry connotes clean through what’s left behind: mint flavoring in toothpaste, aromatics in skin products, etc. And for as much as these markers signify “cleanliness,” all of these residues aren’t completely cleaning your body if they’re leaving something behind.

Further, we found that for as much as people care about how they look and feel, few people enjoy the process of getting ready.

The Strategic Concept

Elevate the Ordinary. Create a line of products that take the routine tasks of body maintenance and care and turn them into important, impactful experiences.


A line of beauty care products designed to create centering, thoughtful moments out of everyday routines. The brand is inspired by the Hindu tradition of the the 64 Kalás — a list of practices designed to center the mind, body and spirit. There are no “indicators” of clean like floral scents or mint aftertastes; instead, Kalá truly cleans the body, reverting it to its most natural state. Because nothing is cleaner than nothing

Each Kalá takes a traditional beauty product and adds an experiential element to it. This increases involvement, and therefore, consumer buy in.




Oral Care

Inspired by Kalá 9: 

The Art of Applying Preparations for Cleansing the Teeth

An activated charcoal toothpaste powder encapsulated in a thin, sodium alginate membrane. Upon contact with saliva, the membrane bursts, and the mouth is flooded with toothpaste. An additional part of the oral care line is a bamboo toothbrush with bristles infused with activated charcoal.

The toothbrush, also inspired by Kalá 9, is carved from bamboo, while the bristles are also infused with activated charcoal.



Cleansing Wash

Inspired by Kala 13: The Art of Splashing Water

Designed to be used at the end of the day, this cleansing wash is designed to help remove any makeup, dirt, or oil from the face, and is applied with a sponge.



Exfoliating Scrub

Inspired by Kala 6: 

The Art of Painting the Face and Body

This charcoal infused dry exfoliating scrub is applied with a Kabuki brush and rinsed off before applying makeup. The activated charcoal cleans the face and returns it to a blank slate without any scent or residue.




The brand’s aim to create thoughtfulness is equally evident in the packaging, where each Kalá unboxing experience is designed to connote calmness and mindfulness.



Website Prototype:


Brand Essence Video:          

[Found video edited for the sole purpose of a school project. No copyrights infringement intended.]


Steven Ebert, Strategist | Shannon Smith, Art Director | Shelby Lemons, Art Director | Carl JosephExperience Designer | Devin Altman, Copywriter